Screenwriting : Any good news? by Bill Albert

Any good news?

Honestly feeling discouraged after a lot of "Pass" this week. Anybody have any good news to share?

Stephen J. Doholis D. C.

Hang in There! Stephen King was passed over almost 200 times ( rejections) before someone gave him a shot, and look where he is NOW! ; - )

Martin Reese

It's just part of the journey. Read the notes. Take some with a grain of salt and keep going. That' the only way to improve. Believe in what you are doing. And I applaud you for at least putting your work out there. Good luck.

Craig D Griffiths

You only need one. Very no moves you closer to a yes.

Jae Sinclair

No's are what made new decide to create a film on my own. I signed with a sales agent a few weeks ago and the project is moving.

William Martell

I wrote 8 pages.

Erick Freitas

It's a crapshoot. The more passes you get, the closer you get to a yes. It only takes one yes, but it may take thousands of no's. Keep writing.

Jim Boston

Bill, I'm finally working on a lookbook after another Stage 32-Script Revolution member read "Really Old School." (She liked the script...and felt that, since it's got a planeload of characters rather than a vanload of characters, a lookbook or pitch deck would help readers get through that screenplay.)

Having fun working on the lookbook...and as soon as I get it to where it needs to be, it'll go up on YouTube.

Well, enough of me...Bill, this one's really about you! You hang on in there, keep fighting, because you've got some good, good stuff out there.

All the VERY BEST to you!

Jason Mirch

Hey Bill Albert! Sorry to hear about the pass man, but I hope it came with some valuable feedback that will help you move forward. I completely understand getting discouraged, but keep you head up - as you know, it's all part of the job. Go get em!

Marshal Gordon

Bill Albert take what Erick Freitas said. to heart. Take the Pass and keep moving through, make improvements and stay with it. I marketed my current script for 6 months before someone finally said yes to reading it. But that yes meant the world. And just so you know the yes came from someone that said no originally.

Stephen Carter

If I may be so bold, Bill, you're focusing on the wrong thing. The good news is, you got the coverage back and can now begin working on the things that will make you a better writer, and the script a better read. That's GREAT news. Now, go get em, tiger! ;-)

Doug Nelson

At 65 years old, Colonel Sanders was living in his car & collecting just a bit more than $100/ month Social Security. He pitched his Chicken Franchise 1,009 times before he got a hit. Harry Potter was passed over more than a dozen times & we know how that turned out, C.S. Lewis received over 800 'passes'. How 'bout that English teacher Steven King who got discouraged after he kept failing with Carie back in '73. Now he's got about 80 books. One thing you have to learn is to be relentless.

Feel better now?

Nick Assunto - Stage32 Script Services

I had a manager who I'd casually pitched to months ago at a meetup (when she asked) reach out to me saying she was bored and would read my script if I sent it over. I'm also seeing a ton of moves on my end on the site. We've had 183 meeting requests from executives so far this year. That's more than our 2018 TOTAL. 67 just in April. Lockdown is making them read.

Pitching is not easy, Bill. It takes time. The notes from those passes hold the key to you getting read. This is the gig. We write. We put hours upon hours into our material. Then someone says, "I don't want to read the script, tell me what it's about first and keep my attention because time is money." so then we learn to pitch, and we're going to fail at it a lot, or just find out our idea isn't right for that company or person specifically.

Being a writer is like 99.9% rejection. I wrote my first script 12 years ago. 7 years ago I was sending out query postcards by the dozens. Nothing. 4 years ago I started working with Stage 32 and pitching. After a year of pitching and taking the notes, I started getting read. A lot of people rejected the scripts. So then I had to work on those, too. Eventually I landed my first manager (not currently with, though) and almost sold my first feature last year through another manager on Stage 32. But another film came out with the same concept which put it on ice.

Am I discouraged? Yes. All the time. Absolutely, unequivocally ruined with each and every rejection. I go through phases of feeling low and thinking about giving up. But then I just keep going. Last month a UCLA Producing Grad student found one of my features online and reached out to me. She wanted it to be her thesis project pitch. So I've been working with her on rewriting it. We did a Zoom table read with my friends last Friday to hear it out loud. And it's the reads that make me realize that I love this, and this is fun, and when I see things that don't work I know how to fix them now. I don't know if anything will come of the thesis with the student, but it's flattering regardless, and definitely helps as a pick me up, but I know in a month or two I'm going to hear back from one of the managers my scripts are out to with a "nah not for us" and I will once again be crushed.

