When Woody Allen fires you, it’s time to wake up and start writing.
The room was full of people and a bunch of us hired to write for Woody (yeah, ’cause that’s how that works) were sitting down for our first meeting with him. Woody came close to me, looked at me much like he’s doing in this press photo from the set of his latest film “Midnight in Paris“, and gently explained that I hadn’t been pulling my weight and he couldn’t afford to keep me on staff. “You haven’t given me anything to work with here. You’re the only one who hasn’t been giving me funny lines.” “But,” I feebly protested, “you haven’t told us about the characters or the plot or anything. We haven’t started yet.”
“That hasn’t stopped the others.” Then he took out a handkerchief full of change, shook 11 loonies and some pennies and dimes into my hand and told me I could drop by the production office next week to pick up the rest of the 40 bucks he owed me. I co-operatively shuffled out through the crowded room of happy people who were about to begin their career-making work with Woody Allen, and I woke up.
Woody Allen told me I wasn’t producing any material and everyone else was coming up with great stuff. Never had the meaning 0f a dream been so clear to me. It was a great wake-up call. I woke up and started writing.