In 2003 AMC aired, as part of a series of docs about movie production, an hourlong episode entitled "Malkovich's Mail." Screenwriters all across the country were submitting unsolicited material to Mr. Mudd, a production company John Malkovich was associated with, and the doc is a look behind the curtain at what happens to the vast majority of these submissions. The doc walks a fine line between making fun of crazy screenwriters and sentimentalizing the pursuit, but ultimately finds a way to bring the viewer (and the screenwriters portrayed) a sense of satisfaction. All five parts of the doc are embedded below. I discovered the show via the excellent Filmmaker newsletter, where editor Scott Macaulay observes better than I can:
These days, unsolicited pitches are more likely to come through email, Facebook or even Twitter rather than snail mail. But the film’s meditation on gatekeeping is even more relevant. Today, a smartly executed YouTube video will get you meetings all over Hollywood. A well-aggregated community of friends, peers and people who just think you are cool will get your film funded and seen. But still there are those who would like to believe that if only that man in the castle would read their script... As Malkovich’s Mail shows, that man in the castle has his own issues and is probably sitting by the phone right now waiting for his own call to be returned.
Here are all five parts of the show.
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fStddNII-DY
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=czC77nUkISc
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuAJ7Yi-peA
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzDrVzhAfrU
Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4KdKyTYV9E
[via Filmmaker Magazine]