Here is the Croatian version of this post if for some reason you want it.
First an intro. I am a creative from Croatia. Comedian, copywriter, designer and doing that in whatever field is possible. Now lets continue.
IT’S STILL WEIRD
Even after this story being a part of my life for months it still feels weird to open up Skype and see that contact that gave me this amazing opportunity.
The story begins with a PM on a forum where I publish short stories, take part in discussions and often give and get advice about writing and similar topics under a pseudonym. The PM was short and at first a bit offensive. That someone asked me if the stories I post are 100% mine, original and am I 18 or older.
After asking about with some members of the same forum I got the input that it’s probably a job offer and not some dude phishing for information or nude photos. At that point I felt stupid to be offended as I read it again it wasn’t offensive but direct. I said yes to all the queries and the next message asked for a more serious form of communication, meaning email. I opened up a new gmail account with the pseudonym I used on the forum.
The first email was filled with info. At first it sounded as a Nigerian Prince scam but no one was asking for money. In fact they were offering some. They asked me to enter a closed competition for writing script like dialog. The competition would have 3 rounds and after passing a round there would be a 50$ reward. The money was symbolic but the offer was intriguing so I accepted and waited. Why not.
After some 10 days I got the email with the instructions for the first task. The deadline was 48h. I sent my response after only 16h. Than came the 2nd which I guess meant that I was in the second round which no one said anything about. For the second I took more time and sent it in after 46h. The third deadline was only 24h and i send mine after 4–5h.
The tasks were mainly writing dialog and creating a certain feel in the scene. For example write a maximum 6 lines of dialog where one character will establish a position of dominance or power over the other.
I decided to write all the 6 tasks in my own style as I figured their contacted me after reading my stuff so I will stay true to that.
From the tasks I got the feel they were searching for a screenwriter of some sort, but for what or who or what genre was still a mystery. I wasn’t too worried about theft or the 150$ but I was more than curious what it’s all about. The thought about it being a prank crossed my mind more than a few times. I do have some evil friends.
Then I got the email with a lot more information. They were producers of a B category Hollywood movie and were looking for ghostwriters for the movie. The budget for the movie is 35$–50$ mil. and that is as much as they could tell me at that point. But they wanted to talk to me on Skype and arrange the details.
JOHN WITH TITS IS SPELLED JANE
Here is where I realised I’ve got a problem. The problem was that on the forum I was writing from a woman’s perspective and the pseudonym was female. I find it more challenging to write like that and the compliments mean more as it is not an easy task to immerse yourself in that point of view.
Heya guys, just a quick side note, I’m a dude, not a chick, is that an issue?
Above is the message I send to the newly added Skype contact with the feeling of everything already being over and ruined. No reply. Then the familiar Skype ringtone. I answered and said my real name and heard: ‘Oh my God, you really are a dude!?’ and then 2 people laughing.
The next hour was both of the producers asking a bunch of questions about my style, what else I do, how old am I and such. They were surprised about me being a man but it only made them more sure about hiring me. I was thrilled! Still am!
We agreed on a fee, I was sent and NDA document which I signed and sent back and that was pretty much it.
So far I wrote 2 scenes for them and they were more than pleased as they haven’t asked me to rewrite them as they said they would if they weren’t satisfied.
IT’S IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL YOU SUCCEED
I started writing out of love for writing and because of love. I chose to start publishing them online because I wanted to be better. I have been writing for some 15 years. Sometimes I don’t write anything for years and sometimes I write 3–4 stories per week. I am very relaxed as I do it only for myself. When writing for work is involved I am very deadline driven.
I do a lot of copywriting for all kinds of projects. Online, offline, brands you name it and I am always on the look out for more work.
For anyone interested in hiring me I am available through my site alekscuracsaric.me and also if you want some advice on writing or just want to talk contact me.
Some of my stories can be read on my blog Suicide Voluntary but they are mostly in Croatian. There are some in English so give them a read if you want.