Dear Hollywood Movie Machine,

What happened to you?

Once, when I was a young man, fresh and bright-eyed and just out of film school, I came to Los Angeles and bowed down at the altar of your creative genius. I did not know exactly what I wanted from you, but your city seduced me with its palm trees and constant sunshine. Such a nice change of pace from the brutal Boston winters of my undergraduate years!

And you accepted me, to the extent that you accept thousands of hopefuls like me every year, with fire in our hearts and visions of wealth, fame, success, and obscenely huge homes purchased and remarked upon in the Sunday Real Estate section of the Los Angeles Times.

But after six long years marketing and distributing movies for a major studio, I could no longer justify spending my life foisting your horrors on the public. Perhaps it was hearing my former boss expound on the greatness of The Postman just before that film effectively ended Kevin Costner’s career. Or all the effort my coworkers and I put into convincing moviegoers of Steven Seagal’s greatness. Or maybe just watching you pat yourself on the back for sucking $114 million out of the audience’s pockets on the opening weekend of Spider-Man.

In any case, I am now nearly physically allergic to your product. I see the numbness and disgust and hurt in the eyes of my like-minded friends, many of who have also abandoned you for careers as teachers and psychologists and interior designers. Nearly every week, I hear the horror in my parents’ voices from three thousand miles away as they plumb the depths of my cynicism and despair. They do not recognize in this young man the film enthusiast they raised, the boy who wanted nothing more than to make good movies from the time he was old enough to want anything … or at least old enough to realize how much math was involved in a career as an astronomer.

Hollywood Movie Machine, what I am saying is this: I have an excellent idea for a screenplay that will immediately elevate your stature and classiness. This is a prestige project like no other, and will restore your luster to its former brightness.

I’m thinking Gwyneth as the young woman betrayed by her husband and longing for a second chance at love, Russell as the cowboy/soft-hearted poet still haunted by the horrors he witnessed in Grenada, and Robin as the mentally ill, disgraced former rodeo clown who brings them together.

Please contact me immediately so that we may begin negotiations. I’m listed in the book.


Gary Legum
Hollywood, CA.