So I got tagged to write out 3 Three Things That I Learned the Hard Way on my blog. I just wrote mine and now I’m “taggin’” you to write yours (if you want to). You definitely don’t have to do it. But it was actually more fun than I thought it’d be. Here are mine:
A lot of stuff I almost wrote here boiled down to “don’t do design work for crazy people,” but I still haven’t learned that and managed to take at least one mentally-unbalanced client every six months.
1. I should never agree to proof-read anything
I’m not a good speller. I’m not a good proofreader for things like bad punctuation and typos.(I never proof anything I’ve ever written in this blog, for example) My mind works faster than my hands, y’see, so I skip words and run them together. I had a poster I did hanging up on the wall and I didn’t even see the typo in the copy until 6 years of looking at it every day.
I did help a successful screenwriter friend do his WGA arbitration. Basically, he was one of many screenwriters who worked on a big Hollywood movie and he had to prove he had written X% of the filmed script (the number is different depending how many total writers there are and how late you came into the process) to get a screen credit. My job was to read every version of the movie… a coulda-been summer blockbuster based on a 70s cop duo show… and record which scenes appeared for the first time in which versions and which scenes made it into the final. No proofreading involved, just patience and note-taking.
Another set of friends were looking for someone to proofread (as in, for errors) their script before they submitted it to some studio that was interested. The successful screenwriter friend nominated me, citing my work on his arbitration, and I reluctantly agreed but added that I wasn’t a professional but I’d do my best. Then they told me I only had 2 days. And they didn’t have a printed out script, I had to proof it on my screen. And I didn’t have FinalDraft so I had to proof PDFs so I couldn’t correct errors on screen, I had to make note of them (page and line) in another document and send it to them. It was a Rube-Goldbergian set up for what should have been a simple task.
Two days later I got a screaming phone call from one of the friends saying I had fucked them, the studio person had complained about typos and I had ruined them and I was an awful person.
2.The NYPD are not like the police on Law and Order.
I was the victim of a violent crime and had to come in and tell the detective in charge what had happened. I had to repeat it about ten times. He contradicted me repeatedly and kept implying that what I was saying couldn’t have happened. He told me he wasn’t going to put any effort into finding the guy. He broached other theories (the perp in question must have been a boyfriend I brought home that I’m taking revenge on), and at the time I was thinking, he’s testing me to see if I’ll change my story under pressure… he’s looking for inconsistancies. But actually, after I got home, I realized they just didn’t want to investigate the crime and were trying to get rid of me. I later found out that precinct in Brooklyn is one of the most notoriously corrupt in the city.
3. Don’t buy computer cables at Best Buy
I bought a $30 one the “GeekSquad” told me to get that didn’t do shit… the actual right cord from the Apple Store was $9.
I don’t know anyone to tag since Rob Lathan got everyone I know with a blog. Um, I’ll tag Stoney.