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Popped My imdb Cherry With Down and Dirty Pictures

Down & Dirty Pictures

I am happy to announce that, a couple months ago, I was hired to adapt Peter Biskind’s book Down and Dirty Pictures into a screenplay.

I haven’t said anything previously because I’m superstitious as hell and wanted to wait until work was complete.

Now that it’s finished and I’m told the producers are very pleased with the script, it’s a pleasure to share the good news with all y’all.

Said good news being: I’ve popped my imdb cherry and I can reasonably call myself a professional screenwriter.

The company that hired me is guild-signatory, which means I’m eligible to join the Writers Guild of America (just got my application) and I was paid accordingly.

Now folks, it’s impolite to discuss money matters in detail, so please don’t ask . . . suffice to say that union rates pay much better than royalties for plays, heh-heh . . . it’s definitely a step up.

But I’m still a working writer just beginning his career, I’m not any of these guys, at least not yet.

More important, I love the project . . . it’s a great book, Down and Dirty Pictures is a non-fiction book that charts the rise of independent film in the nineties, focusing specifically on Sundance, Miramax and October Films, among others.

There are fantastic stories in the book (and unfortunately, we couldn’t include all of them for a two-hour movie) some of which are unbelievably hilarious and touching . . . really, it’s quite a tale.

And so vast, charactered with real larger-than-life people like the Weinsteins, Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Bingham Ray, Michael Eisner, (for Christ’s sake, Michael freakin’ Eisner!) Steven Soderbergh, Alison Anders, I mean . . . the list goes on and on . . . and due to the very things I loved about it, it was a BEAR to adapt.

It was harder than anything else I’ve ever done, it was not definitely easy, and I LOVED every minute of it.

So how did it happen, you ask?

Good question!

I don’t even have a damn agent . . . I’m agent-less, I’m sans-agent, when I got this job I was walking the valley of no-representation, I lone-wolfed . . . I’ve digressed.

I got the opportunity through a great director who has another screenplay of mine (one I’m not ready to talk about) and is a fan of my writing.

He told me about the project, I’m a fan of the book and I got a chance to pitch for it. A number of times . . . it didn’t happen overnight.

I got the job because I found a unique way of telling the story, a really cool hook, and that’s what landed it.

It helped that I’ve read the book at least fifty times (Peter Biskind has also authored Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, a book I’ve read at least a couple hundred times) and knew it well, of course.

It helped that I’ve written a couple other screenplays that people really like and champion. Referrals make a difference.

It helped that there are a ton of pro’s online with valuable advice.

It also helped that I worked hand in hand on the project with a really great director, from whom I learned a lot. We kicked ass.

It helped that the timing was right on a number of levels.

Make no mistake, though, I put many, many man hours into this thing, I shit you not, there were many days I sat at my desk 12 hours straight . . . I busted my ass, sweated bullets and blood and it paid off with a great script that I’m very proud of.

If I can tell anyone anything about writing, it would be this . . . it’s WORK, baby . . . lots of work.

Okay, so that’s my announcement, I’m happy I’m finally on imbd, but onward toward the future . . . I’ve got a few things on the fryer and even more in the fire, I’ve got these really great ideas for movies and then there’s this novel . . .

I’ll stop myself there, heehee!


By the way, does anyone know of any super cool agents they like and can recommend?


I’m kidding . . .

Heh. Kind of . . .

But seriously . . .

I’m already house-broken . . .
Snoopy Writing

27 Responses to “ Popped My imdb Cherry With Down and Dirty Pictures”

  1. malachy walsh Says:

    Congrats man.

    I loved reading Biskind’s book, so can’t wait to see it.

  2. Fun Joel Says:

    Congrats, brother! This is awesome news! Look forward to hearing more and greater from you in the future. :-)

  3. Andrew Bellware Says:

    But don’t go WGA ’till we’ve made a movie together! ;-)

  4. Joshua James Says:

    I’d ready CAT-DADDY, let’s do it!

  5. Bill Martell Says:

    Sweet! Congratulations! But I’m very curious as to how you would turn that book into a movie. Guess I’ll have to wait and pay my $10.75.

    - Bill

  6. callie kimball Says:

    congrats and thanks for sharing the journey! success stories are so inspiring when you get to hear about all the work that went into lining up all that good timing! Good For You!

  7. Christina Says:

    Big congratulations!! Wow. I’m superstitious too and would also be on the down low if I had something like that cooking.

    The book is actually in my to-read nonfiction pile. I’m moving it to the top…

  8. Mark Says:

    Congratulations man! I finally read that book a few years ago and it’s a really fun, dishy read. Can’t wait to see the angle you take on it.

  9. Tony Says:


  10. E.C. Henry Says:

    Followed a link from FunJoel’s blog and read your blog enntry about your success. Glad to hear you’re a working pro. Glad to hear your percerverance paid off. Hope to see your work on the silver screen in the near future.

    Once again congradulations.

    - E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

  11. Josh Says:

    Congrats from one writing Josh to another. I’m a Canadian screenwriter who’s just starting to make his foray into thie bigger, darker, pond that is your country’s industry. I’m glad to hear that an agentless scribe with good specs and obvious talent can get a gig over some exec’s coke-head, UCLA dropout nephew.

    Again, well done! Look forward to seeing the movie.

  12. Ruairi Says:

    Aha! now I get your reaction to *something* I said on AW. Makes a lot more sense now. Congrats, and best of luck with the script :)


    […] por Joshua James (podéis leer su anuncio y la historia que rodeó a su contratación en su excelente blog) y Dean Craig. Lo que mola de todo el asunto es que el guión está protagonizado for famosos […]

  14. Simon Cade Williams Says:

    Hi Dude, i’m a fellow Brit who just popped his IMDb cherry too. Like you style and like your TS scripts,
    particularly ” A Pound of Flesh.”

    Love the site.

    I might just get me one like it.

    All the very best for now

  15. movie guru Says:

    Every time i come here I am not dissapointed, nice post

  16. Camden Carr Says:

    Holy fing shit!!! Are you serious!! Congrats man! I read that book and I loved it. I am very interested to see what stories made it. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls is one of my favorite “movie” books of all time. That would make a great screenplay too. I forget who has the rights.

    Anyways man, looks like the hard work paid off and congrats again. Can’t wait to see it. I can see how that book would be a complete bitch to adapt. Really looking forward to seeing how you did it.

    - Camden

  17. Camden Carr Says:

    When is this coming out by the way because i just realized (probably because Im 5 beers into my Thursday sixer) that this was posted 2 years ago. Sorry about that, but awesome nonetheless

  18. Joshua James Says:

    Sent ya an email, Camden … talk soon!

  19. Jenn Says:

    When will the film be out?

  20. Joshua James Says:

    Hey Jenn,

    Not sure, not been set yet …

  21. Jenn Says:

    Best to you Josh. I look forward to your film!

  22. Jenn Says:

    Hi Josh,

    Any updates on Down and Dirty Pictures? Has it begun filming yet?

  23. Joshua James Says:

    Still in pre-production, I’ll post updates on the blog as soon as I have news

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