≡ Menu

SYS Podcast Episode 119: Screenwriter John Hodge Talks About His New Film, The Program (transcript)

This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 119: Screenwriter John Hodge Talks About His New Film, The Program.

Ashley: Welcome to episode #119 of the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, Screenwriter and Blogger over at, “Selling Your Screenplay.com.” Today, I’m interviewing, “John Hodge” who wrote, “Trains, Body and Beach.” He also just wrote a film called, “Program” which chronicles the rise of Lance Armstrong. So, we dig into that film, and talk about his early career, and how he broke into the business. So, stay tuned for that.
“Script Fest” is proud to sponsor “The Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.” Script Fest features, Carl Gottlieb of “Jaws” and the “Jerk.” As well as Oscar winners, TV writers, and more than 120 companies waiting to hear your pitch. A non-for profit created by writers for writers. Script Fest is devoted to providing career opportunities in education for screenwriters. Visit – www.scriptfest.com for details. Enter coupon code – SYS15 to save 15% on their bronze, silver. Gold, and platinum packages, if you order before April 20th 2016.
If you find this episode valuable, please help me out by giving me a review in ITunes. Or leaving a comment on YouTube. Or retweeting the Podcast on Twitter. Or liking it on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the Podcast. So, they are very much appreciated.
A couple of quick notes, any websites or links that I mention in the Podcast can be found in my blog in the show notes. I also publish a transcript with every episode. In case you would rather read the show, or look something up later on. You can find all the Podcast shows notes at –www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast. And then just look for episode #119.
If you want my free guide, “How to Sell Your Screenplay in Five Weeks?” You can pick that up by going to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. It’s completely free, you just put in your Email address, and I’ll send you a new lesson once per week for five weeks, along with a bunch of free bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screenplay in that guide. How to write a professional log-line and quarry letter. How to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for new material. It really is everything you need to know to sell your screenplay. Just go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.
A quick few words about what I am working on this week. So, once again, the main thing I am working on now? Is the re-write of my action thriller script, “The Pinch” I put up the first act of the script in my writers group last Tuesday. And got some good notes from that. So, now I’m going back into the first act and try to use some of those notes. So, the re-write is taking a bit longer than I would have liked? I really am going to push to get it done this week. I have started to get some crew on board. Some of the easier positions, or maybe not easier? But, the lower level positions that are actually harder to find people. Because these are positions where there’s no pay. Starting with getting some friends and family involved in some of those positions. And that would be great to have because, as I said, some of these lower level positions are, a lot of the position, frankly on this production are not going to be paid positions. But, it’s especially difficult to fill those low level positions when there’s no pay. Because people are not getting that much out of it. At least on some of the better paying positions. The credit has value. But, a Production Assistant credit on a low-budget feature film, but, it doesn’t really offer a lot to the person doing it. So, it’s good to get some fresh friends and family, people who you can really rely on and trust to get into those positions. Because they are important to keeping the production running smoothly. As I said, when there’s no pay, on these low-level positions. It’s very difficult to get good people. So, I am starting to crew-up, I’m going to finish this re-write and then this week. And then really ramp up pre-production. Again, the shoot date is looking like starting on the first or second week in July. So, that’s kinda where I’m at with that.
So, let’s get into the main segment. Today I’m interviewing, screenwriter – John Hodge, here is the interview.


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

John: Thank you, it’s great to be here. I over here in England.

Ashley: No. Maybe, to start out with, you can tell us a little bit about your background? Kind of how you got into the entertainment industry? And worked your way up to, you know, writing a screenplay.

