This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 015: An Interview With Screenwriter Doug Richardson


Welcome to the Selling Your Screenplay podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter and blogger, over at In this episode’s main segment I’m going to be interviewing screenwriter and novelist, Doug Richardson. He’s written some big action movies including Diehard Two, Bad Boys and Money Train among many others. He’s got some great stories about breaking in and working in the business. The way he broke in is pretty straightforward, and although he broke in many years ago, what he did could work today just as much as it did back then. So pay special attention to that. If you find this episode valuable, please help me out by giving me a review in ITunes or if you’re watching this on YouTube, please give it a like and leave a comment. I want to improve this podcast with some honest constructive feedback. It’s very much appreciated. Please also share these podcast episodes with anyone who you think could get some value out of them.


I’d like to thank Chuck Kinehan who left me a nice review in ITunes. Thanks Chuck, and I’d like to thank the folks who left me some nice comments over on YouTube too. Thank you, Carla McNeese, Alex Fielding, Leon Brumby, and Constance Nun. Thanks to everyone who left a comment. It is very much appreciated.


A couple of quick notes. Any websites or links that I mention in the podcast can be found on my blog and the show notes. I also publish a transcript with every episode in case you’d rather read the show or look at something later on. You can find all the podcasts show notes at Also, if you want my free guide, “How to Sell a Screenplay in five weeks,” you can pick that up by going to 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, how to write a professional log line inquiry letter, how to find agents, managers, and producers who are looking for material. It really is everything you need to know to sell your screenplay. Just go to


A quick few words about what I’m currently working on. I mentioned my one location female protagonist sexy thriller screenplay before. Last November I optioned it to a producer. It was basically a free 90-day option with the understanding that if she could find a director she liked for the project, she would more formally option the script and pay me some money for the option. Well, it looks like that’s actually moving forward. It ended up being a free five-month option, but she has found a good director for the project. This is pretty typical of the sorts of projects that I get involved in. There is a lot of waiting around and wondering if anything is ever going to materialize. The producer is very good and has some solid credits so I’m glad things are progressing.


Now, though, the real waiting game begins as she goes out and tries to raise the money. That’s the real tough part about independent film-making, and the process can take a long time, sometimes many, many years. So I’ve got my fingers crossed. She said she was going to make a more formal announcement about the project so hopefully I’ll be able to announce that in the next episode.


Also, I’m almost done with my low-budget horror thriller screenplay. I actually feel like this is—might be one of the most, if not the most marketable screenplays I’ve ever written so I have high hopes for it. I’m presenting the screenplay to my writers group April 15. So after that, I should have some good notes and be able to make the final tweaks to the screenplay and blast out towards the end of April. Wish me luck on that.


So now, let’s get into the main segment. Today I’m talking with screenwriter and novelist, Doug Richardson. He’s very open about his experiences breaking in and then working as a screenwriter so it’s a fascinating interview. Here it is.


Ashley Meyers:                Welcome, Doug, to the Selling Your Screenplay podcast. I really appreciate your coming on the show.


Doug Richardson:             I really appreciate being here.


Ashley Meyers:                So to start out, I wonder if you can just give us a quick overview of your screenwriting background, how you got into the entertainment business, and just some of your career accomplishments.


Doug Richardson:             Wow! That’s just—you know—such a broad question, but how I got into it, the age-old story, movie brat, little kid. Loved movies—you know—would watch them wherever I’d go, sneak away to my local mall and skip the between theaters. I’d cut school essentially and go watch movies. That was before DVD’s, video and stuff like that. That’s how I got into loving movies. I wanted to make movies. I went to film school; that’s an old story, and after film school I began to write my way to directing. Most of the directors I really admired—or at least many of them—had written before, and I thought that would be the best way to direct so I began writing and essentially became a writer and decided not to be a director so that’s the story, and there’s nothing really sexual or romantic about it. The writing kind of stuck, and I liked it.


Ashley Meyers:                So I wonder if you could maybe dig in a little bit as far as the specifics? So you were in film school; you wrote a couple spec scripts. What was it like literally the logistics of getting that first break, getting that first agent, getting that first writing assignment?


Doug Richardson:             The logistics of it were—you know—out of film school, you know, I did the starving artist thing and worked odd jobs.


Ashley Meyers:                Was the film school in LA so you were in LA for this?


Doug Richardson:             I went to USC back when it was—before it was the film school palace that it is today. We were in those Quonset huts. I was in the school that George Lucas went to. There were these little tiny Quonset huts and this run-down little corner of the campus. But anyway, went to film school, got out of film school. I worked odd jobs, anything I could do to pay the rent and to maximize my time—you know—at screenwriting and developed and wrote quite a number of spec scripts and then with those went out and hustled an agent, and when I hustled an agent back then—I think it’s a bit different now—as the writing guild used to have this as you entered the door of the writers’ guild, there was a reception desk. To the right they had this one-inch thick pile of Xeroxes essentially that listed the agents, all the agents that were signatory we (not understood 0:07:30.7) WGA, and pretty much that’s what they did because there were so many people that walked in every day and asked them about getting an agent and the receptionist would just point to the island and grab that paper and leave. So I had that piece of paper; that piece of paper was double-sided, printed with agents on both sides. The agents were divided by these asterisks, some with asterisks after their names, others did not. The ones with asterisks, I believe, there was a little note at the bottom that said, “These agents do not accept unsolicited material.” Or they were the agents that did accept unsolicited material. They were the smaller group of agents. Most of the agents on there did not accept unsolicited material, but, good news for me. Each of these agents no matter if they accepted unsolicited material or not had a telephone number. I decided at that point that, at least my guess was, most of the agents that didn’t accept unsolicited material were probably the better agents so I focused entirely on calling them instead of the ones that did accept unsolicited material, and I gathered whatever boyish charm that I had and called every damned one of them. And there were over a hundred or so and would do my best to keep whomever I could on the line until either they’d agree to read my script as a way of getting me off the phone or they agreed to read my script because I showed them something, and they said send us your screenplay. (not understood 0:09:45.8).


Ashley Meyer:  Sure.


Doug Richardson:             Send us your screenplay in a self-addressed stamped envelope, and we will read it.


Ashley Meyer:  I remember those two, believe me.


