This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 244: Writer/Director Boaz Yakin Talks About His New Horror Film, Boarding School.
Ashley: Welcome to Episode #244 of the Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter and blogger of the www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today I’m interviewing writer-director Boaz Yakin. He’s had a long career as both a writer and director. He’s directed such films as Remember The Titans with Denzel Washington and Safe with Jason Stratham. He has written a lot of studio films as well like Prince of Persia, Dirty Dancing, Havana Nights, From Dusk Till Dawn 2 and was a co-writer on Now You See Me. He just wrote and directed a new horror film called Boarding School, so we dig in to his career as a whole and specifically into this new horror movie as well. Stay tuned for that interview.
A quick mention from our sponsor, this week’s episode is sponsored by Jim Hart’s Master Class which is taking place on September 29th 2018 here in Los Angeles. Jim was on the SYS Podcast a while back. It’s Episode Number #148. If you wanna know more about him check out that episode. A little bit about the master class, drawing on three decades as a major film industry screenwriter and 20 years leading seminars and workshops around the world, Jim Hart has created a full day immersive experience using the Hart Chart visual story mapping tool to give you hands on experience getting your script production and market ready. To learn more about where to sign up for this go to www.hartchart.com. They’ve been generous enough to give up a coupon code that all SYS listeners can use which will give you a 20% discount.
That coupon code is literally the letters SYS. Again, just use that when you go to the www.hartchart.com and purchase this event and that will give you a 20% discount. I will put the link and the coupon code in the show notes, so if you’re driving or you just can’t remember it just find Episode Number #244 and look in the show notes and you’ll be able to find that link and that coupon code. If you find this episode viable please help me out by giving me a review in iTunes or leaving me a comment on YouTube or retweeting the podcast on Twitter or liking or sharing it on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the podcast so they’re 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 every episode incase you’d rather read the show or look at something later on. You can find all the podcast show notes at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast, and then just look for Episode Number #244. If you want my free guide- How to Sell a Screenplay in Five 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 per week for five weeks along with a bunch of bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screenplay in that guide. I’ll teach you how to write a professional log line and query letter and how to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for material. Really it’s everything you need to know to sell your screenplay. Just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.
A quick few words about what I’m working on. As mentioned over the last couple of weeks I’m in the final stages of getting my crime, thriller feature film, The Pinch out into the world. There was a couple of issues with my film. I put the Selling Your Screenplay logo at the beginning of the film. Basically you know how when films open there’s this sort of like the logos of Universal, MGM or whatever. Well I put my logo ASM Media, my company. There was a couple other producers that has their own company logos, so there’s those three logos and then I just put the Selling Your Screenplay logo in there. Part of the whole purpose of doing The Pinch was as sort of a marketing tool for Selling Your Screenplay so I thought it was perfectly appropriate and I wanted to do this to bring some attention to Selling Your Screenplay.
Now, the aggregator came back to me and they’re basically telling me that iTunes may reject the film because of it. I guess they don’t want…they felt like it was kind of blatant advertising because the logo was literally www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. If you go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com obviously there’re services that I’m selling. So they’re gonna do a submission and kind of see if iTunes is gonna reject that or not but they kind of think that it is. So I’m gonna have to think that through. I’m waiting to hear back on that. I’m torn as I said because a big part of doing this film was to promote the blog and podcast. So this felt like the best way to do that, just to put that logo at the front of it and hopefully people when they watch the movie and like it they will remember that and maybe check out my blog and podcast.
Anyways, I’m waiting to hear back on that and I just have to decide if I wanna remove it or leave it in there but we’ll see. So last week after my writer’s group, a bunch of us went out for some drinks at a local bar. I had a conversation with another writer about how I’ve been able to sell so many scripts. I really think he was asking because he’s put up a bunch of material and other things and he’s as good a writer or maybe even better than myself, but I’ve sold more scripts than him. I think he was just kind of honestly wondering, “Hey, how have you done it?” I think he was hoping to me to give him like a secret or some sort of trick or tip or something like that. But I thought it was something maybe that I could discuss on the podcast here.
I basically told him what I thought and I know people want this magic bullet and unfortunately I can’t give you a magic bullet. I wish I could, I wish there was one out there. I wish someone could give me the magic bullet because I would like to have it as well. But I don’t think that really exists. I guess the reason I’m talking about this on the podcast is because I was surprised by him being so surprised kind of by what I told him. My guess is there’s a ton of people listening to this podcast who will be equally as surprised when I kind of tell you my thoughts on this. You’re probably in the same shoes, a lot of new screenwriters probably find this podcast and there’s probably a lot of people on this podcast, I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are not as good a writer as me.
You’ve got to get the writing up the snuff. You got to get to the point where you’re a competent writer. But I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are as good a writer as me listening to this podcast who probably don’t have as many credits as me and probably they’re interested in hearing the same answer as well. What I told him was very simple. You got to get up every single day and work at it. I’ve written a ton…I think I should probably just sit down and count, but I’ve probably written over 50 feature film scripts at this point, a number of TV show episodes, I don’t know, probably another dozen TV episodes, maybe another dozen shots, probably another dozen or two dozen scripts that I started and never finished.
So you got to get that part right. I’ve done a good bit of writing over the years, so there’s that part. But I’m always out there trying to market my material. It doesn’t sound…like that’s not a magic bullet I know. It doesn’t sound that impressive, but I’ll try anything. I’m just a curious person. I don’t have a problem trying new things out and this is not just words. I’m not just talking about this. I’ve literally tried just about everything out there that you can do to sell a script and I’ve kind of found what I feel works best for me. And then I’ve doubled down on that. And for me, and this isn’t just me plugging my own services. For me that’s been my own email and Fact Plus service. That’s what I’ve used and I’ve used it consistently a lot over the years.
It’s not just one blast. I’ve done dozens if not hundreds of blasts for myself like literally I get new stuff and I blast that stuff out. I don’t always talk about it on the podcast when I do a blast. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Honestly sometimes I just forget that I even do it. I do them so often, sometime I just forget about doing them. I have not done them as much in the last year or two because I’ve been spending so much time on The Pinch, but before that I probably every six weeks, eight weeks, maybe every 12 weeks I was doing a blast for myself. So you got to just kind of understand that it’s a lot of just getting your stuff out there. Again, I’ve tried everything else too. I talk about this in my free guide, if you want that please go check that out www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.
