Never Negotiate For Yourself. Ever.

What, are you stupid?  

“Never, ever forget.  They are the enemy.”
Jimmy Buffett

If you negotiate for yourself and the producer puts his arm around you in a kindly, avuncular manner and soothingly tells you this deal is a really great deal, remember, while he is sliding his arm around, sweetly and soothingly caressing your shoulder, he is, in fact, holding you in an iron grip with that hand, so, with his other hand, as soft and unnoticed as a spring breeze, he can oh-so-gently undo your pants, pull down your underwear and fuck you in the ass. 

These guys do this for a living, all day long.  It is their job to take your money and use it to buy shit for their children.  That’s what they do.  Buy stuff for their kids, not yours.  If you give them your money, they will take it.  And if you negotiate for yourself, you are going to give them your money.  And you will never feel it happening. 

That’s why it’s nice to have a wife who can say, “WHAT?  Are you out of your FUCKING mind!?  If you don’t call that sonofabitch back right this second and tell him to call your agent, you’re never getting any pussy for the REST OF YOUR GODDAMN LIFE!” 

If you don’t have an agent and a producer calls to negotiate a deal, you tell him you have to get an agent and will have the agent call him back.  Yippee!  Having a deal to negotiate is the easiest way on earth to get an agent. 

If you do have an agent and a producer calls you to discuss the deal, tell him to speak to your agent.  If he insists on talking to you, suddenly get another call or notice your house is on fire and tell him you gotta call back.  Call your agent and tell him to call the fuckhead. 

If the producer tells you “Your agent is new in this business, and doesn’t really know how it works…” that means you have a good agent, who is making the bastard squirm. 

If you talk to them about the deal, you will think you understand what they are saying, but you don’t.  It’s their language.  It only sounds like something you understand.  

When merchants come
Who speak your tongue
And you not theirs
I vow, sirs
You’ll think you’ve made a million dollars
And find you’ve lost your trousers 

Anon. (may be Kipling)

Key thought here:  if you negotiate for yourself, you don’t deserve to get any pussy for the rest of your goddamn life.



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7 responses to “Never Negotiate For Yourself. Ever.

  1. “Screenwriting is collaborative. Bend over.” – David Mamet

  2. Pascal

    So, what happened to you, Will? What is this deal that went sour?

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      It was the first pitch I sold, when I learned this lesson. Producer called me at home, used a kind tone of voice and got me to give away a good portion of the farm. Long, long ago. I’m wiser now… and so are you!

  3. Great podcast the other night with John. One of his best.
    So, what about a 69 year old guy that has no desire to get into the business? Thinks he has one good script in him and it not looking to make a ton of dough?

    • yourscreenplaysucks

      Well, buy my book! Have fun writing your screenplay and see what happens after that… Harper Lee had one good book in her…

  4. Tim

    As usual, good stuff. Noted.

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