Monday, August 5, 2013

People who don't like you... for no real reason

I've always felt I never really accomplished much, even though I think I've exceeded every expectation of me. But that wasn't very much to begin with, one of my high school teachers said I'd probably end up working at Chrysler's assembly plant putting cars together. 

Not that it's a bad job.

I did work at Chrylser one summer, on the line and found it somewhat comforting and secure. You knew people will always want cars and that the union would protect you. At least for my generation.

I've met people who don't like me, but not many and not really a bother to worry about. I even managed to have a career in screenwriting for a lot of years. I had some fights with producers over some screenplays and either won or lost them. 

One producer failed to pay me the proper amount of money for a screenplay. It was an easy issue to solve as the Writer's Guild had to clarify his error, which dealt with a spec screenplay I wrote and they bought. When that happens, the producer pays a full fee. What happened was that they had hired me previously to write a screenplay from a story they had.

Writing rules are complicated but what he didn't understand was this; I was paid for their previous script only for writing the script, not the idea. But my spec script was both my idea and my screenplay. Simple.

The producer paid the full amount but added to my agent; "Well, this will leave a sour taste for Jim in future jobs". My agent replied with "I'll be sure to tell him". In other words, pay the money. Did it hurt me?

One year later, I unexpectedly met the producer at a party, I didn't recognize him but he approached me and started telling me how great the movie was (the spec) and it was mostly because of my writing, etc., etc, blah, blah. I reminded him of the fact that someone else did rewrites on it, but he insisted my version was the winner. He suggested we meet again.

So much for sour tastes. 

But with the digital age and anonymity, things change. When I started this blog it went well until an anonymous reader began to challenge me on my words. That person said I didn't really know anything about the business.  This, in spite of all the TV movies and a features and episodic TV, "I didn't know anything".

My first response was to argue that, but it just feeds the anonymous people lurking out there. I wondered what they got from publicly attacking me. I found this also on the private Writer's Guild members website where they beef about everything as well as have different forums.

Again I noticed how people attacked each other, one woman left the website in tears, others were banned, and these were real names. There seem to always be a clique of bullies who seem to bond together and attack others. 

The question is; would they argue in public and alone? 

Most of them probably not, and in my blog, I can't even respond to whomever attacks me although I have a hacker friend who can and has uncovered two of the ones who feel they have to show me I'm not as great as I think I am. But I decided not to go at them... it's just not that important. Someone said the best answer is silence.

After all, I'm the high school kid whom Sister Anna Katherine said, "you'll never become anything".