13 November 2011

"Malkovich's Mail" - depressed? Get over it!

I've just come across the "Malkovich's Mail" documentary - it's in five parts (see below YouTube clips) about fifty minutes worth of something pretty special. Take the time to watch it.

Not in his head, just in his mailbox
The documentary is about the countless of stories trying to get discovered by Hollywood. The doc film makers visit Mr. Mudd Productions (where John Malkovich is a producing partner), find out how incoming queries are handled, then trace some of them back to their creators.

I've seen several comments that consider this documentary depressing, a real downer for beginning screenwriters. Hell no! If you're a newbie then this documentary will show you that it's practically impossible to make it in this crazy business. Yes, true - so what. If that thought stops you then go home now - or start writing novels. But "practically impossible", for us story dreamers, is door that's a crack open. It IS possible. The "practically impossible" happens all the time. And John Malkovich shares one such story, too.

Overall - I find this documentary utterly beautiful. These people write because they believe in their stories - THAT's why we write - because we love to write - if Malkovich actually bites, then that's the icing on the cake. For these portrayed writers, a door opened. And John Malkovich read their words! How friggin' cool is that!?

To me, the test is always the same: "If there wasn't a chance in hell of your script ever getting produced, would you still write?" The true writer will answer with a resounding yes. ... and the unknown writers in this documentary are, in my view, true writers.






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