While you can intuit a bit about producers’ taste by the films they’ve made, don’t assume producers only get certain genres. And never turn down a chance for a read.
A screenwriter colleague recently vented her frustration with always getting paid late for her studio jobs. I didn’t have any particularly good advice for her — what she describes is hardly unique. In fact, the situation is so much the norm that I asked if she would write up a post about her experiences, since I’ve never really discussed it on the blog.
If Amazon Studios were a simple finance and production outfit like Relativity or Morgan Creek, there would be nothing more to say. But Amazon Studios has an unusual strategy that combines competition, crowdsourcing and a lot of question marks.
I have to believe she was misquoted, or excerpted in some unflattering way, because Jessica Alba couldn’t have actually said this.
Any work you’re not getting paid for should be yours and yours alone. That’s why aspiring screenwriters write spec scripts. That’s what you should focus on writing. Still, there may be situations in which it makes sense to write a script for someone else without getting paid.
What’s a reasonable amount of time to give your manager to read a draft of your script? It sometimes takes this screenwriter’s manager up to a month.
General meetings aside, how many pushes merits cause for concern regarding interest in you/your idea?
Based on some printed scripts I’ve seen recently, a related skill may be on verge of being lost forever: writing on the spine of a script. Here’s a quick tutorial.
Could a Canadian screenwriter with a criminal record sell specs in Hollywood?
“Unsheets” are posters made after the movie by talented fans — in many cases, decades later. They’re not trying to make a movie look appealing. They’re celebrating movies that are already beloved.
A Slinky movie parody is all too real.
Most screenwriters are broke at some point. Better it happens at the start of your career than the end.
When a novel is adapted into a film or television series, how does compensation to the writer of the original novel work?
Reader Logan is dispirited by Hollywood’s zeal to turn every toy and board game into a franchise.
How much should a first-time writer expect to make on a sale?
The Bechdel test points out how rarely women characters in movies talk about anything other than men.
I follow the keys rule: only if they take possession of my car keys.
In the short term, yes, the rush towards 3-D may affect the kinds of movies that get greenlit. But the underlying “nature of cinematic storytelling” doesn’t tend to change much even in the face of tremendous technical innovations.
Paul spent 29 years in a job too good to leave, and regrets it.
NYT on unpaid internships, which are common and often illegal.
The iPad makes a terrific device for reading screenplays as .pdfs, particularly with third-party apps.
The job of an agent or manager is to put your work in the hands of people who might like it, then get you into rooms to meet with them. If they can’t do that, you need someone new.
In books and in movies, increased sampling usually generates more sales than it costs.
I’ve not written Alice in Wonderland three times. It’s a recurring motif, dating back to 1995 and the very start of my career.
Producers and production companies aren’t necessarily going to be excited that someone else had the project before them. Yes, it validates their taste a bit, but they may worry that the script has already been burned out around town. If everyone has read it and passed, what are they going to do with it, exactly?