Welcome to episode 50 of the SYS podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter and blogger over at sellingyourscreenplay.com.
In this episodes main segment I’m going to be interviewing TA Snyder. TA was a winner. TA was a winner in the 2014 Screen craft fellowship and he talks about how that helped him advanced his career so stay tuned for that.
This episode is sponsored by screencraft.org. In the interview we’ll talk about TA’s experience winning the Screen craft fellowship last year. It really has helped TA get his career to the next level which you’ll hear more about in the interview.
The final deadline for this year fellowship program is Monday, December 15th so if you want to sign up now is the time. Just go to screencraft.org/fellowship. I will link to that in the show notes too.
A couple of quick notes – any websites or links that I mentioned in a podcast can be found on my blog in a show notes. You can find all the podcast show notes at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcasts and then just look for episode No.50. Also if you want my free guide “How a sell screenplay in 5 weeks?”, you can pick that up by going to www.SellingYourScreenplay.com/guide. It is completely free, you just put in your email address and I will send you a new lesson once per week for five weeks along with bunch of bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screen play in that guide, how to write a professional log line occurring letter, how to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for material. It really is everything you need to know about how to sell your screenplay. Just go to SellingYourScreenplay.com/guide.
So now let’s get into the main segment. Today I’m talking with screenwriter and fellowship winner TA Snyder. Here’s the interview.
Ashley: Welcome TA to the Selling Your Screenplay podcast. I really appreciate you coming on the show.
TA Snyder: Thanks for having me up.
Ashley: So to start out I wonder if you could talk a little bit about how you started as a screenwriter.
TA Snyder: I started writing my first scripts when I was around 16, 17. I knew at that point that I was going to go to a drawing school. I grew up in a small town, in Central South Illinois, grew up most of my life out in the country, and my only connection to like the world was a satellite dish that we had. And I watched a lot of movies growing up. Probably in inappropriate age I was watching like Alias and Terminator, like age 6. And it just got in my head then.
And I always told myself and my folks that I wanted to be an architect, for the longest time that kind of battled them. I would sit and draw like houses. Then I started drawing little characters and things and then I just got into reading a lot and I just started connecting the written angle to the visual. And I knew pretty early on that I would go to a film school.
I never had a video camera growing up and I got in touch in camera when I got to Columbia in Chicago when I was 18.
Ashley: And that was sort of your first fore way into actually writing some scripts and getting into film making was going to college?
TA: Yeah, definitely. I had things in my head, I wrote a lot of stuff, but I went in thinking ‘OK, I’m going to be a screenwriter, I’m going to study screen writing, I’m going to get a degree in screenwriting’ and I got some great advice from an adviser who said: ‘Look you need a discipline to do, be a screenwriter or not. Pick up few classes, put take directing, take acting, take editing, you know, take all these other elements that go into making a movie. That will only make you a better writer’.
And he was so right. I always thank that guy for giving me that advice.
Ashley: OK, so now you’ve gone to college, you’ve gotten your degree. What is sort of your steps once you got out of college to actually accomplishing this career goal?
TA: Well, I bounced around a lot because I got the bug to actually doing anything, besides doing movies my way, shooting – I would shoot, I would edit. Soderberg was my guy for a long time, you know. I want to shoot, I want to edit, I wanted to do everything.
And I found a really cool team of guys in Chicago who were out of a ‘Blue Man’ group. A lot of them either acted, or were crew man at Blue Man and we bounced around for many, many yeas doing little indie films, music videos. We’ve been at YouTube show for a while.
I basically couldn’t say no. If anyone offers I would go ‘do you want to come and shoot this, do you want to edit this?’ I said yes.
And as a result of that I didn’t write for many years because I really got into the production side of films and in about 3 years ago I re-focused on screenwriting.
Had some things going on, like medically, with my health where I kind of had to focus on writing ‘cause I was kind of bed written a couple of months, and it was kind of flow back with the written word.