Doug Richardson:             Yeah, okay. They gave me their addresses where to send them and, once again, I said I now want to put a date with (not understood 0:10:07.4) so I hand-delivered the scripts. Also, frankly, you know what? I couldn’t afford the postage so it was cheaper for me to drive around in my little pugmobile. So what I did was I convinced 15 to 20 agents to read my stuff, hand-delivered each and every one, tried to stick around the office as long as I could so they could get a look at my handle, get a read on me.


Ashley Meyers:                Were you able to get past the receptionists and actually talk to the agents when you showed up with your script?


Doug Richardson:             No. I wasn’t. They were small agencies some of them, some of them mom and pop, some a little bit (not understood 0:10:52.4) and it wasn’t able to get past the receptionist, the distance between the receptionist and the agent’s door was very short and the door was often open. I made my (not understood 0:11:12.3 if the agent would be on the phone, but if he wasn’t on the phone, I would make myself known. (Nice to meet you, please read my material. Thank you for reading them.” And I was on my way. And I got five calls of people who wanted to sign me after that because in the end, your scripts have got to say something. And there was at least enough there in my writing that made them want to either have a second meeting and/or sign me. And that’s how I got my first agent.


Ashley Meyer:  Perfect. So, yeah, a couple questions about that. First off, I think that method actually still really works. I think nowadays—I’ve never been good at cold calling or sales, and I actually hired someone to do some cold calls for me and they actually did. It was amazing what kind of percentage they can get in so I actually think cold calling is a great thing because nowadays everything just thinks, “oh, I’ll send an email.” And they think that’s enough, and I think if someone had the salesmanship to do cold calls, it is actually still a very, very effective way to do it.


Doug Richardson:             It is still always better to interface with people personally if you possibly can. I mean, I will always try and have—I don’t like phone pitching. I mean, I check certain kinds of conference calls for projects are down the line, but it’s always better to be in the room with someone. So much more gets accomplished, and there is so much more in—you know—in that unspoken body language between people that tells you what they’re hearing from you, tells them what you’re giving off. So, whatever you do, I always tell people to please find a way to meet them.


Ashley Meyer:  Yeah, absolutely.


Doug Richardson:             Know that you are a human being, not someone hiding behind a social media account.


Ashley Meyer:  So, a couple questions about the pitching. You mentioned you had written many specs at this time. Did you have one that you thought was your best so you pitched that one spec to all hundreds of these agents or did you have a couple different ones you were pitching.


Doug Richardson:             I just said hi, this is who I am. I just went to this school; it probably doesn’t mean a hill of beans to you, but I’ve written a couple of screenplays. I would like you to read one of them—you know—and I think they’re really good. I don’t remember specifically what I said or how I said it. It was obviously


Ashley Meyer:  Off the cuff.


Doug Richardson:             Kind of the kitchen sink approach just to keep them on the phone to the point where I could get them to agree to read it. At that point I wasn’t pitching any story. They weren’t saying what is the script, and thank God, by the way, they didn’t ask me to tell them the story, not that the stories were bad, I hadn’t a clue how to pitch, and that was something I had to learn.


Ashley Meyer:  Do you remember just roughly how many specs had you written because that’s always something I feel like a lot of new writers, they’ve written one script and they’re like ready to go out and start pitching. And I’m like, “Maybe you should get a couple more scripts under your belt.” How many scripts do you think you had written before you started really actively pitching, I mean roughly?


Doug Richardson:             I think I’ve written three specs.


Ashley Meyers:                Okay, Okay.


Doug Richardson:             At that time I needed more than just one script, and it wasn’t like I needed three different genres. I think they just needed to see I wasn’t a one-trick pony.


Ashley Meyer:  Okay. So you have five agents that would like to sign you, and then how did you decide which of the five to go with.


Doug Richardson:             I met with all of them, and I actually had no clue which one to go with so I sought advice with an old friend who had some show biz knowledge and was a guy who was a commercial artist, but he was an artist who really knew, who understood anything about show biz. I knew he got with the (not understood 0:16:02.2) before. And he was just very simple. He said, “who sounded the most interested in you?” And who was the first to call you because most likely they’re the ones who liked you the most, who were the hungriest. That was this old guy named Harry Bloom who was an old MCAH who had a little one-man and his wife boutique office on Sunset Boulevard. And he had repped a few people in his day—you know—kind of showed the door but sort of refusing to leave and enough people to sort of—you know—get a kid in the room. He was a great character when I sat down with him. First of all, he apologized for the Sunset Boulevard office because he wanted to tell me about his former Century City office, this little old Jewish agent, sweetest, sweetest guy and he sat behind the desk. He said, “You know what was great about that Century City office,” and I said “what?” And he said, “on one corner there was Bank of America, and on the other corner there was a Wells Fargo, and then on another corner there was this bank.” And I think he thought that was going to impress me; I always thought it was weird. But there was something strange about it that I thought was really, really cool and based on my friend’s advice. He definitely was the most interested in signing me which means he was the one who was going to be the most interested in then doing something with me. So I made the right choice.


Ashley Meyer:  So I assume you’re not still with him?


Doug Richardson:             No. Unfortunately—and I still have a blog that your listeners should go to—I write a weekly blog. It’s not an advice column as much as it’s just my adventures in the screen trade, my own version of it, my (not understood 0:18:32.2) tales, all of which are true and some of which (not understood 0:18:36.7) happened at so anyway—


Ashley Meyer:  We’ll see a link to it.


Doug Richardson:             You should go there. Yeah, thank you. And I did write (not understood 0:18:47.8) kind of blog about essentially how not to fire an agent because I did it the wrong way. But I eventually had to let poor Harry go because there was a limit to what he was able to do for me. As a writer I was ready to move to the next level, so to speak, and he couldn’t pull it off. I gave him a chance. I tried, but it became painfully clear that he was, and should have been retired. So I was probably his last working client.


Ashley Meyer:  So you signed with him and what was he able to do sort of in those initial stages, get you some meetings, get you—


Doug Richardson:             Get me in the room to meet people who he had relations with, relations are sort of people who he could get on the phone, some TV movie guys and a couple of small production companies, nothing studio-related and, like I said, I’m glad I (not understood 0:20:13.9) because it was a horrible picture. I remember my initial pictures were just—must have been tiresome. These people I pitched to must have shown the greatest amount of patience while this kid showed up in the room (not understood 0:20:30.8). Not very artful, but he was able to get a guy named Bob Shapiro on the phone who, at that time had just left being president of Warner Brothers president of production and was stepping into a nice sit-down production deal. This particular former executive who became a producer was another old-school guy who Harry sort of knew from way back when and maybe owed Harry some kind of favor. And he sat down with me and read my stuff and signed me to a deal. So that was enough.


