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When to “Give Up on the Baby” (A “Cold Void” Update)

(Sometimes, you just have to realize your “baby” isn’t going turn out like you wanted. Then sign them up for plastic surgery and all sorts of classes and sports to make yourself feel better…)

One of my favorite scenes in "Cold Void."

There’s an adage in writing, especially when writing for the big (or little) screen that says that you “must not be afraid to give up your baby.” Mostly, it refers to giving up the rights to your project that you’ve been working on forever in exchange for selling it for a large sum of money with more zeros than an Internet gaming convention. You won’t ever see it again. It gets ushered out the back door as you are handed a check and ushered back out the front door. And, if you do see your baby again, it’s going to appear to you that right after you let it go, it hit the Greyhound terminal at the Port Authority, was picked up by a “kind looking” studio VP and then forced to turn tricks, having fallen into a life of rewrite drugs and prostitution test screenings until it no longer resembles the beautiful little baby you raised from nothing but a drunk musing written on a cocktail napkin.

But even before that, there can be a time when mysterious strangers (call script coverage personnel) look over your “baby” and say, “This von is too strange and I don’t think ve vill vant to read anymore of it. Now go!” As opposed to the dream-like, “Oh my God! This is great! It’s fantastic! What can we give you for it? We want to take it from you and make your baby a star! And, of course, we want you to be there every step of the way.”

THAT, by the way, never happens. This town is all about the classic undersell. If you think you are a great salesperson and can haggle like the cock of the walk at an Arab bazaar, then come on out. I could use a good agent.

And, that’s where I find myself today. As expected, I received some great (and scathing) feedback from a professional acquaintance on our project “Cold Void” and our attempt to turn this script into a TV series. The details are not important enough to mention for this exercise today, but to me they were spot on. Now comes the hard part: telling my partner, Al, WHAT we need to do in order to make our “baby” better. Sure, it’s really young, just a baby. So are the kids on “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Damn if our child doesn’t need a nose job and a stronger jawline. It might need some of that baby fat trimmed and absolutneeds to get into the writers’ weight room. Maybe some pec and calf implants. Then there is the education classes, the violin lessons, and the tap dance classes. But, it’s hard to cut up your child and then insert non bio-degradeable materials and push them into every conceivable talent class available. But, you need to keep telling yourself that it’s only to make your child better and happier. It’s not about you. It’s about your “baby.”

And who doesn’t want a better baby?

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