This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 395 With Actor Courtney Gains.
Ashley: Welcome to Episode #395 of the Selling Your Screenplay podcast. I’m Ashley Scott Meyers, screenwriter and blogger over at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today I’m interviewing actor and also a musician, Courtney Gains. You might remember him from Children of the Corn or Back to the Future. He’s been acting for years, has an impressive resume, including a number of films coming out this year which we talk a little bit about as well. We talk about his journey as an actor, getting cast in Children in the Corn and then getting cast in Back to the Future and how he’s been able to maintain his acting career now for almost 40 years. So this episode is going to be my crossover episode. It’s an episode I recorded for my actor podcast, The Right Cast.
I just started that one maybe a month ago. So it’s more actor centric than normal, but I thought this would still be interesting to screenwriters as well, so I brought this interview over here. If you do like this interview, or just want to hear more of me interviewing folks, do check out www.therightcast.com. Anyway, that’s going to be our interview today, so stay tuned for that interview. If you find this episode valuable, please help me out by giving me a review in iTunes or leaving me a comment on YouTube or re-tweeting the podcast on Twitter or liking or sharing it on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the podcast, so they’re very much appreciated. Any websites or links that I mention in the podcast can be found on my blog in the show notes.
I also publish a transcript with every episode in case you’d rather read the show or look at something later on. You can find all the podcast show notes at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast, and then just look for Episode Number #395. If you want my free guide, How to Sell a Screenplay In Five Weeks, you can pick that up by going to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. It’s completely free, you just put in your email address and I’ll send you a new lesson once per week for five weeks, along with a whole bunch of bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screenplay in that guide. I’ll teach you how to write a professional logline and query letter, and how to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for material.
Really, it’s everything you need to know to sell your screenplay, just go to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. So now let’s get into the main segment. Again, I am interviewing actor and also musician, Courtney Gains. Here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Courtney to the podcast. I really appreciate you coming on the show with me today.
Courtney: Hey, nice to be here. How you doing?
Ashley: So to start out, maybe you can tell us a little bit about your background. Where did you grow up and how did you get your first break being cast in Children of the Corn? Maybe just sort of take us up through that period of your life and get us to the point where you were cast in Children of the Corn.
Courtney: Sure. So I was born in Los Angeles, not in the Beverly Hills area [laughs]. Born technically in the wrong side of the tracks near Dodger Stadium, which probably doesn’t mean a lot to people, but down by the LA River.
Ashley: Got you.
Courtney: I got the bug for acting when I was 10. I was in this after school program with all the tough kids from the broken homes and the parents had to work two jobs. And this lady that was a teacher named Ms. Gardner, who was by far the toughest bird of them all, which we respected her because of that, got us to do theater. And just to give an example of how crazy though, she had us do one play in drag. So she got the toughest guy in school to play the lead.
Ashley: Wow [laughs].
Courtney: How about that? And this was like the ‘70s. This was out of the box, but we all jumped in once he got in, because we’d say like, “Oh, you think it was funny [inaudible 00:03:32] let me go tell Frankie you think that’s funny. Like “No, no, please, please, don’t do that. So, but the first play we did was Snow White and the Seventh Dwarfs, and I was originally the dwarf and then I was cast as the prince and I didn’t want to do it, and I didn’t wanna do it because I didn’t wanna have to kiss the girl. I was like 10 years old. She was basically like, “You’re going to do it, and so I did. And getting out on those boards, I can’t explain it. It was like something familiar, something felt like home. Then when I kissed the girl and she suddenly comes alive and the crowd applauds, I was hooked. I was hooked.
So I started really bugging my parents at that point. My mother though, had been in the USO at a very young age and was kind of reluctant for me to be a child actor, and in sight, that was probably a blessing. But I did keep bugging her, and at 13, she finally put me in a workshop in a class, and I hated the class. It was like tights and tap dancing. You understand I’m a kid from, a hood rat basically, like this is not what I was talking about. And so I was about to quit and I had taken about three classes. I was like, “I don’t fit in here, this is not what I meant.” And this guy stopped my mom and I on the street after the class, and he says, “Hi, my name is Virgil Frye, I’m an actor and I’m also an acting coach, and I think your son has a great look. How does he like this class?” And I was like, I don’t know about this guy. He said, “My son’s in on this audition next door.”
