Mr Parker

Dean Parker. (Photo: David White.

I’ve come some way since my unforgivable near total ignorance of Dean Parker’s oeuvre. I’ve tried to make up for it ever since. (And just as well as I’ve had the pleasure and honour of meeting him on occasion.) I’m not afraid to say it: I’m a fan.

I found this excellent quote at The Listener:

What advice might you give aspiring playwrights and screenwriters?

One day you’ll declare that there must be no changes to your script, and then the producer will take you out to lunch. Midway through the lunch he’ll say, “I’ve brought you here to show you something”, and reach under the table. He’ll then hold up a phantom monster. “Can you see the monster?” he’ll ask. Wanting to humour him, you’ll say, “Ummm … yes.” He’ll say, “Do you know the name of the monster?” Defeated, you’ll bleat, “Ummm … no”, and he’ll say, “The name of the monster is – IT’S OUR MONEY.” Be prepared for this.

Ah yes: commerce versus art.

Once upon a time, my response would’ve been that that it’s still your story. Until they pay you out and replace you, you’re still the goddamned writer. And if you’d learned anything at all from my adventures, you’ll already have representation — the guild, an agent or a manager — who’re only a speed dial away.

Nowadays it can be… complicated. But not insurmountable. And you’re never alone.

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