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SYS Podcast Episode 191: Writer W. Bruce Cameron Talks About His Transition From Writing A Newspaper Column To Screenwriter (transcript)

This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 191: Writer W. Bruce Cameron Talks About His Transition From Writing A Newspaper Column To Screenwriter.


 

Ashley:  Welcome to episode #191 of the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.”

I’m Ashley Scott Meyers Screenwriter and Blogger over at – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today, I’m interviewing Screenwriter and Author, Bruce Cameron. It’s a fascinating look at how someone went from writing a weekly column in a newspaper to writing books, to writing screenplays. We walk through his entire writing career how he moved from one writing type to another. So, stay tuned for that interview.

If you find this episode valuable, please help me out by giving me a review in iTunes. Or leaving a comment on YouTube, or retweeting the Podcast on Twitter. Or liking us on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the Podcast and are very much appreciated.

Any websites or links that I mention in the Podcast can be found on my blog in the show notes. I also publish a transcript with each episode. In case you would rather read the show or look up something else up later-on. You can find all transcripts and show notes on the website, just go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast, and look for episode #191.

If you would like my free guide, “How to Sell Your Screenplay in 5 Weeks?” You can pick that up by going to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. It’s completely free, you just put in your Email address and I’ll send you a new lesson, once a week for 5 weeks. Along with a bunch of free bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screenplay in that guide. How to write a professional log-line and quarry letter. How to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for new material. It really is everything you need to know to sell your screenplay. Just go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.

A quick few words about what I am working this week. So, once again, I’m still working on Post-Production of my crime, action, thriller, feature film, “The Pinch.” I’m sick of talking about it, so I know, if you listen to this Podcast regularly, you’re probably sick of hearing me talk about it. So, I think I’m just going to lay off the updates for a while. Not a lot is going on, sort of the day-to-day workings of the project. It is slowly but surely moving forward. Hopefully the next update I’ll either be done, or be very, very, close to being done. So, probably won’t talk about it too much more on the Podcast, until I get to that point. But, I figured I’d give an update kind of let it, let everybody know where I’m at exactly. So, right now, my dialog editor has another couple of weeks-worth of editing on his end. This is obviously very important to distributors, I want to make sure the sound is all good. But, especially the dialog has to be, people have to be able to hear it. So, It’s a very, very, sort of technical process of going through it literally just word-by-word, and making sure that it’s as good as possible. In some cases, he might go into like a word, or a sentence from another take and use that, if it matches up, if it synch’s up, you know, with the actors mouth and stuff. But, just to get the dialog as audible as possible is the coincidence. Like I said, he probably has probably another 2 weeks on that. Once that’s done, then my mixer I brought on a mixer last week. So, then the mixer comes on and he basically goes through all the different sound elements and mixes them together. And this includes the film score that’s sort of the incidental music that you hear throughout. There’s a couple of featured songs that need to be leveled.

And then obviously the dialog this mixer will take with the dialog editor has done. He will take that and put that in a craft, and then all the sound design and his work. Which is all the sound effects, the gun fire, punches, footsteps, and even incidental stuff like doors opening, someone just moved their arm across their shirt. That little rustling sound, that maybe the coat makes, all that is the sound design. And so then the mixer is going to take all these various sound elements and mix them together so that they are leveled properly, and they all sound good together. My mixer seemed to think that it would take him about a month when this all the other stuff was done. So, you know, that’s the two weeks for the dialog editor, assuming he can do his portion in 2 weeks? And then, you know, another month, with the mixer. So, you’re looking at 6, you know, weeks conservatively. Probably it will be a little bit more than that. So, that’s the sound side of things in terms of the actual picture. I’m hoping to go through the color correction final passes. Color Correction is basically done, it’s going back through it one more time and just see if there is any little tweaks we want to make on that. And then I’m also waiting for a few special effects shots to come in as well. But, that stuff is basically winding down and I can probably get that all done next week. So, that will be done before the sound pieces. And once all these visual pieces are done, the color correction and the effects to work with my editor to put all those pieces back into the time line. I don’t think that will take a terribly large amount of time either. But again, all these things are through independent through me, I’m just waiting for everything to kind of come together. At this point I am chomping at the bit to get this thing done. I’m ready to start sending that out into the world. Either to see what type of response I can get? You know, send it to distributors, send it out to film festivals, just kind of see how it’s going to turn out? And then I’m ready to move on to another project as well. So anyway, that’s the update for “The Pinch.” Hopefully the next update will be real close or finished with it.

