Monday, October 3, 2011

Re-inventing boomers or like anyone under 30 needs to hear this

Last night I dropped by a restaurant here in Sherman Oaks called Corky's. It's one of those classic 60's places like Norm's, huge meals for decent prices and photos of the valley on the wall going back to the 1930's.

I was there to hear a friend of mine sing in the bar which itself was classic. There were a handful of people there, a guy at the bar and definitely a 60's or 70's feel to it. You'd almost expect Jim Garner as Rockford enter to get info from a con man.

My friend was also the lead actress in Ghostkeeper way back in 1980. She never really sang until last year, never even imagined singing. Even her ex-husband was surprised. Like most of us she had her ups and downs and managed to raise her daughter and send her through school after the divorce. She also teaches yoga.

In her late 50's, she would qualify for that almost new word reinvention that's being used more and more as boomers age. Just to qualify it, boomers are that age group born from 1946 to 1964, meaning the oldest ones are 65 and the youngest are around 47.

So what about writers? 

I posted this question on the WGA writer's website, not the official one, but a separate website only accessed if you're WGA. I got 3 replies.

Out of at least several hundred writers. 


Does that mean 99% of WGA writers are under 46? No, it means either they don't care or they don't want to bring it up. More writers than you think have short careers, some with one screenplay to their credit. How does one reinvent themselves when all they do is write.

I've often said that much of my survival in this business was due to the fact I was experienced in making films, filming, editing, sound and other aspects. I'm still doing this and at present have a pilot for a half-hour travel series unlike anything out there so far.

I did the pilot myself, along with a friend, filming in Nevada and then editing it. You've probably seen the 5 minute trailer for it, it's on the list on the left side of this blog. I've also just finished the novelization of Emperor of Mars and hope to have it on Amazon in the next few weeks.

And I'm considering a book on screenwriting. Isn't that what you do when you don't have a real job? Like we need another book on screenwriting?

Why not?

Mine would be based on my UCLA lectures as well as probably some of this blog that deals with writers and writing. And it wasn't my idea, okay, so don't start on the ego thing, this is more the practical thing.


Nobody's buying my screenplays right now, Christmas Carole is on hold until probably next year as 3 companies say they want to make it, the trouble is that Hallmark has it's quota of Christmas scripts this year with deal from Larry Levinson, who brings movies in cheaper than anyone else.

The only other markets have specific topics; Lifetime only wants true woman-in-jeopardy stories, ABC Family wants family stories featuring the next Hannah Montana.

But it gets better and worse. Better for boomers and worse for under 30's. Several studies show that a significant amount of under 30's are found to be unreliable and not much interested in jobs. Not all of them, okay, but a significant amount.

As a young comedian said on Letterman when he found difficulty in finding a job, "it was obvious that my parents hadn't told the world how brilliant I was".

Bummer, huh?

I remember my grandfather, who at 67 spent his days staring out the window until he finally died. Boomers seem to want to hang onto youth no matter what it takes. Employers find they can use retired boomers for less money and can count on them doing the job.

And then there's Andy Rooney from 60 Minutes who finally retired last night from his weekly short clips. He was 92 and wasn't stopping writing, just quitting the show.

So I guess I'm still a bit away from being a Walmart greeter, but I'm practicing the smile just in case.