Be The Best Writer You Can

How Screenwriters Get Hired: The Unspoken Truth!

As Alan Sugar might say, I’ve arranged a treat for you all.

It’s a fascinating piece from a long time Goldminer, who has some very, VERY interesting advice about getting those first gigs as a writer.

We were emailing and he mentioned how he had been working extensively behind the scenes as a writer for hire in Hollywood.

I asked him to write that up for you all – about his background, about the mind set he adopts, and about how he actually goes about getting the gigs – and he wrote me this article.

I think it’s an acute insight into the way the system really works for many, many pro writers.

(Including me – even this month the barriers to the latest gig I have been pitching for seemed to just fade away when I listened to what the script editor, the boss, really wanted me to write about.)

Anyway, without more fuss, here’s Curt:

(The emphases are mine.)

It’s an honor to elaborate on my adventures for the Screenwriting Goldmine readers.

I live in the Inland Empire, an area about an hour east of Los Angeles. This living situation has been both a positive and a negative in my journey to transition to full time screenwriter. It has allowed me the space to develop my own voice, but has hampered meetings and slowed the process of full time screenwriting.

In 2000 I was under the influence of iconic independent successes like Jon Favreau and Kevin Smith. I thought I could do it all produce, act, and write.

After a couple of anxiety ridden, busy, and ultimately fruitless years I realized that I was truly a writer. Therefore if I was going to have any kind of creative career I would need to focus my energy on mastering that craft.

Thus began the great writing experiment that included reading every book I could get my hands on that had been recommended by professionals like William Goldman, Syd Field, and Terry Rossio – and actually writing the three big tales that had been swirling in my imagination for years.

People read my scripts, liked them…and nothing.

You see writing the script is step one. We’re farmers and the script is the seed. The joy is in the harvest and the responses I was getting were: “Nice seeds.”

Madness.

So it came to pass that I was hungry to submit to the tutelage of a successful writer. I was in search of a mentor. My first inclination was to go big with a tried and true approach, so I went to a screenwriter’s expo presented by UCLA for their screenwriting graduate program.

In between classes I was sitting on the steps with my wife when I recognized the name on the tag of the fellow sitting next to me. I considered him a very accomplished screenwriter having five or six big movies released. We started chatting and I mentioned I had just pitched several concepts to Disney. As it turned out both of us were looking for representation.

What an eye opener. This cat with over twenty years in the business couldn’t get an agent and was now teaching screenwriting at UCLA. “Basically I prepare my students for unemployment,” he said off the cuff.

Discouraged, but with new resolve I called it a day, certain that UCLA at that time may have helped me write a better script but it wasn’t going to teach me how to sell it.

Some time around that night I stumbled across the Screenwriting Goldmine site.

The site was just a straightforward pitch with no bells and whistles. Phil Gladwin (“Frankk” as he was calling himself back then) claimed to be able to deliver the juice in fewer than fifty pages!

By this point I had written ten features, one actually made, written a couple of television pilots, and a commercial. In addition I had amassed a library of screenwriting books, the best of which I had read twice.

Suffice it to say Screenwriting Goldmine transformed my writing. I have the system memorized and can verbally roll it out as if it were my own. This is a testament to its extraordinary brevity and truth.

What’s more, Phil’s sage advice to enter the business sideways may raise an eyebrow, but is the key to success.

Anyone can punch keys and eventual print out a hundred and twenty pages. A few can get their intimates to read them. But who cares? I want to see my stuff on the big screen, not impress my friends. And here’s the secret none of the screenwriting books tell you… Agents Don’t Make Movies.

Let me repeat that because it’s invaluable in terms of money and time… Agents Don’t Make Movies.

Directors and Producers do. Some do it for art, others for commerce, and the best for both. These are the people who make screenwriters’ dreams come true.