If you read the first sort of the prime or just getting to know my strategy article in that, it’s kind of the same basic thing. I think that’s why I was sort of surprised by his reaction to my response which is I just do a ton of work and that kind of is ultimately what is the result of…you can see my credits and that’s what’s the result. Because I put this stuff out there, I talk about this stuff on the podcast, but I don’t think I make it as big a point as maybe I should. You’ve got to get up every single day and think about, “How am I gonna market my script, how am I gonna get this projects forward?” Again, there’s no magic bullet, there is no just learn this one simple trick and you’ll be there. You got to wake up each and every day and think about it. Just think to yourself, “What am I gonna do today to try and sell a script?”
Every single day consists an effort. Most of the time it’s gonna feel like you’re spinning your wheels and wasting your time, but you’re not. That’s part of the process. Slowly, each one of these tiny little things that you do every day, they’re gonna feel insignificant, they’re gonna feel like a waste of time, but they will add up. It feels like a drop in the bucket. You’re doing this one little thing and it’s just a drop in the bucket. But you know what, it is a drop in the bucket and after 100 days you’ve got 100 drops in your bucket. After 1000 days you’ve got 1000 drops in your bucket. After 2000 days…it builds up. It slowly starts to fill that bucket up and that’s what the secret is. It’s this consistent, persistent effort over many, many years.
I’ve been trying really hard over 20 years now. I’ve been out here in Hollywood for over 20 years. That’s how I’ve sold it. I put a ton of effort into this and I know that’s not what a lot of people wanna hear and I’m sorry for that, but that’s really it. I just try really hard and I’m very persistent. I’m not the greatest writer in the world and I’m not good in networking and I’m not outgoing, I’m not the guy that can just chat people up or anything like that. I just I’m honest with myself, I know what I can do well, I try and stay focused on the things that I’m good at so at least the time I spend on this is as efficient as possible. I heard this once and it really resonated with me.
Someone was talking about sort of the different people, your skills, your talents, what you’re good at. If you try and get good at things that you do not have any aptitude at, you’ll never really be better than mediocre. So there’s some things out there like going to network events, going out shaking hands, chatting people at parties, I’m not good at that. I’ve never had success with that, so I don’t waste my time with that. I’m persistent, I’m pretty technical, I know how to send out a lot of emails, I know how to build email lists. That’s where I’ve kind of spent my time. That’s what you’ve got to do. Part of that process again is just by trying different things and learning what works best for you.
Maybe contests are good for you. Maybe you do well in contests. Maybe you do well on the blacklist. Maybe there’s other things you do, but the only way you’re gonna know is by getting out there and trying those things. So that’s the thing. It’s just persistent, consistent effort. Now, you can look me up on IMDb and check out my credits. I encouraged you to do that so you can see what I’ve actually accomplished. You’ll understand what my resume is all about. To me that’s really the question. It’s not how have I done it. I’ve just worked really hard. The question to me is has it been worth the effort? Is it worth the effort it’s taken me to sell these scripts been worth the rewards?
If I’m completely honest I don’t know the answer to that. The jury is still out on that one. That’s for you to decide for yourself. Is it worth the effort? Now, to bring this back to the podcast and the reason I wanted to talk about this most, talk about this on the podcast was because I was so surprised that he seemed surprised by my answer. He’s listened to I think at least a few of my podcast episodes and we’ve had other conversations in the past. Again, it occurs to me that there’s probably people listening to this that are in his same shoes. I just want it to be super clear. I usually take a few minutes to talk about what I’m working on each week, but what I talk about on the podcast is just a small, tiny fraction of what I’m actually doing each week to move my screenwriting career forward.
So maybe that’s part of the reason why he was so surprised because he thought he had a pretty good understanding of what I was actually doing to sell these scripts because he listened to my podcast episodes and I just kind of mentioned a few things. I don’t want to give that impression that everything I do seems to work. I tend to talk about the things that are sort of a little further along and a little more concrete as opposed to just talking about all of these things that I do that I feel like I’m wasting time or I’m spinning my wheels. It’s a little weird to talk about this, and it’s not because I don’t want to share everything I’m doing. It’s just some of the stuff is so trivial and again, 99% of it as mentioned above, it just feels like a waste of time. It usually doesn’t amount to much of anything.
I feel a little awkward talking about stuff when I kind of know that it’s probably not gonna work out. This is something that I wrestle with a little bit myself. I know that it probably would be helpful to hear some of this. I’m sorry for that. I’m still trying to kind of figure how to handle that. How do I sort of…because I wanna give an honest, full impression of what it takes to sell the scripts that I’ve sold. I think it’s important for people to see this and to kind of understand it. So I thought it would be interesting for me to really sit down and list everything I did last week. Just take one week, a week in my life and talk about everything that I’ve done so that you kind of have an understanding of sort of a baseline, and then you’ll understand each week when you’re listening to this podcast that yeah, I mentioned two or three things.
Sometimes I mention one or two, maybe three things that I did, but that’s nowhere near the full scope of what I actually did. So let me just dig into this and hopefully people will find this interesting. Just again, just to get sort of a sense of the scope of what all I’m doing. So last week I had lunch with my buddie Nate Ives. I’ve had him a couple of times on the podcast. We get together, we’re good friends, we went to college together, we moved out here together, both of our first successes in this business were together as a writing team. So we get together for lunch maybe once a month. We get together, we have sushi and we share our stories. Again, we’re good friends so we’re completely honest with each other about how things are going, ups and downs, failures, successes.
He’s got a horror film that’s coming out called The Basement and it’s actually going through Uncork’d Entertainment. Not 100% sure of this but I think that I was actually the one that during one of these lunches probably mentioned Uncork’d Entertainment to him and I think that’s why he and the other producer then took it to Uncork’d. I’m not 100% sure about that but that’s kind of how this lunches go as we just talk about things back and forth. Sometimes I give him tips that are useful, sometimes he gives me tips that are useful. He’s working on a documentary right now so that’s something I don’t know anything about. It was interesting to kind of hear how he’s doing on that, and then I kind of told him my experiences about Action On Film.
His wife is pregnant, they’re gonna have a baby and we’re good friends. So there’s certainly some of that chat but I would say 60, 70, 80% of our conversations are usually very much geared towards how are these projects going, what are you doing that’s working, what are you doing that’s not working. So again, once a month and it just happened to be last week we got together for sushi. I mentioned this above, my writer’s group, but yeah, Tuesday nights I’m at my screenwriting group, so that’s where I was this past Tuesday and then afterwards…we don’t go out for drinks every week but it’s not a typical to go out for drinks. So last week a bunch of the writers and the actors as well went out for drinks afterward.
