Film School Rock Classics

A question about crappy movies…


If they can spend money making crap movies with worlds flooded over, Spice Girls and Bat-nipples, why aren’t they all over my script that’s better than half the junk out there?

Tuddle Middleson – Attila, IL


Dear Tuddle,

Better than half?  You’re aiming way too low there.  Your script needs to be the pinnacle of writing achievement throughout the universe before hitting Hollywood.  It should reach another plane of existence where miracles happen… babies stop crying, fast food restaurants get every order right, and vehicles run on piss instead of gasoline.  And that’s just to make sure it gets through the Hollywood system as just mediocre crap.

But I think it’s best you see for yourself.  Let’s pull out that Film School Rock classic, “I’m Just a Spec” to see how a script is really made into a film…


I’m Just a Spec

Aspiring Screenwriter: You sure gotta go through a lot of strip searches to get to these studios here in Hollywood.  I wonder who that sad little wad of paper is?

I’m just a spec.
Yes, I’m only a spec.
And I’m being covered for a studio exec.
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To the big screen premiere.
It’s a long, long wait
Until I make it to Development Heck,
But I know I’ll be a there someday
At least I hope and pray for a check,
But today I am still just a spec.

Aspiring Screenwriter: Gee, Spec, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.

Spec: Well I got this far.  When I started, I wasn’t even a spec, I was just an idea.  Someone back home decided a movie needed to be made, so he called and harassed a studio exec and the exec said, “If you keep calling me, I’m filing a restraining order.” After a few therapy sessions, the man sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Hollywood.  And I became a spec, and I’ll remain a spec until they decide to make me a film.

I’m just a spec.
Yes I’m only a spec,
But I made it past the studio exec.
Well, now I’m stuck in Development Heck,
And I’ll sit here and wait
While a few key producers discuss and debate
What kind of film they really want me to be.
How I hope and pray I’m not DVD direct,
But today I am still just a spec.
Aspiring Screenwriter: Listen to those Hollywood people arguing! Is all that fighting and cussing about you?

Spec: Yeah, I’m one of the lucky ones.  Most specs never even get this far.  I hope they decide to leave me be, otherwise I may suck.

Aspiring Screenwriter: Suck?

Spec: Yeah, suck under a barrage of notes and cryptic ideas and studio pet writers and shooting me up with the latest Hollywood buzz steroids until I no longer resemble the movie they bought.  Oooh, but it looks like I’m gonna shoot!  Now they have a director and his favorite writers to screw me up some more.

Aspiring Screenwriter: But what if the studio doesn’t like the director’s changes, then what happens?

Spec: Then I get more studio notes and the whole thing starts all over again.

Aspiring Screenwriter: Oh no!

Spec: Oh yes!

I’m just a spec
Yes, I’m only a spec
And if they ever greenlight this wreck
Well, then I’m off to production
Where I could be ripped into shreds
By all the actors’ demands
While getting ready to shoot.
And if they shoot me, then I’ll be a film.
How I hope and pray I’ll get that respect,
But today I am still just a spec.
Aspiring Screenwriter: You mean even if you survive development, the actors can still interfere?

Spec: Yes, that’s what I call a Prima Donna hose job.  If the actors hose me, I have to go back to the studio for them to work me over again, and by that time you’re so messed up…

Aspiring Screenwriter: By that time, it’s very likely you’ll suck.  It’s not easy to become a good film, is it?

Spec: No.

But how I hope and I pray I’ll get that respect,
But today I am still just a spec.
Producer: We did it, Spec! Now you’re a film!

Film: Oh yes!!!

Critic:  But you suck!

Film: That’s it.

Critic: Is that a shotgu–


Don’t forget young filmmakers… when movies suck, people die.




Sure, it’s just a critic, but he has a family.  Okay, so he just has a puppy.




But now it’s a cute, homeless puppy.  So… when movies suck, puppies lose their homes.



Unless they’re a cat owner, and then–


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