And she kept talking to us, and then the son came out, and I immediately recognized his son, his name’s Sean Frye. And in the 70s, he was a working kid actor. He was in the original Fun with Dick and Jane, I saw him in movies of the week with Elizabeth Montgomery and I thought to myself, “Well, if his son’s working, then he must know what he’s doing. And so I started studying with him at 13 and it was a real class. Like a real gritty class, you know? Method acting. Stuff I could really dig into that I liked. And what was really also very unique about the class, was that it wasn’t a kids class. It was kids and adults mixed. And for me, that was way, way better. Number one, I got along with adults so much better than I got along with my peer group, but when you work with all just kids, which I’ve trained a lot of young actors too, there’s a sort of a cutesiness and BS that goes on, where when you’re working with adults that doesn’t happen.
The kids bring the imagination, the adults bring the experience, but you also can pair them in improvs and things. Because what do kids deal with the most when they’re growing up? Their parents. They’re dealing with authority figures, right? So it’s a great place to create conflict as well. So that was a great class and he eventually, Virgil Frye eventually became my manager, but first he just really helped me get into business, finding agents and everything and training me. And everybody kept saying when I turned 18 I was going to blow up, because the emancipation laws back then were you had to be 18 to work a full day. So the idea was to be 18 and look 15. And so I was looking 15 and I had five years training under my belt. And as soon as I turned 18, I just didn’t stop working for like six years.
And the first big break was Children of the Corn. The story there is that when I went in to audition, the guy who was the reader who went on to become a very successful casting director, Jeff Goldberg, tells a story I pulled a knife on him. A fake knife, but he didn’t know that [laughs]. Which is not something anybody does, but he always tells people [inaudible 00:06:48] but I was young and hungry and it helped leave an impression and it helped me get me the job.
Ashley: Yeah, I’m sure it did. So let’s just talk about child acting just for a second. I’d love to get your perspective on this. What are some things you’ve seen with child actors, where the parents do things really right? Some good things, and then we’ll take the flip side. What are some things that parents need to look out for if they start pushing their child to be a child actor?
Courtney: Oh gosh, it’s hard to say what they do right.
Ashley: [laughs] Well, there must be some things. Like it sounds like your parents, they didn’t let you do a lot of these things until you turned 18 and you sort of thought that that was maybe a little bit of a blessing. So maybe that’s one thing to look at.
Courtney: Well, I think the thing with my parents, so do right, is to just support your kid in whatever they want to do. That’s what any parent can do right, and that’s what I wanted to do. And they could see that I would be coming back from these classes excited. So, yeah, they scrounged up the money and sometimes they’d have to go to my brother and get him to kick in, and because they could see that I loved it. So they just supported what I was doing, but they didn’t in any way, I would say the word encourage, or push me towards. Whereas most young kid actors, most, are… it’s their stage parent that’s pushing them toward it. Something that they wanted that they didn’t get, so they want their kids to achieve that goal. And then what’s even worse is when a kid actually starts working, for example, Virgil Frye’s daughter was Soleil Moon Frye Punky Brewster.
Now, she chose it because she was around that environment. Her half-brother, Meeno Peluce, worked a ton in the ‘80s, just like series to series. So she just grew up and then decided she wanted to do it, and that’s a little bit of a different ball of wax. But most of these kids, their parents are sort of pushing them into it. And that’s, what’s scary is when, if they start making money, even say like in Soleil’s case, another friend of mine who passed away last year, Kristoff St. John, who had a stellar television career the last 15 years was on The Young and the Restless, won a couple of Daytime Emmys on there. They had this tremendous amount of pressure at a young age to be providers, and that’s where it gets dangerous. When they have to try… for two reasons.
One, it’s an enormous amount of pressure, but two, it’s an enormous amount of power. When you’re the provider, your parents, aren’t the provider, that’s not natural, you know?
Ashley: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Courtney: So it’s a weird game.
Ashley: Yeah. Yeah, that…
Courtney: And then you… I’m sorry, go ahead.
Ashley: No, I’m sorry. I was gonna say that’s some real good insight. I totally agree. The dynamic really is not, as you say, it’s sort of an unnatural dynamic between parents and kids.
Courtney: It is, and then on top of it, say like you are a kid, say like in Soleil Moon’s example, she’s the lead of the series. She’s like the top female kid actor, and then all of a sudden that series is over after everybody’s been telling you how great you are and blowing smoke up your ass for the last five years. Series done, everybody moves on to the next job. You know what I mean? And it’s like, that’s not healthy either. You know what I mean? That’s not real, other than it leads to a real hard lesson, when you’re hot people love you, and when you’re not, they’re on to the next, right? So it’s… I just don’t think that’s a real healthy environment for kids. So I’d say I’m glad that my career didn’t happen till later. Because there were a lot of people, a lot of kids in the acting class I was in, within a year or two years were working and what they did after that is stopped studying.
