When a friend of mine succeeds, a little part of me dies.
-- Gore Vidal
Actually, I'm thrilled. A good friend a poker buddy of mine is flying off West to rewrite a Big American Movie. Though he should be jazzed about getting a WGA gig, especially since it will get him on the list of Approved Movie Rewriters, he's worried that (based on the prior movies the producers have made) this movie may not be specifically too good. But now it's really up to him, isn't it? Most movies start stinking from the script. He just has to figure out how to find the truth in
whatever bad notes he gets from the producers, and make the script his own within the parameters he's given.
Lisa's Theory of Boring Parties is that everyone has a Big Fascinating Secret. Even the most boring person. If you treat your conversations with them as an effort to winkle out their BFS, you won't be bored. And, usually, she finds something interesting they have to say. It requires more concentration and effort, but she's never bored at parties. And people find her utterly charming.
The corrollary is that you can almost always find the truth in Bad Notes. After all, someone doesn't get to be a rich, expensive director of bad movies without something
going for him. So when they give bad, contradictory, soul-killing notes, they are probably not actively trying to give bad notes. They are trying to give good notes, and communicating them badly. Your job as a writer is to find the truth in those notes, and then make them your own.
Having done a few rewrites myself, I have found that no matter how bad the material is when I get it, by the time I've worked my way into it, I have found something to love. There's always a movie in there.
That's my theory, anyway...