Would you rather be a critically acclaimed screenwriter or a screenwriter with numerous box office hits?
Copy the link below to share this page:
Box office hits has an easier job paying the bills.
Personally, I'd rather be an acclaimed screenwriter. I would rather have a career with a strong rep with plenty of work than a few of big payouts.
Critically acclaimed. My work would hold my interest in writing it.
The holy grail of any scriptwriter should be a film that does both, surly. Having said that, Ive known from the very start that Im no "bums on seats" writer
That's a difficult question, because if critics hate me, how long will my Box Office career last? 4 or 5 years? The films I want to make are summer, blockbuster films though, full of CGI and action, so I guess I'm a "Box Office" kind of guy. But damn, can't I pick both?
It's tough to be critically acclaimed without box office success, at least in the US. If you really don't want the money part, move to Europe.
I just want to keep making a living,
I'd rather satisfy a massive audience than a few critics. I didn't get into this to be worshiped, I got into it to entertain.
An acclaimed screenwriter. The Transformers movies were big box office hits, but I would feel quite embarrassed if I was responsible for the screenplays. I want to entertain the audience by putting them in an emotional roller-coaster, not by cheesy dialogues and cliche action.
I'm with William on this one! I write to keep working! Case #13 is a project close to Johnny Martin's heart, based on his friends and his story, shot in his home town and the first screening was held near his home town and looked like his high school reunion. He wanted it written a certain way and hoped our idea of making it more of a "Stand By Me" than a horror would be something unique. It was. Then he found that to sell it to a distributor, it needed more horror, less "feelings" and that a strictly found footage won't sell anymore. So I was asked to rewrite parts, add new scenes, and scenes are being reshot as we speak. But his friends and family loved the original and that made him happy. Now hopefully it will sell and more people will see it! Bottom line I will write it anyway I'm hired to write it. The next project I wrote for him (Being called "Project Exposure" for now) is a lot more commercial, not as personal a project to him, but I approached it with the same amount of enthusiasm and he's very happy with it. Will either get me acclaim? No idea. Will either this one or Case #13 make big box office? I hope so. I'd like to work for other producers/directors and be able to do this full time someday and I think by having a hit I'll be considered for more work by more people. I don't seek either acclaim or box office, really. I do my best, and hopefully box office success or acclaim will find me.
I would say neither. I want to be a world renown screenwriter who write stuff that matters and that will inspire, captivate, and provoke thought in everyone around the world. Now yes I am sure everyone would like to win an Oscar but I am always going to write what feels true to me. Whether my screenplays are critically acclaimed or a box office hit is something I'll let the world decide. Thank you for sharing the question, John.
I love the comments. I read stories that movie stars would give anything to work with Woody Allen. Obviously a critically acclaimed screenwriter. However, in order to keep your name on producers minds you have to have box office hits. I would write box office hits then do side projects of more independent movies. Similar to George Clooney. He does a major picture, then works on more independent projects.
Raise your hand if you remember "Lost in Translation"  written and directed by Sofia Coppola? Her well-connected family spent a huge sum (and called in favors) to get Sofia the Oscar for Best Director. I was one of the critics at a packed NYC screening. I was one of the few who was able to stay away through this boring stinker. There was loud SNORING in the screening room, grumbling as people exited. I want to write screenplays that make the critics who attend the screenings stay awake, enjoy it, and applaud. [Note: look how little the supremely untalented Sofia Coppola has done since her 2003 "success" - - - - ahem.]
I want critically acclaimed Eszterhas-money!
I would like to be. =) Creative work, art.. Actually I don't see question there. Cuz there is no choice. Yes it is paradox, but there is no choice in the most free sphere.
Heck, Ransom Notes and Armed Withdrawals is where all the money is!
Whichever pays the bills on a constant basis
I think story is paramount...first and foremost...do I want acclaim if any of my print work gets to screen if I have a part in it yes...but not if its dreck....
Getting critical acclaim for something that paid my bills.
Why are these two mutually exclusive? "If" I am a critically acclaimed screenwriter then it stands to reason that I would have a few box office hits, yes? So, I say both! :)
Both, for me as well.
I would rather write hits that are critically acclaimed!
Critically acclaimed work will lead to box office mega dollar opportunities so it is both the best artistic and financial decision you can make. So we all want to create work that stands the test of time and inspires people to create at a higher level. In the end I don't think anyone goes into writing for the money ..that's what the finance industry is for. Also, permit me to veer of course a bit. As artists we have to look for ways to support ourselves financially and there may be ways to do that. It's definitely something we need to think consider.
It's a marathon, not a sprint. I would rather have steady work than one big success. At the end of this journey if I can make enough to sipport my family as I enjoy what I do, that is enough for me. Should be about telling great stories and having great peers more than wondering what is in it for you.
Agreed, David. These are most important things.
I'd rather have a strong track record of making commercial successes first. I can then work on amazing art pieces in comfort, and have the pull to ensure a few get made.
My desire is to have a chance at both, and to have an earned confidence that my product should be both. If it fails to actually happen, well that's okay, I had a fair shot. I won't completely cave to the marketing division's claims as to what will bank at the box office, but I want to get it made and I want to shoot for full distribution.
True...I think I follow the people in the middle. As an aspiring author , the money would be nice. But I don't know comfortable I would be "walking away" if In the end result it got "FUBAR"'d.
Way to go!!
I'd prefer box office hits.
For me box office should be a result not a goal.
I'd be happy with either.
Can there be a happy medium? There are some pieces that require certain hands, while other pieces might need to deliver a different punch.
For me a story is what drives the outcome. Starting point should be a story that will touch the heart and the mind of the audience. Since this is delivered, then a financial success (not breaking the box office but success) is possible. But in the end, really, who remembers the writer of a movie that was just a blockbuster?
I want to be a screenwriter who makes enough money to be just a screenwriter. Oh, and I want to create a franchise that lasts even longer than Star Trek.
It's box office for me, but not for the money. (Though I'd be a liar if I claimed that's not part of the dream!) Big box office would mean lots of people saw my work. That they connected with my ideas. And what I wanted to say meant something to them. Even if it's "just" a fun popcorn movie, it made people happy for a couple hours.
They can be synonymous -- have hits, be acclaimed. I'd simply like to see my vision transferred to the big screen. The money would be nice too.
Getting paid to write wd be a fun thing
I just want to finish my script let alone getting the picture made or actually making some money.
Diddo here. It would be nice to get that respect and recognition.
Whichever would allow me to write full time and get the stories out of my head :)
I'd rather make acclaimed blockbusters if I had my druthers, but if I could have only one I'd want the acclaim.
Of course that depends on if I make a living from that acclaim. I don't honestly care about being rich, I just want to work on good films and scripts and make a decent living.
Why not be both? Why can't you be both?
Every fame is very relative - now you are satisfied by modern critic but tomorrow you are worried what buddha monk can tell about your work then you remember your friend writer which you had started to write with long-long ago and you wanna hear now his opinion and then your own opinion starts to change... As screenwriter here goes interesting moment - self changing. Polishing texts means huge rewriting and remaking of main idea. You rudely cut and replace many parts firslty as you think then as editor says then as another editor then producer wants to show how he is pro in dramas. This result to absolute relativity of all opinions- you read critics' estimating adjectives about awarded things and you just smile.
@Peter...yes dreck is still dreck...even if it's well paid dreck.