I Don’t Want to Find You An Agent, II

The guy who wrote the letter that prompted the previous post replied today.  He wanted me to read his script and, if I liked it, recommend him to my agent.  In a nutshell, I said I wouldn’t, and listed all the reasons why, concluding with this advice: Don’t send me your script, and don’t send it to any other
professional writer either. It’s a stupid idea
. Here’s his response:

Your use of the word
"professional" here implies that you regard me as an amateur. Your use of the
word "stupid" needs no comment. Well, it’s true that I’m not a professional
in the sense that I never got paid for my screenwriting up to now. However,
as I indicated in my (very polite) message to you, I have a long career
behind me as a journalist. I was hoping for a more mature response from you
on that basis alone — at least a response that does not belabor the obvious.

You’d think he would have put his journalism skills to use and a) read
my blog before emailing me and discovered  the many, many posts where I discuss the
pointlessness of sending your scripts and series ideas to me and b) he would have
researched the industry a bit and realized sending his script to a
screenwriter was not the best way to find an agent or break into the business.

Would you have been so patronizing if I had a name other than
Mohamed? Or if I was not a Canadian? Perhaps not. At any rate, your comments
are duly noted and I wish you continuing success with Diagnosis Murder
and whatever else it is that you do.

Ah yes, the last gasp of the desperate… the racism, sexism,  ageism, or xenophobia card. To be honest, I didn’t even notice his name or where he came from. I didn’t bother to read that part of his original email since I had absolutely no intention of contacting him about his screenplays. But you’ll notice that rather than learn from his mistake, and accept that his proposal  might have been wrong-headed, he has to flail around for some other, hidden reason that I won’t read his scripts. With an attitude like that, it’s not surprising to me he’s been entering his scripts into competitions for five years instead of selling them.

14 thoughts on “I Don’t Want to Find You An Agent, II”

  1. If I may, again: I read the follow-up missive from the fellow who sent you whatever. (Just so long as they save the severed horse’s head for very special times, eh.) Now I see why he is so pissed at you: He’s a journalist. Therefore, you, a professional writer of screen and such should be thrilled, nay, honored to have him in your in-box. Yessir, you should just-a be postering and pontificating, groveling, and prostrating yourself to his feet, for this inquiry. Don’t you know that journalists are the greatest gift to the written word? How dare you, sir, to reject him out of hand. Just for that he will never, ever cobble, er, write, a single, favorable article of your writing. How dare you reject him. Why such things are certain forms of professional suicide.
    Good riddance, if you were to ask me. Spray twice and scrub everything down with large amounts of bleach.

  2. Oh, silly you. And here you had us convinced it was to avoid legal entanglements that could screw over both you and the script writer in question. Shame on you, Lee. What have you got against journalists?
    (And on a less sarcastic note, was this guy really Jayson Blair?)

  3. Regarding your new post: a) You say you didn’t notice my name or where I came from, yet you refer to me as “some guy from Toronto” in your original post; b) I’m not “flailing around” to find reasons behind your
    refusal to read my stuff others than the one you put forward in your blog. I was trying to find reasons why you singled ME out for public mockery. Me, as opposed to anyone else among the 80 people you claim harass you with such requests every month. I ventured that it might be racism, and I still think it might be the case. The real reason is simply that you’re an immature twit.
    Please feel free to use this message as a take-off point for another entry in your lamentable blog. For a “professional writer” you seem to have an awful lot of time on your hands. I don’t, so this is the last
    you’ll hear from me.
    Cheers, MR

  4. For a “professional writer” you seem to have an awful lot of time on your hands. I don’t, so this is the last you’ll hear from me.

    Time I could better use reading your scripts, no doubt.
    If you’d bothered to read my blog before sending me your ill-considered request, you would have noticed you are by no means the first person whose queries to me have been posted here. Nor, I fear, will you be the last.
    I’m not surprised you’re still holding on to the notion that racism is the problem… rather than acknowledging your own failings which, in this case, is a lack of understanding of how the movie & TV business works (considering you’re a journalist with an MFA and all).
    Sending unsolicited email to professional writers asking them to read your scripts and pass them on to their agents is, well, a very stupid idea.
    It would be stupid whether you were white or black, Japanese or Iranian, fat or thin, Canadian or American, Jewish or Muslim, vegan or meat-eater, blue-eyed or brown-eyed, big busted or small busted, talented or untalented, human or Martian, Democrat or Republican, Connery-Fan or Moore-Fan.
    If I’m such a lazy-ass, immature twit, why did you want me to read your scripts?

  5. I’d discount the Roger Moore fans flat out, unless the only thing they’ve seen is FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. Other than that, I would never read the script of a Moore fan. If that’s the type of movie they like, why would I want them writing more movies?
    (Yes, that’s a blanket statement. But I need a new blanket.)

  6. I have newsflash for the group. Just because someone claims to be a journalist doesn’t mean they are. To do so would require credentials that Mr. Hess lacks. He’s a myth-based press critic common to the net and I’m surprised he doesn’t inhabit pressthink blog with the rest of the journo-haters? The guy who wrote is typical of the amateurs who think they can break into the business. He doesn’t get it.

  7. ‘Goldberg’? Jewish? I would have wagered a guess you were Scottish/Samoan. My mistake. It was the kilt and lei that caused the assumption on my part.
    But seriously: If I may: What does a person’s heritage have to do with a professional rejection to place someone else’s writing?
    On another note, in a sincere attempt to drag this discussion back in the direction of writing, a question about television: Why is it programs like “Diagnosis Murder”, “Monk”, “Columbo”, etc., which are based on memorable characters, are so few and far between? It seems to me that if a network executive were honestly interested in creating and producing a ratings winning series they would a) focus on mysteries, b) focus on a character that appeals in an off-beat manner to the masses, and c) is built on good writing.


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