Screenwriters share the deranged comments they get from Hollywood people

At The Wrap, Oscar-nominated writers share some of the dumbest notes left by studio people on their scripts. They range from merely heavy-handed ("There is no wife. Continue.") to idiotic ("Where are the white people?" regarding Moonlight.)

Remarks hinting at someone's gender or race are striking: it's that familiar vicariously-bigoted voice: with Hollywood folk you can never quite tell if it's their voice, the voice of viewers they imagine and fear, or simply a voice they've heard and rehearsed so many times they don't even know anymore, and all they do know is that they have to listen to it.

But it's also true that many of the remarks aren't like that at all. They're just nuts, especially when they come from Kevin Costner.

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  1. And they said, ‘Taylor, you have to look for the note within the note.” I said, ‘OK, but why don’t you just give me the note?’ They looked at me dead seriously and said, ‘Well we don’t know what the note is.'”

    Which further underscores my belief that executives will sometimes speak just to justify their existence.

  2. About 10 years ago I worked on a Short Called Fortune Hunters. It is the story of a chinese American Guy, (Kelvin Yu) who graduates from college, and spends the summer working at his dad's (Gedde Watanabe) Fortune cookie factory writing fortunes. Having broken up with his girlfriend his regret begins to show in the fortunes he writes. You will Die Alone, Two Words, Colon Cancer....etc. He then types up a love letter to the girl saying he was sorry and asking her to come back and meet him at a club on Friday or something. But the letter gets sent to the fortune software instead and the cookies go out to all the lonely hearts in the region. Who all show up at the club to find love. Very cute and a really positive story strongly supported by the local asian community. The Asian guy gets to kiss the girl in the end.

    So they shop the short around LA to see if they can sell it for a feature length version. And were literally told, We love it but does he have to be Chinese?

  3. SPOILER FOR EVERY EPISODE: The zombie did it.

  4. I had a boss for whom I would always introduce some really ridiculous design element so that he would have something to improve. If I didn't provide the easy change, he'd inevitably want something important changed, so he could think of himself as the designer and me as just the tech help. Fine, whatever, do they teach a specific class on how to be an asshole at MBA school?

    These execs definitely sound like every MBA I've ever worked for, while they drove the company into the ground. It's a bit of a pattern, it seems.

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