I am a total film buff. We created this group because we wanted a place for those unique souls who choose to pursue the movie business. We want to share in your successes and challenges. We want you to help each other succeed. Please tell us about yourself and what you are doing in this industry. Let us know what it is all about. How does it work? Who are the gatekeepers? Have any of you had your screenplays optioned? What has drawn you to the industry? Looking forward to your responses.
Films have been an important part of my life. Growing up in an era before computers and restricted media, films brought images to me that were different from my environment and influenced my perception of life and simultaneously entertained and inspired me. So when I chose to tell stories, I attended classes to learn screenplay formatting. My initial goal was to complete one screenplay.
Knowing early that having one screenplay completed was not enough to make an impact, I finished five before trying to secure representation and entering contests. Having a screenplay read by a professional was the second goal and to do that, entering contests seemed to be the easiest route. Placing moved me forward and winning has opened some doors.
Two of my screenplays were written with male partners and I found that to be a good experience. One was optioned and we are waiting for funding.
The Internet has opened opportunities for everyone at any stage of development with writing groups that offer sage advice to all screenwriters.
I've listed my scripts on InKtTip, follow Withoutabox for contest listings and joined Linkedin which has several open screenwriting groups. Stage 32 is relatively new and easy to navigate with an opportunity to list projects. Facebook and Twitter offer contacts as well and IMDb (Internet Movie Data base) is the site for the movie business.
Of course WAE is unique in its membership and it is easy to contact its list of agents.
I am still looking for agency representation (I have legal representation) and urge everyone to follow their dreams.
Great post, Bev!
I've never heard of InKtTip and Withoutabox... I'm going to check them out.
I've been in love with the idea of making movies for years! But I figured I could never do THAT, you know, coming from a small town and all.... So I decided to try writing (novels/short stories), hoping that someday, SOMEONE would want to turn my stories into movies. Oh, foolish me.
Having realized that I too can do what others have, I've chosen to pursue screenwriting full time. And with no training or experience, I wrote my first screenplay a few months ago and have submitted it... to EVERYONE. I've gotten four calls to read it so far, so I'm pumped!
I'm nervous though... I think the query belied how edgy the actual script was... so far, those who have read the script have not contacted me again. I think I may have offended them! I've revised it and made it PG-13 now LOL. I'm unsure if I should resubmit it, explaining that I've toned it down a tad. I probably will, though. What can they say, "no thanks?" That's okay by me. I'm used to having my work rejected, so oh well :-D
Four requests to read your script is quite good - you should be pumped. It's been my experience that people in the industry who request your work don't read it immediately or may have more than one person read it, so patience is suggested. There is a time to wait though before follow up. I'm told one month to six weeks.
I suggest that as long as you are satisfied that the script is the best it can be, move on to your next idea/project because once you are contacted and there is interest, the next question will be "What else do you have?" You want to dazzle them with ideas because the focus is often on developing long-term relationships.
Good luck and let us know what happens.
I friggin love that, Bev. Thanks for the insight. Becuase for a moment there, I was considering a career as a Pro query writer... I can fill the seats, but cant make them stay once they're there.
I'm a film fanatic-good, bad, rotten, ridiculous, and knockout...all exist on the same plane in that they all require a group effort an exchange of ideas, conflicting egos, and ultimately a lot of time working with a big crew, getting along well to take the project to market. I've had some of my own work (novels I've written) optioned over the years, and have been involved in TV as well as other book to film titles. I'm a physician, and trained in surgery. Early on I consulted on film projects in LA, Miami, and other locales. My somewhat goofball, wacky personality, and sense of humor catapulted me into the mixed maniac world of suspending disbelief. You may have seen some of my wise crack lines, jokes, or a few scenes in movies that had some huge box office success. The gatekeepers are the people who bank roll a film, including but not limited to the usual suspects, but relationships with the product placement people. Money..that'd have to be the bottom line. I'd be derelict to not mention that I was drawn into the industry by family, who've done remarkable well in the motion picture industry, and said: C'mon out to LA, you'll love it we'll do lunch. Oh, how does it work? That's complicated, but sometimes it isn't....Most projects are years in development, and sometimes the planets just line up-
I am a screenwriter. There is a site called Virtual Pitchfest. It allows you to pitch directly to producers, managers and agents. So far, 67 screenplays have been optioned or produced. I thought this might be helpful, especially to those who live outside the state of California.