Sunday, August 2, 2009

Writers Guild Office Boy 1971 (xx)

While delivering and picking up Writers Guild Script Awards contest scripts from Writers Guild members’ apartments and offices during the time when I was coordinating the script award judgment process, the longest conversation I had was with Marianna Norris, one of the writers whose script about Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway’s life in Paris eventually received an award for the category in which it had been entered.

Having spent some of my spare time in the Writers Guild office in early 1971 reading each script that was entered in the contest by Guild members, I had the feeling that Norris’s script about Gertrude Stein and Hemingway was going to win an award that year, since, from an artistic point of view, it was much better written, intellectually deeper, more interesting and more socially significant than the other scripts that had been entered in the same contest category. Norris’s script seemed more like the teleplays of the 1950s that were written during the “Golden Age of Television” than the other scripts, which resembled post-1960 Hollywood MCA or Warner Brothers syndicated television film scripts that reflected less literary craftsmanship and intellectual depth than did Norris’s script.

So when I delivered some scripts that had been entered in a category which was different than the category in which Norris’s script had been entered to Norris’s apartment for Norris to evaluate, I was curious to see how the writer of such a great script about Gertrude Stein and Hemingway would turn out to be when you met her in person.