John: Well, okay. I had been working on a script for almost 20 years now. The first script I wrote was, “The Farthling.” Which was looking, which was making called, “Shadow Groove.” I think what was shocking back in 1993. that they had room for me, for 24-25 years. I’m now, I’ve gotten scripts, I’ve worked in the industry, I went to school and stuff. And then attended the university. And after that, I was sure of what I could do. And then it was actually a lot of trouble, then taught me what I could deal with. And get along with it. And had the idea, a very simple idea. For a kind of thing caused. Drama about jealous revenge, love, grief, and then with the same people. And then the same people on a beach. I went with the same people, and then. Actually looking for military people. No, But you know, the dream of lots of other people. And this, an independent film maker, despite that. Little bit lucky on that. And then, tremendous turn to television, yeah.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, maybe we could dig into that first script, “Shallow Grave” just for a minute? I was just reading your bio on IMDB? And it just made a kind of a quick reference to meeting Andrew McDonald at the Edinboro Film Festival. And it almost sounded like you were in medical school at the time? Maybe you could walk us thru that process. Had you written anything up until that point? You know, you just always thought it would be neat? Or, I mean, had you tried to write a single script?

John: Yeah, I was a little bit for quite some time. And then the doctor for the number, and then yeah it had been rough at the start. This guy went, and then, a yeah, a bit rough. Then to my six script, I didn’t exactly learn too much. And then he happened to be a patient there in Scotland. But he happen to be on a mission. The thing I always say is, if you could want to write is? The golden thing, the lucky thing that happened to me is? To meet someone who is at the same sort of stage you are. It seems to me, that doesn’t matter. Maybe if you try too hard. What a great way to. You don’t have to be as concerned about money. If you’re asleep sort of a script in development, there’s sort of a lot of them. And their troubles are different than this. It’s always interesting lots and lots of them. Anyway, came into some money, and used the position last year try record. And scratch each-others arm and try together. Gave each other a unique face, see. Nope, denial actually just got along. And despondent, gave each other tickets to challenge each other’s fear. Which was, you know, a film for a production company. And they were looking for that kind of, I don’t know contemporary low movie budget film I suppose. It’s what made us a little bit stronger I suppose? Anyway, it was good construction box. I guess an over zealous ambitus producer, it really helps.

Ashley: A-huh. Yeah, yeah. I see, I see. When you went and first met him had you already started to write the script? Had you had a start a first draft? You pitched it to?

John: I knew I was going to from the first one, from the producer and that. Yeah, everything through the first draft. And you know, the first problems. And did it clear first draft.

Ashley: I see, and then he helped you develop it to the point where you took it to the production company.

John: That’s right yeah.

Ashley: Yeah, okay. Perfect, perfect. So, let’s dig into the “The Program” and kind of talk about that. Maybe you could start out give us a quick pitch or a log-line for the film?

John: Well, in “The Program” the sort of arounds and a sort of transit fellow of the second of the chance of surviving that was Lance Armstrong. And actually it was a fight definitely. It wasn’t so much a film just about Lance, about a little bit about the ability of curtness. A little bit about the ability of corruption, and the fear of it. The film, one thing when it came out sometimes it was an extended built. It was all of the things built. It was a wonderful cast of tried luck, which was too good to be true. Which was a lot, you know, I remember what happened. Making the run, it was fantastic. Most people gives you that. Phillips he respected that. He was so much alone, you know? Yeah, not very happy with it.

Ashley: So, how did you get involved with this project?

John: Oh, the construction at the time. If it were, I’m not quite sure what was found in the title? I don’t know what was looking for? It’s a matter of time. And then to make it, odes to John, for actually doing something? Now actually not been somebody else? I particularly enjoyed this and writing a bunch. Which came from books. But, a you know, but have our doubts technically. And take the reins literally. Yeah, it was a, tremendous. Yeah, it was one of the best life experience, fun. Yeah, and it was there that I met Stephen. Where a director, it was incredible, we went into production very quickly. Very secret and fastest. Very major production, made our first TV in December 2012, I think it was? Shared with the public, and then film festival in 2013. This was quick.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah.

John: And then post production, tried to keep our own, for a very, very long time. That was, you know, so much. It was like very, so much, involved in something this quickly. Normally when you can pick-up.