They thought they had arrived. So I studied for five years before I got my first break, and then I never stopped studying. I stayed in that class for another five years. So I worked with my mentor for 10 years before I broke off and tried other things and also taught myself, which he helped train me to do. So I, for really my whole career, I was either in a class or teaching a class. I think that that’s how I had been able to make the transition from teen actor to adult actor.
Ashley: Yeah. Yeah, that’s some great insight. So let’s talk about some of your recent credits. You and I got hooked up, this new film coming out called Queen Bees. You have a role in that. Maybe we can talk about that a little bit. What is that project all about and how did you get involved with it?
Courtney: So what it’s about, is about a woman, Ellen Burstyn, who goes into a retirement home for a little while, where they’re supposed to fix her house up. Then what happens is the house catches on fire and she has to live there. And she realizes that that whole scene is like high school, but everybody’s older [laughs]. So that’s what the movie about, but she finds love, that’s the good side of it. My character is just a cameo. I’m a guy who basically steals her purse at a copy house with this clique that she’s now getting involved with, and they stand up to me and it kind of helps them bond. But for me, I got into it because Michael Lembeck, the director, I’d study in a workshop that his sister Hellene Lembeck teaches.
It’s called the Harvey Lembeck Comedy Workshop, which of course is their father who had a very prolific career in the ‘50s and ‘60s and ‘70s and trained a lot of amazing people in that class, it was comedy class. And when I heard about the project, I approached Michael, he also teaches there part-time when he’s not directing. And he said, he basically was like, here’s a part it’s not big, but here… but I was like, I can work with Ellen Burstyn, Ann-Margaret, Loretta Devine and Jane Curtin. I’m like, I’m in. So it was just great to get to work with those iconic actresses for the day. I had a really good time.
Ashley: Yeah, for sure. And I’m curious what is… it sounds like this is sort of a previous relationship. But what is it just sort of in general, and maybe you can be specific with this project, that kind of gets you fired up with the script? Obviously, this thing already had cast and that sort of attached, but are there some things that you could pick out from the script that you noticed and you liked?
Courtney: It depends on the size of the project, and being that this was just a cameo, I really didn’t really get into it. I don’t need to know the rest of the script to be honest. I just need to know my part and how it relates to the movie, if that makes sense.
Ashley: Yeah, and what…
Courtney: If it’s a bigger part, then I need to know the whole script. What am I looking for in a script, essentially that’s what you’re asking. I’m looking for two things, something I can believe, like it can be an outer space or it can be a horror film or it can be… I got to believe, you know what I mean? It’s like Charlie’s Angels and in the first two minutes, they’re jumping out of helicopters with no parachutes, I’m like, come on man. You know, that ain’t happening. Right? So that’s why I like doing real stories, and I like doing period pieces because… like a Memphis Belle or something like that, because they’re things I can believe in. And the second thing you’re looking for, is the best arc you could find as an actor, right? You want the best arc you can find, or the best turn of events you can find. The best surprise twist or whatever you can find, that you as the actor then has to deal with. There has to be the element of shock or surprise.
Ashley: Yeah. And I’m curious, let’s go through some of your other films. You mentioned right before we started the interview, you had a bunch of other films. It sounds like COVID has kind of put a lot of these films under wraps. Now that COVID is opening up, it sounds like things are getting released. Talk about some of your new films. What else do you have coming out in the next couple months?
Courtney: So I have a horror film that just came out on Amazon Prime called Await the Dawn. It’s got Dee Wallace and Vernon Wells, and it’s a pretty cool project. And that’s, it was a flat plate of like a doctor who was like a doctor, like a therapist for drug rehab and stuff like that. So fun and different.
Ashley: How did you get cast in that one?
Courtney: How I got cast in that one was, the director had approached me through another friend who I was working on a different project with and asked me to take a read of the script and I liked it and I did it. It’s nice that you can get an offer. When you get an offer, that goes a long way, and so that one was an offer. The next project was a project called The River, and that’s coming out in July 13th. It’s described as a psychological sci-fi thriller, and I think that that’s fair because it has Sci-fi elements, but it’s not like in space. There’s not a lot of CGI. There’s literally five people in the movie, and what it’s about, is this girl who comes back to her hometown after her mother mysteriously dies and then starts having time-lapses.
