Green Screen Cinema Filmmaking for the 21st century

Josh Olson is not going to read your script

Sunday, September 13 2009 @ 07:05 PM UTC
Contributed by: Jimbo
Views: 1,631
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Here at GreenScreenCinema we try to give you the best possible advice without a hint of derision or sarcasm. We do this because we know that once you get on set you'll probably face nothing but derision. Not because you're doing a poor job. But because that's the nature of the business. There are simply too many applicants for the limited number of jobs that exist. And there is literally nothing to differentiate one applicant from another. So those in power can say and do whatever they want. They'll simply replace you if you ask for more than your daily allotment of gruel. Which brings us to the curious case of Josh Olson ("A History of Violence"), a successful screenwriter that absolutely will not read your script.

How do I know that Josh will not read your script? Because he published a lengthy article in the Village Voice this week titled I Will Not Read Your F*cking Script. So I'm pretty sure he will not read your script. Here are some excerpts from his diatribe:
    I will not read your f*cking script.

    That's simple enough, isn't it? "I will not read your f*cking script." What's not clear about that? There's nothing personal about it, nothing loaded, nothing complicated. I simply have no interest in reading your f*cking screenplay. None whatsoever.

    If that seems unfair, I'll make you a deal. In return for you not asking me to read your f*cking script, I will not ask you to wash my f*cking car, or take my f*cking picture, or represent me in f*cking court, or take out my f*cking gall bladder, or whatever the f*ck it is that you do for a living.

    You're a lovely person. Whatever time we've spent together has, I'm sure, been pleasurable for both of us. I quite enjoyed that conversation we once had about structure and theme, and why Sergio Leone is the greatest director who ever lived. Yes, we bonded, and yes, I wish you luck in all your endeavors, and it would thrill me no end to hear that you had sold your screenplay, and that it had been made into the best movie since Godfather Part II.

    But I will not read your f*cking script.

    At this point, you should walk away, firm in your conviction that I'm a dick. But if you're interested in growing as a human being and recognizing that it is, in fact, you who are the dick in this situation, please read on.

    Yes. That's right. I called you a dick. Because you created this situation. You put me in this spot where my only option is to acquiesce to your demands or be the bad guy. That, my friend, is the very definition of a dick move.

    ...You are not owed a read from a professional, even if you think you have an in, and even if you think it's not a huge imposition. It's not your choice to make. This needs to be clear--when you ask a professional for their take on your material, you're not just asking them to take an hour or two out of their life, you're asking them to give you--gratis--the acquired knowledge, insight, and skill of years of work. It is no different than asking your friend the house painter to paint your living room during his off hours.
OK, so clearly Josh has some personal problems to work out. The first of which is to not call every reader of the Village Voice a dick. But personal problems aside, this tirade should give you a good preview of what the industry has in store for you. You can easily find rejection at all levels of the business. You can get yelled at for grabbing candy from the wrong craft services table (union productions have two!). The only solution to this mess is to find a skill that you are good at, that you are happy to perform even while people are yelling at you.

You have to read your own script. Because Josh Olson certainly won't.