Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I suppose I ought to post here some reflections on my career as a Hollywood screenwriter, since that is what most people seem to want to know about. Why that should be so, I can only guess.','I have for fifteen years now worked full-time as a screenwriter in Hollywood. It is my career, my professional identity; both the chief source of my income, and the sole source of whatever fascination I may hold for strangers. And it is strange that this should be so. I never wanted to write screenplays, never held them in particularly high esteem, and still do not, though I have practiced the craft with some degree of success. I will take time here to write about the creative process and the commercial business of screenwriting, neither of which is well understood by people outside the industry (the former is almost completely misunderstood by people within it), as well as about the role and status of the screenwriter in Hollywood.

But I will also, from time to time, describe experiences I have had in the business, and reflect upon those experiences, and the personalities that populate them. I will try to avoid gossip, not only because I do not care for it myself, but also because I am still very much employed by and with those about whom I would be tattling. Still, it is diverting, and apparently an endless source of fascination to the public, to talk about the peculiar creatures who inhabit this bizarre world, and even I may not be able to avoid the temptation of sharing tidbits.

I have had a great deal of good fortune, and have had the pleasure of associating with many fine people, in the Hollywood community. I am not bitter about the business (which has by-and-large been good to me), but I have become rather cynical about certain aspects of it. I have also had in Hollywood some of the most disheartening and demeaning experiences a writer can have, and I have had the misfortune of having worked with some of the worst people I ever hope to encounter. I expect that I will have some things to say about all of this, too.

And so, for those of you who cannot restrain your curiosity about what life in the Hollywood film business is really like, you shall have my rather limited perspective on it, for what it may or may not be worth.