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Opinion articles written in the style of their author. These texts are to be based on verified facts and must be respectful towards people, even though their actions may be criticized. All opinion articles written by individuals from outside the staff of EL PAÍS shall feature, along with the author’s name (regardless of their greater or lesser renown), a footer stating their office, academic title, political affiliation (if any) and main occupation, or the occupation related to the topic being assessed

The last in the movie industry’s pecking order

When the premiere comes around, they are not invited to the screening or to the party. Or anywhere else, for that matter. They can also be detected by their stooped backs and disregard for fashion trends

The filmmakers Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo, posing with the award for Best Series for 'La Mesías,' during the Forqué Awards gala in Madrid on Saturday.
The filmmakers Javier Ambrossi and Javier Calvo, posing with the award for Best Series for 'La Mesías,' during the Forqué Awards gala in Madrid on Saturday.AITOR MARTIN (EFE)
Jimina Sabadú

At the recently held Forqué Film Awards in Madrid, Spain, I failed to see one particular industry type. One who neither shouts nor shows up at meetings (either social or work-related ones). We’re talking about a stooped, whiny sort of person who rarely dresses fashionably. They have health problems related, almost always, to their intestinal tract. They are the first ones there when a project gets underway, but the most likely to walk out without getting paid. When the project starts, they go to a meeting or two. But then they drop off the radar except to receive endless requests for unpaid work, because after all what they do could be done by anyone, right? And what’s more, they could get replaced in two seconds.

When things get started, if they do get started, the director switches from “our story” to “my movie.” That’s when our friends realize that they are becoming invisible. The actors don’t know their name and they don’t care much anyway. There is enough money for everything that needs to be done yet this person is still waiting to get paid, even though the work has been done (he or she has been employed for over a year in this). They still have to wait. The filming ends and, yes, they finally get paid. The day of the premiere arrives and they are not invited to the screening or to the party. Or anywhere else for that matter. If an actor wins an award, he will mention everyone involved in the project except our character. If the film is a failure, everyone will mention them, but without actually saying their name, just generically, using the job description. But if the film is a success, you won’t see these types at the award ceremony or at the photocall.

This is the destiny and the reality of the screenwriters who, once again, have not received applause or been seen on the red carpet.

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