Ashley: So, maybe you can? So, a lot of the screenplay is, a lot of your screenplay credits are out of adaptations? Maybe you could walk us through the big process of how you adapt a novel into a screenplay? And we can, you can use “The Program” as sort of a guide, a specific example. On what sort of first thing you do?

John: Oh, you say, like the book, you choose a reference. Just sort of script it out. Forget system adaptions because you feel lucky when you can have a producer working with you. Everybody commissioned through it. And you know, how many people through it? Not really an original script. I do have an origin script in the drawer. I got a sound that is finished, quickly bound and I think adaptations are remake finished, it is to me the producer’s responsibility to finish. And yeah, for me, “The Program.” We copied off a bit much, again, mysteries of credited than this. It’s just the film made by someone. It’s go fund, see fund, collect the fund. And subject related directing. Obviously premier efforts like this have given word, and on actual events. And then department of these. These need to be filmed from several many points of view. The other bit of information source with these one source of information come from affidavits and reports. Once you fill out all that and quote that source. And keep as close as possible. I’ll tell you, the sworn statements you use are consensus and affidavits. Once you feel all that, when you quote those. Stay as true as possible. I tell you, while all this is happening, contribute, says, sworn contributes separately. But shortly, separately the other example of type you have from reality. For one, condom, the bus stops here! It has a kind of Yankee pass to them. Look out for, a bit of transfusions. Also, we never thought that region of view, above over all structure. And typically we find that it might turn out, again, super structure, strict major theme. Uncommon debate, but anyway, I for some reason? I can’t quite find the structure, use a little bit of the device and sort of like the news and Norfolk. That’s sort of a different end. That’s something it looks like. I like that on here, and seen the book. But I’m talking about all the people have different points of view. I don’t want you to extend it to TV, without, because of it the nature of the story not being in the lead. That’s satisfactory because the lead can be the good guy. Still because of the nature of David Welsh. Is soon because he reaches Jason. It seems like a way to go from that. And then, what happened at the end was closure fitting. We have gone to Lance’s clear, flawed best and evolved eventually by this other modeled credible anymore. So, if you were looking at the description that is what you would get. So, in short, for someone who’s structure I feel maybe we can start to tell the story and then look back. And start to fill back from basically back and look from that thought. Even further, unfortunately, so, as it happens. It didn’t, maybe quote, what those fills. And, so, in one movement or another. So, willing at the bottom, let’s go more against this traditionally old fashioned.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, just again, give us some of the nuts and bolts of some of your process? Do you spend a lot of time just reading over the material getting very familiar with that? Then do you start making an outline? Do you just go straight into.

John: A bit of both, for you know, some just estimates. But what really is rough looking I find that fault is structured, and once you got that. Once you know, I got that, you really picked the wrong thing. I’m sorry, never feeling that, once you got that fix in your mind, the beginning and the end. I find the right thing in just a few weeks. That means hardly even that usually just orderly got the fuse. Things just got quite the way they go. But I always find that okay, in a script like that. It’s thinking about it. And I produce it quite literally, if you take the time. But once you write the characters up, that talking the need. And then move that need and got at least some version. Then you really get some, it can at least move forward, getting to that stage. And I don’t have any thought. Where you work differently in each program. But generally the work on it, the main typical. I find myself what works can be knit together sometimes. If where I’m going with a story, what I want to share with my audience. But again, see what I find what relates if I watch this hand, what do I want to be surprising for me. That’s the kind of question I’m asking.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, maybe just break it down for us, now you say once you have a real detailed outline. You can actually knock out this script in about three weeks. How much time do you actually spend outlining? Is that like six months, three months?

