Friday, June 30, 2017

Screenwriting Will Be A Long, Bumpy, Frustrating RIde (But Occasionally It Will Be Fun And Profitable)

“How long does it take to learn poker, Dad?
“All your life, son.”         
David Spanier, "Total Poker"

All your life, son.
That's how long it takes a screenwriter to learn about screenwriting. It never gets easier. Some scripts aren't as challenging as others, but even the upper echelon screenwriters of past and present generations wrote some turkeys.
If you're going to be a screenwriter don't do it in a half-assed way. You've got to be all in.
You've got to commit and stay with it. Try to write 3 or 4 screenplays a year. Or even 5. 
The important thing is to write. Start the next one a couple of days after you finish one. When you finish that one, start another.
You're only going to get good by writing.
If you're lucky maybe by screenplay #5 you'll get a deal.
If not, maybe screenplay #10.
You have to keep writing and learning and writing and learning.
Then write some more.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Let Me Know What I'm Looking At

The agent, manager or producer reading your script must know what your characters look like. 
Don't just say, “Amanda enters.” Is she 16, 54, 87? Is she hot, anorexic or 300 pounds? Try this: AMANDA JONES, 23, enters. Girl next door, athletic, shy.  
Or RICK SMITH, 30, enters. A muscle-bound, arrogant, pretty boy. Don’t do this for incidental characters, but make sure you do it for all your major parts. 
And always give them a last name.