Before the group I usually actually go to dinner with my buddie Adam Strange. He is one of the producers who helped me with The Pinch. I met him through this writer group, he’s actually the one who founded this writers group. I’ve kind of taken over the management from him as he’s gotten more into YouTube. He’s creating videos for YouTube and he’s gotten super into the whole YouTube space creating videos for that. That’s been a fascinating story too. He’s a smart guy and he’s committed to it and he’s really…I mean, he’s actually done a great job and built the business through YouTube. It’s not exactly the type of videos that probably either one of us really want to make but after probably a year and a half, maybe two years he’s literally almost to the point where he’s making a fulltime living on YouTube.
That’s been fascinating to kind of hear his firsthand account of how that’s going. Believe me it was not all success. I mean, he was putting videos up, they were getting no views and stuff and just over time I’ve really seen him. His YouTube channel really grow and that’s been interesting. And again I think to myself maybe there’s a way of me fitting that into what I’m doing. So that’s been interesting. So that’s sort of some of the minor things, but the big thing I’m working on right now is my next feature film that I’m going to direct. It’s a low-budget horror slasher mystery. I’ve kind of mentioned it a little bit on the podcast in the past. Again, I get a little bit…and embarrassed is not quite the right word, but I just get a little bit shy about talking about it because I know it could completely collapse and not happen.
I’ve been spending a lot of time on it. I did a full read of the script a couple of weeks ago in my writer’s group, which means I basically presented the entire script, actors on stage, we did a reading, we had all the writers, a bunch of actors in the audience. They gave me a lot of great notes, so then the past couple of weeks since doing this read, I think I did it two weeks ago today or tomorrow because it’s on Tuesday and I’m recording this on a Monday. So it’s literally two weeks ago. So the last two weeks I’ve been taking those notes and rewriting the script. I probably spend about two hours a day doing this, just rewriting the script, taking those notes and this will probably go on for probably several more weeks as I continue to hone the script and try and really get the production ready.
The other big piece to this is not just the script, writing the script, but is trying to raise the money. I’ve started to get some verbal commitments from people who are willing to put in money into this for a whole variety of reasons. That takes a lot of back and forth. It’s a lot of emails, a lot of text messages, a lot of phone calls. I had an actor-producer who uses SYS Select. He emailed me and wanted some low budget horror scripts. I actually had a couple of scripts that were kind of exactly what he was looking for so I emailed him back with those. I said all of this sounds good and then we started to email back and forth. I told him, “Hey, I’ve got some verbal commitments for this slasher film I’m working on so I’m trying to raise money for that.”
He sounded interested in that. Eventually we got on a phone call. So again this was emails back and forth, eventually we probably spent…it wasn’t a huge amount of time, but maybe 30 minutes on a phone call and then some follow up emails just seeing if he had read the material. So that was one thing that I did. If you’ve listened to this podcast for a while I sold a script back in I think it was about November 2013 to a producer just flat out. He didn’t option it, he just bought the script. But he actually never ended up making the film for a variety of reasons, but I’ve kept in touch with him and I pitched him probably four months ago, six months ago…it was a while ago. I pitched him the idea of coming on board as a producer for the slasher project. He does have access to some funding so I know he could bring money to the project.
But again, that took many emails. Last week we were emailing back and forth, texting back and forth and then of course a phone call. Again, not a huge amount of time but getting on the phone, talking through kind of what he was looking for in the project, why he would wanna come on, what I was looking for, is this gonna be a good fit? It seems like the conversation went well so we’re pursuing that. I have another producer I am working with on this project. He is a producer who I met through this podcast, my blog Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. He actually is a producer. He had optioned a couple of scripts and he had one script optioned that he just emailed me out of the blue and said that, “Hey, would you take a look at this script?”
We kind of ended up just talking and just coincidentally he lives very close to where I live so we ended up meeting for lunch after we were talking and I actually pitched him on the idea, “Hey, what about just doing a low budget film?” A lot of the projects he has optioned, they’re pretty big, expensive projects. So I kind of pitched him on, “Hey, we could do this thing super low budget.” I showed him The Pinch, I kind of showed him what I could do on a micro-budget and we’re gonna try and hopefully raise a little bit more money or a lot more money than we did on that one. But he’d sort of come on as a producer on that. I’m going to lunch with him this week, we’re gonna start to really dig into some of the specific nuts and bolts on that.
So again, not a huge amount of time but emails back and forth just to kind of keep the project going back and forth. I also have another producer who I’ve worked with on numerous projects although none of those projects have actually made it into production but I’ve gotten to know him pretty well and pretty good friends with him at this point. He has an investor that might be interested in coming on with the slasher project. So again, more emails back and forth, kind of waiting to hear back from that potential investor. So with all three of these producers, a big part of the conversation is about cast, who we’re gonna get into this movie, how much money we’re gonna be able to raise and then that’s gonna sort of determine what sort of cast we’re gonna get for this project, starting to bounce around some names for the project.
That means me spending a little bit of time on IMDb really just sort of scrolling through IMDb, going through potential names, seeing if there’s some people out there, building this cast list. I spent a little bit of time on that last week. I also spent some time last week sending out further emails to other potential investors. Again, just bouncing things back and forth, just anybody who has sort of invested in one of my films or shown an interest in investing in one of my films. I’m starting to do have some of those conversations and just send out those emails and just see where people are at, see if there’s any interest in them potentially coming on with this project. Again, I just wanna emphasize with this project, the whole thing could go belly up and it could never actually materialize.
I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I think this project, I think some of these verbal commitments are real solid, so I don’t think that’s gonna happen, I’m pretty sure it we might not raise as much money as we’d like but I’m pretty sure we’re gonna be able to raise enough money to go out and shoot this one. So that’s been part of sort of my reluctance to talk about this on the podcast because I know it could just go totally down and then all of these things that I did last week and the weeks before and the weeks before that and the months before that, all that work could basically go down the drain. That’s part of the process. And I’m just not sure, as I said, it’s not that I don’t wanna share. I’m just not quite sure how to handle that on the podcast, just constantly talking about things that end up going nowhere.
I don’t know, but that’s sort of the big thing I’m working on. But wait, there’s more. I emailed with the director, I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago. The film that I wrote, in fact I wrote it with Nate Ives who I had lunch with. It was a script called Josh Taylor’s Prom Date that we recently sold to a producer. They just wrapped shooting it in Pennsylvania in Norway. There’s still some contractual issues that we’re dealing with so I had to email back and forth on that one, just conversations with Nate just kind of figuring out what our next step is on that, what we wanna do with these contractual issues. So that took a little bit of time. I’ve mentioned my kids TV show with Gregory Popovich the Las Vegas performer, not to be confused with the San Antonio Spurs coach. Same name but different people.
