Is there anything else that you can create in your free time that would actually make people think less of you than writing a screenplay? Admitting this to someone is an interesting way of saying both I have too much free time and I have delusions of grandeur. You could be writing the next Citizen Kane (no you couldn’t) or you could be writing the next White Chicks (closer, but probably still no) and no one has any idea because there’s a 90 percent chance you aren’t showing that bad boy off to anyone. Even when you step up and allow the eager public (friends with too much time) to read something, you can hide behind the “Remember, this is just a first draft” disclaimer.
Can you blame anyone for feeling this way? I can’t. I’ve wrote a couple screenplays and they are indeed cringe worthy. But at least I admit this. The biggest problem hurting the reputation of anyone trying to write a screenplay has to be the irrational confidence of everyone else writing a screenplay. Everything they write is the best movie of all time; if anyone would take the time to read it they would know it blows Die Hard out of the water. It’s definitely the funniest movie since Anchorman. It’s way more terrifying than House of 1000 Corpses. It’s so much more romantic than The Notebook (well that’s just impossible)
These people really believe in themselves, so good for them. Not as good for anyone listening to them. Personally, I think of all aspiring screenwriters fitting into 1 of 3 categories. The first is the guy with the pencil thin mustache whose mom canceled his World of Warcraft account for skipping on basement rent. His screenplay is most likely about Robots, Largest Breasted Space Women, or most likely both. The 2nd category is the chick (or dude) that tries to dress up a rom com (why do we shorten every phrase now?) with all sorts of quirks and plot twists but not so secretly it’s still a Nicholas Sparks adaptation or John Cusack 80s flick (and it still sucks). This group doesn’t play video games so they spend a lot of their free time when not writing (or at least talking about writing), crying. The third group is perhaps the most obnoxious of the 3, the hipster dbags whose screenplay is so fucking intellectual that they couldn’t possible describe it to you; you’d never understand it. Because they haven’t actually wrote it yet.
With stereotypes out there like that, it’s hard for anyone to take you serious. Still that won’t keep the optimistic screenwriter from changing the world, so ease up. You wouldn’t discourage a friend from painting if they decided to take it up as hobby, you’d probably encouraged them, ask them to paint you something (a happy little tree?). If someone told you they were creating music, you wouldn’t dismiss them as a stereotype, you’d listen right? (I wouldn’t; your basement punk, John Mayer rip offs, and dicking around with garage band and samples of car alarms and farts are not music.) So why does creating a screenplay have to be a bad thing?
Almost anyone can relate right. Too many films that have come out in recent years are just god awful, and something needs to be done about this! Unfortunately, in reality (this reality; not gun-toting busty space nun alternative reality) that does not mean you can do any better. It’s disappointing, seriously I know. But honestly, it’s really a lot closer to watching an NBA player air-balling a shot and saying “I could do better than THIS guy”. You might look more like Tarantino than Lebron James, but, come on.
Having said that… “Who Killed My Wife?”. It’s the funniest movie you’ll ever see. Look for it in theaters in 2015.