My character’s name is Dr. Michael Glenn and he’s a friend of the family’s, but he also, so he starts doing therapy sessions with her to try to figure out what’s going on. And it’s, again, as I’m getting older and I’m starting to get these professionals. The therapists and things like that. So that’s…
Ashley: And how did you get cast in The River?
Courtney: The cast director knew my work and through dealing with my manager. And then this film was short in North Carolina, and I’m spending some of my time now on the Southeast, so when they found out they could grab me out here. Because it was a little, it was a small project that was a big boost, so they could get me on the east coast.
Ashley: Got you. Got you.
Courtney: So that kind of was just right place right time. The next movie, it was a movie called Charming the Hearts of Men, and that’s coming out August 13th. That’s a movie set in the ‘50s loosely based on a true story of this woman who had a big hand in getting the word Woman, put in the civil rights bill. That’s just pretty wild. I play a character named Mr. Spratz, who is this owner of this diner where she ends up having to work. She was a, her character was a debutante that loses her father and then finds out they have no money and then she has to work. And when she works, she started seeing the reality of the segregation, and she allows a bunch of black folk to do a sit in at this diner that ends up becoming a real story and in history in the news, and then she gets involved in civil rights.
It’s a pretty cool project and I’m glad it’s finally coming out. I got cast in that through an audition. Through a self-tape audition.
Ashley: Yeah, perfect. I’m curious with River, you mentioned that you were in the Southeast. I actually had another actor on the podcast previously, and he’s in Louisiana and he does a lot of that too. He gets these local hires. He doesn’t have near your resume. So I’m curious if this is something you would recommend to actors that maybe were trying to break in. Is it, do you think it’s easier for them to get roles? I mean, obviously you have a big resume, so it’s a little bit of a different situation, but would you recommend that a actor stay in the Southwest? Could he get some of those local hire roles and maybe be a little less competitive than moving out to LA?
Courtney: I would say that it’s actually, now that I’ve… I’m doing both right now here in the Southeast and I’m in LA. But I’ve been doing the Southeast thing now for about three years. It is not any easier to be honest. It’s also competitive. But there are a lot of opportunities, and I think that that’s what you have to really focus on. Part of what had me made the move, is I felt there was a real drop in auditions for me in 2017. And I think that that was a combination of age, and I also think it was a combination of, I think there’s a lot more ethnic work out there now. Which is a good thing, but I think it’s been affecting pasty white boys like myself a little bit. Like a lot of people I know, white guys in their 50s have been struggling a little bit. So I was like, I need to figure out a way to boost my auditions.
And to me, for me, if I can get like 30 auditions a year, I can do three jobs a year. That’s sort of been my average. So if I’m only getting 20 auditions a year, that’s really hurting my bottom line. So I had to figure out a way to shift the game and open up. But I think if you are already someone in the Southeast, it’s not just Atlanta, it’s a 500 mile range from Atlanta. Like there’s work going on in Kentucky because there’s incentives in Kentucky now. There’s work going on in Oklahoma, because there’s incentives there. There’s obviously work going on in Louisiana. So there’s a lot of… in Atlanta, there’s a lot, a lot of work in Atlanta, but there’s a lot of work here, in Mississippi there is work, even Alabama. So there’s a lot going on in this whole Southeast region, and it’s not a bad way to get yourself started.
And then also, like I’ll give an example of a guy I knew who was an Asian actor, who ended up being able to start to build his resume in the Southeast, because there just wasn’t that many Asian actors out here. So he was able to build the beginning of his resume and then use that to then catapult his LA work. So it depends on what you bring into the party as well.
Ashley: Yeah, for sure. I’m curious too. On your IMDb page, you have a number of producing credits, executive producer, co-producer credits. One of your more recent credits, Candy Corn, you also did a movie called 911. I’m curious, why does an actor like yourself, why do you begin to produce? Maybe you can sort of talk about what you actually did with those productions as an actor and producer.
Courtney: Basically as an actor, it’s feast or famine. Sometimes you’re busy and sometimes you’re not. And when you’re not, you can just sit there twiddling your thumbs or you can do other things. So I’ve always looked for projects I can be part of to develop, and especially projects that perhaps have me in them or whatever. And I’ve been pretty good at being like a bridge guy. Say like I know somebody, I mean, somebody not in film that wants to get into film business, who’s a real estate developer. And they’re like, “Yeah, I’d like to, you know… if there’s a right project, I’m like maybe I’m looking for a horror project. So then I’ll find a horror project and put those two people together and get a movie done. So I’ve done, that’s pretty much how I’ve behaved as a producer, is just people are trying to get their thing done.