A couple of months ago that project ended up kind of petering out so I ended up doing…a couple of months ago I did an email on Facts Plus to my list and I actually got a manager producer interested in helping on that. He seems to like me as a writer, he seems to like the project but he feels like I need to do some more writing on it before be really takes it out to his contacts. And we had been emailing back and forth and we has numerous phone conversations over the last couple of months, but I’ve just gotten on to this slasher film and spending a lot of time on that. So I just haven’t had time to dig into that script and so that rewriting, so I kind of wanted to get back to him and tell him, “Listen, this is kind of the reason I’ve been AWOL on this. I’m really interested in pursuing this, but I’ve just got to put it off for a month.
So again, he’s a smart manager. I definitely need to pursue. He’s given me great notes and I think…like he’s a really smart guy and I really like his notes and I really like just sort of his approach but I just haven’t had time with this slasher film. I just haven’t had time to dig into it, so I felt like I needed to email him and talk to him on the phone. He’s going on vacation for a couple of weeks. So it all worked out and he seems totally cool with me just pushing this back a little bit. But again, it took probably 30, 40, 50 minutes phone call with him last week just talking through sort of our strategy on that particular project and how we’re gonna handle that, the rewrite on that and getting that project ready.
So that was again another thing that I’m working on. A couple of months ago and again I mentioned this on the podcast, a couple of months ago I wrote a kids animated TV show where that same producer who I just mentioned has that one investor that he’s trying to bring on to the slasher project. That same producer he optioned this animated TV Show project. So he sent me the contracts a couple of weeks ago. I then sent them to my lawyer, my lawyer read them last weekend and then so last week I was on the phone with my lawyer just talking through that contract. Again, not a huge amount of time but just talking through the different points on that contract. That is all signed off for but it’s like you’ve got to print the contract out, you got to sign it and then you got to scan it back in.
So it’s not just like a two minute thing, it takes a little bit of time. It’s not a huge thing but just one more thing that I had to do. In addition the same producer, he is the one that hired me last year if you recall I talked about this a little bit on the podcast. He had sort of a drama thriller idea with another producer and they hired me to write that pilot episode. They didn’t pay me a ton of money, they did pay me pretty decently for it but they also promised me some back end if they ever got the project going. They ended up not liking the script that I wrote, is the bottom line. They didn’t like it. They didn’t give me a hard time about it, I never did like endless rewrites. So they basically came to me and said, “Listen, can we just take this project in a new direction and get you to basically just relinquish all of your rights in the back end?”
I have no problem with this, I have a good relationship with this producer and in fact he was the producer that I worked with on the Popovich project and he actually backed out of that and actually gave me the rights to that one. I’m good friends with this producer so we passed those rights back and forth. But again, that was another contract that went to my lawyer, my lawyer wanted to talk about that a little bit and just make sure I understood exactly what I was signing. I did and that’s all cool and that was again printed out, signed it, scanned it and then sent it back to him. Not a huge deal but just one more thing that I did last week. Don’t forget too about all the stuff I’m still dealing with The Pinch.
On sort of a practical level the problem with the trailer was it was a little bit of [inaudible 00:27:08] dialogue. So I had to move the dialogue in one little spot a little bit. That was no issues, but they needed a very specific Codec so that took some emails back and forth and then I had to output the trailer again using this specific Codec. Again, not a huge deal but I’m not like super technical on the editing side so I didn’t quite really even know how to do it so it’s a little bit stumbling around. Again, not a huge deal but I had to output the trailer and then upload it to their server and then I had to go through the QA process and it basically did get through the QA process so that’s good. I think I made probably two or three submissions through SYS Select leads.
Again through SYS Selects there are leads that are coming in every week and sometimes there’s more fits more me than others but I think I made two or three submissions to those SYS Select leads. I also submitted to some InkTip leads. I think I made two or three submissions last week to some of those InkTip leads as well, which frankly is probably a slow week for me through InkTip. I’ve got so many scripts I can usually have something that will fit a lot at their leads. So I would say I probably average four to eight submissions to InkTip each week. I pay for that Thursday email that comes out. Again, I recommend that. That’s something that I think screenwriters should be doing.
They usually have I’d say six to 12 leads per week and as I said I usually submit to maybe four to eight of those leads. And I’m probably forgetting a few things too. There’s tons of small little things that come up and I just do them quickly and forget about them, so there’s probably a whole bunch of other little things that I did this week that I just don’t even remember. Again, through everything I mentioned here was stuff that I did just this week. All this stuff is just this past week. This is a pretty typical week for me. And then multiply that out by 20 plus years of doing it. Think about that for a second and just listen to what I did last week, multiply that out by 20 plus years.
I think if most people really understood the effort I’ve put into this they’d probably frankly be surprised by how few credits I have. Again, it probably begs the question is it worth the effort. I will let you decide for yourself about that. Notice too there was no talk about making any money as a screenwriter last week because literally I made zero dollars as a screenwriter last week, but I still put forth a decent effort. A bunch of phone calls, a bunch of writing, a bunch of rewriting, emails, I’m still trying to move that ball down the field even though I didn’t actually make any money. Here’s the bigger point though, if you listen to this and you’re sort of overwhelmed by how much stuff I did last week and thinking about that, ‘Well, that’s a lot of effort multiplied out by 20 years,” save this podcast and come back and listen to it in six months or a few years.
Because here’s the thing, the people that are succeeding at this, they are not listening to what I just said and they’re at all surprised. They’re listening thinking, “Yeah, that sounds about right.” My buddie Dan Benamor, I’ve had him on the podcast a couple of times, I have lunch with him occasionally and listen to what he’s doing and he’s doing the same stuff I’m doing. I guarantee you, he’s listening to this podcast and he’s thinking, “Yeah, that’s pretty much about how my week was too.” A couple of week ago or maybe now it’s been a couple of months I had the screen writer Rob Tobin talk about his career. He’s doing the same thing. Listen to what he’s been doing. Again, 20 plus years doing this, just persistent, consistent effort.
Lots of very successful writers have come to this show and talked about the struggles they face, spending four, five eight years trying to get a project made. You forget a lot of your failures. When screenwriters come on this podcast, we don’t have hours to talk about the millions of things that they did that failed. We just come on and talk about the successes. So I think people just…it ends up giving this impression that there’s a lot more success than there is failure, and that’s absolutely not the case. For every success there’s probably 99 failures or more. And that’s what you’ve kind of got to understand. If you’re serious about screenwriting you’ve got to get to the point where you listen to what I just said and you think, “Yeah that sounds kind of like my week too.”
