Screenwriting

Screenwriting is the heavy lifting of all movie projects. The screenwriting articles at Filmmaking Stuff reveal real world tips for how to write a screenplay, how to sell a screenplay how to market your screenplay, how to get a screenwriting agent and how to write movie scripts that sell. Even if you do not live in Hollywood or have any industry connections — by reading the following screenwriting articles, you will get closer to writing awesome screenplays.

Best Screenwriting Books

When you’re searching for the best screenwriting books, it doesn’t take long to stumble upon the works of Syd Field, William Goldman and Robert McKee. While most would agree these gurus do a great job of teaching art within the rules, I would also like to suggest some less obvious resources.

The books I’m about to showcase are not often included in lists for best screenwring books. But this doesn’t mean they are not important.

Best Screenwriting Books

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Best Screenwriting Books

The following books are my personal picks for best screenwriting books. They taught me a great deal, helped me build confidence and continue to be an influence.

1. Making a Good Script Great – By Linda A Seger
Okay, so you’ve written a screenplay!  Huzzah! You did it!  One hundred and some odd pages of mastery, right?  Well, not yet at least. There are bound to be flaws on your first and second draft. If you can’t find a writer’s group or a respected friend to give you advice, then read this book.

I like to equate screenwriting to fixing a car.  Strengthen the chassis, remove the dents and dings, detail the interior and inflate the tires. Maybe I’m likening this to a car because I’m in the market for a new ride. Either way, it’s a metaphor that works.

Rebuild that hunk of metal and then take it for a ride.  The ride here being (under this imposed metaphorical construct) contests, readers, agents, editors and producers.

If you’ve completed multiple rewrites, this book is still worth noting if for nothing else but the last chapter.  It’s entitled On the Road to the Academy Award: A Case Study of the Rewrite of Witness.

The chapter details the journey of the story of Witness from book, to first draft, through the rewrites, and how the creative team worked together to “tighten and texture” the story as opposed to change it.

If you haven’t even typed your first slug line yet, this book is a great tool to help you start writing the first draft.  Chapters help guide you through your gathering ideas, identify details that can be tossed and others that need to be bigger all to develop a solid story structure.  It teaches you how to create and evaluate your characters and make them more dynamic, original, and real.

2. The First Time I Got Paid for It: Writers’ Tales from the Hollywood Trenches – Edited by Peter Lefcourt and Laura J Shapiro
Sometimes it is cool to be that person in your circle of friends who is a writer or an artist.  However, to become a successful screenwriter, you need comrades to motivate, to encourage and to spell check.

This book is one of those friends. It gives advice, encourages, builds hope, and prepares you for the worst.  Learn from others’ experiences. Read tales of the first time writers like Cameron Crowe, Steven Zaillian, Chuck Lorre (who’s essay is actually subtitled The First Time I Got Fired).

My favorite essay is by Audrey Wells.  Wells’ best known work includes Under the Tuscan Sun and The Truth About Cats and Dogs.  She begins her essay with the best advice she ever received as Alan Sharp’s assistant, “One day you will sell screenplay.  And then your troubles will begin.”

She declares this advice not a prediction, but a curse.  Before any major success, the first few times Audrey was paid included writing commercials for a local carpet company and directing Barbie commercials “Barbie loves her new outfit!”

However, she also reminds us that even these “lowly” Hollywood jobs are not always easy to come by.  She also recounts how her passion project was purchased.  It was bought by Paramount!  Then fame and fortune, right?!  No!  She was fired! Yes, after contractual obligations to write a second draft were fulfilled, she got the ax.

After the new writers failed to deliver a decent script, they asked her to come back on board without pay and without credit!  She refused.  This is where Audrey learned how to say “no” and reminds us that sometimes that’s what we need to do when you’re cursed.

It’s easy to feel defeated.  Sometimes you want to throw in the towel.  This book is a great revitalizing booster shot of hope.

3. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – By Stephen King
Okay, okay, okay.  Stephen King is not known as screenwriter. But enough of his books have been made into movies, so clearly he writes great stories (as if that was ever in question).

On Writing is part biography and part lecture from a college creative writing course.

If you’ve ever been fortunate to have a teacher push or aide to foster your creativity (I’ve been blessed to have two: Mrs. Shultz who slipped me Premier magazine after English class and discussed books and movies with me during study hall and Mrs. Hart who actually planted the seed that writing is a perfectly wonderful way to spend your free time).

