I don't know about your brain, but mine's been busy reading.
Reading. Reading. Reading. Reading.
During the last few months of the pandemic, I have been soliciting screenplays from all over the place. I knew that if I asked enough people, eventually I would find a funny, original script that audiences could connect with and laugh, if only for a couple of hours.
At first, I asked friends and family, but that well dried up fairly quickly.
Then, I turned to my networking groups on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, and the feature scripts started pouring in. Original works. Adaptations. Hybrids. It was a lot of screenplays. We're not talking about your average garden-hose level of scripts. This was a fire-hose of features heading my way!
Let me back up a bit and say that writing a good screenplay is hard work. I have immediate respect for anyone who can get to the end of the process with their sanity intact. Not only must you have the overly-active hyper-imagination of a child, but you must be able to translate all your musings into a structure with real words and meaning that makes sense to an audience. Not a slight task.
This is why it pains me to describe most of the scripts I have been reading not as stellar, or promising, but as 'dreck'. That right, I said it. Dreck! Most of the scripts I have seen can't even get out of bed, much less run the gauntlet of Agents, Actors, Managers, and Investors it is necessary to get through to produce a movie. Sigh.
Admittedly, I threw a wide net. The only criteria were that it was a comedy, and even there most writers fell short. It reminds me of a John Mulaney monologue where he imitates Mick Jagger commenting on one of his pitches as "Not Funny!" Sad, but true.
However, there is some signal amongst the noise. Several of the scripts had interesting premises, witty dialogue or compelling characters. A couple of the scripts I really liked, but the writers asked for disproportionately high fees for their scripts, forcing me to make the choice to pass.
I have not lost hope. I know there is a script out there worthy of being made. Audiences are ready to laugh.
In fact, I received a few more scripts this morning. Perhaps it is one of them that rises to the challenge?
I am optimistic that I will find one shortly, and my brain is optimistic too. Someday soon, it will be able to take a vacation. But not until it is done reading some more.