I wrote a script for a producer who was in charge of DirecTV’s national ad campaign in the US for a couple of years. He’s a young guy who wants to transition to film producing. He is an industry professional. So I write for him, on spec, and working his ideas. However the last script I wrote for him went straight to Julia Roberts and Sylvester Stallone’s production companies, not through an agent but through his personal contacts.

Directors are even better. Unlike the producers who are after a sale, directors are artists too. Therefore an active director is always looking for great shootable short content, a movie trailer, or a commercial spec that they can either submit to festivals or use on their reels. Why not be their writer?

Check out IMDB. Why is it that Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, and Martin Scorsese tend to work with the same writers? The answer is relationships. I don’t mean schmoozing people at cocktail parties. I mean you, the writer, must become friends with others who share your passionate vision and are willing to actually create what you’ve written.

Today I’m a writer. I’m not an actor/writer, or a producer/writer. Here’s another secret, my original stuff goes tends to be ignored. Why is that? Not commercial enough, not as well written, too big a budget?

None of those answers tell the whole story. There is some ego involved. Artists love their ideas. Business people really love their own ides. Sure they “like” mine, but when I write one of their’s, suddenly I’m a genius in their eyes.

Listen, you don’t have to take a two-year MFA program to grow as a writer. I don’t need another diploma. You should find a serious, a real, director or producer who has an idea not manifested on paper. Be the person who brings their idea to fruition. Your art, your voice will still be there.

Now the pressures of selling and creating the piece fall on better suited shoulders and you are free to write.

One caveat, when I say real, I mean it. Don’t waste your time with people who “want” to direct. Find someone who does it for a living in film, television, commercials, or online content. That person will invariable have ideas that you can develop (using Screenwriting Goldmine). The brilliant applicability of Phil’s method is that it is developed for the visual medium. It starts and ends with images.

Curt Sell, June 2008

 

[For those wondering about the Screenwriting Goldmine package, it's my own method of writing screenplays which lies at the centre of this site. Download your copy here.]
39 Comments
  1. Cheers Ben – and thanks Curt for taking the time out to articulate and reinforce this particular angle.

  2. Hey Phil,

    While driving between blogs, it has been a while since I read such a rewarding/timely/sophisticated post.

    Phil you make the business of Hollywood most attainable. Like a gourmet meal, this is a brilliant serving.

    With this much good advice/feeback/mentoring ….we are capable of accomplishing whatever we believe….

  3. Hi, Phil.

    As someone who has been banging away at the Hollywood gate for over 20 years, it is AMAZING how your blog had me nodding my head and saying, “Yup!” over and over again.

    It is a sad truth that the film industry is basically closed off to new and different ideas — they have to go with the tried and true to make a profit, because, after all, that’s why they call it “show business” — it’s a business.

    I have learned a great deal from trial and error over the many years I have been writing. Many mistakes were painful and could’ve been completely avoided (had I knew then what I know now…) Experience is the best teacher. That is why is is so beneficial to have forums and blogs like this that share the tools that writers need to navigate the competitive world of screenwriting.

    I think the best advise is to make friends with people in the industry. And to write FOR them. It is extremely important for people who wish to work in the filmmaking community to first be a part of it and to show that they are “good eggs” and easy to work with.

    Kudos to you and your very succinct and well written blogs and articles!

    Progger

  4. Great essay and I couldn’t agree more. Phil’s key points really struck home with me, especially the part about agent representation.

    Most of the texts and screenwriting classes teach you how to write a query letter. What they don’t tell you is that such letters sent to agencies in a hope of seeking representation(i.e. The William Morris Agency as a real example), are returned to you through their legal department with a terse admonishment that do not accept solicitations of any kind.

    Mind you, my screenplay was not included with my query letter. I only inquired whether or not they might be interested in receiving my actual work.

    Oh, and my own self-addressed, 42 cent stamped envelope wasn’t good enough for them, either. They had to emphasize their point with a $5.90 registered letter.

    It’s easier to talk to the prisoners being held inside Guantanamo. Speaking of which, I wonder how many of them are writing their own “spec” during their spare time in Cuba.

