Saturday, November 28, 2009

Speed Dating for Writers

A question I’m always asked is “how do you find a writing partner?”. I met mine in the army but I sure don’t recommend that method. The WGA has come up with a nifty idea. Speed Dating. Just like the social version with the same success rate of getting laid. Every so often the Guild sponsors evenings for writers looking for that perfect scribe mate. I’ve never been to one of course, but I imagine you hear some pretty wacky responses. As a public service, so you don’t make these gaffes, here are few of the responses I would not want to hear. (I'm sure you can think of some more yourself.)

Dennis Miller is funny now. He never used to be but he is now.

We can work at my place. I live in Bakersfield.

Hey, hey, don’t touch my Naomi Watts photos! They’re not bothering you.

I can work anywhere any time. In fact, if you’ve got a couch I could crash on, that would be sweet.

If I could go back and work on any classic sitcom from the past, it would have to be MAMA’S FAMILY.

You would be…let’s see…my eighth partner.

I’m really good at editing. You pitch me ten ideas and I can tell you which is the good one.

It's nothing personal. I don't look anyone in the eye.

Do graphic comics count as books I’ve read?

Look, if you didn’t go to an Ivy school I don’t even know why we’re talking.

Everyone who’s read my script thought it wasn’t funny. That’s why I need a partner.

I do my best work between 2 and 4 A.M.

First things first -- who gets top billing?

Let’s work at my place. That way I can watch my twins. They just started walking!

You don’t remember? You slept with me at the Sundance retreat and never called me back, you shit!

I have a spec ELLEN I could show you.

This rubber band? Whenever I start feeling this building smoldering rage my shrink says play with this rubber band. Does it bother you?

There’s a British version of THE OFFICE?

You have beautiful hair. Can I touch it?

Do you have a cigarette?

How long have I fucking been writing? Fuck knows. But I guess it was, fuck, I dunno, some fucking time around the end of last fucking year or some shit.

The only thing is… I don’t drive.

I took Robert McKee’s class twice. So I kind of see myself as an expert on story.

Would you take my hands and join me in a prayer?

Okay, well…if you’re here and I’m here it’s pretty clear our partnership isn’t working.


YEKIMI said...

"You wrote for MASH? What's that about? I've never heard of it."

Jim Stickford said...

My day job? Why I sell inusrance.

If you need a lift, my mom can pick you up.

Do you know anything about immigration law?

D. McEwan said...

You would be…let’s see…my eighth partner.

I just watched the Johnny Mercer documentary. He had like 90 songwriting partners. Who would turn down Johnny Mercer? and those partners were Hoagy Charmichael, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, this list goes on and on, and never ceases to be awesome.

I do my best work between 2 and 4 A.M.

My best work is always written between midnight and dawn. 75% of My Lush Life was written during those hours. No distractions.

The only thing is… I don’t drive.

Me neither. No wonder I haven't had a partner since my last one died, back in 1987.

Max Clarke said...

Do you like vowels or consonants?

Cap'n Bob said...

You do the first draft and I'll punch it up.

WV: Hombiess--a snake's friends.

Russ Woody said...

A few others to throw into the mix:

"Well shit, I meant to wear pants."

"I've had like, literally, a zillion partners."

"My father was a rider."

blogward said...

"Cavemen was soooo underated".

Rory L. Aronsky said...

"Frasier was sooooo overrated.

WV: piedings - Stop poking that pie for fun and you won't have them anymore.

Joe said...

Anything with the words "Lady Gaga," "patriarchy" or "hegemony."
"You gonna finish that?"
"Last time I had to take a joke out, I went Full Lambert."

A. Buck...wait, it'll come to me. said...

“Crayon. I prefer crayon.”

“Favorite gerund? I’d have to say ‘fondling.’”

“Mostly, correspondence with my parole officer.”

“Well, I just figured, here’s one gal that really needed to be chainsawed.”