The other thing I am working on, is my drama thriller TV pilot. I mentioned that a couple of times on the Podcast. I wrote the series probably in July. And in this past August, I went and I wrote the actual pilot episodes. Which ended up being 52 pages. I sent that to the producers Friday. Now I am going to meet with them this week. And they are hopefully going to have over the weekend to have some notes. We’ll sit down and we’re going to just strategize as I am getting the thing actually into production. And then obviously they’ll have probably some notes. So, I’ll probably be writing that over the next new weeks as well. Anyway, that’s what I’m working on.

So now, let’s get into the main segment. Today I’m interviewing writer, W. Bruce Cameron, here is the interview.

 

[05:47]

 

Ashley:  Welcome Bruce to, the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.” I really appreciate you coming on the show and talking with me today.

 

Bruce:  Hey, thanks for having me.

 

Ashley:  So, to start out, maybe you can tell us a little bit about your background, how did you get into writing?

 

 

Bruce:  I have always been a writer. I mean literally when I was a child, I remember that Well, my friends call, one would say things like, the astronaut, baseball players, I wanted to be a novelist. That really didn’t happen for me though, though I wrote 9 unpublished novels, along the course of growing up, having kids, and you know, all that. I really didn’t have any success with anything until many years ago, I started sending out a column. I mean, like called, it was just an internet based newsletter type of thing, a humor column. This was before there was fancy am. So, people were really glad to get Email. Because they didn’t have much Email coming in. And so, it got very popular, and I at one time had 50,000 subscribers, and in 52 countries. And that caught the attention of an agent that I had met locally in Denver. So, it’s where I was living at the time. And she took my columns to the “Rocky Mountain News.” And I, in Denver, and they liked it enough that they hired me as a Columnist. I put in a once a week humor column. It was hardly putting me on the path to riches. But it was fun. And it got me in the habit of making sure that I wrote something every single week. And that was great. So, everything was going well for me. And then one day, I wrote a column called,

“8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.” And that caught the imagination of oh, everybody. And it went all over the world, it was syndicated, it was re-printed in many, many, newspapers. People took it, put their own name on it. It went crazy. And I knew I had some thing there. And this column had done so well. So, I   

 

Ashley:  And that was just to clarify, that was one particular article on under this umbrella of this weekly humor column that you were writing?   

 

Bruce:  Yeah.

 

Ashley:  Is that correct?

 

Bruce:  Yeah. It was just 700 words. We, the agent that I had been working with? We sent,

“8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter” off as a concept to various New York publishers. One of them picked it up. And it was Working Publishing. They came out with a book. And the book was discovered, literally by a producer in Hollywood, who worked for Disney wanted to make a movie out of it. And eventually, we reached a deal, we sold it, I wrote the screenplay that, we didn’t make a movie out of it. Instead, they made a TV show out of it. And so, I moved out here, because of the TV show, out here being Los Angeles California. And that’s how it all got started for me.

 

Ashley:  Okay, a couple of things I want to drill down, on just sort of your over you just gave. You talked about these 9 unpublished novels. Maybe #1 can you tell us what did you do to actually get those published? And why do you think you didn’t have any success with them.

 

Bruce:  A, I never got them published, I think the reason I didn’t have any success with them is? They weren’t very good. I was chasing the market. When I thought the market was wanted international thrillers, I wrote an internationals thriller, even though at that time I had never written anywhere but Mexico and Canada. And I wrote you know, torturously complicated murder mysteries. Because that’s the kind of book I like. But, that’s not the kind of people, book people, most people want to read. So, that didn’t sell. And I was just basically writing and then doing what it said.

One of those like, Writers Digest, or one of those things where it gives you a list of publishers and contact people. So, I’d send it off and in the mail, and it would come back, about 6 months later with a form letter. I thought that’s how professional writers did it. And so, it was quite a long, march until I got to the point where I was doing this humor column, and actually getting readers.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, yeah. So now, let’s talk about the agent that was able to take out

“8 Simple Rules.” How did you meet that agent? Did I hear that you had this agent also? He was on your Email list of this humor Email list. And he helped you get this gig at the newspaper. And then ultimately that was the same person you worked with.