And the script I wrote coming out of that are then what started winning contests, and I’ve been so glad to be giving a rep.
Ashley: So now, doing this period time when you were editing and directing these films can you maybe talk about what were you doing with them? Were you seeing some even minor success, were you entering those in contest, YouTube channel, or doing feature shorts? What were you working on mostly and how was it going?
TA: The first one we did was with the Blue Man guys and that’s a crazy story because I actually grew up in a city, a small town with the guys that wrote and directed it with, but we weren’t close growing up in this little town.
I went to Chicago, went to school, and graduated. I was in Chicago for 5 years before I finally reached out to them and realized ‘Oh my God, I’m living in an apartment around the corner to the Blue Man group.’ And my mum mentioned ‘Hey, do you know that Tom and Adam work at the Blue Man group right around the corner? I was like ‘No, I didn’t realize that. Do you have a phone number? I’ll give the a call and we got together for lunch. And I was like – what are you doing? And I’m like – I’m working on this script. – Hey, we got a little bit of money; Do you want to shoot it?
I was like – yeah, let’s do that. And it took us about an year to shoot and edit it. It was right about before YouTube. We were shooting with DVX cameras and then we hit the festival circuit;
Ashley: And this was a feature? It was a feature film or a short film?
TA: This was a feature called ‘Troubadours’. We took it all the way down to Texas, like Austin, we played in some places in Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Facet, the small distribution company in Chicago and they got it on Netflix.
It was, you know, we didn’t make any money off of it, but it was a hell of an experience.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah sure. OK, so now – go ahead, I’m sorry.
TA: No, no, go ahead.
Ashley: So now you’ve gotten kind of success, you’ve now gotten kind of off the ground. So not let’s talk sort of moving forward.
So you’re laid up in bed for a few months, you start writing scripts, and what’s sort of your next step when you finish somebody’s script? What do you start to do with them?
TA: Well, you know, I had these scripts that..; there is one in particular that had haunted me for like long time. In my mid-twenties I had to take a bartending gig for a while and this old guy told me a crazy story about the first serial killers in America and he claimed he was a descended and I was like – OK; I started doing some research and thought – wow, that was really interesting; the first serial killer, circa 1798, 1799, in Kentucky, near Mississippi river was the West, that was the Western boundary.
And I thought that was interesting. Usually Westerns take place in the desert, and this will be like in the caves and jungles of Kentucky, I think there is something here.
And this haunted me for a long time, I mean, years and years went by, and my father was in the military, did multiple routes in Iraq, Afghanistan, all around the world and I was very ambivalent about..; you know I had emotions on the both sides as far what he went through, what a lot of people went through during the war.
And I thought – wow, this first serial killer, they were kind of Osama Bin Laden of their time. And John Adams put a list, this hit list of these first terrorists in America; having all these parallels; in a way connect that time to now and kind of obliquely put my emotions about volunteer in this sort of script.
And this sort of emotional regiments came through and that was the script that was a fellowship for Screen craft.
And those guys when they flew me here in May 2014 I did a whole day of meetings and it was a blast from that point. I mean I was up and running.
Ashley: So yeah, let’s dig in to the Screen craft fellowship. So first of all I’m curious – how did you hear about screen craft, even go ahead and submit to it?
TA: I’m fairly certain. It was either Facebook or Twitter. I had recently gone to Twitter. I mean I had an account but I just would occasionally check in. And I heard about it like a week or two before deadline. And kind of quickly blinked over Dead Man; and I already had some success in the; I made the final of the American zero troop contest with that script.
So I have done, I have got great notes from them, and done a couple of different passes since then.
It was a pretty logged in draft at the time I submitted it to Screen craft.
Ashley: OK; so let’s talk about that sort of moment when you won. How did you find out that you are a winner in this Screen craft fellowship?
