Simple Notes

Another true story…

My writing partner William Rabkin and I had just turned in the seventeenth draft of a screenplay based on a novel I’d written. We were a few weeks away from pre-production on the movie. The producer called us in, saying he only had a few minor notes we could do in a few minutes on our computer.

“I just need a tiny polish,” the producer said. “Just a few little nips and tucks.”

”I’m ready,” I said, having already figured out where I was going to put the framed movie poster on my wall, and how I was going to spend my production bonus.

“I’d like you to flip Act Two and Act Three,” he said.

I laughed. He didn’t. “You are joking, right?”

“No,” he said. “It will be easy with your computer. Just flip the two acts, make Act Three Act Two, and make Act Two Act Three.”

“But you can’t do that,” I said.

“Why not?” He asked, genuinely perplexed.

I walked out and never came back. Bill stuck around and got the notes, though we never did the draft. Other writers came in (including Michael Blake, who would later win an Oscar for “Dancing With Wolves”). Not surprisingly, the movie didn’t get made.