That’s the secret. That’s the secret. If you’re listening to this and your week wasn’t as full as mine, you’ve got to start to fill it up. And yeah, I’ve been doing this a while so I have some contacts or so. You may not be optioning a script every week or talking to a producer that you’ve known for years if you don’t know any producers. But just back that up and just…you got to put forth the same amount of effort. You might not be as far along as me, you might not have as many contacts as me, but how are you gonna get those contacts? How are you gonna get to the point where you do have as much experience as me? It’s gonna be that consistent, persistent effort.
And I wanna make one last point which I think is really crucial here. I could see my buddie at the bar last week trying to fall back on some excuses. And this isn’t…I don’t wanna like put him down or anything like that. This is a very natural reaction. His sort of reaction was, “Yeah, but you’ve got this sort of baseline of online businesses that’s supporting you and your family so it gives you the time to do this.” I don’t wanna give that impression either, that’s not my life. Everything I did to move my screenwriting career forward was in addition to my normal day to day work to keep the lights on. There’s all the Selling Your Screenplay stuff, managing all of that, this podcast. There’s the script analysis service, there’s technical things, there’s a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that I’m dealing with.
Selling Your Screenplay, and I have another online business which honestly makes more money that the Selling Your Screenplay or my screenwriting career and I often feel like I’d be better off just [inaudible 00:32:58] SYS and my screenwriting career and really concentrating on that business because I make a lot more money from it for the amount of effort that I put into it. So again, it kind of comes back to the question, is it worth the effort. On that business I have one employee who really does sort of run the day to day operations of that business and that’s great, but managing someone isn’t always that easy either. You’ve got to kind of keep track of what’s going on, you’ve got to keep the business on track.
There is amount of worry, the business is at a certain level and as the business goes down it’s a big worry, it’s something that you’ve got to dig in and figure out what’s going on with that. In fact he’s on vacation this week and next week so I’ve got to jump in and do all the sales and support on that in addition to everything else that I’m doing. So it’s not like I have the luxury of just doing all the screenwriting stuff and have nothing else to worry about. So please, don’t fall back on that trap, coming up with reasons why you can’t do everything that I’m doing. If you really wanted it, you can. It really is that simple. I have a family of two daughters, my wife helps me out with my online businesses so there’s definitely some help there.
But for the most part she’s a stay at home mother, our parents don’t give us money, we’re not independently wealthy. So I’ve got to keep the lights on and that’s part of this too. Everything I’m doing with my screenwriting career is above and beyond all these other stuff of running SYS and these other online business. Now, I do think if you are in a soul sucking career and it’s taking 60, 70, 80 hours a week, that’s obviously a problem and that’s not gonna necessarily be conducive to spending the kind of effort that I’m spending as a screenwriter and I understand that and I get that. I’ve been in those situations and so maybe you have to take a step back and figure out a career path where you can make a living and support your family and have a nice life but also have some time to pursue screenwriting.
That’s definitely been a big part of my trajectory and as I’m doing this podcast you’re seeing me kind of well into that process. But I had terrible jobs, I had jobs I didn’t like. I had jobs that were long hours and I didn’t feel like writing coming home. And so part of I think the first piece of this is getting yourself in a situation so that you do have the time to spend on screenwriting if you’re serious, if you really want to do that. The other big piece of this is that I genuinely enjoy all the work that I’m doing across all the screenwriting, the online businesses that I have, I genuinely enjoy it. I like it, but that wasn’t coincidence and it wasn’t luck. It was spending many years doing jobs I didn’t like and kind of figuring out, okay, how can I be successful?
How can I make a living doing something that I actually enjoy doing and I actually look forward to getting up in the morning and doing? So if you’re listening to this thinking, “Well, there’s no way I could spend this many hours on my screenwriting every week,” maybe it’s time to take a step back. Again, maybe you’re not that serious about screenwriting. That’s totally fine too. Screenwriting isn’t the bill end or you don’t have to be a successful screenwriter, you don’t have to sell scripts to be a happy person, to have a successful life. But if you do wanna be a screenwriter realize that me and most of the other successful people, all the people that are actually kind of doing what I’m doing, selling scripts, getting movies made, they’re pretty much doing what I’m doing.
They’re not listening to all these things I’m doing thinking, “Wow, that guy is really putting a lot of effort.” They’re thinking, “That’s pretty much what I gotta do too.” So just remember, some people might not be as honest as me, but I assure you, everyone with any measure of success is dealing with these same issues, all the up to Spielberg, all the way down to the guy that’s just starting out. It doesn’t matter which level you’re at. It’s just a lot of work and it often feels like you’re spinning wheels, you often feel alone and hopeless, like it’s never gonna go. I always have a problem because I’m doing so many different things I feel like I’m pulled in a million different directions and I never get to really concentrate and really give an A plus effort at any one thing because I’m being pulled in so many different directions.
That’s part of it and that’s…you’re gonna feel like that but just realize that we’re all feeling like that. That’s what separates the winners from the losers. It’s not that we don’t feel like that. We all feel like that. It’s that we push through that step and we just keep plotting on and we keep that sort of consistent persistent level of effort for many, many years and it does add up. I think that’s what you got to do and I think if there’s a magic bullet or if there’s one simple thing you got to do it’s just that consistent, persistent effort over many, many years. Those drops in the bucket will add up. Again, you’ve got to be spending the time on the writing, you’ve got to get your writing u to industry standards, but you’ve got to concentrate on this other piece.
The other piece is the marketing, the networking, the making contacts, getting your stuff out there, getting your scripts in a position where they can actually be sold, actually be produced. Anyway, that’s what I’m working on. So now let’s get into the main segment of the podcast. Today I am interviewing writer-director Boaz Yakin. Here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Boaz to the Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. I really appreciate you coming on the show with me today.
Boaz: Thanks for having me on the show.
Ashley: So to start out, maybe you can tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up and how did you get interested in the entertainment business?
Boaz: Well, my family is a theatrical family. My parents actually had a [inaudible 00:38:57] company when I was growing up and [inaudible 00:38:59] and my father’s a theater director, he directed [inaudible 00:39:05] living in Paris and New York when I was a kid and my mom’s an acting teacher and…actually Stella Edwards, the great Stella Edwards was brought into the country and when I was in high school my dad allowed me to study with her. I took her incredible script interpretation classes which sort of shaped my core perspective on writing even though they were meant to be for actors it really shaped my perspective on writing and on drama and all that. And so it was a very natural kind of progression for me in some way.
There was never any doubt that I was gonna end up in a creative kind of field because I think my parents wouldn’t have known what to do with me if I was a doctor or a lawyer. It was very much quite in my background.
