Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Mon, Mar 07 2005

Who Will Catch The Next Great Films?

There's a blog for the script writer who wants to know what not to pitch to Hollywood. The claim is that the postings contain actual query letters sent to Tinsel Town. Maybe all the execs need to do is combine two or three of the pitches to end up with a box office bonanza on their hands.

I never understood the concept of pitching scripts anyway. And I'm betting that the growing crop of independent film makers is going to put a crimp in that whole tired dance. Major motion picture studio producers have been seen as near-royalty, while writers have been looked upon as word-flipping whores who have to flash some proverbial skin just to get a chance to pitch their ideas. Sales people are better at pitching than most writers are. Just because we're not all great at sales doesn't mean we don't have a blockbuster script sitting on our lap. If producers are looking for the next big thing they might consider getting off their thrones and hunting down great writers for themselves. The longer they wait to do that, the higher the chance that an indie will scoop up the best scripts. It's not only the pitch that counts. It's the vision in the heart of the catcher.

posted at: 15:09 | category: /Writing Life | link to this entry

Blocking The Aisles

I'm wondering if every grocery store should consider posting something like the city of Alhambra's shopping cart etiquette. Yesterday I started to push my cart into an aisle and had to come to an abrupt stop because a woman was picking out bottles of spices near the end of the aisle. Her behavior would have been fine if she hadn't first managed to stop her cart in such a way that it blocked the middle of the aisle and was set in a half-turn so that it would have taken a great deal of manipulation to get it to one side or the other of the aisle. She continued to read labels while I waited and while another person's cart came to a stop behind me. Now we were jutting out into the area where lines form to check out. When the spice hunter finally looked up and saw me waiting her whole body reacted with a giant twitch that almost made her drop the bottle she finally had in her hand. Her eyes got wider and her jaw dropped as though she'd thought she was the only one in the store. I said nothing, but smiled and waited for her to move. She grabbed the cart and yanked it to one side, so I proceeded to move slightly past her to the items beyong the spices. Just as I reached for a can of broth she shoved her cart forward and nearly knocked me down. I tried to back up, but the person who had been waiting behind me was barreling past us both to make up lost time for her own delay. I was caught in a move that looked like an old disco step. The spice hunter jerked her head toward me again and mumbled something I couldn't understand and then gave one more jerk of the cart as if to move on. Then she stopped again. By this time I was ready to give the command to her to "Sit. Stay." Instead, I pushed my cart to the next aisle and came back to that aisle once I was sure she had left the area. This woman was able-bodied, made eye contact with me several times, clearly heard the noises of other shoppers approaching and had no small children along to distract her. Maybe she'd just gotten back news and was in her own little universe. I have no explanation for her frustrating actions.

Exactly one week before the grocery store incident I was in a Michael's, shopping with a basket instead of a cart. I had gone up and down several aisles and then noticed a sale on rubber stamps, so I tried to browse in that area. There were two or three other people shopping in that section and we crossed back and forth and swapped places without a word and did very well. At the end of the aisle was a group of five women having a visit. They were not browsing merchandise and they were not talking about crafts or store items. They were sharing the good old days and catching up on the latest family news. I looked at the sale items near them as well as I could, and I tried to make eye contact and place myself in such a way that let them know I needed to move on to that area. They turned and looked toward me and never missed a syllable, laughing and talking as though I was nothing more than part of the display shelf. After a good three minutes I moved on to the next aisle, where I listened for things to wind down so I could go back and browse again. They talked for another ten minutes. I browsed the rest of the store and then came back to finish in that aisle.

I salute the city of Alhambra for its bravery in reminding people that shopping shouldn't have to be a contact sport and that we shouldn't have to resort to aisle rage in order to get shoppers to keep an aisle as clear as possible when they are not on the move. This whole incident did make me recall a trip to Arizona some years ago, where I found it amusing that grocery stores had signs instructing folks to check their firearms at the door. I wondered if maybe they knew something I didn't know. Now I'm fairly certain they knew exactly what they were doing.

posted at: 12:15 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!