Screenwriter Jay Lavender describes when he and co-writer Jeremy Garelick met with Vince Vaughn for the first time in this interview with Chicago magazine. The pitch meeting was originally to discuss Lavender and Garelick’s script The Golden Tux that they had written specifically for Vaughn.
But then the meeting took a dramatic turn.
Origin Of The Break Up
From Chicago Magazine:
“He pitched us,” Lavender says. “He said,
I want to do a movie called The Break-Up, and I want it to be an anti-romantic comedy about a couple that breaks up at the start of the movie.
It would have been understandable for Lavender and Garelick to be annoyed. They wanted to talk about The Golden Tux. They could have been defensive, “Why don’t you like The Golden Tux?” Instead, they realized that the opportunity to collaborate with Vaughn was more important.
So without missing a beat, Lavender and Garelick agreed.
Eventually, after collaborating on the script, Lavender, Garelick, and Vaughn sold The Break-Up to Universal Studios for $2.25 million.
What can we learn?
Lavender says it in the article: “When Vince walked into that room, we had spent over a year writing something for him. We wrote ourselves into the room.”
The lesson is this: if you’re an up-and-coming writer, you may not sell your script—you may get another opportunity instead. Be ready.