Ashley: So, let’s talk about making that step. You’re around the business, you’re seeing things sort of through your parents. What were some of your first steps to actually turning this into a career? And I guess even to start taking a step back because you’ve done a lot of directing as well, what was sort of your initial interest? Did you wanna be an actor, did you wanna be a director, did you wanna be a writer?
Boaz: Well, when I was very young, it’s a long time ago because now I’m very old, I thought I wanted to be an actor. I actually auditioned for [inaudible 00:40:19] but didn’t get in, for which I’m grateful to this day. I ended up immediately going to college for a couple of years only really which I did a lot of film classes in. I was at City College for a year and then at NYU. When I was at the NYU one of my teachers gave this course in how you get into the movie business and I heard all the stuff about being an intern and all this kind of stuff. I literally grabbed him and asked him, “Dude, what do you do to be a movie director? I don’t wanna hear about all this intern stuff.” He took me to lunch and he was like, a lot of directors start out as writers who write their own scripts.
This is back in the ‘80s by the way. I was like, “Fine, got it. I think I can do that,” because in a lot of ways I was so horrified of the thought of actual work. It’s always terrified me, like just a job…a regular job. So that really motivated me and I wrote a script in my spare time while l was at NYU and through my dad’s friends who knew a guy who knew a guy I ended up selling it and I ended up never finishing school and moving out to Los Angeles at like 19 years old and becoming a professional writer right away. It was certainly a time just a couple of years before everyone and their grandmother decided they wanted to write screenplays. It wasn’t this widespread. You could still get into film school without the greatest grades and all that kind of thing.
The script that I sold at the time would never get sold today. It wasn’t sophisticated enough. So I kind of broke in at a time when I think people were more open and looking for young talent in a way that I think now is actually more tricky. But yeah, that’s how I got into it.
Ashley: Okay yeah, perfect. And so maybe you can talk about just for a second on IMDb your first writing credit is The Punisher. Maybe you can talk about sort of going from selling that spec script which you just described, maybe you got an agent, a manager, and then how did you actually get to that first writing assignment on The Punisher?
Boaz: Well, that wasn’t my first writing assignment. That was the first movie that actually got produced from something that I wrote. I probably wrote five or six things before that got produced. And then that got produced when I was about 23 or so. But that first script never got produced. They got me an agent and got some writing jobs then I started making some money as a young person and then I actually…this was before everyone was making comic book movies, I actually liked comic books at the time and I thought that The Punisher would make a great movie, because in those days if you don’t remember…they were doing all those revenge action sort of movies that were like the big thing that people were doing in the ‘80s.
And so I pitched The Punisher idea to a producer I knew and they kind of got rolling from there. It was pretty severely rewritten by the producer, I can’t take much pleasure in it some ways, but hey, it was my first producer credit.
Ashley: Yeah, sure. Okay, so let’s talk about the transition. So then in 1994 you wrote and directed the movie Fresh. How did you make the transition from writer to write-director? Were you out there pitching yourself as a director this whole time, did you do some shots to showcase yourself as a director? Maybe talk about that process a little bit.
Boaz: Well, this is before the indies movie boom in a way, but basically this is what happened. I had been writing screenplays, I’d wanted to be a director and I was trying to write scripts to get into a place where I was directing films and it wasn’t quite happening, and so I got very disillusioned with Hollywood very quickly I have to say. So at like 24 or so I actually left them. I thought I was gonna quit the movie business and then I moved to Paris to try and write books and stuff. While I was there, one of my best friends who’s Laurence Bender, another one of my friends Scott Spiegel who came up with Quentin Tarantino and they went and made Reservoir Dogs. And so I was away. I was like thinking I was not gonna be in the movie business anymore.
And while I was away Laurence produced Reservoir Dogs and it got all this attention and when I came back to the States Laurence was like, “Boaz, I’m now in a position that if you write something that we can make for a low enough budget I can get it produced.” And I was like, “Okay…” So he pulled me back in and I ended up writing the screenplay for Fresh which was the first film I directed, and Laurence and I managed to pull together financing for that. But it was really Laurence getting into the position that he got in that enabled me to make my first movie.
Ashley: Yeah, and I just wanna get your take on what you sort of said with The Punisher is that it got rewritten by the producer and stuff. Maybe you can talk about that a little bit. Just as a writer, how do you deal with that? And if you found that to be a much better experience when you’re writing and directing, are you able to kind of keep your vision in place?
Boaz: Well, you know, when I was younger I found it very hurtful. Now when I write a studio assignment, I pray someone else is going to rewrite it because that means the movie has a small chance of getting made, right? There is almost no movie that is studio made that isn’t written by three or four people. So the minute they hire somebody…I’ve been hired to rewrite other people. But when I was younger really I took it very hard when people rewrote my material. To me I now have a completely for years even now, it’s like two completely different games. There’s making an independent film based in a script that you write and that’s gonna be your project and your collaborators and if it’s made for a low enough budget you have the freedom and the ability to tell a story the way you wanna tell it.
The minute you’re getting paid by a studio or by a financer or making a bigger budget in a “commercial movie” that is completely out the window whether as a director or as a writer you are basically part of a machine. I’ve spent a lot of time eating myself up emotionally when I really didn’t need to be because of that experience. So as a screenwriter, if you’re just going in on it as a writer, you have to fully expect that if you’re gonna have any level of success that people are gonna be rewriting your work 24/7. I don’t care anymore. It doesn’t mean anything to me. But I approach those types of projects with a completely different state of mind than I do when I’m writing something “for myself”, whatever that means.
Ashley: Yeah, sure. Let’s just talk quickly about some of the sequels that you’ve done. You wrote Dirty Dancing 2 to Havana Nights, Dusk Till Dawn 2. Those are based on sort of iconic movies. Maybe you can talk about how you approach those films, paying homage to the original but still giving them something original and unique as well.
Boaz: Well look, one of them was just a story, like when you talk about Dusk Till Dawn 2, that was literally me on the phone with a friend for an hour saying, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if this happened [laughs]?” And then you get a scene and then they went off and wrote this script. I had nothing to do with it really. Each one of these films, these jobs that you get a credit for like Prince of Persia that I have a credit on had already four drafts written before I got on. I added some important ideas I guess, and then it was two or three other writers that came on. I would say that there’s probably not a word of it that’s still anything I wrote. Again, when you’re doing more commercial stuff and these kinds of projects, you’re part of a factory and you contribute whatever idea and whatever kind of stuff that you’ve got and then hopefully you can make a little bit of money or a lot of money and move on.
