Monday, August 31, 2009

The Hollywood Roaster speaks my language today

Ever wonder what happens if you fail to follow the formatting rules I often warn about? You become fodder for jokes like this one at the Hollywood Roaster.

"1,000th wannabe screenwriter decides to 'break all the rules'"

When Illinois native Fred Durnett vowed to write “an edgy script that wasn’t confined to the tired old three-act structure,” the 24-year-old barista had no idea he was setting a record as the 1,000th newbie to attempt the feat.

He also didn’t realize he was writing a shitty script.

“I’ve never been big on following the rules,” said Durnett. “Plus I’m special, so there’s that. I’m basically so talented that I can break all the usual screenwriting conventions without even knowing them.”

I question if this is a fake story because I'd swear I've read this script. Many, many times.


  1. Thanks for the plug. I assure you the story is mostly fake.

  2. the only fake part is a few missing zeros in the record number.

  3. Sounds like this writer from Illinois has something in common with the writer of "Balls Out" writen by the Robotard 8000. Mystery Man posted about this controversial script, and it yeilded like 69 responces. An August 10th posting available at:

    I totally don't get why undiscovered writers would think they're above the rules. There are proper ways to show you're creative. Like using established conventions to create great art. Re-inventing screenwriting format is not the way to go. IF you have a great formating idea and want to change the rules, get discovered first, make a big splash with given conventions, THEN introduce your ideas once you're hailed as the next greatest thing. But that's just my take...

    Sorry to hear you readers have to put up with that smart-assy stuff. Hope somewhere along the line you get to read genuinely good spec. material.

    - E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

  4. E.C. - Wow... just checked MM's posting and I feel his pain. From there I went on over to Robotard's website - which looks like it stepped right out of 1996 - and read some of his blog postings.

    I'm half-convinced this is a joke, to be honest. 'Tard has the arrogant, confrontational attitude that's pretty much recognized as a newbie cliche, dialed all the way up to 11. He's too clueless and too convinced of his own greatness to be for real. The outdated website only cinches that feelign for me.

    Any chance this is a private joke among working writers that somehow went public?

  5. Sure, there's a lot of speculation that indeed "Balls Out" was a joke script. Don't know if it was or not, BUT I lean towards the opinion it is.

    STILL, whovever comprises the writing team of Robotard 8000, joke or not, how can you look at yourself in the mirror and honestly say you're a writer doing your best?!
    The excepts I read from this script are afront to me. As a writer TRYING to break-in, I put so much of myself into my writing -- and I ASSUME everyone else is doing the same -- TRYING to do your best! Then to see someone totally defficating on screenwriting conventions I hold as sacred, the very building blocks you build stories for the screen with; dude, it's just hard to stomache. Hard to justify someone who set out to write purposefully flawed script.

    I feel like the Robotard 8000's "Balls Out" script undermines the efforts of everyone out there who is really trying.

    MAYBE I'm being too sensative, and the whole thing was just a joke, BUT I want NOTHING to do with script writing like that. Scripts like "Balls Out" just make me sick in the stomache.

    - E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

  6. You guys amuse the fuck out of us.

    It's truly frightening how clueless people on the outside can be.

  7. Can I add that if this barista writer is one who does not enjoy following the rules then why does he hold a customer service job? Do not most places of employment that cater to customers demand a list of rules for their employees to follow so that the customers are happy? In addition it is a food and beverage place, no less, so he must comply to the regulations of the government health and safety code!