And that’s nothing wrong with that, but that’s also can be very tough. It’s like it’s all about the, do my thing. Whereas I’m looking at like, where’s the fit. Where’s the fit? And then for example in Candy Corn though, what happened with that is I came in just as an actor. I liked what I was seeing out of the director and the DP, but they ended up like many independent movies. They ended up falling short on their funding. I felt it was a project we’re doing, so I helped find a little bit of bridge money where we shot some more footage. And then that ended up being enough for them to secure the rest of financing. But I also we shot some of it in LA, so obviously that’s my territory, because this guy’s from Ohio. So I took over handling production in LA because I could bring the team together there and get the good deals on trailers and this and that.
So just from being around, just from being in LA all these years, I know a few people. So sometimes it’s just, it ends up being by necessity that I come on. And 911, actually that story is a bit of a rough story. I found, I got approached by someone I knew from years and years ago who had this really good script, and I brought it to this guy, Martin Guigui, who’s a producer director, who I’d worked with before on a project called Benny Bliss and the Disciples of Greatness. So I was his producer and we put that whole thing together. I didn’t own the rights to it though, but I thought I could count on him. So I gave him and I ended up getting kind of pushed to the side by the end, because I didn’t own the rights. So I have a co, I didn’t have an associate producer credit in that. I didn’t have a lot of slay on that.
They ended up doing a lot of rewrites, and stuff that I wasn’t… but I did get a credit. I did get a little bit of a buyout and that happens sometimes. That’s the hard thing I’ve learned about producing is, who owns the script, who owns the property has the say. Money talks and [inaudible 00:22:34] talks, basically.
Ashley: Yeah. Yeah, of course. So I’m curious at this stage of your career. Like you just went through River and Awaiting Dawn. Some of these different movies, it sounds like some of them, you mentioned these 30 auditions a year, you can generally get three gigs out of 30 auditions. How many of your actual gigs these days come through networking and personal relationships versus an agent or a manager? And then how many auditions come that way as well? I’d just be curious to kind of hear sort of how you’re actually landing these gigs a little bit.
Courtney: Yeah, no, no, it’s a good question. It ebbs and flows. If I had to pick a percentage, I’d probably say it’s 65, 60 percent of just going out auditioning, doing self-tapes and auditioning. And I’d say it’s like 30, 35 percent of offers. It also depends on your team, like my manager Chris Roe, he has a pretty good clientele. He has like a couple big dogs, like a Malcolm McDowell and like that, where that guy he just gets great offers. Like he’s never had, he hasn’t had to audition in like 40 years. He’s Malcom McDowell. But sometimes we get the trickle down theory. Say they come after Malcolm McDowell and they find out how much a Malcom McDowell costs, and then he could go, “Well, for that money, I can get you a Courtney Gains [laughs].” So sometimes it happens that way.
So that’s good to have a team that has some projects coming their way. Sometimes you can get some things that way. Or relationships that he’s formed over the years because he does have a number of working actors like Bruce Davidson or people like that. And so it’s a little bit of both. And then like and I have an agent in Atlanta as well, who’s Phil’s doing a great job at Stewart Talent. And they get a lot… there’s a lot of auditions out here, but what I’ve found out here is, whereas in LA I would say I can average one out of 10, which is a very good rate actually. But out here it’s not been, you have to do a lot of auditions to get a job. And it’s nothing personal. It’s just, it seems to be the way it works. Some people I’ve talked to, working actors are like, “You have to do like 30 auditions to get a job. So it’s a lot of footwork, you know?
Ashley: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, for sure. So I always like to just wrap up these interviews by asking the guest if they’ve seen something recently that they thought was really great. Maybe something that went a little under the radar, Netflix, Hulu, HBO. Is there anything recently you’ve watched that you thought maybe could use a little extra attention?
Courtney: Yeah. I don’t know if… maybe you’ll be able to help me remember the name of it. The Baz Luhrmann mini-series a few years ago, I thought was just a, it was an Amazon thing, where it was about sort of the burgeoning of rap in Brooklyn.
Ashley: Okay, I don’t remember it.
Courtney: What is the name of that thing? That is the…
Ashley: Yeah, we’ll figure it out. No, yeah, Baz Luhrmann, Amazon show. Yeah, that’s a good recommendation. I do sort of vaguely remember, but I didn’t watch it.