Ashley Meyer:  And what kind of a deal was—like—writing some of his ideas?


Doug Richardson:             I pitched something a little bit better than I had before, and I had a couple of those spec scripts. He was kind of an old school guy. He wanted as almost the last piece of his little deal at Warner Brothers—well, it wasn’t just a little deal at Warner Brothers—he wanted an old-fashioned Hollywood deal where he had a screenwriter on a weekly paycheck, a weekly deal, an old style studio contract where I was assigned to write for the studio, and I was assigned to work for him and generate projects for him, and for me it was more money than I had ever seen in my entire life.


Ashley Meyer:  I mean, it’s a great job for a new writer grinding pages out and working on all kinds of different stuff.


Doug Richardson:             What was so great about it is I call it the Robert Shapiro Graduate Screenwriting Program because I got an office. I got a parking space, and I got incredible latitude to watch and learn and meet all other kinds of people who were in the business, pick their brain on how they got stuff done and pretty much as long as Bob writes the idea—we didn’t have to pitch the story to the studio first. Bob was able to say “I like that idea. Go write it” because I was just—he didn’t want to go through this process of deal-making before you ever—you know—write something. He wanted someone who was getting paid to write. So I got the green light very quickly based on whims and ideas to just write movies.


Ashley Meyer:  Your ideas or his ideas or a combination of the two?


Doug Richardson:             My ideas. He had no ideas. He just had this idea that if he had a young writer just to see what would happen if they wrote every day. I would go to the office and I would write these movies. I was getting paid to write spec scripts.


Ashley Meyer:  And how many did you end up writing over this period?


Doug Richardson:             Over this two-year period? Oh God, about three or four.


Ashley Meyer:  And did any of them ever get—


Doug Richardson:             And a lot of drafts and stuff like that, nothing that (not understood 0:24:22.5) of Warner Brothers, part of which was he had a lot of big things going on. He was making “Peewee’s Big Adventure”. He was making “Empire of the Sun” with Steven Spielberg. He had a lot of big management things. I actually became kind of his afterthought which was wonderful for me because all I had to do was work with whoever was his development director at that time, and I got to work and write stuff. And though nothing ever happened at Warner Brothers with my stuff because it just never got any of their attention. The last thing I did write while I was there, he apparently was able to within the purview of the deal—or maybe there were some shenanigans that went on—he was able to essentially keep it from the studio and shed it off elsewhere. And that movie got direction, and that movie almost got made about six times. But that was sort of the next move out of Warner Brothers. It was an amazing experience. I got to work with a crew across from our office—Dick Donner and his people across from the office. For a while I was in Irwin Winkler’s suite of offices because somehow they decided they needed my closet which was my first office there. It was an actual renovated closet, but it was my office. You know, it was great; I didn’t care. They needed it for production components so suddenly I was moved to the building across the way and I was in Irwin Winkler’s empty office for almost a year. I had this fantastic massive office.


Ashley Meyer:  Okay. So that goes on for two years and what kind of—your boss—his deal ends with Warner Brothers and so you go with him or you, at that point—


Doug Richardson:             The deal didn’t end with Warner Brothers. My deal ended. I got paid for two years, and it was great and out of which came a script that he felt he could make. And we moved on. At that time there was a company called (not understood 0:26:59.8) Pictures known for making a lot of kind of low-budget kind of crummy moves that were made. They had just gotten a bunch of money from a couple of sources, and they were starting to make some more upscale kind of projects, not on a big budget, but this screenplay I had written called “Honor Bright” was—you know—loved by them, and they bought it and we started developing it with different directors. For one of those many reasons that—you know—one after the other, there are many reasons why movies don’t go forward. It kept getting a director (not understood 0:27:45.6). We would do drafts; we would start casting and then the director would go off and take another movie and then it would fall apart and then it would come back together. Essentially over the next couple of years, I spent almost all my time—I spent half my time at least—working on my project with four different directors and four different start dates while I moved on to another agent and was—you know—getting some assignment work.


Ashley Meyer:  I see. So let’s talk about that, and so this is the point where you finally fired your first agent and—


Doug Richardson:             I fired him about halfway through my deal at Warner Brothers.


Ashley Meyers:                And then a new agent was able to get you out, start taking some meetings and getting some assignments. What were some of the first assignments that you worked on?


Doug Richardson:             Some of the first assignments were—unlike the assignments that we have today—there were a lot of assignments; there was a lot of development so it was easy to make a living at it. There was a project at Tri-Star. There were a couple things at Tri-Star that I was a rewrite and then a project that started with a producer who had an idea, and I turned it into a movie. I showed that assignment. There was a spec script I wrote that I sold to MGM with a producer attached who was a development executive for Robert Shapiro and Electra Laughton. She had developed the script with me afterward, and I sold that for a bunch of money—you know—at least at that time it was a bunch of money. Electra was very, very busy in the development process for quite some time with a variety of projects.


Ashley Meyer:  This next question is sort of a two-part question. I mean, so you’re working on all these projects, were you getting frustrated that nothing was actually getting made, and the second part of that is, did you feel like it might hurt your career that yes, you’re getting lots of work, but nothing is getting made. And ultimately that’s kind of the prize as a screenwriter.


Doug Richardson:             I was still very well aware that there were a lot of writers out there because there was a lot of development money. The development money was four times the development that there is out there today, and they developed a lot more material and a lot greater variety of material. There was really no shame in being a young writer that was doing a lot of work, at least in my opinion and in the opinions of others, really good work, but movies weren’t getting made immediately. Directors weren’t getting attached, falling in and out of projects. There was a lot of that going on. The only hard part for me was making a really, really good living, but I had this terrible dilemma, this terrible round-and-round conversation that would happen at parties or any kind of social event where it was like what do you do? Well, I’m a screenwriter. What have you written? Well, nothing you’ve seen. Well, what do you mean, nothing I’ve seen? Well, I write screenplays—I write movies, but my films haven’t been made yet. Oh really? So then what do you do for a living? Well, I write screenplays. And so it got to the point where I ended up developing over the years—you know—a little lie which I could tell people which stopped the conversation because I just did not want to be asked what do you do for a living? I make this really good living. I made such a good living, I just bought a house. I had gotten married. I was clearly living the life of someone kind of young and successful without really having anything to show for it other than the bank account.


