Scriptcat’s shares 3 more tasty screenwriting tips…
April 25, 2013 § 2 Comments
As you may know, I’ve decided to change things up a bit here on MY BLANK PAGE and add short posts and share various survival tips. I do speak about these in the various articles on this blog, but this new feature will be a quick reference to glance over and consider as you navigate your screenwriting journey. So, in addition to my tips on Twitter (@scriptcat), I’ll be posting new ones here from time to time. Thanks for reading and as always: Carry on, keep the faith and keep screenwriting!
When I consult on screenplays, I can’t tell you how many issues I repeatedly find that harm the screenplay. I know with a little knowledge and insight on the part of the screenwriter, these issues could be easily cleaned up and push the script to a professional level. It only takes one or two issues that repeatedly appear to make your project go from a “RECOMMEND” to a “PASS.”
Okay, three more tips that will help you on the long marathon on your journey as a screenwriter…
Master screenplay format. I don’t care how amazing of an idea you have, your script will die on the vine if you are ignorant or just don’t care about screenplay format. I find many aspiring writers have a serious lack of knowledge or respect about screenplay format. It’s what separates the professional from the amateur. Producers, directors, and executives will immediately recognize that you don’t have enough respect for your craft to know proper format and it will reveal that you’re an amateur.
Always be a team player. You’ll stay on your projects as the screenwriter if you’re a team player and not a temperamental diva. The constant barrage of notes and changes can make screenwriters frustrated and angry. They can feel totally out of control and like they’re just around to do the “grunt” work of writing. Avoid the temptation to go down a destructive pathway with these valid emotions. Don’t become “difficult” or branded a pain in the ass to work around. Producers will hire a talented team player over a pain in the ass that has no regard for professionalism. Hollywood is a business of relationships and networking. People in Hollywood generally like to work with those people they’ve had a positive experience with in the past. So, always deliver your best work, every time, regardless of your salary and don’t ever gripe about the changes.
Always be humble on your screenwriting journey. You will never be bigger than your craft. Screenwriting is an ongoing, lifelong journey and learning experience. Yes, it’s a mountain—the ultimate challenge. Consider it your own personal Everest or K-2. Sure, we all have mountains to climb in our lives, but finding success as a working screenwriter is one hell of a conquest. Do yourself a huge favor early in your journey and respect this fact. Don’t believe that somehow it’s different for you because you’re “special.” We’re all special and unique and we still have to claw, fight and write our way to any type of success by hard work, discipline, drive, sacrifice and passion.
Keep on writing and learning. Always look for the truth in your stories and seek authenticity.
“The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.” — Steven Pressfield
“There’s delusion—we all know what that is and who that is—then there’s a lifer—one who creates because he must. It’s the lifeblood of an artist.” — author/musician Bill See
“It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior’s life.”—Telamon of Arcadia, mercenary, 5th Century B.C.
“Believe me that in every big thing or achievement there are obstacles — big or small — and the reaction one shows to such an obstacle is what counts not the obstacle itself.”—Bruce Lee
“Having spent too many years in show business, the one thing I see that succeeds is persistence. It’s the person who just ain’t gonna go home. I decided early on that I wasn’t going to go home. This is what I’ll be doing until they put me in jail or in a coffin.” —David Mamet
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