 

Bruce:  Yeah, you got it mostly right. It’s woman, she, she had been a newspaper New York editor and had moved with her husband to the Denver area. I met a fellow writer, at a gym I was on the Stair-Master, next to a woman. Who turned out to write historical novels. And she said, “You should write, and meet my agent.” So I started trying to meet her agent. But, her agent had no intension or interest in me what so ever. But I started leaving voicemails because I got the phone number of this author. Which he probably should not have given me. But I would leave like careful constructed funny voicemails. And eventually the agent would call me back laughing and saying, in your last voicemail was really funny, okay, lets meet. And so, that’s how I got the agent. But it was a, the convention way, not by any means. But, I will note that this being a business relationship, having an agent is really helpful. Writing an agent a letter is to me, just absolutely absurd. And I had tried that for many, many, years. Because that’s what the book said to do. It turns out, you have to meet somebody face-to-face, or your talking to them on the phone. And you have to sell your personality, and get them interested in helping you as a person. You’re careful crafted letter, or Email is probably not going to help you accomplish anything.

 

Ashley:  Let’s talk about your newsletter, just for a second. How did you market this newsletter? Was it just something you initially wrote, some humorous articles, and then you just sent it to your friends, and then your friends, sent it to their friends? Or was there any, like sort of thinking through this is something to try and market and put and push and promote.

 

Bruce:  A, I started out with 7 subscribers, 6 of whom were related to me. Or for me, and then it was just, like, if you like this, pass it on. So, the growth was really slow, I mean, I remember the day that I passed 300 subscribers, and I was just awestruck. Because I had no idea that it was completely. If I had to buy and completely put it into a graph? I think we would have seen like a steady increasing subscription level, until it just blew open. And I was getting subscribers every day. I became like a real list service. And that was pretty fun. It wasn’t making me any money. I had no way to monetize it, but it was a way of getting myself out there.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, yeah. Okay, so lets talk about some of these projects that you’ve worked on. I’d be curious and again, maybe just sort of describe in detail, with “8 Simple Rules” did you already have the book before the, it got turned into a TV show. And correct me if I am wrong? There was also a book, so you had written the book. And the book, was the book successful? Was that part of it, or was it just simply this article, that was one article.

 

Bruce:  No, it was a book, it was a New York Times Best Seller. It was, it did so well, we actually, I was on book tour with actually sold out of books while I was on book tour. Which is both a good and bad position to be in? To say, you’re on TV, I was on TV in Lancing Michigan, where can we get your book? And I said, “No Where, you can’t?” So, that was a, that was kinda fun, that was the start of it. It was just this, the book really caught the imagination in people.

 

Ashley:  Yeah. And how about “For a Dog’s Purpose?” Was that a similar situation, you wrote the book and then. Ultimately the book became popular and that, and how it got turned into a movie.

 

Bruce:  Yeah, I had been writing humor books, and I was very successful with them. But, I still wanted to be a novelist. And my book, I had films to, tried media in New York. My agent at Trident, had said, that the only way to sell a novel would be to write it. So, I wrote,

“A Dog’s Purpose.” And I sent it to him. And he said, “I think I can sell this.” And then he failed to sell it for 2 years. When we finally sold it, it sold for a very small amount, of compare to what I had  been getting in the marketplace with my humor books. And the expectations for it were really low at first. But then, it opened on the New York Times Best Seller List. And that was huge.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, yeah. And so then, take us through that process, of getting that turned into a movie. Once it hits the best sellers list. Do you then start getting quarry’s from agents and producers that want to get the movie rights? How does that process kinda work?