Ashley Meyer:  What was the lie that you were telling at the parties?


Doug Richardson:             I don’t divulge the lie to this day. Later is when you are produced, in certain situations when you don’t want to talk about what you do, what do you do? I’m a screenwriter. What have you written? And then you name the credits. Well, they’ve seen them or heard of them. They have an opinion about them. Suddenly they want to know what Bruce Willis is like, what Will Smith is like? There are times—which is most times for me—where I don’t want to be the center of attention. So I’d rather talk about them or something else. I still use the lie and I will keep it to myself.


Ashley Meyer:  Okay. So maybe just kind of keep the ball rolling, so you’re getting some assignment work and then multiple projects are moving along and then eventually you get on to Diehard 2, it seems like that’s a—


Doug Richardson:             That’s what happens.


Ashley Meyer:  That one obviously got made. Specifically how did you get onto Diehard 2?


Doug Richardson:             Diehard 2 is a funny story and it shows how smart some people can be half the time. Diehard had been in theaters all of three weeks when I got the call from Larry Gordon who read my New World script and another script I’d written, this drama I’d written called “Pravda” and they had me in on just—I had no idea what the meeting was about because oftentimes you didn’t know—they were going to pitch me something, and I went in and Larry Gordon said, “I have just made this film called Diehard. Have you seen it?” At that point I had seen it twice already. I was shown press for the movie, and, again, it had only been in theaters for three weeks. He says, well here’s the spot I’m in. They’re going to want a sequel, but they don’t know they’re going to want a sequel; they won’t admit that they’re going to want a sequel because the movie’s only been in theaters for three weeks. And when they want a sequel because once the movie’s a hit and now they announce there’s going to be a sequel, then it becomes this big giant bake-off where every writer in town—at least in that genre, and every agent in town who’s got a writer in that genre—wants me to have a meeting, etc. so the process of developing Diehard 2 becomes onerous and time-consuming. I’m listening to this whole thing. He says so here’s what I’ve got. I’ve got this book called (not understood 0:35:45.6) by Walter Wager, and I think it’s going to make a great Diehard 2. What I want to do is since you’re an untested writer, your quote for how much you get paid is still pretty low studio-wise. Larry was the former president of Fox, he’s able to go into Fox with a book and me and say, “here’s a potential action franchise; here’s a kid who’s not going to cost a whole lot. Let me make a deal with him to write this book.” And naturally what he said he wanted to do is make a deal with me to write Fifty-eight Minutes, but I would know and he would know that what we were really doing was writing Diehard 2. I just changed the names of the characters.


Ashley Meyer:  Yeah, just search and replace once you need the sequel.


Doug Richardson:             Search and replace wasn’t such an easy thing back then. We were used to writing programs in DOS, but anyhow it was a brilliant move because he really knew how to get through this video red tape, get his sequel to Diehard without anyone knowing. He was writing a sequel to Diehard. Not only that, Larry—and also he didn’t want to work with—at that point he and Joel Silver weren’t getting along very well—and Larry had gotten Joel to do the en pointe producing on Diehard. So when a movie called Diehard was about to go into development, Joel Silver suddenly was going to become involved, and Larry wanted to avoid that too. So it was all a very neat and brilliant package, a very easy deal for him to make. It was made in a matter of days, and I was off writing Diehard 2, just no one knew it but Larry’s company and me.


Ashley Meyer:  Did the movie—and ultimately it turned out it really is based on that Fifty-Eight Minutes like a lot of the story and stuff came from that novel?


Doug Richardson:             There’s not much of the book in it at all, but the book was a terrorist takeover of a major airport in a snowstorm. That’s what Larry thought would make a great Diehard 2, and sure enough, (not understood 0:38:34.8) left Fox as president and (not understood 0:38:38.3) came in and (not understood 0:38:40.7) order of business by then—I don’t know—14 to 16 weeks later, I had a draft of Diehard 2 called Fifty-Eight Minutes and (not understood 0:38:51.4) came in and his first order of business since Diehard had turned into a big hit was “I want a sequel.” And Larry Gordon said, “guess what” I have it, and it got green lit in a matter of days. It was a brilliant plot by Larry Gordon, absolutely brilliantly put together. There was no giant—you know—steeplechase of writers and agents trying to get on the movie. Just quietly developed it and had it ready to go. And not only that, if it wasn’t the Diehard they wanted to make, he had another makeable movie. So I’m still blown away at the thinking that went on there.


Ashley Meyer:  That obviously was a big hit as well so you get more writing assignments and eventually get onto Bad Boys. How did that kind of come about?


Doug Richardson:             Well, Bad Boys came out with someone I had worked with before (not understood 0:40:11.1) was developing for (not understood 0:40:12.9) and we had all the behind-the-scenes wrangling that had gone on over this script that it was originally called “Bulletproof Hearts”, and Michael Bay was attached, this first-time director. There was a version of it that they were going to be making. I don’t know if they were going to be making the thing before Colombo, I think it was with John Levitt (not understood 0:40:44.4) with Michael Bay attached so that was the movie. Then that fell apart, and they had pieces of the scripts that had been rewritten by a lot of people over the years since George Galloway had written the original “Bulletproof Hearts”. It had been eleven years since George had written it. I get this call to come in and I sat down with Jerry and it was “Okay, we got this hot commercial director—you know—commercial and video director. We’ve got Will Smith and Martin Lawrence who are about to go on a hiatus in five weeks, and we’ve got no scripts but we’ve got a studio willing to sort of jump in.”


Ashley Meyer:  So you have five weeks to basically pump out a draft.


Doug Richardson:             We had five weeks to sort of figure it out, and that’s when the madness began. And it was utter and complete madness, but it worked out.


Ashley Meyer:  What was some of the madness you’re talking about just in terms of trying to piece together this script that had been rewritten numerous times?


Doug Richardson:             Well, there wasn’t really a green light at Columbia at the time, first of all. Columbia thought they were also making because they had Will and Martin, but that they were making urban movie which, at that time was polite speak for they were making a film aimed at a Black audience which none of us thought we were doing. We had a first-time director who really didn’t know his way around the screenwriting process, not that a lot of directors know their way around the screenwriting process. At least they know writers go off and do writing. Within a week of sort of coming up with this new story that sort of fit with the old story which was the farce that was in the middle—the comedy farce that was in the middle of Bad Boys. Will and Martin wanted to be in an action movie, and “bulletproof Hearts” was never an action movie. It was a comedy—just a farce comedy, and they were going to be in an action movie and again, this window to put these two guys together on screen, and once you met with Will and Martin, that was sort of the jumping off point where you sort of got that there was something great between them that was going to be fun.


