My agent organized pitch meetings with a few production companies.
“Make it short and sweet,” he said. “Just give them your f—ing pitch and see if they bite.“
“So you know,” he added. “The more important they are, the worst dressed they’ll be. You meet a d—–bag in a Speedo and flip flops, their last film probably made a 100 mil. Meet a s—head in a suit, their last film was probably seen by less people than one of your f—ing plays.“
I went to the meetings. No one was wearing a Speedo. I did meet with one guy in a Hawaiian shirt and board shorts. True enough: he was the development guy for a comedy team with a string of hits.
The last meeting went like this.
An office in Santa Monica. Impressionist art, movie posters, a red couch. I’m ushered into a conference room.
Their development guy is maybe 25, wearing black jeans and a Talking Heads tee-shirt. The usual small talk. I mention CBGB. He thinks it’s a government agency.
D-guy: I read that script.
David: I thought I was here to pitch it.
D-guy: You are. But I like to read the script before people pitch it so I already know what they’re going to say.
David: What’s the point?
D-guy: It’s like when the police ask questions that they already know the answers to.
David: Am I a suspect?
He coughs out a knowing laugh.
D-guy: Your only crime is a screenplay that feels like it was written in the 80’s.
David: When the Talking Heads were big?
He lets it slide, or else hasn’t yet realized that he’s wearing their shirt.
D-guy: If you’re going to write something like this, it has to have a modern feel… say like the Bourne series.
David: I see. You mean the Bourne series based on the books written by Robert Ludlum in the 80’s, right?
End of meeting.
Back at my agent’s office, I tell him what happened.
Agent: You gotta learn to kiss a–, David.
David: I don’t do that very well.
Agent: It’s not hard. I do it every day. All my clients are a—holes. Want to learn how to kiss a–? I’ll show you.
He walks around the desk and kisses me on top of the head.
Agent: How hard was that?