 

Bruce:  Yeah, you know it’s funny? That’s what happened with “8 Simple Rules.” I started getting quarry’s. This didn’t happen with “The Dog’s purpose.” Instead, my wife

Katherine Mashawn, who’s the screenwriter and the director, and actress in Hollywood. Katherine took it to a producer friend of her’s Gavin Palon. And Gavin is a various successful producer, he’s done a lot of TV and some movies, “Zombieland” probably would be the movie I would point to, as being among his best. And he absolutely fell in love with the book. And he took it around with us, because we did the various meeting things. Where you go in, and you

Sit-down, and you pitch out your vision to an executive. And then you leave and a few days later, your agent calls the executive, and says, “What are we going to do, and think?” And you hear back, yes, or no. In this case though, we went to, and pitched it to one place, they clearly didn’t have any interest. Pitched it in another place, they were very interested. And then we went to “Dream Works.” And “Dream works” called Gavin on the phone, immediately upon leaving the meeting, and said, “We want it.” And we want to pre-emptively bid it out. So, they even asked us not to take any more meetings. I guess they were afraid we might get a better offer. He said, well, we already have other meetings set. So, said so, we’re going to take other meetings. But, we did do a deal. And the book was essentially not, they didn’t paper it as one said, for like, several months. But, we had a hand shake deal by the end of the next day. And from that day forward, we were hired to write the screenplay, that was part of the deal. I always insist upon that. If you are an author of books, screenplays are a walk in the park. Screenplays are so much easier than books. So, it’s really easier to write, I’m sorry, wrote the screenplay with my wife, and we turned it in, and they said, “Thank you very much.” And then we didn’t hear from anybody for, and they would say, what’s going on with, “The Dog’s Purpose?” You’re like, eh, you know.

They kept renewing the option on the book, so I knew that they wasn’t dead. But, they weren’t in production, and they didn’t seem like they were going to be. So, for a long time, I think nothing happened, and then, as often happens in this town. I bunch of people were fired and new people around, and new people came in. They took a look at what they had in the shelf to see if there was anything ready to go? And there was this one project, “The Dog’s Purpose.” And they said, this looks like it could be made for not much money, and it might turn out okay. And of course, it turned out, very okay! Working out, it made tons of money, especially overseas. And it is the most successful, in terms of international sales. They most successful live action animal movie that’s ever been released. So, it really did a great job for “Dreamworks.”

 

Ashley:  Yeah, yeah. So, let’s talk about your writing.

 

Bruce:  And in by the way.

 

Ashley:  I’m sorry, say that again? Oh, no doubt, sure. Yeah, yeah. So, let’s talk about your writing process for a second. And I’d be really curious to hear it just in terms of writing a novel. And it sounds like most of your screenwriting has been converting novels, your novels into screenplays. But, how much time do you spend preparing to write, versus outlining. And you can even break that into two answers. You know, one where you’re doing a novel and one where you’re doing a screenplay.

 

Bruce:  Yeah, they’re actually very similar processes. The problem I had with my earlier book, was that I wasn’t outlining. And I kind of was just so eager to get started, that I would just start writing. And what I have now, I have disciplined myself to do? Something that I learned from writing screenplays, is to outline every single thing that I can think of, every scene. The outline will take me weeks to do. Then I will rewrite it. I usually rewrite the outline 3 times before I even start working on the manuscript itself. It is very, very, visual process. Because I have a huge white board, and I write all kinds of stuff, thought bubbles, and questions to myself as I narrow down things that I actually really believe work for me pretty well. I will put them on index cards, and it’s a magnetic board. I’ll put them under the magnets, and then they’ll be floating around in this sea of white-boarding I think. It looks insane when I’m doing the first outlining of a book. Which is what I’ve got by my board right now. It looks like I’m planning. Over time it coalesces, eventually I will sit down I’ve got a database program, where I’ve programed a database where I can type in what I’m doing, and what the theme is and everything creates a different color band. Put the outline back up, I can see very quickly if I’ve lost some themes. If there is a theme in the first act, and all of a sudden it vanishes until the third act. I know that I to come back around and fix that. So, it’s really, it really feels much more mechanical than artistic, it feels like I’m really focused on the details ahead of time, the architecture. But then once I have that going, the actual writing is pretty easy. Because they always know what’s going to happen next. Because it, I can look what I had on the outline.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, and maybe you can dig into that tool that you’ve created a little bit. Like what is that, and what does that look like? What do you have for input boxes. Like, do you have an input form for scenes. Do you have an input form for the whole act, I mean, what does that actually look like? Do you like, type in the theme? You know, what happens in there in that scene?

And then, submit that, and then that’s scene #1. Maybe just talk through that process a little, like that sounds fascinating.

