But I Did the Absolute Bare Minimum? | Script Revolution

But I Did the Absolute Bare Minimum?


It’s time for a bit of fun. Look, take this satirical blog post how you want. It’s not directed at anybody in particular but it does pull from various individuals I’ve watched trying to break in over the past eight years and points out a very real problem I seem to see every day within various online communities - there’s too many entitled screenwriters out there complaining about a lack of success while putting in the least amount of effort - CJ

Can we please spare a thought for Karen…

…who, after ten years of doing as little as possible to further her career, feels life has it in for her and the system is broken. In that decade of “intensely pushing herself on a daily basis” and totally not spending most of her time rearranging the items on her desk until she has the “zen needed to create her art”, Karen has written a feature length biographical about herself and how unfair her childhood was along with a completely unrelated young-adult thriller about a dull teenage protagonist with a love of writing who rejects her parents and goes on to prove they were ever wrong to doubt her, something she has managed to do in between bitter feuds with her child’s baseball coach and trying to sell the $15,000 worth of essential oils that’s currently stopping her husband parking his treasured 1994 Camaro in their double garage. To bolster her already vast portfolio, she has managed to eek out one short script she fully expects to become a festival darling but can’t be bothered to produce. She just doesn’t want the attention of fame, you see?

While Karen can’t find the energy to show their prowess within the literary realm by completing a short bio to attract the interest of industry members, she can find limitless energy to painstakingly light a headshot that’s highly effective in soliciting dick-pics from frustrated male peers. Despite seemingly being uninterested in either promoting herself or her work, she is quick to make it clear to anybody asking that she does indeed have a strong passion for creative writing but that writing seems to mainly consist of trying to creatively argue their subjective opinion as objective fact within screenwriting forums.

However Karen, who likes to argue the best Ghostbusters movie was the 2016 all female remake partly to be as flippant as possible but also because she feels the defeat of Gozer in the first movie promotes violence against women, simply cannot get ahead despite fawning over every thought shared by a constantly confused seventy two year old writer who’s last credit was a campy sex-comedy broadcast on Lifetime fourteen years ago, even going as far as to immediately like a forum comment where he accidentally posted his credit card CVC number when he thought he was ordering angina medication.

When Karen isn’t recording Instagram stories of herself reciting angry poetry about her step-mother’s undiagnosed narcissistic personality disorder, she likes to make a point of remaining seated in the movie theatre after the film has finished to nod sagely at the scroll of credits in case she spots anybody she knows since she’s “in the business” and insists on keeping all her scripts hidden away from prying eyes, demanding an NDA to be signed before she’ll send them out, a process she can easily manage given pretty much nobody knows her or her work even exists.

Often reminding people with an affixed winking smilie that she is “in no rush”, Karen loves to hone her craft by asking other writers for feedback and by “asking for feedback” I of course mean getting people to read her script and then venomously rejecting any constructive criticism as simply failing to appreciate her none-conformist literary brilliance.

Take out your tiniest violins for Kenneth…

…a man whose Twitter bio header boasts a trite quote from himself. A man who once wrote a feature length screenplay in twelve hours after being let go from Game Stop and speed reading Save the Cat, a book he supports venomously despite being unable to recall anything other than the page showing Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet. A man who can also offer an angry thirty-five page short penned after being politely told to leave an Applebee’s on the account he insisted to share a booth with his suspiciously stained waifu pillow.

Genuinely believing the biggest thing holding him back is being a white male, something he’s surprisingly keen to vocalise as he shouts down any advice handed to him by those he suspects are part of Hollywood’s feminist agenda, Kennith is now starting to wonder if the $20K he spent on film school may have been a waste since he spent the majority of the first three months in pedantic debates with lecturers over what’s considered true canon in the Lego Star Wars universe before dropping out and never starting his dissertation on why Quentin Tarantino is vastly overrated. To compensate, he’s addressing any minor lacking in his skills by spending day after day reading professional scripts under the assumption he’ll acquire all the talent he needs to win an Oscar via osmosis.

Kennith, a man with a muffled one-hundred-and-ninety-three minute YouTube video debunking someone else’s fan theory that the Back To The Future movies lead protagonist was Einstein the dog, is just waiting for his “investments” in The Black List and WeScreenplay evaluations to finally pay off and, while he did once take a brief look on IMDb to see if he could find any producers to reach out to, couldn’t recall any films he admired made after 1990 and thus gave up to instead get multiple quotes on insuring his future Ferrari Portofino within the 90210 zip code. Don’t get the impression he’s lazy though as, once a year, he does dedicate himself to the exhausting task of hitting the submit button on several screenplay competition submission pages. Fingers crossed the readers see sense this time, Ken!

