Getting into ScreenwritingEntry into script writing
From New York I relocated to L.A. with a humble résumé, limited writing ability and zero dollar (see the section on currants and groundnut butter), and within a few years I found myself in limousines with celebrity film-makers.
So I could call anyone I wanted and have a free meal with them in the best places or set up a date or just make a call. And I even went to the Academy Awards®, then to Spago with Bette Midler, where I was at Swifty's desk and saw Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell and Walter Cronkite and Joan Collins.
I' d always thought of myself as a novelist and had always wanted a top script writer's job with a Malibu seaside home (it was a great place with many important pool meetings). In the end, however, I talked to other authors all morning about their thoughts, heard their tales and did what I could to help them.
Authors are possessed. Authors are intensive. Authors are a matter of lives and deaths. For me, working with authors was even more enjoyable than working with them. So if you are a novelist or if you are someone like me who loves novelists and you want to go to Hollywood, here are some great ways to get to work.
In the meantime, take a look at the thousand script copies that lie around here. I was 29 years old when I got out of New York and drove west, which is above the ridge for Hollywood-norms.
I came to L.A., I found a decent place to stay, and I got myself some groundnut bread and raisin, hoping I could hold out for a few of them. I' m calling everyone on the playlist I've put together from ABC, A & D contact, the theater community and friend of friend.
Then, we ran out of groundnut bread and sultanas. So I took the work and my beautiful chef Tony Ganz was helping me with the rental; I was parking far away from the other clerks and began to read screenplays and meet people. Later on, when our TV show Maximum Security went into HBO's studio, I enrolled as a cultural advisor - same salary and I still had to pick up the phone, but I was on my way.
Hollywood folks will be glad to tell you how they got into the game. A female photographer I went to see took an hours break with me and told me how she began to live with her boyfriends in a shitty little flat somewhere under the highway, how she took over the job of the cleaner for her chief and then got his ears and respects when she showed that she had good tastes and a great work morale.
Don't get caught up in a script because you think it's marvelous and you can't believe that no one else is getting it. Type the next one and the next one. Do it every single second. Bettte and I, together with our other associate Bonnie Bruckheimer, had many encounters with authors, including the very enchanting Julius Epstein.
He' s been telling us tales about old Hollywood. "A Hollywood wonder. If you know in your lifetime that you will be writing three pages a days, that's a whole bunch of scripts. Publish in other mediums. The three authors who deal with the beach are all great talents that cannot be stop. Before she became a scriptwriter, Mary Agnes Donahue was poet.
In practical terms, when you are writing a piece, there is a high probability that it will be made. When there are good parts in the screenplay, you can wager your lives that these characters will help you find a place to put it. is a place where everyone is afraid - for a good cause.
Bette, Bonnie and I have been reading a fabulous, mysterious script named Female Suspects by David Chase. Bettte had her own core on the lead role. But Bette said she could make it sympathetic. Let's face it, if Bette pleads for something, she goes the whole hog. Although Bette Midler loved his work, David Chase was not recognized as an author in any of our work.
As Bette was disheartened (yes, even Bette Midler could be discouraged), Jeffrey Katzenberg reminded her that most of the times you would get a "no" - that even he would make 100 telephone conversations, and 99 of them would be "no", but you only need a "yes".
You have to get a living.
This is such an exiting time for all script authors and film-makers. I would advise all authors to do something easy - maybe without using mass sequences or custom visuals - and bring some of their characters together. Meet other authors. She may have been eating just peanuts and peanuts in the last few days.
When she gets her big design assignment, you may be one of the authors she has for a meet with the manufacturer, the celebrity or the leader who believes in her. While you continue your own literature careers, whatever your way, I ask you one thing: make great story.
Create tales about ordinary folks in unbelievable situations, or create tales of astonishing personalities that we like. Recruit me, Hollywood!