Ashley Meyer:  So funny. In hindsight you look at a movie like Bad Boys and it seems so obvious. Obviously at the time those guys hadn’t done action movies; they really hadn’t done anything but TV so it seems now in hindsight, it seems such an obvious choice to put those guys together in a buddy comedy action movie.


Doug Richardson:             That’s something that I think Lucas Foster saw. I mean, I think Jerry saw it too, but Lucas was the guy who sort of wisely—you know—jackhammered that movie out of Disney and somehow got Columbia interested in it and got Will and Martin interested in the possibility of doing something fun. They knew with Michael Bay, based on his very zippy jammer style, that the movie was going to look cool. And then they brought in a guy who knew how to write an action film. There’s a line in the movie where (not understood 0:44:38.5) says to the two guys to do what you do only faster, and that was (not understood 0:44:48.6) to Jerry Bruckheimer because that’s what he told me when I saw the schedule. I don’t know how I was supposed to do it that day; we’ve got five weeks. He says “just do what you do only faster.” It was that simple. I would joke about that because I was supposed to write the movie and then they were going to go take the movie and within five or six days—because the deal was made in 24 hours—within five days of trying to piece a new movie together, and we were dealing with cards on the wall of my living room and Michael unable to understand what a transition was and such, Jerry just called and said, “you all just have to go to Miami. Just whatever you do, just go to Miami and get it going down there. You can’t do it in LA.” We had this terrible movie at Columbia where I was supposed to go in and pitch the movie that was not yet formed. And I think that was their plan just to get us all out of town. So we were sent down to—we were just flown to Miami when they said go make a movie. And it came together.


Ashley Meyer:  Sometimes, though, when you only have a little bit of time, those are the best situations because nobody can—you know—get in there and mess it up. They don’t have time to mess it up.


Doug Richardson:             That’s true, but usually it’s disastrous. You have to admit, too, that actually when you make a movie that way, usually it’s a mess. Bad Boys—you know—there’s a lot of good stuff that came out of it, it being made on the fly, there was a period of time where I wrote it on Monday and we shot it on Wednesday. I mean, it was that chaotic, but there were a lot of heroes in that movie, I mean, from Will and Martin who were enormous helps to (not understood 0:47:06.2) who the studio did not want to cast, and we pretty much cast behind their back because she was funny, and she was willing to jump on without a script and got Christian Wagner who cut it, and I can’t say enough about Jerry Bruckheimer. He was post-production—a lot of people don’t know that. Post-production on top of everything else, but he was a post-production genius. His ability to take—you know—crap and kind of say, “yeah, but we can do this and that with it and turn it into something else,” and I saw him do that quite a few times.


Ashley Meyer:  Were there reshoots and rewrites after you guys had wrapped?


Doug Richardson:             There were just a couple of reshoots afterward, mainly with stuff that we just couldn’t—one to replace a scene that just got botched, and a couple of shots for stuff that just was missed because it was a really tight budget and a tight schedule. That’s when it’s made for (not understood 0:48:21.6). The (not understood 0:48:28.3) sequence was never locked down and that was a reshoot.


Ashley Meyer:  So one thing I’ve always wondered, and I’ve heard this. Do guys like Will Smith, do they have like a dialog guy that comes in and sort of—you know—spruces up his dialog in a script like that of does he ad lib some of it because it seems like a lot of these movies have—and no offense to your dialog writing—but they seem to have a Will Smith flare to them. Is it you capturing his voice or is it him ad libbing? Is it him bringing in his own writers?


Doug Richardson:             At that point it wasn’t bringing in his own writers. I don’t know what Will does now—and I’m sure Will has shaver guys who work with him now. That movie Will was actually a little champion. Will was willing to try a lot on that movie. I would give him stuff to do, and no matter what I gave him to do, he would try. Martin, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as willing to try stuff, but we had (not understood 0:49:43.4) to rehearsal where half the rehearsal was because a script wasn’t written. Here’s the situation, and Will and Martin would just sort of roll with it, and a couple things would get thrown in. Will’s a great actor and funny but Martin is incredible, being a former standout, and I would be furiously writing and we recorded everyone on audio. They couldn’t afford an assistant for me so there was one period of time because I wanted the rehearsals transcribed so I’d just start taking some of those golden moments and sticking them in the scripts. I didn’t want to forget some of those things that I heard that were great. There was one moment when I was—for a period of time I was transcribing the page myself, and (not understood 0:50:54.3) walks into my office, and I had to take (not understood 0:50:57.0) typing on my computer and said, “what is it that you see right now.” And (not understood 0:51:04.5) said “I don’t know.” And I said, “the most expensive stenographer in all of Miami,” and a little light bulb went off, and I had an assistant within an hour.


Ashley Meyer:  Those are great movies. Everyone thinks film-making is such this glamorous profession and hearing those little nuggets because, at the end of the day, there are so many of those moments that are not nearly as glamorous as people think.


Doug Richardson:             No, they’re not, and the hours were really incredible and that’s almost (not understood 0:51:37.8). But back to your question about Will and dialog. A lot of it came from rehearsal; a lot of it comes from me listening. If a writer’s got actors that are good with dialog, you’ve got to listen. Martin, you really had to listen to because Martin had issues with—you know—a few vocal issues with not being able to wrap his mouth around certain phrases and sentences so I had to write a certain way for Martin. I had to make things and give him room, and there were some moments that it would go off the page that were good and some moments that were really bad that went off the page as it is with all actors, and Michael would sometimes let them go off the page way too far to the point where we didn’t have a scene at the end because we were—again—some of that movie’s held together with—you know—jabber safe so if his reliant dialog is not in the scene—you know—we don’t have anywhere to go next. And there were a couple of moments when those got left, and a couple of those were things that we had to go ahead and reshoot. We just had to pick up that one shot and line of dialog so we could get on.


Ashley Meyer:  It does sound amazing that it came together so well.