  5. This blog was such a revelation and shows me just how in-accessible the career I am trying to pursue really is. Like trying to break into fort knox.

  6. For those of us that live more than a quick hour slog down the freeway to get to Sunset and Vine, this sounds a bit discouraging even if we haven’t written our first Script. But I have to thank both Phil and Curt Sell (what a great name) for giving us newbies and wantabies the guidance that could save us years of frustration and drinking . . . alone . . . in the dark . . . (just kidding–we’ll probably still do that, anyway, LOLOL).

    But I know what you mean, Curt, about other people’s ideas. They just never seem as good as your own ideas. I wonder why that is! Must be a human genetic flaw; that could explain a lot. Oh, now, there is a story idea in there somewhere, Shirley. (sic)

    Anyway, thanks for sharing, Curt.
    And to you, too, Phil, for puttin’ the thumb screws to him to do it. Hahahahaha

    Aaron

  7. thank you curt;
    thank you phil.
    chillingly practical advice for aspiring screenscribes.
    this piece is what makes the forum a goldmine.
    we fortunate few that know where the gold is must now guard the secret…
    …i’m telling nobody.
    thanks again gents.
    very well done.
    m.

  8. Phil,
    Reading Curt, I find things are not much different in Indian (Mumbai Film Industry..or Bollywood as some would find it more convenient to refer to Indian Cinema)film industry either.The concept of agent to market your story is still non-existent in India. Things for writers become easy once you convince a saleable Actor/or Director for your story , than everything gets into its place, producers are ready to produce as, then getting finance is no problem. But to be able to narrate your story to saleable actor and director is a massive task to achieve. It is very time consuming and needs lot of luck. In Indian films , herd mind set has deep roots.. . if one film gets a box office success, there is a series of similar films, which does not make a success at box office, but still recover the cost. Producers are not artists and are not educated from view point of understanding film language. They have yet to accept film making as an art form. It is just business and in their opinion should include content of movies that were successful at box office in the past. They want to play a safe and proven game. At times it is very predictable(sickening) and frustrating to keep watching absolutly erronous films making from the point of view of language of this art form. But , luckily, with lot of exposure of world cinema( and at times its dubbing in the local language)now at cable TV , things are changing. It would be French and European cinema that is going to influence the new film makers, as Indian sensibilities are, in my opinion, more close to sensibilities of European cinema. In coming years, hopefully much more sensitive and world class movies are likely to come out of India.

  9. Greetings All,

    Thanks for that wholesome advice Curt…in this Screen writing business, to be successful it takes 10% skill, 10% knowledge, and 80% luck! Many are called, but few are chosen.

    Moses

  10. This advice I guess is OK for someone without an agent. If you do have an agent, and then you submit it to Julia Robert’s company or Sylvester’s company through a friend, first off, your agent will kill you. It takes us (agent or manager) one phone call to get it over there. And if it’s an amazing script, why limit yourself to ONE producer? We can get it to the town to every big producer. Also, the impact of a script coming through someone who is not a rep will not look that great.

    Agents may not make movies, but are the best way to move your script strategically in Hollywood. That’s our job, we do it EVERYDAY. Would you try and operate on your friend if you were not a doctor? NO.

    If you don’t have an agent, then that’s a different story and longer discussion.

  11. Literary agents are like cops, they’re never around when you need one.

    One can spend all the money in the world on screenwriting books, on classes and seminars to learn how to write that perfect “query letter”. One can send this perfectly composed inquiry to a hundred agents listed on WGA’s list of signatory agencies.

    The “query letter” still comes back to the sender, stuffed inside the agency’s own letterhead envelope (despite my own convenient SASE)along with a terse letter from their legal department stating “it is our agency’s universally accepted practice not to accept any “unsolicited material”. Consequently, we have returned your material to you unread.”