If you haven’t had the privilege of learning from early mentors, then this book gives you a chance to feel guided, taught, admonished, and nudged along the way by someone who really cares.

Yes, the Stephen King who created a clown who feasts on children cares a great deal!  He cares about writing.  And he cares that you, as a writer, do your very best.

4. Screenplays – By Produced Writers
Seriously.  Read lots and lots and lots of screenplays.  And after you’ve read lots of them, read lots more!

Lately my favorite scripts have been by the brothers Cohen.  I know Ladykillers wasn’t their finest work, but Joel and Ethan Cohen write a script that is hilarious to read.  For example, a can of cat food is described as “cubed processed gizzard in a gelatinous medium not unlike the stuff that clings to gefilta fish.”

However, this script contains some rule-breakers. Like the notorious no-no of “we are looking down…” to describe the scene.  As a screenwriting teacher, my biggest pet peeve is a student who doesn’t follow traditional structural screenwriting rules, incorporates terminology and the use of “we” simply because “that’s what they did in The Matrix script.”

There’s something to be said about auteurs.  They can take liberties.  As can legends.  No one would ever tell Robert Altman or Coppola  that they broke the rules.  Important note, when looking for screenplays to read, try not to read shooting scripts.  These can be confusing to new writers.

5. Writing for the Green Light – By Scott Kirkpatrick
In full disclosure, Jason Brubaker (who runs this site) is personal friends with Scott Kirkpatrick. Personal relationships aside, we were thankful that Writing For The Greenlight is actually a great resource!

It is important to note that Scott is not a screenwriter. He is a movie executive who has developed, produced and sold dozens of movies. As a result, Writing For The Greenlight will tell you noting about the actual craft of screenwriting.

This screenwriting book is more of an expose’ on how the Hollywood factory works. You write the script. Then you throw it into the machine. On the the other side, you have a movie. Follow the guide, and you might actually get paid for your work.

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Hopefully our Filmmaking Stuff list of the best screenwriting books helps you add a few more to your overflowing collection! But at the end of the day, none of the best screenwriting books on earth will write your screenplay for you. For that to happen, you need to stop reading and start writing!

How to Be The Screenwriter Hollywood Needs

If you want to get your script noticed in Hollywood—and your talents compensated for—then you cannot be just a ‘good’ screenwriter, you’ve gotta be great!

Before you go and pay for another screenwriting class on character development or plot points, perhaps all you need to do is simply change your perspective on what makes a screenwriter ‘great’ in the eyes of Hollywood’s decision makers.

screenwriter

A Great Screenwriter ‘gets’ what Hollywood needs…

A great screenwriter delivers what the Hollywood system depends upon, not by blindly guessing or chasing trends they’ve heard from friends (or friends of friends), but rather truly knowing that:

  1. Hollywood functions as an actual movie-making system, by making and distributing films that earn more money than they cost to produce.
  2. When starting out, focus on the part of Hollywood where your work, ideas and talents are most desperately in need: Independent Hollywood (not the big studios).

Indie Hollywood isn’t on the hunt for more character dramas or indie ‘coming-of-age’ gems. It’s seeking films that have a reliable audience and a high probability of generating revenue.

Genres that are considered ‘reliable’ and ‘stable’ would be the kinds of films you see on TV:

These include, family films (with kid heroes, even better with an animal side-kick), Action films (especially ones that offer the opportunity for an aging male actor to make a comeback role), and Female-driven thrillers (the kind you see on Lifetime).

If you want proof, go check out a Redbox machine.

You’ll notice that aside from major studio titles and video games, it’s usually the above-mentioned genres getting placement (despite having no major A-list celebrity actors).

Comedies are harder to sell since their style and tone are subjective and difficult to play overseas (since the humor doesn’t always translate and dubbing is expensive!)

When writing for independent Hollywood, rather than the big studios, you must be conscious of where the money comes from. Foreign sales are as important as U.S. and Canadian placement so avoid overly heavy ‘Americanisms’ like football or Thanksgiving.

While we are on the subject, avoid dramas (they are too boring), make your lead protagonist female (woman make the ‘movie viewing’ decisions more often than men), and despite what many screenwriting books suggest, do keep your script ‘budget-oriented’.

So you want to write for the big studios and have a laundry list of solid ideas?  Great!

