One day in April, 2011, Kate Chaplin and Veronica Diaz from Karmic Courage Productions sat down to discuss screenwriting.
In this first episode entitled “The Business of Screenwriting” Chaplin and Diaz seperate from talking about the creative side of writing, and get into the factors of making money writing scripts.
Tips mentioned in this episode:
- Write a spec feature script that is well written, properly formated and is marketable
- Be willing to work on other people’s material. There is more opportunities for money in script doctoring (agent required)
- Know what scripts are selling and what agents/producers are looking for
- Learn to write fast
- Look for new production companies. Note actors start new production companies all the time
- Network! In person and online
- Know you’re sending a query/manuscript to an assistant. An assistant is usually a 20-something college graduate who wants to be an agent/producer/director
- Having your material independently produced is a plus when it comes to looking for an agent
- Different agents/producers have different coverage reports
- Agents work with certain production companies who are seeking certain material
- A script can still be turned down due to no fault of the writing
- Independent film have stronger odds of getting a new screenwriters produced but balance the pro’s and con’s
- If Hollywood is in a financial crunch it does effect Independent film distribution sales
- Study and know the business
- Have your own distinctive voice. Stand out for your dialogue/character development/themes/action sequences
- Look at all the mediums to write in. Would your story have a stronger chance as a film script, book or play?
Facts mentioned in this episode:
- 62 screenplays were sold in 2010 (according to the Scoggins Report)
- 70 screenplays were sold in 2011 (according to the Scoggins Report)
- Breakfast Club was written in 2 days (according to IMDB)
- Rocky was written in 3 days (according to IMDB)
- Scream was written in 4 days (according to Wikipedia)
- 345 movies were released in 2010 (according to IMDB)
- Over 1 million books were published in 2010 (various cross-reference of sources)
- The “truth” about the Snakes on a Plane story? Click here for the IMDB link
Links mentioned in this episode:
- It’s on the Grid – www.itsonthegrid.com (IOTG) is a subscription-based, web-enabled database that provides up-to-date information on the feature film development business to entertainment industry professionals as well as aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters.
- Script Frenzy – Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April.
- Scoggins Report – April, 7, 2011 report on screenplay sales. For the Arcive of Scoggins reports click here. The new home for the Scoggins report can be found on www.thewrap.com
- Ink Tip – Access is free to qualified producers, directors, agents, managers, and name actors.
- Script Pimp – Now called Script Pipeline, offers script contests, reports, workshops, newsletters, interviews, directories, advice and more.
- J Hearts – Junior Hollywood Radio and Television Society – Since 1947, the Hollywood Radio & Television Society (HRTS) has been recognized as our industry’s premiere information and networking forum.
Helpful Books related to this episode:
- Screenwriters on Screenwriting: The Best in the Business Discuss Their Craft (Amazon link)
- How to Write a Movie in 21 days: The Inner Movie Method (Amazon link)
- Tales from the Script: 50 Hollywood Screenwriters Share Their Stories (Amazon link)
- The Script Selling Game (Amazon link)
- Essentials of Screenwriting: The Art, the Craft, and the Business of Film and Television Writing (Amazon link)