    What “unsolicited material”? It was only a “query letter”. I only asked whether or not they would like to receive some real-live solicited material. It’s one thing to have your screenplay rejected; it’s another thing all together to have a simple query letter regarding possible representation get tossed out as well.

    Literary agencies are not unique when it comes to talent. A lot of businesses become satiated on “low hanging fruit”; enticing already proven writers to leave another agency for their own. The hard work is taking the time to read the work of someone new. If they had, THEN it would be interesting to watch while that agent works the room and successfully sells the work of an unknown writer. That, to me, is the sign of a great agent.

    If “Screenwriting Compass” is interested in showing how good an agent he/she really is, I’ve got a couple of screenplays I’d love him/her to read. You know where to get hold of me… or do you?

  12. Kailua,

    That’s an interesting post. That’s a post a lot of screenwriters would have written. Let me give you the view from our side of the business. First off, getting clients from other agencies/management companies is a great thing for us. The answer to that is obvious…already proven and they have a quote (of course, i’m talking about working writers, there are many not working at the bottom of the list). However, you have to understand MOST agents/manageres have to start from the bottom as well. A young rep can’t sign the top talent. So yes, they have to look for new and UNKNOWN talent, and it happens all the time. I have a stack of about 20-30 scripts right now of NEW unrepped and UNKNOWN talent. The question is, with so many scripts to read, why would I keep adding to my heavy pile by answering YES to every query? My stack would be 1000 scripts by the end of the week!! The key for you guys is going to be making it to that select pile.

  13. Good points…

    What also makes the selection process difficult is the fact that every time an agent accepts a new writer that agent is putting his/her reputation and career on the line. So I can image the high level of agony and pressure one has to go through when making this arduous decision.

    If you’re an Agent or Screenwriter, I would recommend reading Robert McKee’s book “Story”. This is a masterpiece, and will sharpen your conscious mind in a laboriously challenged industry.

    *As a writer you want an agent who would risk their career on quality.

    *As an agent you want a writer who doesn’t hide from the truth, but lives deeply, and observes closely.

    *If you can find this quality in each other, then people will come to you!

    -Moses

  14. Hummmmm…I’ve read so many opinions about this subject of a closed Hollywood circle. I’m a good writer…damn good writer. I have not tried yet to market anything or even get an agent because of the walls that exist. So I have decided to just film something that I have written. A short. I am in the process of looking for people who fit my characters once I have them I will film my short, show it to a few people. Then enter it in some film festivals. I think from all I have read and heard this gives me a better chance of being noticed as a writer with potential.

  15. This advice is superb. Thanks Curt and Phil for making it available. It’s obvious from other posts that the subject of agents is a prickly one. It seems we all want one but they already have too many writers to represent. What can we do – a cull, perhaps; I know I have a big stick around here somewhere!
    One of my scripts, for a low budget British film, was recently assessed by the UK Film Council appointed, The Script Conection, who said “..you give us an interesting world, delivered in a confident, original voice and there is every reason to continue with this project as it really stands out from he crowd.” They also gave me some poignant notes to absorb, which I’m currently engaged with. What they, or anyone else, it seems, can’t offer is the ‘what next?’ Curt and Phil have done that with this blog. No more wasting time and energy on agents, for the time being. Procuring working directors, working producers that’s surely the way forward – so, mother, put that big stick away for me please and pass me the phone book…..

  16. Yeah, you know, Jack, that situation makes me sick. You send a script out, people like it, you think you’re going to have to be buying the house with a ballroom for all the hot celeb parties you’re going to be giving – then nothing! There’s like some basic gap somewhere – we got to work out how to bridge it!

