There was a time in late 1980 through to early 2000, when I would get sent on pitch meetings. It was also the era when spec scripts boomed and people were getting millions for three page treatments and command performances in some exec’s office. Needless to say, I was never a recipient of this largesse, but I did have a few scripts optioned, and I had plenty of lunches on the studio dime where I was sure I didn’t order anything that would stick to my teeth while conversing. I also recall dressing up in the beginning of this cycle and wearing contact lenses, and toward the end attending meetings in baggy overalls with my glasses perched on the end of my nose — and damn, if people didn’t take me more seriously…the “I don’t give a damn scruffy writer”…I’m just sayin’.
It was also a time when everyone I knew either grew up in the industry, or worked in it. And babies, there were vendettas and childish pranks all hidden behind smiles and air kisses. For instance, I had a friend who was working as a P.A. on a HUGE movie — let me backtrack: P.A.s are the whipping boys of the set, even though many of them grow up to be First Assistant Directors and Production Managers — my friend so despised his boss, his boss who was even more tyrannical to the P.A.s than usual, that he bought a whole fifteen pound fish, and using baling wire, crawled under the First A.D.’s brand new BMW and attached it where no one could see it, on top of the muffler, where it would rot mysteriously, and the stench would infiltrate up through the undercarriage into the leather upholstery, and generally cause all sorts of unidentifiable grief…
Stick around. There’s lots more where that came from.
Or, in the words of Judy Garland: “I know, I’ll sing em all, and we’ll stay all night.”