TA: John Rhodes called me and waited on me. I was like- hey, we’re not going to make an official statement in a couple of days, if you can’t stand that kind of media and I was like ‘Oh, my God!’ You did win the screen; Yes, I won!
Ashley: Maybe you can kind of describe the emotions you had and even more important, what was your kind of expectations now that you had been a winner of this?
TA: My reaction to John on the phone, I think he thought – was this guy even excited? Because I was kind of speechless, but really emotionally, I was in a really sensitive time at that point. I had a surgery, a surgery that had success but I got an infection and ended up in a hospital bed for six weeks, lost about 45 pounds.
I mean it was, it got really scary. And I was just starting to recover from that and couldn’t lift anything heavier than 5 pounds and I was just desperately confined a couple of months.
So this call came just at the ideal moment of like all these stuff you’re going through, don’t worry about it, good things are coming. It really hit me emotionally.
They were great. Even before bringing me to Adelaide they invited me to go to the Associate award in New York in February. So that was ideal – I’ve never been to New York. I met with these guys, went there and met people like Richard L. and all sorts of cool people. And I was like – Wow! OK – it can change that quick.
Ashley: OK, so once you won, maybe you can start to tell us what exactly the fellowship entails and what specifically, what you got out of it. You know, they fly you to L.A. and what was that week like?
TA: I mean they give you a little bit of money, the give you a trip, but much more than that is putting you in the channels of decision makers, managers, agents, producers.
They gave us an itinerary, it had times – like you’ll have two meeting s today and adding to that. We end up having 3 or 4 that day.
The first meeting you have the first day you’re very nervous. By the end of the week you’re like – yeah man, I’m ready, let’s do this. You wish you go back and to that first meeting again. You feel so seasoned by the end of the week, you know getting comfortable in the room, and that’s what’s so great about that fellowship, what they do;
Because I made the final of the A.Z.T. and I got the call from Michael Z., producer for Sophia Copolla and he was like –hey Francis read the finalists and we’re really close to picking yours and here are some notes; and that was cool but that what happens in a lot of contests.
You get a little bit of money, you get a phone call, you get some notes and that’s the end of it.
But with Screen craft, especially with Fellowship it’s very hands on. They get you going and the whole thing.
Ashley: So specifically, who were some of these meeting with? Agents, managers, producers? Maybe you can talk a little bit about that.
TA: The first meeting, the first day was with Caplan Chrone, a management company. We also met with places like 3 Arches, one of the other fellows, signed with anonymous content and eventually signed with an agent Paradigm.
We met at a smaller, little boutique production places like Three House Pictures, then went to Resolution, where they closed doors, but one of the agents I met there I had a rely with him and once he left Resolution I met with him and signed for him.
Ashley: OK; OK great. So maybe you can talk about the specifics of these meetings. What did you actually talk about? Were you pitching them, were you talking about your own writing process or did they have projects that you may be able to come on and write on? Maybe you can just describe sort of these tales from one of these meetings.
TA: In one of those initial meetings you get you’re mostly pitching yourself. I mean you’re pitching your projects and sometimes they’ve read them and sometimes they haven’t; so you need to have a long and short form ready. I mean, if they haven’t read it you need to have a really short, quick pitch. And if they like it, they’ll ask more questions.
And I think generally, you’re trying to get a field for your voice. If they’ve read your script, two others have read ‘Dead Man’, the one that won and we were able to really talk in depth regarding the story and the characters.
And The C. Prome actually, in the middle set we were really talking about Dead Man, and I was like – actually, initially I wanted to make it a series, like indulges series. But I kind of backed of that because I thought I should get me hands around that first as a spec and keep all that other stuff back.
That was before American Horror story, before True Detective; it was before that president these types of shows doing an indulges stuff.
And they were like – that’s great, you should do that. And I always wanted to write for TV, I just hadn’t written a pilot yet so when I flew back to Illinois after that meetings I sat down to write that as a pilot and series.
