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Screenwriting : Do more movies be made after the pitch or because someone knows someone? by Stevan Šerban

Stevan Šerban

Do more movies be made after the pitch or because someone knows someone?

Has anyone done serious research on this and what are the results?

Doug Nelson

I think it goes hand-in-hand, so actually it's both.

Stevan Šerban

To my knowledge, 90% of movies are made by knowing someone. So I think that's why there are a lot of bad movies, and also a lot of screenplays standing in someone's closets!

Dan MaxXx

Good grief! Of course someone knows someone. It’s the movie business. But saying “someone knows someone” comes off as sour grapes. Disrespectful to everyone who makes movies for a living, fails or succeeds because that is the occupation. The job.

Maybe if folks actually get movie jobs than chase only writer or director gigs, they would complain less and understand more.

Movie jobs all over the world, not just in Hollywood/USA.

Stevan Šerban

Dan, A lot of bad movies have been made because: "someone knows someone," so it's not about sour grapes!

Craig D Griffiths

I don’t employ a new team every time I start a project (non-film). Why would producers go outside their circle of trust? Because we feel we deserve a break.

It is not corrupt or evil or a conspiracy to stop us from succeeding. Using people you know is the fastest way to a successful outcome.

Some people will ask for a pitch to inject new blood into the process. So you have to be better than what they have in place to dislodge it. So pitches do work.

So people have it as an exclusive part of their business plan. Only new writers. They have less power to negotiate and there is an inexhaustible supply.

Dan Guardino

Nobody needs to have done serious research. Anyone who has been doing this crap knows that almost every screenplay that got made did so because the screenwriter or their agent or manager knew someone. That is how things happen in this industry.

William Martell

I have sold a bunch of scripts that were made off queries. And by knowing completely unimportant people - like the roommate of an unsigned musician. It all comes down to the script. http://sex-in-a-sub.blogspot.com/2018/09/film-courage-plus-what-unsold.html

Doug Nelson

Bad movies get made in spite of 'someone knowing someone'. The usual culprits when it comes to 'bad' movies are generally bad scripts/stories, bad acting, bad directing, bad editing and lots of other 'bad' stuff. Because of the complexity of filmmaking, frankly I'm surprised whener a 'good' movie gets made. Filmmaking is a very personal group effort - so yeah, folks who make movies (good, bad or otherwise) know 'somebody'. (I have lots of friends in low places.)

William Martell

If you think that scripts sell because the writer knew someone, then go meet people. I know a writer who took a terrible job as an actor's personal assistant - walking their dog, cleaning their house, taking their clothes to the laundry, getting screamed at every day... And did great work and was hired by a bigger name actor... And did great work and was eventually hired by a young star. That young star found out that he was a writer, read his script, and got his first script sold. * Did he know someone? * Or did he go from knowing no one and doing a lot of crap work to get to know someone? * You can do that, too.

Dan MaxXx

1990s photo of two nobodies, Wes Anderson & Owen Wilson, running out of Columbia Studios with a movie deal called, "Bottle Rocket." The movie was a box office failure. Didn't stop them from doing another movie.

How did they get a studio meeting?

Stevan Šerban

So, if you don't know someone, keep washing dishes at a cheap restaurant!

Dan Guardino

William. I said most scripts sell because someone knew someone. That could be their agent knew someone or they knew a producer who liked their writing hired them. However that may not apply to lower budget film scripts which is where most aspiring screenwriters tend to catch a break. However I agree it starts with well-written screenplays that one can use to make those connections. Twenty-five years ago when you were breaking in it was a lot easier to sell a screenplay without connections and without a bankable actor or director attached.

William Martell

The roommate of the unsigned musician story in the Film Courage clip was fairly recent... and lead to a studio. I have no agent or manager, so my career depends on people passing my scripts around.

Tony Ray

My guess: studios pay for moneymakers, not necessarily good stories. That's why they're doing all these remakes: the original stories were that good, so they're reselling it. Otherwise, I have no idea.

William Martell

Again - not including Entertainment as a factor in "good" and "great" definitions when dealing with the Entertainment Business is a major mistake.

Michael L. Burris

An opportunistic feeder doesn't discern opportunity. They see it and by luck not always blind they seize it. Media success has so many parallel's and avenues including nothing to do with media. Sometimes that's what equals success too. It does help to be in the land of opportunity though. Be careful not to contemplate seizing, be respectful and be brave.

Stevan Šerban

The bottom line is that people do the work. You have to produce the situation yourself for someone in the industry to get to know you as a person.

Then many doors open on their own. It is serious work, but also investment, but I think it is one of the key ways to sell yourself as a writer and not just sell a story.

Rashika R

Stevan Šerban I agree, you do have to produce the situation. By doing so, it's imperative to bring value to every pitch. Be more than a story. I think of pitching as I do with my business. What's my "why?" Why do people want what I have? What about me and my brand makes them feel as though they must have it? What have I done as a CEO that makes the connection between products and consumer. I view execs as consumers and do the work to build trust. It's important for all of us to remember sells happen more when we create relationships.

Stevan Šerban

Rashika, It's the key that opens all the doors. Acquaintance with people is a formula for success. Money is just a tool. But in most cases the tool owner does not know what to do with the tool.

Therefore, the owner of the tool rents and pays someone to make more money with the tool. It's always people, not robots, so it's people who, with the tool at their disposal, make money for the tool owner!

The problem is that people who are entrusted with the tool are, at first, very well paid to make more money, and those who write the stories that essentially sell the movie stand at the end of that chain and almost nothing depends on them, but it should .

Alfred Hitchcock was asked what it takes to make a good movie. His response was this: "Only three things are needed - script, script and script."

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