Always enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor and being able to share them with a global audience…
June 24, 2018 § Leave a comment
This is a busy week for premieres of movies that I’ve written starting last Sunday night with the premiere of my latest thriller on LIFETIME called “A Night to Regret” starring Molle Gray and Marguerite Moreau. It re-airs again Saturday, June 30 at 10:05pm on Lifetime and premieres on LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) on Thursday, July 5 at 8pm/7c on Lifetime Movie Network.
If you haven’t experienced it yet, being able to watch your own movies on TV or in the theater is something to behold. I’ve had both including premieres and it’s the icing on the cake of a long process to achieve. It makes up for all the hard work on your journey as a screenwriter. You know first hand the dedication and hard work it took to hone your craft, secure the writing job, doing the many rewrites, sometimes even on set rewrites, and now you get to experience the result of everyone’s hard work and creativity. Does that mean the end product perfect? Nothing is perfect and rarely movies, as there are so many working parts to assemble. Unless you directed or produced the film, your screenplay is open to a lot of interpretations by other creatives and you hope it’s in good hands. I’ve been blessed to have my scripts in good hands with the creatives I’ve worked with who elevate my screenplays to a higher level. I’m blessed to have been the writer chosen to make the blueprints happen again and again. You have to let go of any regrets and just enjoy the fruits of your labor and accept the good with the bad. The victory is that one of your films gets produced, screened for a mass audience, and seeing your credit—oh and don’t forget getting paid!
I also have another thriller premiering next weekend on Saturday, July 6 at 8p/7c on Lifetime Movie Network (LMN) called “Family Vanished” about a family whose home and identities have been taken over by a criminal family. The movie stars Jennifer Taylor, Todd Cahoon, Kelly Packard, and Madison Dirks.
When you write a screenplay on assignment you must please the producer first—he or she is your boss and the producers also has people they must answer to in the way of executives, financiers, and even distributors. But as the great writer/director Billy Wilder said, “There is no guaranteeing the audience’s reaction.” That’s for sure. As the great writer/director Preston Sturges said, “You can’t go around to theatres handing out cards saying, ‘It isn’t my fault.’ You go onto the next one.” Yes, you move on to the next one —and you’re blessed if there is a next one. If the film is financially successful or gets high ratings for the producer, network, or investors, you’ll have another chance to work for them again—and working again makes a career. These are the moments we aspire to experience as screenwriters — at least I always did — to be paid, credited, and have others around the world see the finished product. In fact, millions of viewers during the première airing. In fact, I was in Italy earlier this year and got to see one of my movies airing dubbed in Italian. That was huge treat and truly shows the reach of movies to an international marketplace. Again, you always work hard to craft the best script possible under the circumstances and then let others take over to create something bigger — the real movie.
Even after fourteen produced films and nineteen assignment gigs, I never take my journey for granted because I know the work I’ve done and sacrifices to get here. The distribution aspect of the screenwriter’s journey is always a kick and every time I make it out of the trenches and gain some real ground, I hold my new position with renewed vigor. It motivates me to work even harder to move forward again with humility, patience, and a renewed sense of direction for the next screenplay or assignment.
I’m proof if you keep honing your craft and creating a solid body of work, eventually one of your projects will open that door that leads you on your road to screenwriting success. As always, keep writing, learning, networking with integrity and humility, and remember if you stop writing you’re guaranteed never to have any shot at success.
Copyright 2018 by Mark Sanderson on MY BLANK PAGE blog.
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“It is no small feat to get a movie made, on any subject, on any screen.” — JJ Abrams
“Just do the best you can every time. And if you’re going to stay in the movies, and you like movies—and I love them—you’d better love them a lot, because it’s going to take all of your time. If you want to be in the movies, it’s going to break your heart.”—Richard Brooks
“When you start a movie script, it’s like entering a dark room: You may find your way around all right, but you also may fall over a piece of furniture and break your neck. Some of us can see a little better than others in the dark, but there is no guaranteeing the audience’s reaction.”—Billy Wilder