So I now got that in my portfolio too, to get it out and just get that spec work or feature work.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. It does really sound like True Detective set in 1798, so you can see that was an infinite number of serial killer – you could go after each killer, each season or whatever if you want.
So I wonder if you have any tips; you kind of gave us a little bit ideas for the short and long version of your pitch but maybe you can give us some tips and kind of tell us if you’re somebody that’s won this fellowship and maybe getting ready for this meetings or you just having general meetings in general? Maybe have some tips for people that ae going into this kind of things.
TA: Don’t have to try a formula for you know..; you definitely want to practice your pitches, practice what you say but be honest in front of the person you’re sitting at and make a personal connection. Bu above all else, sell yourself as well. And it’s delicate – you don’t want to come off a lot like a salesman, but you definitely want them to know why you are a unique, right voice to tell this story better than anyone else.
Ashley: Maybe you could give us like a specific example of something you said that was sort of selling yourself oppose to just selling the story.
TA: Well, for example I had some success at the same exact time. They told me in January that I’ve won the fellowship but it wasn’t until May that they flew me out and in that window of time I have finished a script called ‘The Volunteer’.
And it’s a holocaust movie but it’s got a unique aspect to that. It’s a true story of spy purposely volunteered to be captured and taken into Auschwitz. And his mission was to begin an uprising and take everyone out.
It begins like a spy movie, it ends like a prison break movie. I mean, clearly everyone knows it didn’t succeed but it was a success, he broke out and saved a couple of his friends.
And I was like, you know, I’m a young guy, I’m a history hound but what do I know about that. It kind of felt – am I mature enough, was my place right to write about that? I probably wasn’t going to finish the script but when I went into that surgery and started losing surgery I got in this really dark, scared area and I asked my dad to bring in, my mum and dad to bring in a folder about the research I had and I wrote most of the first draft for that script from my bed, from my hospital bed.
And it shows, I mean it was really, it shows a frequency of that character. And you know I would tell that story and when pitching that script it was connecting my personal emotions with this guy’s journey.
You know, I’ve never compare myself to an Auschwitz survivor and you know this guy was a hero. But being able to talk about emotions on this level, about something traumatic, reinforce what you’re writing about.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah for sure. That’s a great tip and a heartwarming story. So maybe you can talk a little bit about how you got your manager? You talked about it briefly a minute ago, but maybe you can dig in some specific about how that all went down.
TA: Well, it was interesting. Let’s see – what’s the best way to tell this? I met Jeff through Screen craft. They took all 3 of us to Resolution, and Jeff set us down and gave us some general advice for an hour. He hadn’t ready any of our scripts and he wasn’t planning too. He just gave us a bunch of advice and it was just great. He really shot us straight, he told us exactly what it’s like and you know – thanks for the meeting.
Near the end of the week I got a call from Scott F., who had found ‘The Volunteer’ through the Blacklist. And he was like – you know, I would like to talk to you about this, and I was going to a meeting and said – I am like late right now and he said – OK, let’s meet.
We went out, had lunch and we met at this little party at Beverly Hills – true cliché, a pool at the top of the party. And as I’m there I see Jeff from Resolution and he comes over and says – what are you doing here?
And I’m like – this guy Scott invited me. And he was like – OK, interesting. Pitch me some of your stuff. And I pitch ‘Dead Man’ and Volunteer and he said – ok I want to read more about those, send them over.
And he read them and he flew back over to Illinois the next day, and he quickly read them and Scott was looking at them, and people with me.
And I don’t know, I just liked Jeff a lot, we seemed to be on the same page as regarding what I’m writing now and what I wanted to expand into and we kind of had a misfortune of Resolution closing there door but he had a plan for that and he started a company called ‘Heratic’ and I followed him there.
Ashley: OK, OK, great. So maybe you can talk a little bit about now that you have a representation, sort of how that affect your career and what I guess has Jeff been able to do for you?
