I have an 11-page piece in the March 2004 issue of Esquire, the one with Mark Ruffalo on the cover.
A bit of backstory: When doing publicity last year for Big Fish, I agreed to model for this fashion piece Esquire was doing. Considering that I loathe having my picture taken, this was a big deal for me. But the Esquire people were friendly, and they gave me a free jacket, so hey.
Afterwards, the editors called and asked if I would write a short script about Hollywood for them. They would then have a photographer shoot the “stills” from this never-to-be-made film as a fashion piece. I thought it sounded fun.
I was wrong.
I was happy with the original script I wrote — it was short, funny and mean, sort of a Jayson Blair riff on THE PLAYER. Then, after I turned it in, the photographer (Jonathan Skow) had notes. Notes, really? From a photographer? I bit my tongue and listened. Ultimately, I changed about ten things that I could live with. But my enthusiasm had definitely waned.
When I saw the page proofs, I thought Skow’s photos were good and everything else sucked. Not only had Esquire taken out all reference to the main character’s race — a significant plot point — but they had reformatted the script to make it almost incomprehensible, and were still looking for about half a page of cuts.
To their credit, the editors ultimately stepped up and reformatted the piece so that it could run in its not-quite-entirety. And for that, I am grateful. The piece itself is not as cool as I’d hoped. But that’s Hollywood, I guess.