WHAT PRODUCERS DO
Great story in On Writing #16
about how Zanuck commissioned Budd Schulberg to write On the Waterfront
for Elia Kazan to direct ... then walked away from the project. The only guy who'd touch it was Sam Spiegel, who was bankrupt at the time, but was a real producer. He got UA attached, then Sinatra, then dumped Sinatra for Brando, then dumped UA for Warner's... all because Schulberg met him at a party and Spiegel said, come in the morning before you fly back to New York and tell me the story, and Schulberg did, and Spiegel knew what a good story was.
And that's another reason you should be able to tell your story off the top of your head, kids. Not only does it mean you have a good story, it means that you can pitch a producer in his pyjamas and get your movie made.
Lisa and I worked up the beats for the contemporary part of Billy Wes
today, while Hunter and friend fought monsters on PS2. Six pages of beats, and good beats, too. Considering the contemporary part of the story only needs to be thirty, forty percent of the movie, I think we've got a movie.