The more I learn about the richly textured lives of big-time Hollywood screenwriters, the more I want to stay a trashy little gossip wretch in Murray Hill. Even if you get your screenplay green-lit, the studio will surely change it from a quirky romantic comedy to a superhero prequel in 3D, though the star will inevitably take charge at the last minute and instead make it a futuristic rock musical set in an oil spill. They’ll fire you, hire you back,then kick you out of the premiere party. If they call you for another meeting after it bombs, it’ll only be to pick your brain so they can rip off your ideas and give them to a more “commercial” writer who’ll make that one bomb too. And even if you still manage to make a hit of yourself, like multi-million man Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout), you’ll have to go into hiding for years to avoid the hideous backlash and nagging self doubts that accompanied your whopping paycheck.
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