John: Well, you know, shoot, who knows why? Like someone I suppose, it might take a few months leaving at. And going along or not? And I’ve got other things the same time as that. I think, you know, it depends, how much time? But yes, entrance, for months, two three months really. I think about it actually, trying out different things. Not being grounded by structure, and then structure being too extreme. I mean, sometimes I write it, sometimes I knock out the scene I build it in order. I favorite parts, and that can inspire you to, it helps to get you out. But I think enter place of a character in that character. I mean, it all kinda goes hand in hand.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, it’s, maybe you can kinda answer this question by trying to structure it in kind of a way, a unique way? But, one of these things that occurred to me, when I first heard about this movie was? You had to make something like this interesting. At least here in the United States. I mean, we’ve heard about Lance Armstrong, so much. And we kinda know how it all turns out. How do you make something like that interesting and fresh for an audience that has already sort of been through?

John: Well, this I tried to do a documentary, what was to tell the truth. And by what is already out. I couldn’t do the tricks much. You can’t live inside the moment he doesn’t do drugs. It’s part of the motivation, for taking drugs. And those of you who actually habit apparently being? And then you can do the same thing. And you can, I hope, I think associate, I think? The parts of the documentary that actually have nothing to do. But yeah, sometimes I think. So, I think are alright, I don’t think in that respect, the direction of the cure. And so, yes, having said, I mean for me, the distribution to change it a bit, the stories are interested in being drugged in. And the other episode, will help, drugs. I think a significant draw, and not feel like a repeat. Oddly, and fight that anterior aspect to it? And that is where I talk about it. And the characters in the general aspect if you want. I assume that would want, you heard this structure I wouldn’t attempt to have been. Well.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And now that sort of the other, the flip side of that. You know, you got all this material that we could kind of already know about. And so that’s kind of my next question is? How, what kind of dramatic license do you feel like you have? You got to be pretty true to the actual story. But at the same time, you’ve got to make it an interesting movie. So, were there any moments that you felt you had to just move away from maybe what the reality was? Or how do you see your dramatic license with dramatic material like this?

John: Oh, it’s some of very little of, I mean, I did recognize some of sort of looking at some of the series and what people have seen, and going strong. And scenes are very, very high, we had actually one of the producers she had a lot of finds. She had absolutely everything, I mean, something verifiable. There were a lot of supporting characters. Sometimes a glance at the credit. What I find was began to fit him on screen. Because it fit him so good. It’s fun when you got, but if you impune the age that it comes off. So, people start off at 1990 to make them not aware of what you’ve found. You can always be introducing new kinds. But at the same time you make them identifiable. You can’t make him be like he was in 2003. Or, just because you make it interesting enough. Once someone is identifiable, partially, you make it passion. You have to make it, you know, larger than life, truthful. So, talk about ultimately, there are people in the inside circle. Who one would assume not aware. But there are no evidence to support it. And so, you can, one can depict it in the script of the film. Of what was going on. So, you know, that can add to the story quite well. The restrictions are quite constraining some. And it can, and you are not looking at that. And I hope that we reach something that was a true drama based on around the actual.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, were you working with words? I mean, that’s something that has not occurred to me writing material like this? I mean, you don’t.

John: I didn’t, I’ve never written as well. And I didn’t see and I think in pieces went to the script and pieces of reference as well. Which compound and I’m sure they were all happy with it. I mean.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

John: I mean, it was very good. At this end try to draw attention to that. But, the positive in saying the preferences in that. I can actually work.

Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, how can people see the movie.

John: Yeah. You have to do this, you have to see it for the health of it. A sworn statement I felt that a solid ground image. Good, good.

Ashley: Yeah. So, how could people see “The Program?” Do you know the release schedule? Will be hitting theaters, Video On Demand, have any of those dates?

John: A, no, I really don’t, and I know the audience can get Video On Demand, it might remind me of seeing and then maybe a month after. If your company has rights.

Ashley: Perfect, perfect. And I always just like to wrap up the interview by asking to get, if you wouldn’t mind sharing like a Twitter handle or Facebook page, or blog? Really anything you feel comfortable sharing? Just, people want to kind of keep up with your career and what you’re working on?