Doug Richardson:             And some of it because there wasn’t any studio meddling. We were done at one point. Word was not to talk to anybody in the studio; the studio called, don’t answer the phone. They didn’t know the movie; they were afraid of the film we were making, but there were some great casting choices. We were able to cast Michael and Perioli and—I forget the name of the other guy, the guy who plays Chet, the doorman—but both of those guys had audition tapes and great improvisations, and when they showed up in Miami, when I saw Michael and Perioli, I said, “Just so you know when you get your sides tomorrow, don’t be shocked if there’s a lot of your audition—you know—in those words because—you know—if it was funny, it made the script. Michael did a couple of funny bits in his tape, and I stuck them right in the movie. At that point you can’t be precious. It’s just if it’s funny and works—you know–let it go.


Ashley Meyer:  So let’s just take a step back and just—you know—both Diehard 2 and Bad Boys, they have other writers credited, and again, we don’t need to get into the specifics of what you thought of this guy or thought of that guy, but I’m curious—


Doug Richardson:             It is a part of the process; it is a huge part of the nuts and bolts process of writing in Hollywood. You will be rewritten, and lots of times it will not be fun for you so put on your steel jock strap.


Ashley Meyer:  And how did you take it? I mean, it sounds like with Bad Boys at least, you’re on the set so at one point do they bring in another writer after you?


Doug Richardson:             Well, they didn’t bring anyone in after me. I was the last guy on the movie so to speak. There was some girl dialog—you know—some stuff that was written. Michael Bay wanted this girl, Carol Walsborough I became good friends with to write some stuff they call Julie dialog—you know—not that I was having any issues or problems—except for Ted so I was the last guy of the party. You see, while I was writing—in Miami writing Bad Boys for Columbia, the same studio and executive were rewriting and prepping Money Train with another writer. They’d fired me and—you know—they had to (not understood 0:56:12.7) the last guy on one of their movies. I’m the first guy on the film that they’re about to start shooting any day now while on Bad Boys. That was kind of weird. And actually there were some scenes in Bad Boys that made it into Money Train. This was really funny.


Ashley Meyer:  So when you use a word like firing, it’s such a harsh confrontation of words. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but—I mean—you’re a professional; they are a professional, and you understand that it’s a firing but it’s just you’re being released from a project and you’re—


Doug Richardson:             Well, they’re firing you. You’re not being released from a project, they’re done with you, and they’re moving on. Sometimes they’re nice, and they say, “We think you’re written out,” or “We may come back to you later, but the director wants this guy who worked on his last film with to do this or this or this.” It’s all bull. It’s not—you know—they’re moving on from you for a lot of reasons which are probably not good and not right, but they’re going to move on anyway. They’re generally moving on because if they don’t know how to push the script forward and it’s very easy for them to change writers and oftentimes change to someone else. They’re throwing stuff against the wall at the end of the flick.


Ashley Meyer:  In the corporate world when you get fired, they’re not going to rehire you, and you probably are never going to work with those people again. Do you feel like these are as confrontational as that? Relationships are soured. These people that fire you, you’ll never work with them again; they genuinely don’t think you’re a good writer or they just legitimately think you’re just not a good writer for this specific project?


Doug Richardson:             Well, sometimes they’re firing you—well, oftentimes they’re firing you’re not being fired because—let’s just be really fair—sometimes you’re being replaced because you’re not getting the job done for whatever reason. They want to go in another direction. The director sees something in it that you’re not getting. An actor wants—you know—someone who won an Academy Award to write the next draft because it makes him feel as if they’re more special. There are all these ridiculous reasons why you’re replaced coming through which have nothing to do with whether or not you’re a good writer. Other times as I’ve replaced other writers on movies—you know—there are some really terribly written scripts and—you know—writers need to be replaced, but a lot of that is a matter of opinion and a matter of art, but that’s why. Sometimes when relationships are soured over it depending upon how they fire you; sometimes relationships are—you know—you truly know, it’s like the Godfather. It’s just business, and they do come back to you or that studio comes back to you. Like I said, I was in a spot with Columbia where I’m saving one movie after they fired me on another so obviously the studio knew I had to leave Money Train—you know—I left Money Train because of the circumstances that were involved with moving it forward while for them, they thought they needed to, as they said, “We’ll find someone who’s better suited to writing a movie best—I forgot the word—great wording. It escapes me now, but essentially to best serve the Woody Wesley relationship that was in “White Men Can’t Jump,” and that was not the movie I wrote or developed. It wasn’t an action comedy at all; it was a—you know—much darker more intense (not understood 1:46.2). They wanted to dig out Woody and Wesley; they wanted to go in another direction. So they removed me for that, but when it came to who to bring in for Bad Boys, I was obviously available and—you know—still approved. Things are a bit different today. They are a bit different today. I think they’re a little more—they’re more circumspect and more scared than ever where if you didn’t deliver, they’re so risk-averse driven, that if they feel like you didn’t deliver before, they wouldn’t want to hire you again.


Ashley Meyer:  And when you say “they,” you’re talking about the studio executives and the producers.


Doug Richardson:             Yeah, it has nothing to do with how good you are. It has to do with—you know—since they don’t—when you’re dealing with a lot of people right now who don’t know good from bad as you can tell by the films that are made and the amount of writers that work on movies. If you don’t know what is really good from bad, all you can do is go by what was success to you and what was not. So if this writer got me that actor, he must be a good writer. It’s not “I read it and realized by looking at the work, he’s a good writer.” The way it is now is—you know—that got me—you know—that got me that character whatever. The guy who wrote the last pass is the guy who wrote the last pass to have Leo Da Caprio said, “oh, that’s interesting.” Definitely you’re awesome for the studio. That’s not about how good you are anymore.


Ashley Meyer:  So let’s jump ahead a little bit to the movie, Hostages. It sounds like Diehard 2 was a loose adaptation, but Hostage was adapted from a novel. Are there some sort of tips, and maybe you could talk a little bit about your process of adapting a novel into a screenplay.


