Before you ask, no, i am not the guy who sent the unsolicited material referred to in this post: https://www.reddit.com/Screenwriting/comments/6vtc1m/please_dont_send_unsolicited_material_to_pros_on
Josh Olson (writer of "one of the 20 Best Straight to Video Movies ever made"
) is an obnoxious cynical prick, no matter how you parse his "factual" points (it's non-sequitur to call them objective fact if they are subjective opinion). That crap is exactly why I am reticent to hang out with screenwriters; caveat that not all feel or behave this way. I work in a few different fields - from a senior level (programming) to where i am far more junior (aviation, sound engineering) ones, and none of those disciplines have this kind of attitude as part of daily life. I don't advertise what i've done or where i've been here, or anywhere else.
The idea that a junior programmer, guitarist, pilot, architect, journalist, sound mixer - or anyone starting off in any other remotely artistic field - would be treated with that kind of derision is unheard of in those sibling disciplines. I've had junior techs send me entire codebases on Github/zip that are thousands of files (way more than 90 fucking pages), and i've happily reviewed. I'm a very senior dev after 15 years; of course they want my opinion or referral: it's part of the position and a privilege. I couldn't fund their startup, but i know something good when i see it - and it doesn't destract my own efforts. I can't think of many others in those professions i've met who don't have a similar mindset; only people involved in film have this joint Perpetual Victim/Majesty-Complex. I don't know anyone in software, music, or even a damned art gallery who would fucking charge for a "read", or get resentful because they assume they should. This isn't "protecting" your income; if you want to share the same practices with lawyers, you need a profession that's as indispensable.
if you want an example, browse over to flying
. Student pilots regularly ask for be tested before checkrides, or critiqued on their GoPro lesson footage. The 30-year veteran 747 and F16 pilots love to help because of their shared love of aviation
. These "pros" are far more fucking skilled than any of us can ever hope to be. Then look at the thousands of unpaid software programmers who have helped to create world-changing things like Linux, Bitcoin, and others. Code requires the same abstract virtualised thought, so yes, it's directly analogous.
The fact you took time to humiliate someone publicly (they will know who they are) because they took a (potentially foolish and/or precocious) risk, is anathema to this whole idea: we're in this together because of the love of the art form, and we're all perpetually learning. Maybe it was ingracious; perhaps an unlightened transgression; but the fact you presume the intent as originating with entitlement has a stench of projection.
No, you don't "owe" them a "reading" that's "unpaid" (wtf are you talking about??), and the admitted unlikelihood of them pursuing a lawsuit is just absurd as the idea "pros" are "overworked" or liability averse. You are not going to get sued for reading a short. If you want to see what overworked looks like, you need to talk to Silicon Valley people living in garages, junior doctors on 120hr weeks, Tesla people in the office on Sunday morning, or Wall St people who have to leave after their coked-up boss at 11pm - let alone the less reputation professions. A screenwriter up til 5am on a shitty contract working for an ungrateful client for pittance money isn't. It's the job. You chose it, shut up whining about it.
i get you're annoyed, i get you don't like Olson, and i also get you've got a good sense of humour too from the thread comments - and the opinion above applies to you too, i.e. we're all perpetually learning. But that comment history of yours is dripping with inaccuracies/bad advice, and the sheer vanity of spouting pretentious doublespeak like "most aspiring screenwriters want to be successful, rather than wanting to master their craft. In those cases, feedback from someone like me is, at very best, annoying to them."
makes it even worse that most of the thread is hopeful, supine tributes to the flair next to your username - precisely what you mention these peasants who dare to approach the throne allegedly want.
As much as i know this kind of a rant is ad-hominem, I'm just repelled by the often -shared- attitude of this specific profession (and art form, actually) because i know it's swamp in a trench. It isn't about being super-positive
and mentoring others, it's the sheer stupid bullshit level. Other professions do not behave this way. We are lucky enough we get to do this - some of us even luckier to make it our living. Yes, it's probably a bit annoying; no, maybe it's not the best way to do things (how do you think relationships start?). You're not trying to "keep the little guy down", and you're not soliciting for permission first, you're simply indulging in this contagious self-elevating assholery because it's there. 80% of our profession's "pros" (and the fucking howto-authors) seem to think and act like they are self-anointed temperamental Rembrants, despite the audience's ever-growing view that the collective output of both the Indie and Culver groupthink has been artistically contemptous garbage for over a decade now (the Emoji movie? zombie shorts? the politically correct SJW invasion? remaking the fucking Matrix?).
My point? We're in this together. Our profession is a shitshow. They get fed up with dealing with us for exactly this reason. If you've had the good fortune to earn an established presence doing what you love, you - and everyone else in the same spot - have a role to play in shaping who we are, what it means to be a member of our profession, and where we want things to go. Olson's selfish douchery, your patronising PSA, all of these self-aggrandizing orthodoxies, and everything they represent, need to be put away, as soon as they can.
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