So you know, Dirty Dancing 2 a friend of mine was making the sequel and another friend of mine had a script about her life growing up in Havana, Cuba that I thought could make a good sequel for Dirty…he was like, “Do you have any ideas for Dirty Dancing 2 and I was like, “You know what, I think her story would make a pretty good version of it.” And so they hired me and in fact what they did to the movie was ridiculous finally in terms of how it was cast and all that. But you sort of take what you’re given and try and do your best with it in those circumstances. The truth is in order to make independent films you have to try and do the other thing to make the money that enables you to do this.
I put my own money into Boarding School although it had financing. I just financed a new film entirely. The new movie I just made that I just finished shooting which probably the most experimental and interesting movie I have ever made, I financed it with money that I made 20 years later from a movie I did called The Uptown Girls that kind of came in surprisingly last year, 15 years after I made the movie. It’s like making the Hollywood stuff if you care about any independent films, which a lot of people lose their interest in it once they’re making more money I suppose. But for me it’s my first love, I’m not really interested in the other types of films other than as a way to sort of keep my hands in so to speak and make enough money to be able to do these things and still feed myself. And so it’s a different approach.
Ashley: Yeah. I’m curious too, and have you made an effort to not get pigeon-holed as a writer? You’ve had a very varied career and that’s always something you see with writers is they get known as sort of the horror guy or the thriller guy or the docudrama guy. You’ve written in a lot of different genres. Has that been a conscious choice or you’ve just gone after projects that you felt were interesting?
Boaz: On a business level it’s kind of hurt me. I guess I have a restless kind of mind and I’m always interested in an exploring new things. So for me it’s just, it hadn’t even been that conscious like I wanna do different genres, but I do like different kinds of stories and hey, I wanna try comedy, hey I wanna try an adventure, hey, I wanna try a thriller, I wanna try an experimental film. But in terms of someone’s ability to sell themselves professionally, it actually ends up biting you in the ass because like in LA people who will hire you wanna know what “brand” is. It’s all about branding. So if you wanna get jobs rewriting movies or writing scripts and so on and you’re a successful thriller writer, well, you can get jobs writing thrillers, you know what I mean?
Whereas if you are someone…they’d go like, “Who is this person? He’s doing an independent film, he did a sports movie, now he keeps coming with a western, now he’s doing…” People don’t know what to make of you so they’re gonna hire someone that feels like a safer, more predictable choice. So whatever my inclinations have been to vary and keep exploring and all that, it’s been interesting for me but on a professional level actually sometimes it’s a little bit harmful, or a lot.
Ashley: Okay, that’s an interesting take on that. Okay, so let’s dig into your latest film Boarding School. Maybe to start out you can give us a quick pitch or a logline for that film. What is Boarding School all about?
Boaz: Oh geez, a quick pitch is always hard to do [laughs]. What is Boarding School about? Boarding School is about embracing the things in yourself that you think make you weak, but actually make you strong. That’s what I think Boarding School is about. It’s about exploring and embracing in this case, the feminine side inside the masculine and the ethnicity that one might feel is shameful or weak. It’s about embracing those things and by embracing those things being able to overcome adversity. It’s told through the personage of a 12 year old Jewish boy living in New York who learns that his recently deceased grandmother possibly did something pretty horrifying to survive World War 2 and ends up kind of becoming infatuated with her clothes, with her persona to a certain degree and ends up getting sent to this bizarre boarding school in the middle of nowhere where he has to ultimately survive what the situation is. It’s an odd in it’s own way but I was interested and enjoyed making it for sure.
Ashley: So where did this idea come from? What’s sort of the genesis of this idea?
Boaz: I find that ideas sort of come together from different places. Like this is a theme, I knew I wanted to explore, like what shape it takes and all that kind of is from like bits and pieces of different things. I’m not really sure exactly what the genesis of this is. I know that I have been…then in the new film I’m doing right now deals very much more exclusively with the sort of masculine, feminine split in it. I think that that’s something that I’ve been struggling with and kind of trying to explore creatively for a while in scripts that haven’t gotten made and so on, and Boarding School was definitely an opportunity to do that.
Ashley: So let’s talk about your writing process for a little bit. Where do you typically write when you’re writing?
Boaz: Oh gosh, at a desk in whatever room I happen to be staying in at that time. And I’m pretty regular. I mean, I like to get up in the morning and write probably between like 7.30 in the morning and maybe noon or 1.00pm every day when I’m writing. It’s a pretty regular type of thing. But then there’s big periods of time where I’m not writing anything.
Ashley: How much time do you spend preparing to write sort of in that outlining index card stage versus actually opening up final draft and writing scene description and dialogue?
Boaz: It depends on the movie. I used to do a tremendous amount of research and preparation. I used to do months of research and then write the script fairly quickly. Maybe write the first draft in about six weeks or something. I have zero patience for that type of research. Getting to all of that…nothing seems worth it to me on that regard. So once I have the idea I tend to just start making it up as I go to the last years. For better or worse by the way, I just don’t have the patience for all that stuff anymore. But that being said, after 30 years of doing this the kind of cards and structure and all that is so engrained in my brain that I literally have cards in my head while I’m writing without having to put them down, if you know what I mean.
It is something that I did for years and years and years and that even when I’m doing something completely experimental jumping back and forth in time and da da da, it still seems to naturally have this kind of structure and order that I have sort of ingested and kind of expressed over the years. So I don’t tend to do the cards and too much structure any more. I write everything by hand because if I try and put it directly onto the computer I think it turns out really badly. I am a different generation than a lot of people, so I started out by writing by hand and I find it like when you write directly on the computer because it’s all formatted and looks good you think it’s good, so you’re like, “Hey, it looks like a script.”
Whereas I think when you write by hand and it’s a bit messy and you have your little notes in the margins, it still feels like more of a process and it enables you to be a little more objective and to do a little bit more work. So I always make sure to like, even if I’m not gonna write the whole script by hand and then copy it, I’ll write a few scenes by hand and kind of go over them and then put them in the computer. I do write everything by hand before I put it in a computer.
Ashley: So maybe we can use Boarding School as kind of an example for this next question. How do you know when a script is ready to show to other people?
Boaz: Well, I think every person has to have their own internal meter for that. I write that first draft…one thing with I’ve learnt at least with scriptwriting, I may do it too much to one extreme but people that I think spend too much time writing a draft and another and, “I’m not ready, I need to go over it again,” a lot of times those people never do anything with their stuff. I’m really trying to just like write that first draft, go over it, look at a few things that I feel I messed up or whatever and then show it to the few people that I trust like boom, instantly. Like make it a reality and if it doesn’t work or if it’s not working well then do a few fixes or move on to the next one. I don’t really believe in…for me, not for other people, but I don’t believe in hashing over something too much.