  17. Hi Yeets,
    Yeah, it certainly is a rollercoaster from praise to reality. Years ago I experienced similar things when I worked in the music bizz. The A&R people used to follow each other around looking for talent similar to the latest headliners-signed-by-so-and-so, by-passing all else, regardless of quality. If, by some quirk, another band came through, these same A&R would set off on a search for something similar -ad infinitum. They weren’t referred to as the sheep patrol for nothing! The point is, they didn’t have the courage to take a risk on something they genuinely liked, unless it was qualified by one of their peers. I think this is, to some degree, the problem here. Agents have so much in their favour they’re unwilling to take a risk on someone new, unless, of course, he/she comes in already succesful (qualified-by-so-and-so!) then, all of a sudden, there’s plenty of room in their books for another!! This is why I really warm to Curt’s post as it is the way for us to get ourselves ‘qualified’ – and only then will the agents will open up their ‘too-full’ books. Once more into the breach, my friends….

  18. hey Amit,
    Nice to see another fellow Indian around. And i absolutely agree with your views.

  19. Thanks Phil and Curt! I’m a screenwriter with an agent and I understand the feeling of a standstill. Many producers and execs have read my scripts and say, we love it… but pass. It was nice to read another seasoned writer with a similar experience. I recently got so frustrated with continuing to hear that and wondered if they were lying to me. Ha ha! Just kidding, but I’m sure you know what I mean. I do have one question… What is either of your experience with the New York film community? Recently, people have told me to work harder toward New York because my scripts tend to be more “indie” or “intellectual”. Just curious if NY is any easier. Maybe I’m wishing and being hopeful, but any info is greatly appreciated.

    Have a wonderful holiday season!

    Rachel

  20. Hey Rachel,

    To answer your question it is hard to make it anywhere. The key is to develop relationships. Try submitting your resume on Mandy.com This is where many Producers and Directors look for unsigned Screenwriters. To be a successful Screenwriter it takes 25% skill, 25% knowledge and 50% luck. If you can get 50% of either, it would give you a great chance. This past summer I had an upcoming Producer call me at 11pm on a Saturday night–he said he read my resume, and he was flying to LA in a few weeks. We met and it was history,my script Harlemites is now being read by one of his connects who is Tony Taurantino- Quintin’s father. So Rachel I encourage you to stay determined–For a determined person is like a rock, and criticism is a pat on the back.

    Moses

  21. Thank you, Moses, for the advice and reminding me to stay focused on determination. :)

    Have a wonderful holiday!

    Rachel

  22. I read Curt’s post, and I have to say, He is right on the money. Ego probably ruins more potential writers than makes them successful. I have written four screenplays, and have two more in the works. Although I am still trying to get my break. I welcome any producer, director, or anyone else already successful in the business to give me a shot at writing a script based solely on their ideas. I recently wrote a horror script with some help from three co-workers. They would give me ideas, and then at night, I would go to work. Next day,week however long it took me to write the script from the ideas, I would print them out and take them back to work. Everyone would read them, and give me input. some good, some critical whatever, I didn’t care. I never once let my ego influence the story. Next day I write more from the previous day’s comments then print out and get more input…you get the idea. The bottom line was, I wrote a damn good movie script from four peoples ideas, but it was still my creation. It was also the easiest script I’ve ever written. I think I completed that one in six weeks. So, if you’re a producer, director, or whoever, and you have an idea for a movie. Please, and I do mean please; call me, write me, email me….just get a hold of me. I know together that we can create the next Blockbuster movie together. Bottom line, I want to write for a living. I refuse to give up because writing is my passion.
    P.S. I promise you, my ego is in check and if you don’t like it, it goes, and we try again until we get it right.
    Thank you for entertaining my rant.
    Mark_G

  23. Mark_g, are you a writer, or are you the editor of an anthology?

    It’s YOUR JOB to come up with ideas. That’s part of being a writer.

    The method you describe will result in a mess, not a coherent expression of a clear vision.

    Have more respect for your craft, and give yourself more credit. There’s a difference between being open to constructive criticism, and just being a willow that bends whichever way the wind blows.

  24. Great point Colleen…I think what Mark was trying to say is that he does not let his ego get in the way of things; which is good advice if you are already an established writer.