 

Bruce:  Yeah, I mean, I don’t know if it’s that interesting? Every scene has a chapter # or an

act #, and then a scene #, rate in treat automatically, so I don’t have to number them. But I do have to at the end then and go back in. And then if I have scene 1 and scene 2, and I want to put a scene in between them. I can make scene 1.5, and it will sort automatically based on the scene number. And that means I can re-arrange scenes very easily, just by changing the numbers. That’s the first thing that I do. The thing is that every scene has sort of a descriptive title to it, like the top line, you know, like “Wakes up during a house fire.” But then there’s a more descriptive part where I say, you know, smells smoke, wakes up, feels groggy, and falls down and gets up and realizes the house is on fire. Tries to find his wife, and she’s not in bed with him. And he doesn’t understand where she is? Like if I write that, it’ll be like, all that will show up on a next card when I print it that way. And it also shows up in a report if I print it a different way. The theme would probably be danger and his wife’s a murderer. And so they would have different bands of color. So, I would just instantly, even from across the room I can see what the theme is. And you know, I just heard and go from there. It’s one side, once I printed the thing. I can pretty quickly see where there’s some issues with the scenes that need to be re-arranged, or fixed. And sometimes I delete the scenes, and that just means putting and making the scene numbers grow and that gets thrown out by the program when it prints.

 

Ashley:  I see, huh? A lot more interesting when you’re making it out to be. That sounds like a pretty cool tool. And it sounds like it’s very, very, useful. In any event, let’s talk about your sort of routine of writing. What does your day look like, when your, you know, in this mode of outlining, or writing? Do you spend, you know, 8 hours, 9-5 doing it? Do you do it at odd hours. How does your day break down?

 

Bruce:  Yeah, I’m pretty, I’m pretty much into making sure I get exercise I get in, and I stretch, and I ride my bicycle. I don’t actually spend that many hours at the keyboard in a given day. Because I’m physically not up to it, I guess I’m not good at it. I used to, spend 10-12 hours a day, I don’t do that anymore. That’s why I’ll take frequent breaks, working out a screenplay, right now. And so, I’ve taken a break to talk to you. But, I’ll be heading back to it, the second we hang-up. That’s right now, in the handwriting stage where I take a manuscript and I physically ink it. But, I often, so will often print it, ink it, and re-write it, and then go back and print it. Again, that’s kind of a process.

 

Ashley:  Okay. Let’s talk about collaboration for a minute. You collaborated with your wife.

 

Bruce:  Yes,

 

Ashley:  On several screenplays. And that’s my first question? Would you advise people to collaborate with their spouse, or significant other? Has that been a you know, a smooth process?

 

Bruce:  It’s been very smooth, but we get along really well. We think the same way, we have a lot of the same ideas, and feelings about how things should go. So, it really well. We don’t really don’t have much disagreement. And yet we both bring different things, to the whole process.

I think I am probably more about structure and plot, and action. And I think my wife is better at art and character, and scene, seeing the need to have them have feelings, at various junctures. So, you know, it means a great team.

 

Ashley:  Yeah. And what is the logistics of this collaborations? Are you guys physically in the same room? Do you divide up scenes? Do you outline together and then divide up scenes? How does sort of the collaboration work? Just on a logistical level?

 

Bruce:  Ah, the secret to our success is that we, whenever we launch a new project. We say, one of us is in charge. And what that means, really? Is, that person has the veto will power over anything. And that reason we have to do that, that way is? Is that if you got an equal partnership, and there’s a disagreement, there’s no way to go other than dissolving the partnership, right? So, what you have to do is say, okay this project there are several projects that are my projects. And we can disagree, pretty strongly about what a scene should look like, or what should happen. And then I say, okay, but it’s my project, and I’m going to do it this way, and that’s fine. We have the opposite thing going on. Projects that are her projects, where she’s, I say, I think we should do this. And she says, well, I don’t agree, and then that’s that. And because we have that mechanism, we never get hung-up upon the same issue, just stopping us dead, at every conversation. And we do occupy the same room. We pass the drafts back and forth. Generally speaking, only one of us is working on the draft. Which is a writers room where we have the thing in front of us where we’re both sweating blood over every sentence. Is much more, I’m writing it, I hand it to her, she does her notes and her pass and hands it back to me.

