On the 27th March 2018, I was, like many of you, years into trying my hardest to break into a screenwriting career and really starting to wonder if it would ever happen. I’ve not forgotten just how incredibly futile that feeling is and how amazing it is that so many of us get up nearly every day to write scripts and network for nothing in the hope we’ll be discovered.
The next day I was contacted by a producer/director who’d read a script of mine and wanted to work together. By summer, we had a script. By autumn, it was doing the rounds in some surprisingly high places. By winter we had a green light and, one year after the first email, I found myself on a yacht with a full film crew heading from Catalina Island to Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles, one week into my first feature film shoot, having been flown over from the UK to watch it unfold. Three weeks later, I was watching the youngest son of Chuck Norris jump a Raptor pickup truck we’d borrowed from the Top Gun; Maverick production in my first ever car chase. During the weekend following, I got to hug Steve Guttenberg after he knocked it out the park playing one of my characters and told me I’d written a great screenplay with "fantastic pacing".
It was an incredible journey and one I often found myself brought to tears during, especially after a great take or just watching the cast and crew joke and laugh during a night out together. I can’t tell you how surreal it is to know everyone’s there partly because you dreamt up some words and wrote them down. The tinsel town fantasy came true after I’d become so worn down I was convinced it could never happen.
Today I finished up and sent out a new script just six weeks after I was contacted about a project. I’ve written it in three weeks, working day and night because boy am I hungry to get back out to Hollywood and go through it all again. It’s like the rollercoaster is back climbing the crest of the hill ready to be let loose. I myself have been reminded how you can suddenly go from zero to one-hundred.
I wanted to make this post because it can feel so hopeless sometimes when you’re pushing hard and nothing seems to be happening. I was surprised how quickly the feeling returned once I was back in the UK and the film we’d shot went into post-production. It’s tough, really tough.
The fact is, things can just suddenly happen and they can happen really fast. I can assure you that writing professionally has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life from start to finish.
It is totally worth it and anybody can do it.
So, keep going, keep trying, and keep writing. Yes, it’s a struggle but it’s one worth going through for year after year to hear those wheels hit the tarmac at LAX, to see those trailers roll in on day one, and high-five a director after they yell cut.
Remember, tomorrow might be the day it all changes. Believe that and believe in yourself.