    But if you are trying to make it…you need to be writing your tail off; with extreme confidence and never holding back your talents. The truth is that no one has ego’s, we are all just trying to make it in a turbulent field–where writers are replaced every day.

    If every writer had this mentality then there would be better films created. So to all my writers out there, let the Producers and Directors have the egos…for we are nothing but the backbone of the entertainment economy, and like Colleen said, let’s not depend on people to create ideas for us!

    If we depended on other people to eat, we would starve to death.

    -Moses

  25. It appears Mark thinks writing is a manufacturing activities rather than a creative endevour. Writer has a vision and style/signature of his own in telling the particular story and this is his prime mover. He does many re-writings before he is confident enough to try market it. Once the script is accepted to be made into a film, writer becomes a part of the project team that wishes to complete the project successfully and at this stage at Project team meetings, if something is suggested to a writer to plug some weak points or from budget point of view, it is understandable and it’s not a bad idea to be open and listen. But to accept suggetsions from each and every corner right from the very beginning shows lack of vision and conviction on part of writer. He can be a factory worker but not a creative person with his own vision and conviction. I would rather wait for my time rather than take the route that Mark G suggests. Colleen , I am totally with you in this regard.

  26. Apparently my post got a few reactions. It appears a few of you got the wrong message I was trying to convey. My point was, if you ask someone else to read your script; then take their suggestions and make the changes recommended, even if you think your ideas are the best. After all, if your not willing to make changes after hearing what others like or dislike, than why bother asking someone else to even read it. (just because you come up with an idea, doesn’t mean everyone will agree it was a good one.)As far as writing a script with some friends, because it was fun, that’s why. They came up with the basic storyline, I still was in charge of the creativity. Not everything written needs to be, or should be intended for sale. Writing is an outlet for relaxation. And for those few hours a day of writing, a chance to immerse yourself into the fantasy world you’re creating, forgetting about the outside world and the day to day problems, even if just for a little while.

  27. I’m looking for an agent for a stellar, branded new kids tv variety show.

  28. This is truly whats makes it a screenwriters goldmine. The debates, the dissent, industry professionals sharing experiences. A goldmine indeed.

  29. i have many stories prepared..i want them to be on the screen can u help me out…..

  30. hey phil, that was informative, but how do you contact these producers and directors and stay refrained from agents…especially when you want to protect your writing , at the same time getting an ok amount of money and recognition for it.

  31. request for script writing job
    MAHESH CHANDRA RAHI
    HINDI FILM SCRIPT WRITER
    I am looking for script writing job in Hindi film production houses.
    I am a fresher but trained script writer & have a lat of experience in script writing area and have written 7 Hindi intensive and fair scripts in highlight and deep problem of today. Also I have written 50 filmy Song in new stile which can be use in new film. I can write an intensive and a beautiful script for new film. As your need, can contact or email in:-

    Mahesh Chandra Rahi
    FWA reg.no 16969 mo.9669209322
    Gayakwad Pada Ulhas Nagar no.5 sector 36 Mumbai.
    Email:-chandra.mahesh282@gmail.com

    Detail of my scripts:-

    1-‘Donation’
    It is about high and large donation of ‘Colleges’ and other areas of life, they give a break-down in dreams and in life of pupils. They hopeless and angry pupils going up in criminal world.
    2-‘Vasundhara’
    It tells us that our Earth is a heaven in all planet of our solar system, but we not understand for importance of it. If we doing damage so kind to it’s environment and beauty,could go out from our hands.
    3-‘Toofan In India’
    It is about a nation revolution by ladies in India of opposition of ‘Kanya bhroon hatya’,Nari shoshan, dahej etc.
    4-‘I love you’
    It tell about what is a true love. what be happen in during a true love in the heart of lover.
    5-‘To your love’
    It sees us what it the politics of today. What suffering a heroin for love of hero.
    6-‘A golden revenge’
    It tell that A revenge of badness can take with A Goodness also.

