How Hard is it to become a ScreenwriterSo how hard is it to become a screenwriter?
You really want to be a screenwriter?
Nearly every author and serious movie buff has thought about scriptwriting and becoming a scriptwriter. Attracted by the might of the big (or small) canvas, and by tales of all the glory, achievement, awards and big, big cash that other scriptwriters have earned, they are enticed by Hollywood's imagination.
Undoubtedly, some of you who read these words have already had a successful professional life. However, my assumption is that most of you are still on the "break-in stage" and wonder whether it' s a stupid wish to write for films or TV - or whether it really is really inappropriate.
I would like to help you to find an explanation by debating some of the reality of the film and TV industry and providing both the right and incorrect reasons for the persecution of Hollywood. You got what it took to be a screenwriter? I have taught scriptwriting courses and workshops for more than fifteen years and have worked with tens of thousand of film and TV authors at various phases of their career.
But every time I'm with a group of would-be film-makers who want to start their career, I come across two different legends about the Hollywood barrier course, both of which cause disillusion. First misunderstanding is that Hollywood is an simple way to glory and wealth. Maybe a novelist is watching a mindless TV show and comes to the conclusion that anyone with the IQ of maize could be writing such gibberish.
Then some courteous but chickenhearted editor tries to abandon her by saying that her 873-page script about the Millard Fillmore White House years would be much better than a film. Before you know it, she writes'FADE IN', she has become a prey to the mistaken assumption that it is no more difficult to write a film than to watch one.
It believes that anyone who is selling a screenplay will be a billionaire and that because films and TV shows are abundant, relatively brief and often average, there really are no regulations, nor are there any standard or pro abilities to be concerned about. Or in other words, writing scripts is simple. But the other, more devastating legend of scriptwriting is exactly the opposite: a novelist learns of the thousand unpublished, unselling, unopened, illegible and unwritten scripts that buzz around Hollywood, deciding that his dreams are outrageous.
Friend, family and unsuccessful scriptwriters will be lucky to support this faith with many stories and statistics: everyone in Los Angeles works on a screenplay; it's not what you know, but who you know; every author in Hollywood gets fucked; you have to be in Southern California; you have to be a young whitey; and even if you could burglarize, moviemaking is obviously a laughable, meaningless, humiliating and desperate persecution for every serious filmwriter.
That is, writing a script is not possible. This first legend described above overlooks the years of suffering, battle and defeat that precede (and sometimes exclude) the most successful scriptwriters. But the second legend disregards the fact that about one hundred and fifty fiction features, plus more than fifty television features and seventy week-long TV shows are made each year by the big radio and television stations and the network.
Not including non-prime-time and cabaret TV or the various market for independents, education, industrial, worship and adults' films and TV. Someone has to write all these things. Like any other type of written communication, screening is a unique, learning handicraft that demands studies, talents, training, experience and an enormous amount of work.
So in order to determine whether you want to use your lives for this particular way, disregard both the imagination of riches and glory and the Prophet of Perdition and ask yourself instead exactly why you want to make films or TV. Screening is not a smart way to go if you choose it for one of these reasons:
Writing a scenario because a random scenario is sold for a million bucks is like study hotel/motel-managing because Donald Trump has a great boat. Famishing scriptwriters aren't luckier than famishing writers, and if the big bucks are your only destination until you get there (if at all), the journey won't have been rewarded.
When your passion for poetry is founded on the grandeur, structure, breadth and grandeur of the written word, you will be much luckier as a writer, author or essays writer. Screwriting `style' is much nearer to that of advertising copy, comics and sport pages than to the great lit.
As soon as you are selling your script, it will probably be rewritten by someone else (often by several others) until it is unrecognisable. They are usually personala non gratata while the picture is being filmed, and neither the statute nor the monetary rewards that the screenwriter receives are approximately proportional to his input to the picture.
You want genuine esteem in Hollywood, you'll be master of the game. I' m not even sure what that means, but I listen to it all the while, and if anything, I think it's bad for writing a screenplay successfully. You may want to imagine what happens on your monitor, but the most important skill is the capacity to put things into words.
When you think only in images and are very reasonable, it might make more sense to make a careers in the field of product development, cinema or directors. It' s hard to comprehend, I know, but believe me: if your novel or piece is not released or made in its initial format, it is highly unlikely to work as a film.
They will never be sufficiently impartial to make the many changes necessary to become a business game. When you don't like the Hollywood things these days and you're attracted to movies abroad and Fred Astaire shows at the Cineplex, or if you don't see at least one recent US film per months, writing a screenplay is probably not for you.
You will never be very lucky to pursue a careers in an area you don't like. You won't be able to make Hollywood different. Best you can expect is to create the best scripts you can type within the system's framework. However, the more difficult to reach succes there still demands a fundamental passion for film.
Discover this specialised source to find out where and how you can market your script. Yeah, I know, I just said that immense riches is the false cause to make this script. However, if you don't have just one motivation and you know you want to type, you can probably do more than a full-time screenwriter than any other type of typing.
When the creation of one-of-a-kind, engaging personalities and overcoming what appear to be insuperable barriers to achieving tangible, larger-than-life objectives is the way of typing that excites you, then you should consider making movies. Not only do you enjoy seeing them, you enjoy the challenges of sticking to a fixed phrase and create a compelling and visually compelling storyline that is inventive, thought-provoking and alluring.
Screenswriting may not use all the big words in the vocabulary, but you still get to pass your days wasted in the energy of time. Briefly, when you ask yourself whether you should start (or continue) writing the script, ignore both the defeatist stats and the dream of fame and wealth.
Also, leave the word'easy' out of your lexicon completely; there is NO kind of professsional typing or film making that' deserves to be followed because it's simple. Instead, ask yourself if your pleasure comes from the experience of being at your computer every single working hour to create a big or small display narrative.
When the real response is "yes" and your motifs are the same as above, shut the doors, boot your computer and begin text.