John: They can use the usual one on social media. I’m a bit of a dinosaur, I’m a bit of a caveman in that respect. Thank you very much. For doing that, for listening to me okay?

Ashley: Yep, yep, perfect, perfect. I appreciate it John. We’ll talk to ya later.

End Interview – [24:21]

Ashley: Just want to mention two things I’m doing at “Selling Your Screenplay” to help screenwriters find producers who are looking for new material. First, I’ve created a monthly newsletter that will be sent directly to producers. Every member of SYS Select can submit one log-line to this newsletter each month. I went and Emailed my large database of producers and ask them if they would like to receive this monthly newsletter of pitches. So far I’ve gotten well over 250 producers who have signed up to receive it. These producers are hungry for new material and happy to read new scripts from new writers. So if you want to participate in this monthly pitch newsletter? Get your script into the hands of lots of producers sign-up at – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/select.
And secondly, I’ve partnered with one of the premier paid screenwriting lead sites, so I can syndicate their leads to SYS Select Members. There are lots of great paid leads coming in each week from our partner. Recently, I’ve been getting probably ten to twelve new, high quality leads per week. These are producers and production companies who are actively looking to buy new material, or are actively looking to hire a screenwriter for a specific project. You can sign-up for SYS Select, you’ll get these leads Emailed to you directly several times per week. These leads can run the gambit from production companies looking for specific type of spec. script. To producers looking to hire a screenwriter to work and write up on of their ideas. There are short features that are producers looking for TV’s, and web series pilots. It’s a huge aray of different types of projects. So, while you won’t be able to submit to every single lead that comes through? There are definitely will be some leads that are applicable to you. It just depends on what you have and what they are looking for? But there are enough of items that I think pretty much everybody can find some leads every month that would work for them. These leads are exclusive to us and our partner of course. To sign-up go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/select.
I recently set-up a success stories page for people who have had success through the various SYS Select Services. So, if you want to check out what some other people are saying about the SYS Select Services, go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/success.
In the next episode of the Podcast, I’m going to be interviewing screenwriter, Max Landis. About his new film called, “Mr. Right.” Max is one of the hot young screenwriters right now. And the script for “Mr. Right” which is what we are talking about. Is the script that kinda kicked off his hot streak. So we dig into his and exactly how he went about writing that script. So keep an eye out for that episode next week.
To wrap things up I just want to touch on something from today’s interview with John. You know, really listen to his comment and about how he, the initial seed that got his career going? It’s all about networking, and meeting people. And I really like the point that he made about networking and meeting people at your own level. This producer, who he met at this film festival. Was kind of starting out as early as in his career as well. So, it was a real good fit for John and him to meet. That producer probably didn’t have access to you know, the top, “A” level writers. John obviously starting out in his career. He didn’t have access to “A” level producers. So, there’s always going to be this kind of happy middle ground where you meet people a little below your level, or a little below your level. And I think that’s an excellent way to look at this. So many writers, I get so many Emails from writers asking about? How can I get an agent and manager? And you know, essentially, what they are asking, essentially they are asking how do I get a good agent or manager? Getting a general manager saying how to sell my scripts. You know, there’s a lot of agents and managers who will probably get, who will or are not that well connected. But those might be precisely the agents or managers you need to get? Because, again, you want to find somebody at your level. I mean, essentially, when you are asking, hey, how can I get an agent or manager to go out and sell my script? You know, that is a good agent/manager that has been working in the industry 10, 20, maybe 30 years? So they got a lot of experience, and again, why is that agent or manager going to look at you and your script? There’s a million, you know, good writers out there. So, why are they going to take you on as a client? That’s not necessarily a balanced fit. Most likely what you are going to do as a writer is, you’re going to try and find an agent/manager, again, who’s new, who’s hungry, smart, hardworking. But probably is new, he doesn’t have access to the top level, it’s going to be difficult to get a top level agent. Because they are dealing with the top level writers. And hopefully, if you a good, aggressive, hungry, young agent. Your career can move up, as their career moves up. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I talk about this all the time. You know, working in this industry, if you listen to this Podcast regularly? And I ask people how they break into the industry? You know, by and large, the single biggest answer, is about working in the and obviously networking in the industry. So that’s the number one sort of way that tried and true way that you break into the business as a screenwriter. Get into the industry were that low-level job, work your way up, network, meet people. Understand how the business works. And then that will put you in a good position to find a home for your screenplay. I understand there’s a lot of people that are not necessarily in a position to do that. And so I think again, going back to what John said. I think what John is suggesting? Is a very practical, and I think, realistic way to network without necessarily work in the industry. Working, again, in the industry may not be something that you just for whatever your life situation is? It’s not something you can do. So, then the question becomes, you know, how do you do that? And again, John gave a very simple straight forward example. Simply go into networking events like local film festivals. I mean, almost every single city in the this country, probably has a film festival. It may not be a huge film festival? It may not get, “A” level films, showing up at those film festivals. But, everybody lives at least 50 miles, 100 miles, probably from something? And when I say, 50 or 100 miles? It’s probably 50 miles, you know that’s a driving distance in a day. You can even drive back and forth. It may not be a great drive, but you can do it. So, getting out to these types of events. Just doing exactly what John did, while there. And you know, if it’s not a huge film festival? That might be perfect, because those people that are going to be at that film festival. Are people that have created a film already. So, they may be a little ahead in their careers. But, they are not too far ahead, where they may not talk to you. I found a lot of these film festivals, people are very, very approachable. You know, it’s not like, if you go to “Sundance Film Festival.” You know, there’s like, literally paparazzi, news reporters, it’s so sort of commercialized. You’re not actually going to get to hob-nob. Or work with any of the stars of the directors of something like “Sundance.” I mean, you got to be invited to like the cool parties. And there’s a whole, you know, you got to have a press-pass to like actually interview these people. So, but at these smaller film festivals, not so much, they’re not going to be huge events with press and the film makers will be there. It will be very, very approachable. And exactly what John suggested, just going up and talking to some of the directors and producers of these films, these low-budget films. That are showing up at these small festivals. It might be a great way to just network and introduce yourself. And I think too, even if you have a full time job. I still think this is something that is available to you. You can certainly be gone on weekends. Most festivals will run maybe a few days during the week, but also on the weekends. So, you can go there. And most of these festivals run volunteers. So, if you have a few days that you can volunteer again, if you work a full time job. I’m sure you could volunteer just the weekends that would be happy to have you. Because that’s probably their busiest time, is the weekends. So, you know, volunteering at a film festival really gets you like an all access-pass. It gets you actually interacting with the film makers. Because it might be like you know, ushering them in? Helping them to find their theater? So, it really gets you some good facetime with the film maker. As with the other people at the festival. You’ll kinda be able to really navigate the landscape well. So, consider that, think about what John did. I mean, he wrote “Trends, the Body and the Beach.” And these are like big critically acclaimed movies. And it all started with him literally just walking into a film festival. And chatting up a producer, and it’s as simple as that. Again, it’s probably going to take some doing, I mean, you might have to network. Do this for three, four, five years of networking with dozens of producers before you find that producer that is as talented as the one that John ultimately found. Again, don’t give up, don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work out. Quickly, but I doubt, I don’t think this is a viable way to network and it’s the people.
