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“Give it up.”

“Workshop it.”

Those were the ‘words of encouragement’ that I received after I wrote my very first script, a spec teleplay for a TV series. And though agents replied to my queries with favorable reviews, I was told that the producers never accepted spec scripts. One agent stated that if I could talk the producers into accepting a submission, she’d rep me and submit the script.

Stranded After 10 Years I Never Gave Up

So, with a lump in my throat and paralysis in my dialing finger, I called the studio and was transferred to the production office. A young woman answered and I heard drums in the background (it was really the sound of my heartbeat pounding in my ears!). The repetitive conversation went something like this:

“Production office.”

“Hi. I’ve written a script-”

“We only accept them from certain agents.”

“Oh. Could you tell me who? I’ve been told this script-”


“-is really good and-”


Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Stranded After 10 Years I Never Gave Up

I spent the next four years, asking everyone I knew if they had an ‘in’, for I was sure that if someone in the production office read the script, they’d buy it.

Four years to reach a producer. And now I do it with a couple of clicks of a mouse on a Stage32 website. But I digress.

I ended up selling that spec script and immediately wrote a second one. Unfortunately, the series was winding down, so I submitted it, and took top honors, in a competition. I thought with those two ‘successes’ under my belt, I’d have an easy time getting an agent or a producer interested in my third script, a sci-fi screenplay.

Stranded After 10 Years I Never Gave Up

It finally did get it to a well-respected producer. But this time it took fifteen years…and if I hadn’t joined Stage 32, I’d probably still be waiting!

You see, I co-wrote that sci-fi thriller in September of 2000. We had a few bites from producers, but it didn’t sell. The script ended up in a drawer. In 2010, I pulled it out and adapted it to novel format entitled Stranded. I self published and, though it won a gold medal in the 2012 Independent Publishers Book Awards, I only sold a few copies. I knew the story was solid, but how could I put it in front of producers?

The answer came in October 2014. I found Stage 32 in a Google search. A social network dedicated exclusively to people who work in film, television & theater? I read some reviews and was sold. I was green and had to rely on the President of the Stage 32 Happy Writers Joey (I still do!) to show me the ropes. I couldn’t believe that I had found a champion, someone that really cared about my success and instilled confidence instead of skepticism.

Stranded After 10 Years I Never Gave Up

Stage 32 Happy Writers President, Joey Tuccio

I find valuable insight in the Stage32 blogs and I have used the coverage services multiple times to help me improve my scripts. But best of all, through Stage 32 I was able to pitch Stranded to Lane Shefter Bishop of Vast Entertainment!

Lane is a multi-award winning producer/director who has received numerous accolades for her work including an EMMY, six Telly Awards, a Videographer Award, three Communicator Awards, a Sherril C. Corwin Award, an Aurora Award, a Davey Award, a New York Festivals Award and the DGA Fellowship Award for Episodic Television. The pitch went extremely well.

And when I received that hoped-for email from Joey, the ‘CALL ME’ one, it ended up being good news, my novel would finally be going to a top-notch producer/director. I look forward to working with Vast Entertainment.

A heartfelt ‘thanks’ to Stage32.

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As always, Frank is available to respond in the Comments section below...

What I've Learned Composing For Film and TV
Part II: The Journey of an Accidental Filmmaker,
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