 

Ashley:  I see, perfect. Let’s talk about adapting a novel into a screenplay. Which is something you’ve done specifically with some of your novels. Do you have any advice on that?     

 

Bruce:  The advice I had on adaptation is to respect the underlying material. That the biggest problem, that I’m sure you’ve heard many people say this? Well, the movie wasn’t as good as the book. Or, oh the book’s always better than the movie is. Now part of that is, because of the art form. A movie is going to be 90 to 120 minutes long. A book can be you know,

500-600 pages. Obviously, there’s going to be a lot that has to be cut. So, that’s the actually an adaptation is all about. It’s cutting things rather than the making up new stuff. But, you know, every book has a, any book that has a plot and a story, has a movie in there, you look hard enough for it.

 

Ashley:  And I want you to give us a specific example, like, “From a Dog’s Purpose.” Of something that you really liked in the novel. But, for whatever reason you had to cut from the movie, a specific example. Something you cut, and sort of logic of why you cut it.

 

Bruce:  Okay, I guess I can point to something that happens in the movie version. Which is that the dog learns to do search and rescue. And in the book, the handler is shot. And so, the dog gets a new handler, and her name is Mia. And in the movie Mia is a separate person, who has a nothing to do with law enforcement. She works in, at a school. The reason that made sense was that the transition for the dog, from one handler to another. Was the main part of the story about the dog, needing to work for a new handler meant learning a different way of looking at her life. But, in the movie that wasn’t that important.

What we just wanted to reveal, what life was like, for this dog now that she had been born. Which of course, not to give anything away. But, everybody knows about the purpose is about a dog that does never die, it just keeps being reborn.

 

Ashley:  A-huh.

 

Bruce:  So, that was a case of us deciding that we did want them, the Mia character. That we wanted it to be strongly differentiated from the other character, who’s name was Ethan, in the book, sorry his name was Jacob in the book. But a, gosh I can’t even remember what we called him in the movie. But anyway, that was an example of how we did some slight of hand, to make the movie be more-clear to the people sitting in the audience.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, perfect. So, what is next for you? What are you working on right now?

 

Bruce:  Well, we’re trying to, we’ve got, you know, we make independent movies. So, we’re trying to get one over the finish line, fully edited, and get it into distribution. And then, I’ve got a new book that I’ve got working on. And we always have some sort of screenplay project going. I think, either under commission or not, depending on whether or not we were able to sell it. But that’s, we’re always trying to sell screenplay right now. So, that’s the pre-full cup right there. That’s all I pretty much have going on.

 

Ashley:  Sure, so, what’s the best way for people to keep up with what you’re doing? Anything you are comfortable with sharing? Twitter, Facebook, a blog, I’ll gather it all and put it in the show notes. But, if you just want to tell us now, how people can kind of follow along with what you’re up to?   

 

Bruce:  Yeah, the best way is on Facebook, where there is a fan page. Which is –

A Dog’s Purpose Fan Page. And if you go there, you’ll see that there are about 360,000 people. And sharing dog jokes and dog pictures and stories, and it’s a great place to hang out and have something in common with people. Which is people like the book, and they like the movie, and they like dogs.

 

Ashley:  Yeah, yeah, sure. So, I will gather all that and I’ll put that in the show notes. Bruce, I really appreciate your coming on and talking with me today. This is a great interview and I wish you luck with all your current and future projects.

 

Bruce:  Yeah, thanks, Ashley it was great talking to ya.  

 

 

 

Ashley:   A quick plug for the SYS Screenwriting Analysis Service. It’s a really economical way to get a high quality professional evaluation on your screenplay. When you buy a 3-Pack, you get evaluations for just $67.00 per script for feature films, and just $55.00 for tele-plays.

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Turn-around-time is usually just a few days but rarely more than a week. The readers will evaluate your script on six key factors.

 

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Every script will receive a grade of – Pass, Consider, or Recommend, which should help you roughly understand where you script might rank if you were to submit it to a production company or agency. We can provide an analysis on feature films or television scripts. We also do proof reading without any analysis. We will also look at a treatment or outline and give you an analysis, or give you the same analysis that I just talked about on the treatment or synapsis. So, if you are looking to vet some of your projects. This is a great way to do it.