TA: Well, it’s very new. I just moved to L.A. , just going on 2 months ago and our kind of strategy is, and the Dead Man and Volunteer are both, they are both strong writing samples of a right director, a right cast, you know, we could be up and running but they are both period pieces and you’re mainly going to get a closed door wherever you go to and you just go to deal with that. They’re just going to say – we’re not doing these types of movies.
So we want to go out first with the most commercial piece, that I’ve got which is a contemporary thriller, that I want to do another pass on first. So we’re kind of in the holding pattern until I get that into pitch, so we can go out wide with that. So they can see that first and they can ask – what else you’ve got?
I’ve been working where I have these two totally different projects ready.
I also lined up a presentation gig that I’m going to sign a contract on this coming week and that’s going to pay me upfront money to just write for a while.
So I’ll be adapting that book, the true story and ‘The Volunteer’ kind of locked a gig for me; I taken this guy’s life in and making this powerful 2 hours spec.
Ashley: Yeah, so let’s talk about that for a minute. So, how did you take up that gig? So you’re basically taking somebody’s novel and you’re converting it into a screenplay? Am I correct?
TA: It’s actually his personal life. It’s his true story. This guy has now kind of become a motivational speaker and does like Ted talks and stuff like that.
Broadly, the story it’s kind of Rocky meets skydiving and I even didn’t know there was a competitive skydiving sport but this guy was a kind of a blue collar guy from the mid-West, and he had an opportunity to go to the East coast and work with these guy, the pre-eminent sky diving guys that are going to represent America like in the World cup.
And he decided to go on his own, stop in Arizona, started this stag group of guys and they like lived in their vans and quickly built up to where they were competing to win the US nationals and this way it looked like they are going to win and represent America.
They were in an air crash, where the crash killed the majority of people on board, on plane including a lots of his best friends and team mates.
And he broke his back, they told him..; he was in a comma for a couple of months, and they told him – you’ll be lucky if you walk again, and you’ll certainly never sky dive again.
Well, six months later he’s not only jumping out of planes, but he went on to win the Championship.
So it’s just incredible. I went to meet him in person, that is Skydiving school down in Paris, by San Diego, and we kind of just hit it off.
I mean, I recently came through my trials with medical issues and we kind of connected with music and all these different types of things.
So he’d like to take the head on and we’re going to go forward.
Ashley: And how did you get the sort of initial lead? Like how did you find him initially, to meet with him in his skydiving school?
TA: Well, it’s kind of crazy. It’s actually from a producer I met, from a place called Cement Story and once a year it’s a retreat up in outer wild. And they invite 25 writers, and it’s a contest, every once they wiggled it down to the final scripts. They invite writers to come to this retreat and you spend a week with one on one meeting with directors, producers, writers – just hammering over and going through your scripts and they put you like in the room with everyone watching you and you have to pitch your movie in 5 minutes and when you’re done pitching you sit down and they evaluate your pitch as if they are executives as if though you are not in the room. That was extremely helpful to go to that and by the end of the week you’re just like, “Okay, this is how it works.” And I met this producer there, she was the first– you get three different one-on-one mentors and she was my first and she had told me then, “I want to find something we can work on.” and it was great to hear it but she followed through on it, she called me like three weeks later and said, “Here’s this book. Read it. If you connect with it we’ll take you out and you can pitch.”
Ashley: Great. Great, that’s a great story. So let’s talk about you– mentioned, I guess it’s called sinquest, a couple of these other contests you’ve entered. Maybe you can kind of speak to that. Over the years, how many contests have you entered and how did you fair in some of them? Maybe you can talk about some of your successes and even some of your failures.
TA: Going back to 2012, the winter of 2012 I believe, is when the blacklist launched – the online one where you could submit your scripts. Because before it had kind of been just only , people in the industry would nominate these scripts and the list would go out and just the favorite scripts hadn’t been produced yet. So they opened that up in the winter of 2012 and I put Dead Men and I only got the Dead Med in there. If you score a 8 or higher your log line gets blasted out to people and I was lucky enough to get several eights and nines and was on the first quarter of the top five of scripts – downloaded scripts – sort of like number three or there.
