Friday, September 16, 2011

Greg Benford Goes Hollywood

Nebula Winning science fiction writer (and physicist) Greg Benford writes a perceptive and often funny piece about his travails with Hwood people who do and don't want to produce his material. Having been through this myself I appreciate how well it got it all down.

Greg Benford:

So there I was a few weeks later, talking to a story editor. His development company was interested in making a TV miniseries from my novel, The Martian Race. The whole point of the approach was to portray Mars the way it would really be, hard and gritty and unforgiving. The story editor liked this a “whole lot” and thought it was a “breakthrough concept” and all, but he had his own creative input, too.

“I want a magic moment right here, at the end of the first hour,” he said. “Really suck that ol’ juice out!” (One of the signatures of H’wood is the incessant use of cliché phrases, the rule of advanced, glance-over-the-shoulder hipitude.)

“Magic?” I asked guardedly.

“Something to bring out the wonder of Mars, yeah.”


“See, when the astronaut is inside this cave—“

“Thermal vent. From an old volcano—“

“Okay, okay, vent it is. In this vent, he’s trapped, right?”

“Well, not actually—“

“So he’s banged up and he thinks he’s going to die and he thinks, what the hell.”

“What the hell.”

“Right, you get it. He says what the hell, he might as well take his helmet off.”

“Helmet. Off.”

“Right, you got it. Big moment. Cracks the seal. He smiles and takes a big breath, and says, ‘Oxygen! There’s oxygen here. Let’s take off these helmets!’ Whaddaya think?”

“I like the robot better.”

Ed here: The robot reference is to a previous Hwood encounter.

For the entire piece go here:

1 comment:

Todd Mason said...

Hey, if the piranhas don't need oxygen in PIRANHA 3D...