I was lucky enough to get a gig last summer writing a short for a film student’s final project. I made a whole $20 on it, and the final result should be ready in a few weeks.

A few months ago, I got an unpaid gig helping a newbie writer put his short script together. I haven’t heard from him since, so I don’t know how it worked out.

Another writer was looking for help with a script based on his outline. I didn’t get that one only because another writer was willing to work for free. But the original writer was very nice about it.

Lastly, I came really close to writing a Bollywood-type script for a first-time director, but there was some miscommunication regarding compensation. That, and she provided 3 characters and 2 plot points and expected a 120-page script in return.

All of these came from craigslist. Every once in a while, I’ll check the latest listings, looking for something worth my while.

This is where the rant begins.

It seems that there are people out there with incredibly unrealistic expectations. One guy, fresh out of film school, admitted he knew practically nothing about writing; he had focused more on producing. He had a script but would only accept a professional writer to critique it.  For $80.  I don’t know if he got any offers.

Another guy was looking for a collaborator on a script. He had the idea, but wanted help with the writing. We set up a time to meet. And he never showed. Phone calls and emails to him went unanswered for days. When I finally heard back from him, he said he had been called away on business for his day job. He also said he’d get back to me to set up another meeting.

I’m still waiting.

It kills me that there are people out there who think screenwriting is something anybody can do. It’s not. It’s a long, laborious process that requires constant work. Like they say, “if it were easy, everybody would do it.”

One saving grace is some anonymous poster who responds to some of these listings with a similar attitude. Whoever this person is, they really rip into the listing with such gusto. Sort of a whack upside the head while saying “Pay attention!  Here’s how it really works!”

They’re usually very entertaining. At least for me.

I’ll probably keep checking the listings because there may be a perfect match every once in a while. It’s good experience, maybe worth a little cash, and it expands my credits.

Besides, it could lead to bigger and better things. Which is really what it’s all about, anyway.

Anybody have similar experiences or is it just me?