I have a situation that is very complex. I’m in the process right now of producing a movie with the mother of a famous rapper who was killed. This will be a feature film about his life as a youngster up until his death. The problem is, she wants us to also use the screenwriter who wrote the first draft of the script, who she has a personal relationship with. How do we deal with this situation once the director gets involved?


Carefully. And prepare for it to get rough.

I’m including your question not because I can offer you any real help, but to remind readers that producers don’t have an easy life. Aspiring screenwriters tend to think of producers as sharks or gurus, but often they’re people like D struggling to make a movie under difficult circumstances.

Just a guess, but I suspect the screenwriter who wrote the first draft is inexperienced, and may not be up for the task. If D or the director decides to replace him, who’s the bad guy? If the mother freaks out, who’s going to deal with her?

The real world, outside of the safety of 12-point Courier, is chock full of these uncomfortable situations, and producers aren’t always the bad guys.