a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Saturday, April 01, 2006

So It's Inspiring...

Some say that expecting to sell a screenplay is like expecting to win the lottery. Of course, it's a bad analogy.

I've never known anyone who won the lottery, but I know a whole bunch of people who have gotten paid to write.

There have been a rash of recent successes here in the scribosphere. Patrick Rodio over at Could You Describe the Ruckus? just optioned one of his scripts. Two other people I know have separately been hired to write scripts -- and they don't even live in California.

All got their breaks not because of who they knew, or because they went to a good film school, but simply because they wrote a good script, and got it out there for people to see.

I've known people in the past who have sold stuff. They were all ordinary people, just like you and me, who did the work and got their chance.

The dream isn't just a dream. It's tangible, if you want it.

Congrats to all.


At 11:05 AM, Blogger Brett said...

I think I know the same folks you are referring to (hey, guys!), plus I have at least two other folks beyond thoise two who also have logged recent success in teh form of sales, options, assignments, etc. And in both THOSE cases the writers were also NOT "in-country" and residents of LaLa.

Clearly, it can be done. Clearly it takes some amount of luck, but it also takes work, determination, and some clue about the right way to proceed. We can't always change the "luck" (though we can improve our chances...), but luck won't help you if you haven't taken care of the OTHER issues.

Yeah, it's been an inspiring week or two. Congrats to all.

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Hey, thanks! It feels good, that's for sure. Still have a long way to go, but it's a good start!

At 3:14 PM, Blogger MaryAn Batchellor said...

Hope the next Nicholl and AFF winners are people we know. I'm just a cockeyed optimist!

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Georgi Rimsakov said...

sometimes I think it is easier to win the lottery!

At 1:29 AM, Blogger Philip Morton said...

Nah, Scott's got it dead to rights. Keep working, do your best work, then do some more work. Get notes from people you trust and then make it better. Don't run the marathon to get exhausted at the end and come up short. Make it sing. You put all that good energy in - and it stays locked in the script forever, that's the beauty of it. That's how I sold my first script, and the one after than, and made it a career of it. It's not like the lottery at all, unless everyone had to make their own lottery ticket and make it perfect looking within certain specifications, and aldo add their own randomn numbers on it, and then the one that was picked as the winner was picked because the buyers thought the numbers selected would be most believed, by the widest audience to be the winning number. I think writing a script is easier.

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Chris said...

Julie at Things They Won't Tell You In Film School also just got hired for work by Universal. So, yep, it does really happen.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Julie O. said...

Yeah, what Philip said.


At 5:30 PM, Blogger wcmartell said...

Writing good scripts is the way to break in.

Some folks think there are these strange conspiracies at work keeping them from selling a script. I mean, there has to be *some* reason why my brilliant script didn't sell, right? Well, the reason usually is that the script wasn't brilliant. When nobody wants to read your script, it's probably because it doesn't sound very interesting. When they read your script and don't want to buy it or read anything else you've written - it's the writing. If the *do* want to keep reading what you've written, hang in there! If they keep reading great scripts from you they will eventually give you an assignment.

Most scripts aren't very good. The big problem is when you think your script is gret and nobody else does. I think it was Papa Hemmingway who said the most important thing for a writer to have was a built in bullshit detector. That BSD isn't for the writer to use on other people, it's for the writer to use on their own work. Knowing when your work isn't working is important.

There are no conspiracies in Hollywood - everyone just wants to find that script that will attract a star and make a pile of money at the box office.

- Bill


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