Bad Words  

by writer Andrew Dodge

WHEN YOU KNOW IT’S TIME TO GIVE UP

I'm a really big fan of words. I love words so much I find myself flipping through the dictionary in search of new delicious sounding words—just for the sheer sport of it. Hell, I even love the smell of a dictionary!  I guess that would make me quite the word nerd, if you will. And Bad Words—if nothing else—is a film about the power of words and how they're used. But for me the film will always have a more personal relevance, and will always make me think of two particular words. Now if you, kind readers, know anything about what Bad Words is about you may incorrectly guess which two words I'm talking about. Don’t get me wrong, I think those two words are great, too. No, the two words I'm talking about are “yes” and “no.”

For fifteen years I struggled to become a working screenwriter. Other struggling screenwriters I knew who had been trying for half that amount of time had already given up and moved on with their lives. I never knew a single other writer who tried for as long as I had and then actually pulled it off. I had heard the word “no” told to me in just about every imaginable way. But I just couldn't stop trying. I just couldn't give up writing. The process of thinking up a story and writing it is everything to me. It’s an addiction. What I learned during those fifteen years of being rejected is that you may hear “no” from thousands  of people but all it takes is to hear “yes” from a few, and then your dreams are underway. And I realized that in order to be a professional screenwriter a big part of my job is to look for the word yes.

Alright. It seems I lied to you. There is a third word that Bad Words will always remind me of. “Grit.” Because I learned that is what it takes to endure hearing “no” so many times. Thick skin. Foolish heart. And a passionate addiction that compels you to never quit. Even if it takes fifteen years.

So I guess, in the end, my point is that I never knew anybody who tried as long as I did to be a screenwriter and finally pulled it off—but at least now…all of you know one.

So do the world a favor and never give up.

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