The kind of writer who needs to seek suggestions on everything from his script’s title, to where he should take the plot, to “any ideas on the finale”, Kennith feels wasted outside of taking anything other than lead writing role on the new Marvel summer blockbuster and is already touting himself as a leading script consultant on the basis he’s read a “Ten Screenwriting Rules You Should Never Break” blog post written by a print shop manager in South Dakota while also conducting peer reviews where he systematically has to declare himself out by page ten because someone had a character use more than three lines of dialogue. Lest we forget, he’s an “award winning writer”, that award being second best use of parentheses in a medieval-horror-comedy in the Kansas City International Film Festival, an event that neither had a physical location nor an entry free.

Having gotten into a bitter row with every industry member that’s ever crossed his path because they fail to see his vision, Kennith is toying with the idea of shooting his own movie on his iPhone 4 and finally having to show the big studios how it’s done.

And Spare a thought for Kale… 

…who believes the craft of screenwriting is one that comes naturally and should not be encumbered by nonsense such learning or practice. While having not read a single book on the craft they do religiously tune into the Script Notes podcast to rub their hands in glee as other people’s efforts are torn apart in the three page challenge. Having written three feature scripts in six months, each of which is at least 300 pages long, part of the same story, and only suitable to made as a tent-pole franchise, they make it abundantly clear their work can only really be appreciated by Steven Spielberg, a comment that shits on every other filmmaker they could collaborate with like an endless murmuration of Starlings that just ate off the ground of a Taco Bell parking lot. At a push, they’d consider working with Lucas providing he gave them complete creative freedom.

Someone who feels the need to include their chosen pronouns on the cover page of their 150pp TV pilot, Kale follows A-list talent on Twitter in the hope those actors crawl through all their likes and retweets to spot undiscovered writers and then go on to secretly read, and fall in love with, material they neither know exists nor have immediate access to. In fact, knowing major success is just around the corner and they better get prepared for life in the public eye, Kale has created a Facebook fan page on which they pre-dominantly post cutting reviews about current films interspersed with highly political memes and the occasional rant that movies that went into pre-production two years ago somehow ripped off their ideas.

Kale seems to think access to the Google search engine must be restricted only to the other members of their local writing group given that they ask basic questions on a daily basis and they certainly don’t appear to have the time or ability to search out and query producers but somehow do have the time and ability to create a monthly Kickstarter project for their latest short script raising awareness of an issue well known since the mid-nineties while messaging all their Facebook friends demanding they fund both that and the new MacBook they need to “maximise their potential”.

Holding the militant belief that entertainment should always come second place to force feeding the audience a one-sided argument revolving around identity politics, Kale has attended one film festival drinks meet up only to stand silent in a corner glaring at the other participants with their phone in their hand tweeting about how the entire industry is giant clique of judgemental snobs unwilling to give anyone outside their circle a fighting chance.

Furious that they haven’t been spotted after nearly a whole year of putting their “heart and their soul” into writing, Kale plans to broadcast their victimhood on a daily basis and finally find the exact hair colour and hashtag combination needed to bring down the elites and replace them, hopefully shaking off how sore they feel that the sarcastically toned tweet they made to Ryan Reynolds suggesting he should read a script of theirs which tenuously references a comment posted by one of his PR team didn’t result in him both attaching himself and funding the project.

Having now already “exhausted all avenues” of social media, Kale is strongly considering employing the services of a screenwriting consultant by paying for coverage over and over until they have a script validated by someone else who’s also completely failing to break into the industry.

About The Author

CJ Walley's picture
Real name: 

I’m here for the gritty movies, the rebellious movies, those films that pack a punch far harder than their budgets would suggest.

As a spec script writer, I love to create pulpy thrillers, mostly with female leads, that feature strong themes, brutal action, witty dialogue, and twisting scenes that have characters vying for power or falling for one another.

As a producer and writer-for-hire, I’m production savvy, budget conscious, and market orientated, able to write in a...Read more



John Hunter's picture

After 8 or 10 years, it seems both healthy and natural to ask, "Is the universe trying to tell me something?"

Teresa Barber's picture

CJ, "bows before you" you are my idol.

David Fabian's picture

Funny stuff.

Debbie Croysdale's picture

That was a fun read, thanks CJ. Someone should make a sitcom on Karen, Kenneth and Kale.