Hi guys and gals,
Sorry, but today is a rant day. I’m pissed and I need to get something off my chest.
I belong to a group of screenwriters who meet every Tuesday morning in San Francisco. Generally, two people send out 20 to 50 pages of script over the weekend, and then we meet to critique both scripts. It takes about three hours to crawl through 50 pages, making notes and suggestions along the way. It’s a tedious and time-consuming process, and most of the writers in our group take the task seriously and come up with their best advice for improvement. I know I certainly do.
Last week it was my turn. I sent out 50 pages, asking for comments on pages 20 to 50. It was my first submission to the group in two months. I sent it out on Friday, so everyone would have plenty of time to read and comment.
We all met at 10:30 on Tuesday morning. The first session was taken by discussing the experience two members had while pitching their screenplay to producers at a pitch fest. The discussion ate into my time by ten minutes, so I was left with only thirty-five minutes to discuss my script.
When the group leader turned the conversation onto my script, one woman, a know-it-all who considers herself the queen bee of the group, started the discussion by stating that she didn’t have time to read it. I thought: no problem, I’m not interested in your opinion anyway. But then, she read the first line of my script, and proceeded to dominate the conversation for the rest of the time, going into such nit-picky detail that we crawled through only a few pages.
I was expecting a much higher-level discussion of how all the twenty or so scenes fit together, if it flowed well and made sense, and if there were any problems on a scene overview level. But no, every time I tried to steer the conversation to the scene level, this woman dragged it back down to page-one detail.
The just of it was is this was my one chance to submit these fifty pages to the group. Once submitted, we rarely critique a piece again. So this lady basically robbed me of getting valid feedback from the other members, just because she was unprepared to discuss it at a higher level.
I have no problem, Loraine, if you don’t want to read my work. I don’t care. But if you don’t read it, have the courtesy to keep your condescending mouth shut!