'From Nowhere to Mel Gibson in Six Days'
An Interview with Screenwriter Mark L. Smith
March 14th, 2004
by Christopher Wehner
Learn more about Chris' new book: Screenwriting on the Internet: Researching, Writing and Selling Your Script on the Web
"To go from nowhere to Mel Gibson in six days, it was a roller coaster ride It was horrible," says former Colorado dude ranch owner Mark L. Smith with a laugh. "When Bruce Willis was attached they said, 'it was a done deal. Just wait.' So I waited."
Then word came down that MGM, who was considering the project for Willis, had passed. The script in question was a Western -- they didnt like that part. They wanted it changed. That's when Sheri Lancing, Vice President of Paramount apparently read the script and was considering the project for Mel Gibson and Icon.
"I got the call late that night. They said, 'Wait up an hour, we're going to have great news for you,'" recalls Mark wryly. "So I waited an hour, then two, but no call. Finally, I called them."
Never a good sign when you have to do the calling.
"They told me it fell through. It was like that until it finally did sell a day later. It was truly an exciting experience, and one I'm sure anyone would like to have."
In late February of this year (1999) Mark not only sold his script The Devil's Kiss, but has several more projects getting looked at with names like Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis interested. All of which was accomplished online, and without the help of an agent.