So that was really great and got me talking to some people and working on things. And then I kind of get the bug, I kept getting into– you name it, I was putting up the money and bringing in fresh voices, blue card you name it, Austin, script the producer; a lot of them, that script made it to the quarter finals, semi- finals but never a really big breakthrough until American Zerotrips I made the finals to that. Which as a big movie Geek the big final point is that the scripts get read by Francis it’s like, “Oh my God this legend is reading your script.” You kind of have to get geared up for that just a little bit but it really didn’t get anywhere and it was until screen craft that I actually got out early and started having meetings.
Often with clean films, we often have the festival wrapped in with it and, its just maker for writers, its just a week of nonstop. And then many were there that year and Jonathan came in and it was amazing.
Ashley: Did you place, in the Austin Film Festival, contest or you just entered it?
TA: I made it to the second round which got me a discounted badge and then I met a guy down there that had made it to semifinals. To me it’s more about getting out there and networking with people. It’s kind of a problem with some of these lower level contests is like, “Okay you can get some program right but really what are you getting out of it.” If you’re not getting out and connecting with other writers, or producers or people making movies then what are you really doing. It’s just a popularity contest at that point and you’re just hoping that someone– they’re so subjective, everyone is going to read the script a little bit differently.
Ashley: I’m curious just to get your thoughts on that sort of subjectivity of these contest. Obviously on the scripts, to get 8 and 9’s on the blacklist, clearly you’re on to something. Other contests place it all, other contests, your quarter finals, semifinals. Maybe you can speak to that because that’s another thing I get from writers – they enter one or two contests and they don’t place at all and they kind of feel like, “Oh well, that means maybe the script isn’t good” or they enter the blacklist and that means the script isn’t good. Clearly here you have the script and obviously it has slightly different versions but there must have been instances where you submitted the same version to one contest and got crickets and then submitted that same script to another contest and made some fairly significant progress. So maybe you can just speak to how you deal with that where it feels very– it not only feels subjective, it feels almost random at times.
TA: Absolutely. Yeah and we all want a validation, we write to connect. It’s difficult to be told you’re not good enough and that’s part of the industry if you can’t develop somewhat that thick skin and be constructive and collaborating and be able to take notes and listen and actually execute them, you’re going to have a hard time in this business. I think that’s a good way to minor leagues of the contests can kind of help you develop that thick skin and not be so sensitive about things – especially the ones that give you notes, especially the hard hitting notes.
The blacklist is really about that, they’ll just wallop you with stuff that you’ll say, “Oh, that’s harsh.” but you need to hear that sometimes and Dead Men– I knew Dead Men was probably going to breakthrough because it kept making semifinals and quarter finals and I’d been warned ahead of time like– people wanted to dismiss it as just a Western. I’m like, “It’s not a Western, it’s today’s Western but 60 years, it’s more like Game of Thrones and whatever.” They’re like, “Yeah whatever good luck” and it broke through. A volunteer– it’s a really tough read and it took a while for it to really breakthrough, it made the semifinals in the Nikel and it made the finals at Hage and just making the semifinals at Nikel was huge, I had like a dozen emails and calls. I didn’t even have to query anybody they just reached out to me which kind of blew my mind like, “Wow I only made it to semifinals I didn’t really …” I knew i was prestigious but I didn’t realize it was such a thing for entering a round to semifinals. I figured you only had to at least make the finals to get this sort of heat on you.
Ashley: Yeah that is interesting a semifinal round does that. I curious if there’s anything else, you’ve talked about the contests that you’ve entered and a little about the blacklist. Have there been any other thing that you’ve tried to move your screen writing to go forward and maybe they just haven’t worked and so you maybe kind of haven’t continued. But maybe there some other things out there that you’ve tried or even thought maybe you should have tried.