Save them until later…

As a serious screenwriter, you first need to sell a few scripts in the indie zone to build a strong reputation before big-studio Hollywood will pay attention.  For more examples, get on Netflix or Hulu and look for the movies you’ve never heard of (but happen to be placed next to a big Studio title. Those are the indie films you stand a solid chance of getting hired to write!)

A Great Screenwriter Follows Principles, Not Trends

There will always be a new ‘it’ genre or trend, which it seems all the Studios are following. I’m sure you’ve noticed the zombie films and reboots?

But trends come and go, some much quicker than others. But the principles stay the same.

Writing on Principle means focusing on genres that are consistently and reliably selling. In my book, Writing for the Green Light, I refer to these as ‘Gold-Mine Genre Types.’

Is FOX hell-bent on Vampires this season? Great, let them focus on that and you stick true to your reliable Family title or modestly budgeted Action film.

Is Paramount investing heavily into paranormal-themed content this summer?  Again, let them… Don’t veer off course just because the studios make a new decision…

Stick true to your reliable genres (Family, Action, and Female-Driven thrillers), and you stand a much better shot of giving indie Hollywood what it needs to stay in business.

A Great Screenwriter gets passionate about what sells!

There is nothing wrong with being passionate about content that sells!

You are no less a serious screenwriter just because you write Tween-Girl Romance movies or Family Safe Adventures rather than hard hitting dramas.

By entering the entertainment industry with a ‘business’ mindset (focused on seeing your work produced and your efforts compensated for), you will be taken more seriously by the Decision-Makers running Hollywood.

Once you’ve built a name for yourself as a reliable and steady deliverer of quality content, you will have already built that network of contacts who can take your work to the next level.

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Scott Kirkpatrick is the Director of Distribution for MarVista Entertainment, a Los Angeles based production and distribution company that produces original Lifetime and SyFy channel films, co-produces TV movies with Disney and Nickelodeon, and has managed international TV deals on major franchises including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Digimon, and Julius Jr. Scott has also produced and directed TV series and feature films including Eye for an Eye, Muslims in America, and Roadside Massacre. Check out his book, Writing For The Greenlight.

Top 10 Screenplay Contests

We took a poll of several Hollywood executives to get their perspective on the best screenplay contests for discovering new writers. Below is a list of contests that were mentioned.

screenplay contests

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Top 10 Screenplay Contests

In no particular order, here are the best screenplay contests and events based on our recent talks with film and television executives, managers and agents.

1. Nicholl Fellowship – In terms of the best screenplay contests, the Nicholl Fellowship is probably the most famous competitions for screenwriting. The Nicholl is consequently one of the hardest to win. Over $35,000 worth of prizes are given each year.

Last year the Nicholl received over seven thousand entries!

A Sony Executive who wished to remain anonymous said, “The Nicholl is a real star maker. It’s still the contest we all turn to, demand coverage for, and track. If you win the Nicholl people will know your name.”

Submissions usually run from May through August with winners announced in November.

2. ScreenCraft – Last year all three of ScreenCraft’s Fellowship winners got representation from managers and agents, and this year so did both the ScreenCraft Comedy winners. ScreenCraft’s writers have sold projects to top production companies.

Jeff Portnoy, of Heretic Literary Management (and formerly Resolution Agency) had this to say: “ScreenCraft has, for me and many like me, become a dependable and invaluable resource for discovering talented screenwriters – It’s one of the best resources for writers who want to expose their work to the entertainment industry. I couldn’t recommend it more.”

Jen Grisanti, a television executive and acclaimed Story Consultant had this to say:

“I love collaborating with ScreenCraft because of their genuine passion to find new voices. I admire their commitment to the creative process by having programs like their Fellowship that offers an extended mentorship to writers and guides them toward making their dream a reality.”

ScreenCraft has several genre-specific screenplay contests as well as the annual ScreenCraft Fellowship (Applications due by December 15th) and the Family Friendly contest ends on December 30th.

3. The Black List Website – While not exactly fitting the category of screenplay contests, the Black List has been around for ten years. But the website is fairly new. Founder Franklin Leonard sought to create a web forum where industry execs, agents, and managers could log on to view scripts that had been vetted by top readers. Writers from the site have signed with every major agency. CAA, WME, Paradigm, Verve, APA, UTA. The site hit the ground running in 2012 and quickly built a devoted fan base among managers and agents with many writers gaining management along the way.