Especially if you’re trying to get something made or whatever, at a certain point life’s too short and you just don’t wanna spend that much time on one thing in my opinion. So I’ll write something and pretty much as soon as that draft is done I will show it. And then I tend to make a few key changes or fixes and then either make it or not make it. Like I don’t believe in rewriting too extensively. And whether that makes the movie worse or better I kind of don’t really care, you know what I mean? It’s not about that, it’s about having an experience of life that I am cool with. So I do believe in rewriting but to a certain point. It does come to a certain point where it’s just not worth it anymore.
Ashley: Yeah. So talk about the trusted readers for a minute. You said you give it out to trusted readers. Maybe talk about that. And you don’t necessarily have to name names, but just in general, who are these trusted readers? Are they other writers, directors, producers? And then what do you do with those notes when you get them back?
Boaz: Well, I’ve developed certain friendships over the years, so I’ll have filmmakers, parents, my friends, ex-wife is my best friend…you have your few people. And then also depending on what the subject of the movie is there’re certain people that you know are gonna be more helpful to you in that regard, like there’s friends that I have that are like great friends if you’re writing an action movie to give you notes. But if you’re writing a comedy or a drama, not so interesting what they have to say, you know what I’m saying. I think you sort of figure out what you’ve just written and who are the people who’s creative bent is most aligned with what you just did.
And then basically I think the important thing is when you’re listening to criticism on notes is which of these notes basically approach what you were trying to do but didn’t get across. I think what’s hard for people and me too, but I’m at the point where I guess I’ve done this enough. But what’s hard is that the minute you show things to people, everyone’s bringing their own life and creativity or ideas into what you’ve written. Their own prejudices or likes or dislikes. So there’re certain things that you show people and it’s just not their cup of tea or they have some idea about it and it’s not about what you were trying to get across. But if you show your script to three or four or five people that you find that you trust. Sometimes it’s your agent…
These people are smart and they know what they’re saying when they read things even if they don’t connect to what you’re doing. To me what’s interesting is to listen to know what you were trying to get across and to listen to where it didn’t come across and then adjust it for that reason. And now this I’m talking about for stuff that’s more personal as opposed to just the stuff you’re trying to sell. I mean, the stuff you’re trying to sell, that’s a whole different process. That’s like, you show it to people who know how to sell things and when they tell you that it’s not gonna sell chances are it ain’t gonna sell. I’m talking about work that’s more like for you to direct or to try and put together.
Ashley: Yeah now, just going back to some of your studio work as a screenwriter, I’m curious. When you’re in those development meetings and people give you what you consider to be really terrible notes, how do you handle that?
Boaz: Look, I do it so infrequently is the truth. I can’t even remember the last time I was in one of these meetings. I should do it more to make more money. I do it sometimes, I did last year a couple and I got some notes that I…you know, it’s always frustrating. The difference is that at this point I recognize that that is a job. When I was younger I found it very difficult to deal with. Now I go, “Okay, it’s a job. What do you want?” I don’t really have a strong emotional connection to that kind of stuff. I’m basically doing it and I’m trying to do the best that I can and you want it like this, great. You want it like that, okay, I’m not into it but fine, I’ll try or I’ll step off and say, “You take it and go.”
I think to be a professional screenwriter, it’s very, very important to understand that your work is just like part of this machine and that to get to it parts to it is basically foolish. It’s useless. But look, I mean, I’m setting meetings as a director on studio films as many as five years…five years or whatever and had to listen to notes that I couldn’t stand and sometimes you feel like you know, you lose your temper, your head’s gonna explode even though you’re working for other people. It’s not challenging, and hey, they may be right you may be wrong but it’s still not a great process. I mean, the great thing about independent films, a truly independent film when you’re making it for very low budget like the movies that I’ve just been doing recently is that you don’t have those people breathing down your neck and for better or worse you get to make the movies the way you wanna make them.
Ashley: For sure. So how can people see Boarding School, do you know what the release schedule is gonna be like?
Boaz: Yeah, it comes out on August 29th day-and-date. So that means it’s gonna be streaming everywhere. It’s playing in like 10 theaters but I really think the way people are gonna be able to see it is streaming. It’s gonna be on iTunes and I donno, all those things. It comes out on August 29th.
Ashley: Sure. Okay, perfect. And what’s the best way for people to keep up with what you’re doing, Twitter, Facebook, a blog, anything you’re comfortable sharing?
Boaz: I don’t really do any of that stuff. I have a website I guess but I don’t think it’s been updated for five years [laughs]. I don’t even know when the last…three years or four, I don’t know. I don’t even know what’s on it at this point. I’m really not up to date on that stuff.
Ashley: No worries, I’ll link to your IMDb page so people can kind of follow along with what you’re doing there. So well Boaz, I really appreciate you coming on and talking with me. Congratulations on getting this film done and I look forward to hearing about your next film.
Boaz: Thank you. Thanks for your interest man, thank you.
Ashley: Thank you, will talk to you later.
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Every script will get a grade of pass, consider or recommend, which should help you roughly understand where your script might rank if you were to submit it to a production company or agency. We can provide an analysis on features or television scripts. We also do proofreading without any analysis. We will also look at a treatment or outline and give you the same analysis on it. So if you’re looking to vet some of your project ideas, this is a great way to do it. We will also write you a log line and synopsis for you. You can add this log line and synopsis writing service to an analysis, or you can simply purchase this service as standalone product. As a bonus if your screenplay gets a recommend or a consider from one of our readers, you get to list the screenplay in the SYS Select database which is a database for producers to find screenplays and a big part of our SYS Select program.
Producers are in the data base searching for material on a daily basis so it’s another great way to get your material in front of them. As a further bonus, if your script gets a recommend or consider from one of our readers, your screenplay will get included in our monthly Best Of newsletter. Each month we send out a newsletter that highlights the best screenplays that have come through our script analysis service. This is a monthly newsletter goes out to our list of over 400 producers who are actively looking for material. So again this is another great way to get your material out there. So if you want a professional evaluation of your screenplay at a very reasonable price, check out www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/consultants.
On the next episode of the podcast I’m gonna be interviewing writer Erik Bork. He was a writer and one of the creators of the HPO show Band of Brothers. I had him on in Episode Number #82 so check that out if you wanna get a feel for his background. He just finished a book on screenwriting so we dig into some real screenwriting fundamentals in that interview. So keep an eye out for that episode next week. Anyway, that’s the show, thank you for listening.