OK, so for the first time, we decided to give the Soupy Levine approach to Thanksgiving euphoria a shot, with one minor adaptation. The reason this information is filtering in a little late; we’re in Texas and I’m writing from the craniofacial ward, nursing a heinous fruitcake contusion. On the bright side, our daughter and a significant other who is also a physician are joining wife and me for brunch this morning. The even better news is he’s a guy. I get to request a second opinion on everything, and can finally at least hope for a stalemate.

Emily Blake said...

"I don't drive."

It's amazing how often you hear that from writers in Los Angeles.

Simon H. said...

"Isn't it about time they brought back Baby Bob?"

"Do you write for monkeys as well?"

"I used to date Lindsay Lohan."

David O'Hara said...

"How long have I fucking been writing? Fuck knows. But I guess it was, fuck, I dunno,

Were you sitting across from Tarantino?

WV: wordit: fleshing out the idea.

Anonymous said...

"I've got great ideas. All I need is somebody who can write the script. Don't worry, though, I'm still willing to split everything with you 50-50."

Harold X said...

"My life has changed completely since I read 'Dianetics'."

"'I Love Lucy' would have been so much funnier in color."

"Don't worry about the way they read -- my scripts are much funnier after they've added the laugh track."

"I have a production deal with Jim Belushi, and they're looking to keep up the quality of 'According to Jim'."

Dr. Leo Marvin said...

"There’s a British version of THE OFFICE?"

Don't get me started.


WV: "regois" -- Monsieur October

Guy Nicolucci said...

My favorite writer? Lauren Conrad.

Rotarian said...

Sorry, I'm here for the Kiwanis Club luncheon.

Anonymous said...

Question: Which would be the worst credits to claim:

Mama's Family;

Hello, Larry; or

After M*A*S*H?

CrackerJacker said...

Ha! I love the McKee classes one, that would be something I'd REALLY not want to hear there.

Tom Quigley said...

"I'm working on a spec for an anime adaptation of a Dostoevsky novel."

"The only money these days is in viral video."

"Did you hear what Glenn Beck said on his show last week? Kinda makes you think."

"I get all my story ideas from letters to Penthouse."

"But I don't know where the 405 is."

"Computer? No I just dust off the trusty old Royal, roll in a blank sheet of paper, and start typing whatever comes to mind."

"Did you ever listen to the sound of a dying goat?... I mean REALLY listen?"

"My most recent credit is -- well, I wrote the lunch orders for the Witt-Thomas-Harris offices."

"I've been told that when you write with a partner, you're not only writing with that partner, you're writing with every other partner that person has ever written with. What kind of protection do you use?"

"But I don't know where the 101 is."

"Do you think a partnership could get us a job on HANK?"

"Do you remember the movie YOUNG EINSTEIN starring Yahoo Serious? That's the kind of stuff I write."

"I'm more of the improv type of writer. I like to just give the director and actors a broad idea and let them fly with it."

"But I don't know where Burbank is."

Brian Doan said...

"I see Leno as my comedic model."

John E. Williams said...

Graphic NOVELS, not graphic comics.

Our partnership is over.

Hugo Fuchs said...

"Can we use your place? The cops keep raiding mine."

"You wrote M*A*S*H? That's a war story. I can't work with a war-monger like you."

"Of fucking course I'm fucking funny. Every fucking body keeps fucking laughing at every fucking thing I fucking say."

"What do you mean that spelling and grammar count? They can't see that on the screen."

"My parole officer said it'd be okay to get a writing partner."

"I'll write anything, so long as Jesus would approve."

"Do you also watch porn for inspiration while writing?"

"I've got a great idea. You pay me while we write, then you can deduct it from the sale price."

"So long as we can do beastiality and scat jokes."

"I like writing in blood."

"I've got a great idea for a murder mystery ... and it's based on my life story."

"What do you mean; 'pedophiles aren't funny.' "

"I'm just here for the free munchies."

Student speed dating said...

That's really great. I think writer should spend some recessional time for themselves rather than writing boring articles and books. It will be good for them and the people who don't like to read but have to read.