We will also write a log-line and synapsis for you, if you like. You can add this service to an analysis or you can simply purchase service as a stand-alone product.

As a bonus, if your script gets a Recommend, from one of our readers? You get a free Email and Fax Blast to my list of industry contacts. This is the exact same Blast Service I use myself to promote my own scripts. And it is the same service I sell on the website. It’s a great way to get your script into the hands of producers who are looking for new material. So, if you want a professional evaluation of your screenplay at a very reasonable price, check out- www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/consultants, that’s www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/consultants.

On the next episode of the Podcast, I’m going to be interviewing, Screenwriter, and Director, Kia Burrows. He wrote and directed a low-budget sci-fi, thriller, called, “Anti-Matter.” It’s a great example of a micro-budget film. And we go through all the different processes of making this film. How he made a bunch of shorts, and were up to it. So, keep an eye out for that episode next week.

So, to wrap things up, I just want to touch on a few things from today’s interview with Bruce. I get a lot of Emails from book authors. Who think that they think their books would be great movies or TV shows. And they are usually wondering how to get them turned into screenplays? And my advice is always make your book a success. And producers will come to you. I think this is so crucial and it’s you know, it’s really the secret sauce. Listen to the interview that I just did with Bruce, and kind of really track his success to turning his newspaper column into a TV series. Bruce made his newspaper column a success first. And he wasn’t worried about trying to turn it into a TV show. He just tried to make it as good an successful as possible as a newspaper column. And then once he had some success with it. Then his agent was able to parlay that success into a TV show, that’s the missing ingredient.

The missing ingredient is not, he didn’t, he needed to write a TV pilot episode, or a series bible on any number of things. The ingredient was, he had something that was successful. So, it was fairly easy to just take that into a new medium. If you go and spend a ton of time writing a TV script or screenplay, or if you pay someone to convert your novel into a TV script, or screenplay. All your really doing is, putting off the real work that you have ahead of you. And the real work is making your original material a success. Whether that be a newspaper, or a comic book, really anything. Once you have success, and have a reader. Then trying to that success into another reader, is very possible. People have this idea that Hollywood loves book adaptations. Which in some ways is true. But, the books you see, Hollywood adapting. They are books that were hugely successful. And they have a built-in audience. But, just writing a screenplay adaptation from a self-published book that very few people read, to me anyway? That feels like just kind of spinning your wheels. Make your book as a success first, then think about the movie. And this is most of the people listening to this Podcast, other screenwriters. So, I’d like to just turn this around to the opposite. I get a lot of Emails from screenwriters who are thinking about turning their screenplays into novels. And again, I always feel like this is the same basic thought processes someone who has not bee able to figure out how to market their screenplay. So, they think writing a novel might somehow, be easier. And that’s the real problem here, is it’s not any easier to make a novel success, than it is to sell a screenplay. I mean, these are both incredibly hard things. So, just trading one hard thing for another hard thing. I don’t think that really moves the ball down the field at all. So, that’s the thing, Just kind of delaying the work that you have is the real problem with just figuring out how to market and sell your original material. And I understand the feeling that people have that makes them want to do this. I myself am a writer, we’re all writers. So, we feel like actually doing something productive is writing. So, we feel like hey well, if I start writing a novel or starting a screenplay, that’s productive. Putting in my hours, I’m getting being a better writer. But again, if you want to be a novelist or a newspaper columnist, or a comic book artist, or comic book writer. You want to focus on what you’re passionate about. If you want to be a screenwriter, and write screenplays. But, I would really urge you not to get side tracked by trying to jump between mead and medium. This way if you wanted to, if you really, really, want to write screenplays, and pursue that. Then yeah, you’re going to have to put in the hours, you’re going to have to write screenplays, same thing with novel writing. If you are a passionate writer, and you don’t care about medium, than sure try writing novels. But, if you’re just writing the novel in an effort to help your screenwriting career. I think you would be better off writing more screenplays, and trying to figure out how to actually sell those screenplays. I wrote a whole

Blog-post on this exact topic, so I will link to that in the show notes if you like to read a bit more of my thoughts on this topic.

Anyway, that’s the show, thank you for listening

 

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