Adrian Garcia, a literary agent at Paradigm Talent Agency says, “the Black List makes it easy to make my weekend read each week with the selection for Feature and TV scripts.”

4. Story Expo – STORY EXPO 2015 is the world’s biggest convention of writers from all mediums – screenwriters, TV writers, novelists, filmmakers, gamers, journalists, graphic novelists, actors, business people, comic book writers and more. Featuring over 110 world-renowned speakers, 100+ classes and 30+ exhibitors, Story Expo covers all aspects of story and writing – from craft to business to pitching to career.

Spike Scarberry, an executive at Bad Hat Harry said, “Story Expo is easily my favorite pitchfest of the year. The people who run the event are great, extremely helpful and nice. I feel like it’s flown a little under the radar the past couple years but I don’t think it will be that way for long.”

The next Story Expo will be in September of 2015 – will you be there?

5. The Virtual Pitchfest – Membership is simple. Once you purchase a package, you can submit your query letter to different Industry Pros or you can submit multiple letters in any way that suits your needs. You are guaranteed a response and comments back from our Industry Pros within 5 days of your submissions!

Scott Stoops, a coordinator at Benderspink said, “One of my favorite services is VIRTUAL PITCH FEST, which allows users to submit pitches online to creative professionals in the community – reps, producers, etc. I find it really helpful because it keeps things short, sweet and manageable, and it is a great way to connect with filmmakers at any time. Honestly, when I do Skype pitch fests or other events, I tell writers to get on VPF a lot because it’s a way they can get in touch with me, pitch something, and then follow up, send me more material, etc. It’s been really great so far and I’ve found some great talent from it.”

6. Final Draft Big Break – The Big Break contest takes both television pilots and feature films scripts, awarding eleven prizes across different genres. Winners are flown to Los Angeles for industry meetings and an awards dinner. One Feature Grand Prize and one TV Grand Prize winner will be chosen from the 11 Feature Genre and TV Format award winners.

These two Grand Prize Award Winners are flown to Hollywood for the Final Draft Annual Awards Event where we honor the Big Break winners along with recipients of The Screenwriters Choice Awards and The Hall of Fame Award. They give out $15,000, an iPad, among other great prizes.

An anonymous executive at Fox says “Big Break is a contest designed for finding what kinds of scripts you want because they separate scripts into genre categories and you don’t have to waste your time sifting through ideas you’d never develop.”

Big Break runs in July and it is highly competitive.

7. Script Pipeline – In terms of winner pedigree Script Pipeline has a long list of winners who have gone on to do great things including series at Fox, SyFy, and feature film development deals. Their famous winners is Evan Daughtery, writer of Snow White and the Huntsman, won the 2008 Script Pipeline contest and it helped him gain agents and managers and eventually sell Snow White for $3.2 million. They offer television as well as feature contests and a student section that has become popular.

You’ll have to get your script together fast because the Pipeline feature deadline is December 31st 2014. But their other contests like the Great Idea, Student, and Television contests are open into the New Year.

8. The Great American Pitchfest – The Great American Screenwriting Conference & PitchFest is a two day conference, and one day pitchfest.  GAPF was created by writers, for writers.  If you need an agent or manager, are looking to option your material, or would like to be hired for writing assignments, you will find the connections you need for your career to move forward.

This one is one of the largest pitchfests in the country. Though many of the people who responded to the poll showed their disapproval of pitchfests but this one in particular was seen as one of the good ones though one unnamed exec said she was not happy with the fest “sharing email addresses and other information with the pitchers.”

This generally sells out, even with its high prices, and writers are encouraged to get their passes before April 1st of the new year. The competition takes place in June.

9. Scriptapalooza – Past winners have won Emmys, been signed by agents, managers, had their scripts optioned, and even made into movies. Scriptapalooza will promote, pitch, and push the Semifinalists and higher for a full year.

One Agent, who chooses to remain nameless, wasn’t a fan of their “1990’s style website,” but did think “they pull exciting scripts and have a good feedback team.”

The first deadline for this year’s contest is January 6th with the final deadline being April 29th 2015.

10. Austin Film Festival – One of the most fun and screenplay-driven festivals, Austin wears its heart on its sleeve when it comes to celebrating scripts. With panels headlines by John August, Richard Kelly, Cris Carter, Rob Thomas, Frank Daranbont, Shane Black, and other writer celebs, this has quickly become one of the best places to get your voice heard.