Doug Richardson:             I can’t say there are any tips for adapting a novel into a screenplay specifically for me for whether it’s loosely adapted or faithfully adapted. It’s what’s going to make the best movie. I think obviously if you’re adapting a pop culture phenomenon, if you’re adapting Twilight, if you’re adapting Hunger Games, you’d better be close to it as best you can or else you risk alienating—you know—an audience. I think that’s very obvious. When it came to Hostage, Hostage was in some ways not unlike Bad Boys where I came to it very late. I was supposed to do a small amount of work on it, and I ended up spending a year of my life on the movie for a whole lot of different political reasons mostly having to do with the director and the star. I’d done a lot of work with Bruce, and I did the favor to work on the movie with Bruce, but the director and I ended up having a relationship in such a way where we saw the same movie and suddenly we were on the same movie for a long, long time. That movie that we saw was what Hostage became. How it steered or didn’t steer closely to and from the book wasn’t a though in our heads at that time. It just had to do with this is the movie we see; this is where we’re going to go with it—you know—and hopefully everyone else will want to go in that direction which I think how most adaptations should be. I look at any adaptation like I would an original, what’s the best movie here. I think most writers aren’t looking necessarily to be faithful to the work, and as an author myself, I know that sounds like I’m—you know—blaspheming, that I don’t think a screenwriter should steer should feel like he has to steer close to the work or not except again in those large pop culture (not understood 1:05:34.1). You’ve got to make the best movie you possibly can, and I think if a writer doesn’t see that or know that—I adapted my movie Indian Maid, my second novel, True Believers for the screen and with (not understood 1:05:57.3) to direct. I spent a lot of time with (not understood 1:06:00.8) and I probably was more merciless with my work than I think anyone else would have been. I mean, the movie version was very different from the book, so much so my wife who is not a big fan of mine, didn’t think it was my best novel, read the screenplay and said “well, that should have been the book.”


Ashley Meyer:  Maybe you could give us an example—so you made whole story changes to the screenplay and—I mean—it seems like as a screenwriter even though you’re writing a novel, you would kind of be aware of sort of the cinematic vision, but you’re saying—


Doug Richardson:             One of the wonderful things about writing novels is when you’re writing a book, you’re not constrained by well, in a movie, I would probably have to do this or in a movie the studio would make you do this or in a movie, the movie star would never do this, and they’d want a movie star for this part so you’d have to have this scene—you know—I mean—in a book you’re not constrained by those unwritten parameters. So I was very aware when I was writing the book if this were adapted into a movie, I probably wouldn’t go there—you know—that wasn’t entirely my choice in writing True Believers. I also adapted my first novel which didn’t get made for Fox, and I was pretty true to it. When I was writing that book, I felt that the movie would be similar to the book too, but the second book, I was able to go from much bigger (not understood 1:08:00.1) in that book that I didn’t think a movie would contain, and so when I really wrote the movie down and changed the point of view, that then attracted (not understood 1:08:09.8) and then Hideyo encouraged me, and we followed that route even further even more acutely away from my book. And frankly it was a lot of fun because I had already written the book—you know—had the movie been made and people would have ended up reading the novel based on the movie I may have disappointed—it might have been disappointing to people, but as a writer, it was really fun to take that story that I’d written before and take it different places with that.


Ashley Meyer:  So what is your goal by writing these novels? You have obviously adapted a bunch of them. You wanted to create an income stream as a novelist? You want to get known as a novelist? What’s sort of your goal with them?


Doug Richardson:             Yes, an income stream would be nice; that’s a good thing, always to get paid and paying the mortgage and paying for private school and stuff if you have to and getting young, but the primary reason to write novels is there’s a difference between writing books and screenplays. In a movie there are collaboratives. God knows, how many times you’ve heard of this before, but if you’re going to the process beyond what you write as a spec, if it gets bought, if the producer picks it up, you’re going to get notes. Now more people are involved—you know—if it heads towards production, you’ve got other people who are coming on, you’ve got directors. You’ve got actors; you’ve got practical situations and then budget and then locations as in we were going to make the movie in New York, but now we have to rewrite it to shoot it in North Carolina because of the tax thing. That’s a reality; writers have to live with that. So the further you go down the road with the screenplay, you find out how really collaborative it is and how facile you need to be as a writer to serve those needs while hopefully continuing to serve the script and your story. That’s taxing as a writer. It’s hard work. It’s rewarding work if the film turns out, but it’s hard work. Another part of screenwriting, you’re writing for an audience that isn’t necessarily reading your script for enjoyment. They’re reading it trying to kind of figure out if it’s going to be a movie or if I want to play this part or if I want to invest in it. Your audience is coming at it for so many different reasons other than entertainment. There’s a calculation that goes into their reads. That’s your audience as a screenwriter which is fine. Well, a book, your audience, you have a direct relationship with your audience. It’s not a collaboration. What you write is yours. It is yours alone; it’s not going to get rewritten. It’s not going to—you know—it’s not going to be—you know—changed by locations or movie stars or—you know—it’s yours, and again, it’s a direct link to the audience. Your audience is reading it to be entertained. So that’s why I write books.


Ashley Meyer:  I’ve heard of some people making some good money writing Kindle books. Are you finding that you’re getting some decent sales through Kindle Marketplace?


Doug Richardson:             I am. It’s just not—it’s (not understood 1:12:17.7) book market now because my first two books were traditional publishers with that. This model is not working anymore especially through genre writers so—you know—being your own publisher is a slow go. I can’t say there’s a lot of money in it to put my kids through private school and stuff though I’m very happy that I still work in entertainment. As my first book agent said, “Don’t quit your day job until you’re on the New York Times best seller list,” and then a year later when he called me and said, “where’s the damn book?” And I said, “I thought you said don’t quit your day job.” So, that said, it’s a slow growth thing. My last book sold better than my next book, and I’m creating a series and stuff so it’s a bit of an experiment. But it’s extraordinarily rewarding and incredibly addicting having worked with publishers to be your own publisher, to make your own deadlines, to not have massive amounts of lead time between delivering this draft to go to galleys, to go to wherever to make much out before you’re actually going to publish. So it’s kind of addictive. I don’t know how I really feel about going back to a publisher right now. Let me tell you, like I said, it’s primarily for the soul. As a screenwriter your audiences are your agent, the manager, the producer, the studio, and they don’t send you–if they get really moved by a script—you know—yeah, you might get a phone call; you might get an ad boy, but there are notes. You know, when your book is done, and you get fan mail, you get someone who said “that book really moved me. It was great. I really loved it. When’s the next book? What else can I read or recommend?” That’s writing.


Ashley Meyer:  They’re not telling you to change the ending.


Doug Richardson:             They’re not telling you to change the ending, but they’re also telling you they’re reading because they want to be entertained and they’re reading your book because that’s what they want to do. Your agent isn’t necessarily reading the script because that’s what he wants to do. He’s reading your script hoping it’s going to make him a pile of money, the same with the producer, the same with the studio, the same with whatever. It’s a whole different perspective to sit down—you know—and read with, and the second they’re done, it’s on to the next script on top of the pile. There’s no time to relish it. Book readers, they relish it—you know—that you can’t put a price tag on.


