Alaska Screenwriter Meets Hollywood Exec: A Guest Post by Don Rearden

Don Rearden’s Imagination Presents:

An Alaskan Screenwriter Speaking With A Hollywood Executive

Executive: You must be pretty excited about all of the film productions happening in Alaska.

Alaskan Screenwriter: Is that a statement or a question?

I don’t know. You’re the one imagining this awkward scene. What would you like it to be?

Alaskan Screenwriter: A question. Thanks for asking. In short –yes – I’m excited. I’m ecstatic. I have friends who are landing major roles in your productions and know others working on sets. Finally Alaskan films are being filmed here and not Canada. Finally the State of Alaska is stepping up to the plate.

I’m not sure I like the tone of your voice. Hollywood is here, Baby! We get it! We’re hiring local and spending millions. What more do you want?

Alaskan Screenwriter: Sorry if I sound bitter. See many of us have been writing scripts and working to have films made here for years, and now that is finally happening and we’re really happy — excited if you will — oh hell, I won’t speak for others, it’s bad enough I’m pretending to be you — I feel left out. I’m as far out of the scene as I was when they made a fake Barrow in New Zealand for 30 Days of Night.

Executive: That’s how the system works. We need good scripts. Only the best scripts make it.

Alaskan Screenwriter: Like Snow Dogs?

Executive: Hey, I’m not the one who wrote Clawed: The Legend of Sasquatch or Skid Marks!

Alaskan Screenwriter: Touché. It’s just that if you don’t start seeking out Alaskan screenwriters then you are just going to continue to perpetuate the ridiculous Alaskan stereotypes that Hollywood has placed in movies since Eskimo. Show me an Alaskan movie that doesn’t open with a bar scene or a bear, or a bear in a bar.

Executive: Do you want another?

Alaskan Screenwriter: Sure make it a double. Where were we?

Executive: A bar. We’re in a bar.

Alaskan Screenwriter: See that’s my point. We’re not being heard. You’re not listening to us or giving us a chance to share our scripts with you. All I’m asking is you give us chance.

Executive: Oh, don’t tell me this is where you’re going to try to pitch me some epic Alaskan screenplay, Forest Gump meets Benjamin Button on the tundra, or some script you haven’t even written. Remember, I only said yes to this meeting because your wife’s aunt is my grandmother’s neighbor.

Alaskan Screenwriter: All I’m asking is that you seek out Alaskan screenwriters for some of these projects, that all. We won’t get our lucky break otherwise!

Executive: Look kid. This process is complicated. Scripts have metal brads and a certain format. Hell, you’re not even following proper format here! You guys aren’t quite ready for studio level work. We need pros. After all, you guys are always bellied up to the bar or out hunting bears. We require serious professionals. Not goofballs.

Alaskan Screenwriter: But we’re not goofballs! You guys are the ones perpetuating that myth!

Executive: Sure. Right. I believe that coming from the guy imagining this whole conversation. This isn’t the bridge-to-nowhere building business. This is Hollywood. You don’t like it? You think you can do better? Make your own movies.

Alaskan Screenwriter: Make my own movie? Maybe I just will Mr. Hollywood Executive. Maybe I just will…

Don Rearden is a goofball that writes crappy movie scripts that get produced and cool Alaskan scripts that Hollywood executives ignore. He doesn’t have the skill to make his own movie; however, his alter ego writes novels, and his first, The Raven’s Gift, will be published by Penguin Canada in 2011.

2 thoughts on “Alaska Screenwriter Meets Hollywood Exec: A Guest Post by Don Rearden”

  1. Andromeda Romano-Lax

    You tell 'em, Don! I enjoyed this!

    And on a different but related subject that won't make you feel any better — this morning after dropping my kids at school, I drove past a Chinese restaurant on Fireweed that was surrounded by snow. Saw a truck that had evidently dumped it. Was trying to figure out: why on earth would someone have paid good money to dump snow here? (We have no snow in Anchorage yet.) And then I realized — they're probably filming here today. Drew watchers, be on alert! (And to non-local folks reading this — Drew Barrymore and friends are filming a movie called "Everybody Loves Whales" in town and it's been the buzz for months.)

    Like I said, Don: that won't make you feel any better.

  2. Thanks, Andromeda… However you are mistaken. The snow was for a new political ad — a certain snowjob that has overtaken our great state. And no, Alaskan writers aren't writing those scripts either…

    I kid. I'm sure there is a scene of people eating at a Chinese restaurant in Barrow (there is one), with a wicked blizzard happening outside. Please tell me you didn't see a Totem pole any where in the vicinity!

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