This years ScreenCraft Comedy Contest winner Jared Frieder also won the Austin contest. Jared “Loved Austin’s environment and being at a screenplay driven festival.”

This year’s deadline is April 30th.

So that’s our round-up of the best contests according to recent phone calls and emails with Hollywood executives. There are many more that have notable success stories. And there are many contests that don’t merit mentioning. What’s your favorite screenwriting contest or resource for aspiring writers?

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Jason Hellerman is a screenwriter making impressive inroads in the entertainment industry. Shortly after coming out to Los Angeles after graduating from Boston University, his script “Shovel Buddies” was voted onto the 2013 Black List by Hollywood industry insiders. He has worked for top producers and entertainment industry stars including producer Michael Costigan and actor Jonah Hill. You can follow him on Twitter at @JasonHellerman.

Should Screenwriters Stick With Movie Formula?

While in high school, I taught myself how to write a screenplay. It looked more like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with a few slugs thrown in on the page rather than an actual screenplay. Fortunately this was enough to garner acceptance into film school.

When I finally had the chance to write a full feature length real-deal-legit screenplay, I had to knock the socks off of my professor. So I ignored any sense of constraining movie formula and I simply wrote. After turning in my work, I spent the next days imagining he would finish reading my pages of courier 12, take off his glasses and exclaim:

“This girl is about to change the film world!”

Of course, this didn’t happen. Not even close. When my first draft was handed back to me, it was littered with spelling corrections and comments like “where is this going?

I wrote a romantic comedy.

And the typical movie formula got the story moving: girl meets boy, girl loses boy, girl gets boy. But it continued from there. I crammed those key beats that compose entire 120 page scripts into the first 50 pages and stumbled down a somewhat romantic rabbit trail of girl meets new boy, girl loses boy 1, girl gets boy 2, girl loses boy 2, girl gets back with boy 1.

Yes. This plot could work. But not for screenwriting 101.

No matter how much ambition, textbook education, Nora Ephron binge-watching weekends, or decades of subscriptions to Entertainment Weekly – First time screenwriters should NOT try to stretch the boundaries of movie formula.

Quite the opposite is true.

Movie Formula

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Just Stick With Movie Formula

Movie formula writing should be embraced, particularly for new writers. And don’t get me wrong. I’m not much a fan of big, blockbuster commercial films. I’ve always leaned toward films that are a little quirky and awkward. “Ugh, you always get these weird Miramax movies,” was my mom’s typical reaction to my movie rentals growing up.

I’m not bashing tentpoles and popular fair either. But my tendency toward “weird Miramax movies” influenced me to push the limits of formula. Which was a terrible idea. And despite my professor’s blatant consternation toward my story-telling, I tried again and again to alter what I considered to be the confines and constraints of formula.

Five years later, I now realize that my professor wasn’t trying to stifle creativity or close outside-the-box thinking. He wanted his students to master the craft. Learn the rules before you break them.

Years after struggling to tighten my floundering screenplays, I made the decision to remove the self-inflicted pain and pressure that resulted from abandoning movie formula to instead have fun writing within format and genre. Guess what happened?

I wrote a script in less than two months. And it was tight. It had the obvious beats. It was enjoyable to write and I received positive response from industry types.

This is in sharp contrast to spending up to four months working on a story that meandered, was challenging to write, and frankly, was sometimes embarrassing to ask people to read.

I thought I was alone in my realization. However, I recently came across an article in Creative Screenwriter Magazine. Turns out a lot of writers, if not most, want to be original and resist the cookie-cutter story. And to a point, we should.

In his article “Formulaic is Good!”, Dennis MacGee Fallon interviews Michael Hauge, a major motion picture coach, consultant, and author of Writing Screenplays That Sell. In this short article, Hauge reasons why:

The film industry is first and foremost a business. People who invest in films want a return. Give them something that has a proven track record and you’re more likely to sell a script.” Adding “Once we have accepted this rule (willingly or begrudgingly), it does not mean we have sold out! There are still opportunities to get a little crazy.

Understandably, for most new screenwriters, writing to a movie formula creates fear of being boring and predictable.

We think writing with movie formula in mind sets us up for those fears to be actualized, right? After all, by definition formula is a template of how to tell your story; a design constructed from repeatedly told plot lines. No one wants to hear “I’ve seen this a thousand times!

But from personal experience, I’ve created my some of best characters when adhering to a formula from fear of hearing those very words. And I would advise you to experiment with movie formula too.