    7-‘The Indian girl’
    It tell us what is s Indian girl between her parents and her social area.
    8-‘Inse bachiye’
    It tell us that how can we save from unwanted happen of up-to-date that happened with us seeing a good happen. If any concept likes you, contact to me by email.

  32. With the help of my late husband, Scott Mateer, a first-round Grammy nominee, I have written a great musical. We produced all 17 songs in our own 24-track studio. But the libretto and music are all mine. With the success of “High School Musical” and the tv show “Glee”, now would be the perfect time to get it produced. Theatres up and down the East coast loved my script; with a cast of 30, 15 blacks and 15 whites, they said (for the stage) that they couldn’t afford to do it. But for a tv special event, a big film, or even a Broadway show, this script is so needed in this economical and sad world of ours. The ending is stupendous; I think you’ll love it. I have it on script and on a cd. I need to physically send it to you for the cd to be heard. I need an agent desperately. I’m not only an actor, singer and songwriter (I wrote the girl’s part for me), I used to have my own morning show on the radio here in Jackson, Ms., and I’ve written hundreds of spots for both radio and tv. Please send my your address so you can read and here this piece. It’s called “Sweet Pilgrim”. Thank you.

  33. I’m 17 and have many great ideas, but the thing is that i don’t know the format of a screen play. would you mind helping me

  34. Believe me this were some of the erros we’ve been ungoing since,and I wonder when we would have a sense to really understand and follow phil’s advice.This guys that wear suite and ties(call them AGENTS)doesn’t have an inch of time for newbies.That doesn’t mean that newbies can’t write hit stories,but it is simply that the agents hates to meet new guys,that all!Offer tham cocktail drinks you would be the best friends,but reverse and offer them your script…a spec for that matter.That script will be pitch at the bin for the rats to read more of it.
    Let’s write simple and keep with the guys(producers) that do this work for a living.Not for those who have bought big Islands already in this business.

  35. Learning the art of screenwriting, helps with the dyslexia and the aging process.

    Thanks for the real life info.

  36. Like Lola just stated. learn the craft first before proceeding further. For some reason, people seem to accept the fact that screenwriting is not a craft that can be learned in a 2nd level institution. It is. So just like whatever you did to learn the current craft or trade you are in – it took soem effort on your part to learn it. right? So does screenwriting. As a matter of fact it’s probably the hardest literary craft you will ever encounter. And then from there it gets even trickier.

    learn the trade first folks … reading thru these last few posts, it’s evident to me that these bloggers don’t no the craft – some try and impress us with the fact that someone , an agent, producer or what not is interested in reading o producing your script.
    .
    I can’t tell… from the post. What I can tell is the tell tale signs of an amateur. It’s obvious in the post. And readers see this also. from point blank.

    Writers who know what they are doing and are comfortable in doing it – Don’t ask these type of questions an we damn sure don’t ask someone to read my script.

    so, honestly, new folks to the game need to just keep it honest.
    and keep on writing!

    wks

  37. Having read through a lot of the comments from people on this site, it is my impression that success in the field of screen writing rides on a very narrow edge which is all too easy to fall off. But chance favours those who are prepared. I am working on a script on the side right now which is based on a crime story. From what I have heard about agents, it’s quite possible that no one will ever read my script – they don’t even want to read query letters. Consequently, I am wondering what to make of these script-writing contests; are they worth considering or do they just represent another player in the market trying to make a buck or two from all the hopeful writers out there.

  38. I too would like to know about the contests J.J. I just started writing a screen play a couple days ago. It’s the one genre I hadn’t tried yet! Any advice would be helpful I am in the process of sending query letters for my book and it is very frustrating I can’t imagine doing it again with my screenplay. I assume the agent receives a cut. Correct. They most certainly do in fiction, nonfiction YA etc.

  39. Best thing is to log in to the forum on this site: http://www.screenwritinggoldmine.com/forum and ask around. I personally don’t know too much about the Competition scene, but there are a lot of people there who do.

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