My screenwriting journey begin the moment I thought I figured out how to sell a script. While I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to write a screenplay, because I had no idea how to go about selling it I was never motivated enough to put pen to paper and actually write something.
One day in college while waiting for class I wandered into the poetry reading room. On one of the shelves they had a book called Writer’s Market. It listed thousands of publishers and had a brief description of what they were looking for. I flipped through it and found a section on screenplays which essentially listed about 100 production companies who would supposedly read scripts from unproduced writers.
That glimmer of a potential sale was all the motivation I needed to crank out the first 10 pages of a brilliant and hilarious untitled comedy script I had been kicking around in my head for years. I mailed it to two companies in the Writer’s Market who, from their descriptions, seemed especially open to reading material from new writers. A couple weeks later someone from one of the companies called me and basically told me not to bother sending anymore scripts out until I had done some serious learning. He recommended reading Syd Field’s Screenplay which I promptly did. A week later I got a letter from the other company thanking me for the undated, untitled submission and wishing me luck with my project and politely passing. While this isn’t exactly the reaction I was hoping for it was enough of a reaction for me to realize that if I had a good script I might be able to get it to the ‘right’ people. I have made thousands of submissions since that first one, optioned dozens of my scripts, and even sold a few and had them turned into films.
So this is the focus of my screenwriting blog: selling your screenplay. I may occasionally dip into the art of writing and give my opinions but I’ll try to keep focused on how you can actually get your script sold and made into a movie. Ultimately that’s what screenwriting is all about and frankly the quality of your script often times doesn’t matter if you know how to sell it.
I don’t pretend to be the most accomplished screenwriter in the world (click here to check out my credits on IMDb). I’m certainly not and never will be. So if you have suggestions, comments, or ideas please add to the discussion by posting comments. While I have had a few of my scripts made into films I know that I too still have a lot to learn about writing and selling.
In addition, keep in mind that anything I write on my blog is my opinion and if you’re looking to option or sell your screenplay you need to talk to an entertainment lawyer – this blog will not suffice – so please don’t rely on it for any legal advice what-so-ever.
To start out I recommend you read my first post How to Sell Your Screenplay (in a nutshell). It will give you a good overview about how to sell your script and links to all the other important posts.