How To Sell Your Screenplay

If you want to know how to sell your screenplay, you’re in luck. When I was working for an indie producer in New York, one of my jobs was to read screenplays and hopefully find a gem.

During that time, I learned some valuable lessons (from inside the production office) that I would like to share on how to sell your screenplay.

How To Sell Your Screenplay

How To Sell Your Screenplay

The goal in Hollywood is to produce product. And as a screenwriter, your job is to create a blueprint for a potential product.

In this case, your product is a new movie. Like any new product, your movie has never been made and is therefore unproven. And because you are unknown, you are asking a company (in this context, a movie producer with a a relationship with a studio or financiers) to produce an unknown product to be marketed to a (hopefully) receptive audience.

To get your screenplay made into a movie, a producer will have to drop whatever projects they are working on and devote months and in some cases, years to get your unproven product produced. They will have to attach actors, financiers and distributors to the project. And that is the easy part.

Every day, these producers will face rejection, obstacles and countless crazy people. They will cry, lose sleep and possibly fail. So if you really want to get your work produced, you need to downplay risk and amplify the reward. With this said, the way I see it, there are four methods you can use to get your screenplay produced.

As a screenwriter, you can:

1. Sell Your Screenplay: Write Query Letters – With this approach, you can write query letters to agents and production companies with the hope of getting your work evaluated. The truth is, someone will read your snail mail. But it probably won’t be the agent or producer. It will most certainly be an assistant. So I suggest writing your letter with the assistant in mind.

All assistants want to eventually move into their bosses’ role. This is where you can shine. What’s in it for an assistant to actually read your work? How will they benefit? Answer these questions in your initial query, and you’ll be ahead of 90% of other writers who merely send out anonymous emails.

2. Sell Your Screenplay: Make Your Contacts Count – Long before I moved to Los Angeles, I found out my actor buddy from college had scored a small role on a popular movie. So I reached out and send him my screenplay. I’m happy I did. After reading the script, he offered to host a reading with some of his actor friends.

Next thing you know, I’m in LA, walking into a room where “real” actors were presently reading and acting out my screenplay. Since I was familiar with many of the actors (because they were on TV and in movies) this was a surreal experience and is still one of the major highlights in my LA life.

You can approach people who know people in the industry and see if they will read your script and make introductions to Hollywood heavyweights.

3. Sell Your Screenplay: Enter Screenwriting Contests – You can send your script to screenwriting contests. If you place well in the contest, your work will get noticed by industry judges. Additionally, a win will give you just enough leverage to contact agencies with your news.

With that said, make sure you only focus on reputable screenplay contests. Have you heard of the contest? If not, can you reach out to past participants and find out about their experiences? This will help you determine the pros and cons of each screenwriting contest.

4. Sell Your Screenplay: Become A Movie Producer – The biggest reason I left my hometown for New York was so I could  work in a production company. I figured if I was on the inside, it would be far easier to add my script to the stack than merely sending a query letter. But what I gained was so much more valuable.

After months of working with the producer, I realized that real power players do not ask for permission to make movies. Instead they ask themselves this key question: “Given the resources that I have right now, what is the feature I can make this year?” Once you start producing (and possibly directing) your own work, you become a powerful force to be reckoned with.

And I’m speaking from experience. After producing my first feature, a lot of good stuff started happening. Aside from selling many units of the movie, everybody involved found bigger and better work. And our writer found an agent with one of the big Hollywood agencies.

Regardless of your strategy, making a movie is risky. Anytime a movie gets produced, someone has risked their reputation and livelihood to make it happen. And here is the quick catch 22. As soon as you are a produced writer, people will often scramble to read your material. To get this this point, you need to actually get something produced.

If you have a screenplay, your story better be better than good.

Wait… It better be great!

Otherwise, do not bother sending it out. And even if your screenplay is great and you find a bunch of industry pros enthusiastic about your material, there are no guarantees. It may still take months and possibly years before you see any money for your work. Just check out the Hollywood Screenplay blacklist for examples.

Sell Your Screenplay NowSo the question is, why depend on someone else to get your movie made? You can do it yourself. If you have been reading Filmmaking Stuff for any length of time, you probably know I would rather climb my own ladder than some ladder I don’t own. Stop asking for permission.

If you liked this article, you might benefit from my entreprenural screenwriting product at: How To Write Your Movie