So, what are some of the other things, what are some of the other ways you can potentially sort of utilize this idea of networking and meeting people at your own level? I talk about this all the time on the Podcast. Short films, I think are an excellent way to do exactly that. And precisely for what I’m sort of saying, is that these producers and directors, and actors of the short films today. I mean, that’s, those are the film makers of tomorrow. Those are the big stars of tomorrow. And you can get out and meet those people now. Your career can kind of go along with their career. You’ll advance, they’ll advance, and you can help each other advance together. So, again, short films, even low-budget feature films. You know, I get a lot of people through my Podcast, and blog. And you know, they Email, oh, this particular person, producer wants to pay me a thousand dollars or two thousand dollars to shoot this feature film. And it’s like, well, if they are shooting a feature film for $20, $30, $40, $50,000.00. The writer is only going to get $1,000.00. I mean, I’ve talked about this a dozen times. You realize, you can only expect to get between 2-3% of the production budget. So, if the person is shooting it on $100,000.00, the most you will expect is $3,000.00. If they are shooting on $50,000.00, you’ll be lucky if you even get $1,000.00 or $1,500.00. Again, this is not an insult, this does not discredit you as a writer. I think this is another great way to network, get some credits, meet writers. I’m sorry, meet directors, meet producers, meet actors, and get involved with a production. So, at any level. Shorts are a especially good because you can produce a whole lot of short scripts over the span of a year. You could probably re-write ten or twelve pretty good short scripts easily here. And then you’re hopeful and can meet ten or twelve different producers and directors. And again, it’s sort of the numbers game. All a whole lot of these directors are simply going to give up and never go anywhere. But, you can do the math and volley. You know, you have to be assertive, you want to talk to the directors and producers. You want to talk to them and see if he’s, if he thinks he’s smart, see if they are the type of people who want, that you do want to network with. If they are not, then you just say, man, this doesn’t seem like the right fit for me. And you don’t give them your script. So, it’s not, you’re not locked into anything and want to be. You want to be intelligent about what you are doing. So, again, I talk about shorts a lot. I see, I talk about low-budget feature films.
You know, so what are some ways you can actually get, once you’ve written these scripts. How can you do this? Again, and I talk about this a lot. But just trying to compose them to one simple Podcast here. Craigslist is a great avenue to follow and find producers and directors locally looking for short scripts. Again, a lot of times there is, they are not going to pay you anything. If they do pay you anything it might be $100.00. So, you’re really not going to make any money off of these things. But, if you go on Craigslist anytime. You’re going to be able to just look through them, the writing gig section in Los Angeles of New York City. You look through the writing gigs section, you do a search for like screenplay or writer. You will always find at least two, three, four, or more posts from writer, or directors or producers looking for scripts. And sometimes like I said, even features some more full budget feature films and stuff. So, Craigslist is free, there really is no excuse if you are looking for a short film, a short script. And you’re looking to find a producer or director for it. There really is no excuse not to just consistently. Every day, or every other day, or twice a week, or once a week. Just go on Craigslist and try and find something that might be interested in your script. Leads that I publish through SYS Select there is often times producers looking for shorts in that. Certainly, there is also producers looking for feature films. So, again, I would really recommend, you know, my own service, obviously,
“Ink-Tip” is a similar service, they have leads. And I often see short script, producers looking for short scripts, and Ink Tip is a weekly newsletter. So, there’s a lot of ways you can find these producers that are looking for short scripts. And as I said, you can easily write to them over the course of a year, ten or twelve pretty good short scripts. So, you’ll have a lot of material to market. And, again, there’s no guarantees in this business. But, I can almost guarantee that if you are a half-way decent writer. And you’re consistent with your marketing. You will get some of these shorts produced over the course of a couple of years.
So, what else, I was just trying to like, brainstorm some other ideas to sort of fit into this same melato of you know, networking of people who are at your level. I think doing some simple outreach at home. If you can’t attend film festivals. Look up some of these film festivals, again, I’m not talking about “Sundance” or “South by Southwest.” I’m not talking about the big, “Con.” I’m not talking about the big festivals. Those big film festivals are for a big-time-directors, producers, writers, actors. But, the smaller festivals will have small film from first time film makers. If you just go to the one besides. You don’t even have to attend the film. If you just go to the websites, you’ll find lists of these films. You can then probably cross reference those films with people on them on IDMB Pro. And find the film makers on it. IDBM