TA: Well I definitely tried the going indie out. Writing these small movies and making them myself. I think there’s a lot to that especially if you’re young you can really get away with spending years doing that. Getting your hands on the camera, getting in the editing room – I can’t stress enough how important it is to get into the editing room and if you can run it, do something yourself, work on documentaries, work on little YouTube shows and shoot stuff and get the rhythm of a movie, of a narrative in your bones. Really learn how to put a movie together and that’s all you got to make you a tighter, sharper writer. I don’t really have anything to show for it, it is almost the entirety of my 20’s doing the endy things, making those little shots and videos and features but i wouldn’t trade it in for anything because it really informed my writing in the long run.
Ashley: I wonder, what’s the best way for people to keep up with you? Maybe you can mention your Twitter handle or a blog or anything, anyway that people could contact you or just follow along with what you’re doing.
TA: The best way to get hold of me is Twitter, I’m @captainhashtag all one word together
Ashley: I’ll get that into the show notes.
TA: Okay. That was the handle I had, I’m sure it was the first movie I directed and the actors called me captain hashtag so it kind of stuck. And I’m happy to answer questions, I’ve had a lot of people reach out regarding the screen quest fellowship so I’m happy to talk to people about that.
Ashley: Sure. Well TA you’ve been very generous with your time. This has been a very great interview I wish you were getting down but it sounds like you’re well on your way. Maybe you can check back with me in 6 months or a year and give us an update.
TA: All right. That’s great. Thanks Ashley.
Ashley: In the next episode of selling your screen play podcast I’m going to be interviewing Matt Creed. Matt is a writer and director of an indie film that’s coming out in the next couple of weeks called Orley. It’s a really nice little film. It’s a true Art house type of film that I know a lot of writers are trying to write. He does a really good job handling a very subtle story. So if you’re trying to write these sort of small sandians type of Art film, you’re not going to want to miss this episode so keep an eye out for that next week.
To wrap things up I just want to touch on a few things from today’s interview with TA. Recently I had a number of people on the podcast who for their start by pulling out and making independent films which is what TA did although it didn’t seem to propel his career to the next level. But now he started to find success through screen craft and some of these other contests. That’s part of what I preach on these podcast, all things are going to work for all people and it’s not always quite clear why. As I mentioned before, for whatever reason most of my own successors come from my own email blacklist service. I’ve certainly tried other services like blacklist and in-depth, I’ve certainly entered some contest but for whatever reasons those have never quite worked for me.
So as someone whose trying to get their first foot-hold, you really need to be exploring the various channels that are available to you to market your scripts and pushing on all of them. Then as you see some success with one of them you push hard in that direction.
I think it’s interesting too to know that TA got his current manager by winning the screen craft fellowship and also placing highly on the blacklist. It wasn’t one or the other, it was a combination of the two; he got invited to the party because he met someone through the blacklist and he knew someone at the party because he met them previously through one of the meetings that screen craft set up for him. This is exactly how networking works, it’s not always an immediate connection where you hit it off with someone and they become your manager. Sometimes it takes two or even three random meetings with someone before something actually clicks.
Once again I just want to mention that the final deadline for next year’s fellowship with screen craft is Monday December, 15th. So if you want to sign up now is the time. I will link in to the show notes, again its screencraft.org/fellowship.
Again just before we go if you want to look at it in the show just find sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast and then look for episode number 50.
Over the last couple of months I’ve got to know John Rhodes a bit, he’s the co-founder of creen craft, I had him an episode back in episode 19 so go have a listen to that one if you haven’t already listened to it. He’s a real hoster, he’s a great networker and I can tell you he’s primary focus right now is to make sure the winners of his contest get noticed and to help them watch their careers. It really is a great opportunity for a writer so if you’ve got a good script I highly suggest you enter it in this contest and give it a go. If you do enter, good luck to you. Anyway that’s the show, thank you for listening.