August 15, 1997
"David, Goliath on Line One."

Day three of the journal and already we've gone through a major redesign. Sure, it looks good, or at least better than it did, but this thing is becoming a time-sucker of epic proportions. It took me hours to design and code all this. And remember how I said I hoped that working on this journal would help me spend more time writing my scripts? Guess how much writing I did today? None! Sure, I also went to the movies with my wife Beth, but the bulk of my time today was spent hunkered down in front of the monitor, playing with this thing. If I'm going to spend that much time at the computer not writing, I've got better ways to do it. I've got Quake, Mechwarrior 2, Duke Nukem, Scrabble, and that favorite of procrastinating writers everywhere, Freecell. It's not like I needed this project to help me waste time, you know? Grumble, grumble...

All right, enough bitching. On with the bidness at hand. My day started out promisingly. The other day, during the "My agent's dumping me!" panic, I called a friend -- an acquaintance, really -- who's a heavyweight screenwriter to ask if he'd give me a referral to his manager, who's a heavyweight in his own right. I can't name names, but you've seen this manager's name on the front page of the trades, and unless you avoid Hollywood blockbusters I can guarantee you you've seen at least one of my friend's movies. So anyway, my friend was returning my call. He very nicely declined to refer me to his manager, obliquely suggesting that I was far, far, far too smalltime to be worth this guy's attention. And he's right. I was embarrassed that I'd asked. But it was still a good way to start the day because:

  • He returned my call, which was really nice of him.
  • He seemed genuinely concerned about my representation.
  • He invited me to call him again to kick around ideas if I wanted to.

The third item there is the important one. You see, I'm in the middle of breaking the rules I spell out on my Sitcom Format 101 page: I'm writing a pilot. And when I'm finished with this pilot I'm going to take it to him and see if he's interested in doing it with me. I can't give details, obviously, but it's not a sitcom and I have a feeling it's something he'd be interested in doing. And if he doesn't like it I'll just give it to my brother, who's been chewing my ear off lately to write something for him so he can shoot it on video and use it as a reel to get into film school or something. I'll either get rich or get my brother off my back. I can't lose!

On the home-front, I mentioned I went to a movie today. "Conspiracy Theory." For the second time. It's not worth seeing twice, but I had to do it in the interests of marital harmony. I go to a lot of movies. I see most of what comes out. Beth doesn't, and it's a sore spot with her that when we do get to go together, I rule out just about everything she wants to see because I've already seen it. So I told her that I'd go to any movie she picked as long as the words "Merchant/Ivory" weren't in the credits. And she chose -- what are the odds??? -- a movie I'd seen. I bit my tongue, didn't tell her I'd already seen it, didn't cheat and try to convince her that she really meant to say "Copland," and went to the movie with her and made her happy. And she didn't like it. How's that for gratitude?





Copyright 1997 Chuck Atkins