Ashley Meyer:  So Doug, you’ve been very generous with your time. Maybe we’ll just end here with a couple of Oscar predictions. Do you have any favorite films from this past year?


Doug Richardson:             No. There are a lot of films I liked. I have not seen all of them. I still have the screeners in my backpack for a few films that I haven’t seen. I really loved American (not understood 1:16:10.0) for a lot of reasons.


Ashley Meyer:  I haven’t seen that one.


Doug Richardson:             I really loved it. It was a sneaky movie as a writer. It’s a comment film, but it shows you that it’s not a genre film. It’s all about execution, and that movie is all about execution; that’s why I love it. But predictions, unless I’m in an Oscar pool and there is money on it or it’s a friend of mine who’s being nominated, I really don’t give a rip. And I think it’s a really long boring TV show, and it’s a wonderful marketing scheme for a lot of (not understood 1:17:11.4). By the way, if it weren’t for the Oscars, let me tell you, a lot of films today—a lot of certain films wouldn’t get made because that’s their only chance at making money in this market. Twelve Years a Slave is not going to get made unless they’re thinking maybe they’ll get an Oscar for the film because if it doesn’t get an Oscar nomination, it doesn’t make money. That’s what I think of the Oscars; that’s what I like about them.


Ashley Meyer:  So it doesn’t sound like you saw Gravity?


Doug Richardson:             Oh, I did!


Ashley Meyer:  I thought it was one of the best movies of all time. I thought it was just absolutely thoroughly entertaining.


Doug Richardson:             Naturally entertaining, breath-taking and not only that, I’m not a big (not understood 1:17:59.4) fan. Just because I’m one of those people who can get 3D Imax, I can get Disney. I walk out of that movie telling everybody see that on Imax; you must see that on Imax 3D. You’ve never seen anything like it before. It’s full of great work. I think it’s kind of a mediocre screenplay as far as writing goes. Just to figure out how to make that film is mind-numbing. So I loved Gravity and really enjoyed it. At the end of the day I’m still a big movie buff. I like watching movies. I like when the lights go down in the theater. Usually now it’s my home theater, but I still really treasure that time and I like really good work. There has been a lot of good work and a lot of good performances this year but I just don’t invest in the award worthiness of it because I’m always disappointed. Why did that movie win? To me that’s not what really what making films is about.


Ashley Meyer:  No. That’s a big marketing engine for a lot of these films. I saw Nebraska and that’s another one of these examples. I don’t think Nebraska really would stand a chance with an audience if it doesn’t get that sort of publicity from the Oscar nomination.


Doug Richardson:             And then boom! Look what happens. Just look at the numbers for these films, and you kind of say wow! That really didn’t get a boost. I’m personally far more attracted and interested in what’s going on in TV right now and basic and Premium Cable. There is such incredible writing going on and great acting and great directing.


Ashley Meyer:  So, Doug, as I said, you’ve been very generous with your time. We’ll definitely have to have you on again. Maybe they’ll be some specific TV shows we can dive into. As I said, Doug, I really appreciate this. I think we got some good information and some good tips for writers. It’s been a pleasure having you on. I really appreciate you.


Doug Richardson:             Thank you for having me. I’m glad we (not understood 1:23:23.3).


Ashley Meyer:  Just want to make a quick announcement about my upcoming class. I’m going to be running an online class called How to Make the Opening Pages of your Screenplay Awesome. It’s going to be at 10:00 AM on Saturday, April 19. I’ll be dissecting the opening pages of five great screenplays and pulling out some great lessons from them. The screenplays I’ll be using are Natural Born Killers, Lethal Weapon, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Legally Blond, and the Shawshank Redemption. The screenplays are all available in the SYS Script Library which is at so you can take a look at those before the class. Also, as a bonus, for anyone who signs up for this class, that attends the live version, I will personally read the opening few pages of your screenplay and give you a verbal critique during the class. Just make sure you send me your pages at least by Wednesday, April 16 so I have plenty of time to read them and make some notes on them. We’ll see how your pages stack up against the produced screenplays that we’ll be reviewing. So, would you like to hear what I have to say about some of your pages, this is a great way to do that. Check out to learn more about the class and sign up.


If you’re listening to this after the class has taken place, no problem, I record all the classes, and you can view them at your leisure by joining SYS Select. To learn more about that, go to www.sellingyour


In the next episode of the selling your screenplay podcast, I will be interviewing Franklin Leonard. He is the founder of the Black List and the new Black List website. This is definitely a marketing channel that all screenwriters should be considering. I’m using it myself with some of my screenplays, and I really dove in with Franklin about how to use this site and how to get the most out of it. So keep an eye out for that interview.


So, in today’s Writing Word, I wanted to reflect on how Doug got his break and first job as a screenwriter. As I mentioned at the beginning of the podcast, this method of cold calling agents definitely can still work. You just have to have a good phone presence and be able to chat people up over the phone. I also liked the idea of going down and delivering the screenplay although I’m not sure that’s really going to make a lot of sense considering most agents will want a PDF version of the screenplay, but if an agent does request a hard copy which does still happen, hand delivering it is probably a smart idea. But you’ve got to be outgoing and feel comfortable in this sort of setting.


The great thing about the world we live in today is that there are so many ways to break in. Doug’s way is just one way. I’ve certainly talked about many others on this podcast and will continue to talk about more too. I had an email correspondence with a screenwriter this past week who went to the Austin Film Festival last year. If you haven’t heard of the Austin Film Festival, it’s a very screenwriter centric festival. They have a script contest, and he said that if you get even to the level of second round which I guess is the top ten percent, you’ll get a huge price break and free access to many events. People are always asking me if contests are worth doing, and this is a good example where you’ve got a reasonable chance at getting some tangible value out of the contest entry. Even if you don’t win, there is still a decent chance that you’ll at least earn a discount to the festival. He was able to make some nice connections at the festival so if you’re planning on going, you should think about entering the script contest. It might help you get a discount. The regular deadline is April 30, and the late deadline is May 30. So there is still some time. The actual festival takes place in October. I’ll link to this in the show notes. The reason I mention this in the writing words section right after talking about Doug Richardson and how he broke into the business is because this is just another way for you to get out there and market your material. And it’s a hell of a fun way too. If you go to the festival, you’ll probably have a blast. I’m never going to know about every single way you could potentially market your screenplay so just keep your eyes open and look for opportunities.