Pro often times there will be an Email address, and phone numbers, sometimes fax numbers? But, certainly you can pick-up the phone, certainly you can send it an Email to it’s film makers. And again, these are going to be people that are just sort of starting out in their career. They might be a little ahead of you since they have a produced credit. Or maybe you’ve got some credit. And it’s of your own, some short film or something? Those careers are similar, and will be very approachable. They are going to be looking for material, those directors and producers. They have just finished a film, because it’s at a film festival. So, there’s a good chance they’re looking for their next project, or next two projects, or the next three projects. So, again, just think about how you can meet people there at your level. And I think this is another idea.
So, another idea, just again, I’m just brainstorming ideas here. That there is probably a million ways, you could have probably also have those film makers on a, Twitter and Facebook. Again, we’ll go to the film festival website and certainly dig into IDMB Pro is a good way. You can also probably just find them on Twitter. You can find them, certainly a lot of them on the film festival websites, will have, like the Twitter account, or the Facebook account for the specific film. Quite often now days, they’ll set-up a Twitter or Facebook page for the specific film. Follow those film makers on Twitter on Facebook and just see if you can’t just start a conversation with them. You don’t want to be weird, you don’t want to be overbearing. And just saying, hey, read my script, will you read my script. Just follow these people and start to respond intelligently to posts that they make. So, they get to know you, and build a repore that way. You know, a lot of the film makers that I have on this Podcast are first time arena, or second, or third time film makers. But, a lot of these people coming on my Podcast are not like, “A” level screenwriters or producers, or directors. And so, these people probably are fairly approachable too. I had someone last week, Email me. Said, that they had actually contacted Steve Cootin. And were going to go and meet him, he was great. It was enough that he agree to meet this screenwriter. So, Steve Cootin was somebody I had on the Podcast a couple of weeks ago. So, you know, the people that you are hearing on my Podcast. At least some of them, are going to be pretty approachable. And some of them are not so far along in their career that they are not willing to, you know, read scripts from unproduced writers. So, again, think about that. There’s a reason why at the very end of the interviews I ask, “What’s your Twitter account? What’s you Facebook page?” You know, I like to know how those people communicate? And sometimes I’m like, na, .I don’t use Facebook, I don’t use Twitter. And that’s fine. That lets me know not to bother following them on Twitter. Because it’s not going to work if they don’t even have a Twitter account. It’s probably not going to be that well used. So, there’s a reason why I’m asking this and asking these people for their Twitter accounts, Facebook accounts. So that hopefully, you as the listener can hear that and go and follow them. And then follow along on their careers. I mean, again, start a conversation with them through Twitter. Twitter is a great way to start conversations with, because it’s easy to ignore people. So, yeah, you might get ignored by some of them some of the time. It’s just the time the person posts something on Twitter. You respond in an intelligent way. It’s quite likely they will start to see those and notice those. And before you’ll know it, you’ll be tweeting back and forth. So, again, it’s just another way to potentially meet people. Again, going sort of the theme of the day, meet people at your own level. Or maybe just a little below your level, or a little higher than your level. Also, be real creative. You know, I was just like a, preparing for this Podcast. Just came up with these ideas. But I think there5 is probably a million other ways to do this? And if I’m sitting here talking about them, then they probably the obvious. Because as I said, I was just sitting here 5 minutes before I was to do this Podcast. These were the ideas I came up with. Just think about this? How can you meet the film makers that are roughly at your level? How can you meet directors and producers who are you know, just starting out. Or maybe just one credit under their belt. Those are the people that are going to be approachable. And those are the people who you can network with successfully. You easily and slowly build your career as they build theirs. Hopefully you’ll be able to build your career. And John as I said is a prime example of this. He started out with a really low-budget thriller film. And slowly worked their way their way up. And as I said, “Transporting and the Beach.” Are like critically acclaimed high level movies. You know, great movies, it’s kind of like the top of the key, in terms of film making and screenwriting. So, it’s a real, real good temple to look at.
Anyway, that is the show, thank you for listening.

End Audio.