Ray Bradbury’s passing today reminded me of something that happened to me in college. The year was 1993, and I was a film student at Montana State University, and a huge Bradbury fan. I had just read a collection of short stories, and one stuck out to me. Affected me greatly. BLESS ME FATHER… I thought this would make a great film, but not wanting to limit this to a student project, I actually looked into securing the filming rights to the story. So I went to the bookstore to look at a recent Bradbury book to find the publisher (again, this is in 1993, so before the internet boom). I wrote the publisher…via snail mail… and asked how I could get in contact with Mr. Bradbury or his agent, so that I could look into securing the rights of a story to make a short film.
A short time later I got a letter from the publisher giving me the address of his agent. And so I wrote the agent asking if he could please pass on my request to Mr. Bradbury. I included a letter addressed to him directly.
Well, some time had passed, and the class project was coming to a point where we needed to make a decision rather quickly as to what script we’d be going with. And it was just before Halloween that a letter from Ray Bradbury himself arrived in my mailbox. A fuzzy pumpkin sticker on the front. And inside was perhaps the best rejection letter I have ever received. He was very nice, very polite…and let me down gently. And then commented on my production company name…hoping that when I made it in Hollywood, that it’d change. I nice little “P.S.” joke. Honest to god, the rejection letter warmed my heart.
In hearing of his passing, I dug through my files for half the morning, and finally found that letter.
The only rejection letter I want framed.
(Should I rename the blog to BIG POND IN HIGH DEF?)