Re: ATTN JMS: WWZ - You're out?

 Posted on 7/1/2009 by to

On Jun 30, 3:18=A0pm, Bill <> wrote:
> On Jun 29, 7:29=A0pm, Professor <> wrote:
> > > One of the things that distinguishes film from TV is that it's the
> > > norm for a script to go through many, many hands on the way to
> > > production, which is why you see so many writers' names on movies.
> > > (As a parenthetical, so you can follow the process better, when you
> > > see "Written by A & B" it means that A and B were actually
> > > collaborators on the film, whereas "Written by A and B" means that B
> > > was brought in separately.) =A0Ivan Reitman, for instance, always has
> > > one writer do a pass for character, another does a pass for humor,
> > > another does a pass for action...and so on. =A0This is just part of t=
> > > feature business, especially once a director comes on board, who may
> > > have ideas of his own that he wants to incorporate and the original
> > > writer has gone through all the contractual drafts, so that either yo=
> > > re-hire the same guy, or bring in fresh eyes.
> > > So yes, another pair of hands is now working to simplify the script,
> > > which has always been as much a political thriller as an action film,
> > > into something a bit more straightforward.
> > > jms
> > Red flags go up for me when JMS writes dispassionately in third person
> > about a process when the question is somehow about him and a recent
> > event. =A0His words carry meaning and must be looked at carefully. He
> > does not lie but that does not mean that he has the privilege at that
> > moment to tell the whole truth, as can be noted throughout his posts
> > over the years.
> > So the explanation of how Ivan Reitman works with multiple writers I
> > am sure is accurate but does this logically follow that this is what
> > is/has happened with regard to WWZ and Marc Forster? Or is there
> > something else where behind the scenes that has occurred that we will
> > have to wait to find out after all of the cards fall?
> > Just trying to be a critical reader.
> Having seen JMS in person and listened to his B5 commentaries, I also
> know that JMS is not one to be dispassionate about anything. He can be
> intense, excited, even a little angry (listen to the Crusade
> commentaries). His detached manner here sounds like a way of
> reflecting his disappointment to me. Then again, he has also walked
> away from several projects without regret. So he may very well be as
> dispassionate as he appears. He's got enough else to work on and that
> clearly makes him happy.
> Bill- Hide quoted text -
> - Show quoted text -

First, Joe's response to your note is exactly right on every count.

Second, on the broader semantic issue...I wouldn't say dispassionate
was the right word, because I'm very passionate about everything I
work on, especially when I believe strongly in something.

The difference, and this may be the key word, is that for the last
two, three years, ever since Changeling switched my life upside-down,
I've been...calmer. It's really hard to explain, because I've lived
most of my life like a man running for a bus, but something *happened*
with that event, and the assignments afterward, and the people I've
been honored enough to work with. Rather than getting all puffed up
like a pouter-pigeon, it's made me quieter, calmer...things that used
to drive me batshit, no longer do.

So when another guy comes onto WWZ, as is the tendency of the business
(I get 2-5 feature scripts per *week* with offers to rewrite, most of
which I turn down because I look at the name of the writer on the
cover and know I'm not fit to carry that person's pencil-box let alone
rewrite them), it's okay, not just because that's the nature of the
feature world, but because...well...I'm honestly okay with it. And if
that moves it closer to getting produced, I'm even more okay with it.

A lot of the people around me keep looking at me with that whole
Invasion of the Body Snatchers "who ARE you and what have you done
with Joe?" look in their eyes, because they've never really seen me
quiet, or centered.

With Changeling, and the work thereafter, I kind of proved what I set
out to prove. It's kind of like Zack in SiL, where he talks about how
they did everything they set out to do. I've ended up in my own
narrative, which is REALLY weird, but all the's just a
really happy time. I've doing some of the best work of my career, I'm
busier than at any time in my professional life, including B5, and I'm
working with some amazing, amazing people.

But I'll try to find something to get cranky about. Old habits die
hard, after all.