When I was in 7th grade I used to eat salt and vinegar potato chips.  They were new on the market and no one else was eating them.   When I shared them most of the people thought they were disgusting.

One day the coolest kid in the class, Craig, brought salt and vinegar potato chips to lunch and started telling everyone how awesome they were.  Pretty soon everyone in the class wanted salt and vinegar potato chips and I could trade half a bag of mine for a coveted Twinkie or candy bar, even to the people who had declared them disgusting only a few days earlier.  What changed?  The chips didn’t change.  It was the perception of the chips that changed.  Craig had literally (and single handily) created a market for salt and vinegar potato chips in my 7th grade class.

How does this relate to screenwriting?

How can you get the “cool kids” in Hollywood to vouch for your script?  The “cool kids” in Hollywood are the working actors, producers, directors, and writers.  If you live in Los Angeles it’s quite likely you’ll know some of them or know someone who knows them.

As an unknown writer the perception people will have about you and your script is going to be that you’re just another one of the millions of want-to-be writers.  But if you can get interest from an established industry professional it can greatly alter that perception.

2 thoughts on “Screenwriting and salt and vinegar potato chips”
  1. And? Don’t leave us hanging, Ashley! It feels like the second half of this posting is missing! HOW do we get to know them?

    1. Lauri;

      Good question. I didn’t mean to leave people hanging. I linked to my posts about moving to Los Angeles because that’s a specific first step – move to Los Angeles and network as much as you can. I know that’s pretty broad but in some ways I wanted this post to be broad.

      Many writers recommend that you write a great script and that will differentiate you from the pack. Sometimes it will. But that’s the point of my post. It’s not always the quality of the actual product that makes people like it. Sometimes it’s purely the perception about a product that makes it successful and makes people want it.

      In general I was trying to point out that if there are ways you can differentiate your script from the pack (other than just “great” writing) you might be able to change that initial perception that producers will have about a cold submission. Getting the “cool kids” to vouch for you is only one way. Producing a short film based on your script and then winning awards with it is another way. Winning a screenwriting contest might be a another way. Curing cancer and then writing a script about your struggle to cure cancer might be yet another. Hopefully you’ll have some of your own ideas.

      The main point I’m trying to make here is once the script is written (and re-written many times) what else can you do to increase the likelihood that your script will sell? I don’t know that I have all the answers for this right now. But it’s something I’ve been thinking about. As I come up with ideas I’ll be writing future posts covering some of the specifics.

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