Friday, April 17, 2009

An Open Letter to Madeleine Stowe

Everyone on the planet is aware of how there are a ridiculously small amount of good roles for women in Hollywood. And we also know there’s far less for women over forty. I for one, think it’s a shame. But to be fair, it’s not like I’m writing Meryl Streep’s next Oscar winning role – I’m too busy writing for myself. Well, Madeleine Stowe decided to write her own, and good on her for doing that. Actually, she wrote it a while ago, but we’ll get back to that.

A few years ago, I spent some time at a very successful talent/literary agency. I won’t say which one, but I can say that it commonly goes by three initials, none of which are the letters U, W, P or T. While I was there, Stowe’s screenplay was making the rounds trying to get sold. Now, this was no ordinary screenplay –this screenplay was good. And by good, I mean great. So good, that not a single studio that passed on it. Are you following? The screenplay with an over 40 female protagonist was so good that every studio in town wanted it. The only problem? None of them wanted to do it with Stowe as the star, she wasn’t bankable enough. Ouch! So what did Ms. Stowe decide? She refused to sell to any studio who wouldn’t have her be the star.

Good for her!

Now it’s been several years and she still hasn’t sold that script. And let’s be honest, it’s not like she’s become any more bankable since that script was making the rounds. But that’s okay, I’ve got a plan for her.

Dear Madeleine Stowe,

Since you can clearly write a phenomenal script – write another one, girl! The only thing is that the second one has to be inarguably better than the first. You can do it, you already did it once. Take it from another writing person – good scripts aren’t an accident. Don’t worry about what people call beginner’s luck. Just sit down, lock in, and use the same energy you used to pound out the first one. Warning: it will not feel the same, but luckily this time you have even more to prove. So prove it!

After you write this new great screenplay for yourself to star in, sell the first one – without attaching yourself to star. I know, I know – it kinda hurts. You can play another character in the movie, for sure, but not the lead. Let the studios do what they feel they gotta do. Then, win the Original Screenplay Oscar™! This will be difficult in ways that have nothing to do with art,and you may end up feeling like a whore but again, you can do it. And once you have won the Oscar™, sell the second screenplay with you attached to star. And voila, you’re back!

Now wasn’t that simple? Always trust the Soccerboy.

[MMIX MD TOTAL all rights reserved.]

1 comment:

Chapman said...

Wow, that was really... clear. I live in Wales, but I had heard about that movie she wrote, but always thought it was dumb that she wouldn't sell it. your plan sounds like it could work.