Courtney: I cannot think of the name of it. It made the kid, or the kid broke out. The kid that was the lead, he broke out after that. But I thought that honestly is the best thing I’ve seen in years. It was just so creative and so interesting how they put it together. But I mean, Baz Luhrmann is out there on the list of guys I don’t want to work for, for sure. I just think he’s really interesting how he uses music and to tell stories. I wish… I can’t believe I’m blanking on it right now, but that was, I was really impressed with that mini-series.
Ashley: Yeah, for sure.
Courtney: And there was really supposed to be more, but I think I heard that eventually just sort of lost interest in it. And then [inaudible 00:26:15]. It was supposed to have a season two, the season one was really, really good.
Ashley: Got you. And tell me a little bit about your music. It sounds like you have an album or a song coming out here recently.
Courtney: Yes. I got two things going on musically. So I have a solo project called Acoustic Gains Volume 1, and yet a song just came out today called Let it Ride, which is a very vintage, acoustic blues vibe song. That’s the third single I’ve put out on that so far, and that’s been cool. Just really stripped down acoustic. Kind of hearkens back to like the ‘70s, when they used to have a lot of acoustic in the music they did. And the second project is a band. I have a band called Ripple Street and we put out three singles this year. The last single we put out about a month ago was called Would You? And I would say it’s like, they say it sounds Black Sabbath would not be too far reach. So much more heavy rock down. So it’s fun to have two projects where I can do stuff that’s more personal and intimate and still do some stuff that’s rock and hard. And you can find all this stuff on Spotify and Amazon and Deezer and even YouTube Music.
Ashley: Perfect. Perfect. Is there any other sites you use, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, that you want to share? I will round up those for the show notes as well.
Courtney: Sure. Yeah, if you want to find me, the best way is to find me on my Facebook [inaudible 00:27:29]. If there’s other ones, you’ll be able to find which one’s me, because there’s like current stuff that you couldn’t get otherwise. And then I also have an Instagram, but Facebook’s the best way to find me and I don’t do Twitter.
Ashley: Got you. Courtney, well, I really appreciate you coming on and talking with me today. Good luck with all of these projects.
Courtney: Thank you very much. Nice talking to you.
Ashley: Thank you. Will talk to you later. Bye.
Courtney: All right, bye.
Ashley: I just wanna talk quickly about SYS Select. It’s a service for screenwriters to help them sell their screenplays and get writing assignments. The first part of the service is the SYS Select screenplay database. Screenwriters upload their screenplays along with a logline, synopsis and other pertinent information like budget and genre, and then producers search for and hopefully find screenplays they wanna produce. Dozens of producers are in the system looking for screenplays right now. There have been a number of success stories come out of this service, you can find out about all the SYS Select successes by going to www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/success. Also on SYS Podcast Episode #222, I talk with Steve Deering who was the first official success story to come out of the SYS Select database.
When you join SYS Select, you get access to the screenplay database along with all the other services that we’re providing to SYS Select members. These services include the newsletter, the monthly newsletter goes out to a list of over 400 producers who are actively seeking writers and screenplays. Each SYS Select member can pitch one screenplay in this monthly newsletter. We also provide screenwriting leads, we have partnered with one of the premiere paid screenwriting leads services, 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 we’ve been getting five to 10 high quality paid leads per week. These leads run the gamut. There’s producers looking for a specific type of spec script to producers looking to hire a screenwriter to write up one of their ideas or properties.
They are looking for shorts, features, TV and web series, pilots, all types of projects. If you sign up for SYS Select, you’ll get these leads emailed directly to you several times per week. Also, you get access to the SYS Select forum where we will help you with your logline and query letter and answer any screenwriting related questions that you might have. We also have a number of screenwriting classes that are recorded and available in the SYS Select forum. These are all the classes that I’ve done over the years, so you’ll have access to those whenever you want once you join. The classes cover every part of writing your screenplay from concept, to outlining, to the first act, second act, third act as well as other topics like writing short films and pitching your projects in person. Once again, if this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, please go to www.sellingyourscreenplayselect.com.
On the next episode of the podcast, I’m gonna be interviewing screenwriter Eric Pearsons, who just wrote the new Scarlet Johannsen film, Black Widow. We obviously talk a great deal about that film. But Eric is a writer who really rose up through the Marvel writing system. So we talk about that as well, how he got in there, how he was able to work on various projects within again this sort of Marvel universe. So keep an eye out for that episode next week. That’s the show, thank you for listening.