It's the circle of writing. Feeling low? Gather up some people and read your stuff. Hear what's good, what's working, and what needs work. Approach it clinically and try to remember, there's always going to be someone out there who thinks you suck and what you're doing sucks. Either on Reddit, or Twitter. It doesn't matter, though, because that's what everyone has in common. So try to think of that instead of beating yourself up (though I know it's easier said than done, I beat myself up on the reg.)

Bill Albert

Thanks everyone for your time. I've been pitching for a long time and have lots of passes, some good, some bad, but it just felt like a whole bunch of things going bad at the same time.

After three months a producer who had requested a script said she was confused by some of the elements. That was it. I guess it was a pass but it would have been better to have least gotten a definite yes or no on it instead. The next day a producer passed and was really unhappy of all the extra backstory and work I'd done saying that wasn't my job. The same day another producer passed but complimented on how impressed they were with all the backstory I'd done.

Usually, I can at least get some idea what needs work but this time I didn't have any specific feedback to learn from any of them. It really gave me no where else to go with it.

I'll just go over it again, maybe come up with some new ideas, and hope for better response next time.

Thank you again for providing some support.

Cee Bruce

Jimmy Valvano Spoke at my commencement ceremony. He said, "All people have opportunities. Those who appear lucky are the ones that have prepared to be in a position to take advantage of them." You have prepared, yours is coming! Keep the faith!

Dan Guardino

Bill. When it comes to this crappy business sometimes I feel like I am up Corona Creak without a paddle but I keep on trucking.

FWIW it is a lot easier to write a screenplay than it is to sell one. Don't think of those passes as a bad. A spec screenplay is used to make contacts in the business and you made three with that one script so thank them for taking the time to read it. Let them know they will be the first to know when you finish your next one. That will make them feel special and producer love to think they are special even if they aren't. My first sale was to a producer who passed on two or three previous screenplays I sent him.

Good luck!!!!

WL Wright

I watched a documentary years ago and before I was even writing scripts or thinking about doing that. It had big giant powerful people at the very top of the movie industry talking about how they know if a movie is going to make it or not. The final from all of them was, we don't really, we are guessing and when we thought we had a bomb it was a major hit. The Titanic was used as an example. After the screening all the big dogs thought it was going to bomb royally. So I take it that way, it's just in the stars or it's not. This one, that one, maybe the next one. I love it so it will last as long as that love lasts.

Shawn Speake

Get em, CJ Walley!

Tony Germann

Bill, I allow myself 5 minutes of reflection after every "no." Then I write for 5 hours. I figure that the math will eventually work out on that one ;) Keep after it, man! Oh and here's what Fitzgerald said...

David Munyon

ask,GOD to help you design, develop your own Production Company, ask for "all divine Help" and "Angelic Help" from GOD, phrase it, as so, He'll hear ya, and begin to line things up. I can see from you photo, You have GREAT Talent. so, all any of us can do, "Just for Today". GOD wants to do everything for ya, so that's my guess as what you should do. because most people that are born into Material World, "wanna be in Pictures", and you can star where you are, or decide to move to a new location, I've always been broke, YET, YET I asked GOD to lead me to the right path to the right people, and here we are, for Today. I was rejected by every record label, my friend tried for 2 years, so, what we did, we just made our own Label, starting by saying so, "we now develop, _______ production Company" , then begin the work, it goes moment by moment, yet, it's gratifying, instead of getting passed on. and You're in Charge, and GOD's your partner. God's invisible LIGHT & LOVE, he can do anything and everything. for real. so, Rejoice. and be happy. you have what it takes, I know this. in my spirit. showbiz hug, DavyM , i'm still broke as hell, but I'm happy, and clean and sober, and always only hire 'no smokers'!, kind hint, "we all, all of us, we have invisible guardian Angels, so as you work, you can say what's on your mind, and your Guardian Angels, invisible as they are, they help you, and also GOD's aligining your path. each second, of each day'', for real. ''we will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us". Keep sober and clean. we miss most moments if we drink or use. or chain smoke or smoke. SOBER, CLEAN & nosmokers. it'll work. day by day.

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

Unexpectedly got a script request from a major film actor's company. And, on of my primary long term contacts may pitch one of my scripts to Shondaland. He's reviewing several loglines this weekend. On Monday, jack and shit was happening.

Dougie Brimson

Two projects I've been working on have taken positive steps forward in the last two days and I've had a request for a script from a New York based TV producer.

I've also got a new novel out in to weeks and have had an initial approach for the film rights.

Steven W..Johnson

Pass is a good thing - Your script is being read by industry professionals.

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