Screenwriting : So, what do you do?:) by Victor Titimas

Victor Titimas

So, what do you do?:)

I kept reading negative things: Contests are useless, all pitch sites are scams, agents just don't care about new scripts, nobody accepts screenplays, not even queries anymore...

But you really wish and dream to see your work up there in theaters and(let's not be dishonest) even get paid in the process...:) So, what do you do?

Jacob Buterbaugh

Meet filmmakers where you are. Make friends. Start writing and producing stuff. Write, produce, edit, repeat. Learn as much as you can, and do as much as you can with the resources available to you. That's what I think you should do.

The best thing you can do is something. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

And.... Don't think too much. :) Trust me on this one. 99% of the time I've lost as a storyteller and filmmaker was the result of thinking too much.

Dan MaxXx

Be a lawyer. Faster track than screenwriting.

Urban Bergsten

Or just do. prove´m wrong.

Sam Borowski

The problem I find is that people aren't willing to put in their dues and simply want things right now. But, you have to climb that ladder. The Good News? It CAN BE DONE! Be more proactive - I've said these things before. Raise the money and make a short - make a serious short for Oscar contention, if you don't win, but just QUALIFY it, and bring it to a ton of festivals, you will meet filmmakers, investors, actors and build connections. Maybe someone actually pays you to write a microbudget feature and you get lucky, as the guy knows a television star or major character actor and it gest distribution. Build up your IMDb. Many people on here, don't think it matters, but it does. Work your Social Media on other sites such as Facebook and Twitter and even Instagram, as well as here. DON'T STOP knocking on doors and kicking down doors and banging on doors until you've gotten in. BE PROACTIVE. Make a few things on your own. Find an experienced producer to help you. I just wrote and produced a short with a major television star who has appeared in many movies and we are even working on getting some tremendous music. We even have a distribution plan for after we play festivals and hopefully qualify for the Oscars. We got a wonderful Hollywood make-up artist to help us. I am working on writing, directing and producing a MAJOR studio feature, but that takes time, so if doesn't get greenlit as soon as I'd like, I am going to produce an Indie feature. Now, granted, I probably have a lot more experience than you, BUT IT CAN BE DONE. As for the negative comments, you have to avoid them. Just keep moving forward in a positive fashion. BE MORE PROACTIVE! No one is going to hand it to you. Have you even browsed the jobs forum on here? There are ways - they aren't easy, but they are out there. YOU CAN DO IT! GOD BLESS and STAY FRESH! <3

James Drago

Gold Sam Borowski. Pure gold.

Joleene Moody

My philosophy is simple: I don't pay attention to the negative comments. I don't care how much the other person thinks they know, they don't know a thing about me.

There are a 1001 ways to get where you want to go. Inevitably, someone is going to share the odds with you.

Let them share, but keep going anyway.

Tennyson Stead

There's one other thing I can add, which is to stay away from the "I just want to (act, write, etc.) mentality. Film is a collaborative enterprise, and putting the needs of the show, our collaborators, and our audience means a lot. Open yourself up to that producing work that Sam Borowski is talking about, and volunteer on other people's sets. Support the community, and people will start to know you as someone who has the interests of the production and the community in mind.

Giving you that read on your latest screenplay becomes a lot less of a chore, when people see you in that light.

James Drago

Joleene Moody that's perfect

Doug Nelson

Victor - Do it yourself.

Jacob Buterbaugh

"First and foremost you need to focus on your craft..."

I think Laura Scheiner probably gave all of us the perfect advice right there.

Dan Guardino

Write good screenplays and use them to make good connection in the business. Or like Doug said make your own. If I had it to do over again that is what I would. I would find an upcoming director to partner with and hopefully he could bring on an actor with enough credits to help raise the development money and then head into pre-production and make my film.

Lucy A. Fazely

I submit to as many contests and film festivals as my budget will allow (okay, more than it will allow if I"m being honest). When a screenplay wins, or places, in a festival then I go to the event. I have met so many great creatives this way and it's easier to make a good impression when you're there as a 'winner'. Don't give up!

Sandrene Mathews

The idea that managers, agents and producers don't care about new scripts is false. Their livelihood depends on finding and developing new projects all the time. My biggest cheerleaders are people who do those jobs, and they're the reason I've worked as hard as I have this past year to write more and shoot more.

I've also worked at pitching events, and every executive I've spoken to rooted for everyone that came in the room, whether they liked their project or not. The only time they didn't is when the person pitching had an unlikeable personality, usually because they were unnecessarily cocky or they were cynical and bitter.

Talent, timing and personality are key in this industry. I've had people offer to help me reach my goals without even seeing anything I've done, just because they liked me and believed in my passion. There's a lot of good advice in these comments, and I would consider all of them and decide which path is the best for you. If you look at all of your favorite filmmakers I bet they all have a different story on how they got where they are now. Few of them will probably say they made it big with the first thing they ever wrote and pitched.

James Drago

YES Sandrene Mathews! You are so right! I can't add a thing! I want you in my network. Sent an invite.

Brad Johnson

most of the "original content" coming out seems to be DIY projects from filmmakers. Whether its right or wrong they don't want to collaborate with writers. They are making all of the effort and sacrifice in some cases for no money so they are going to produce their own ideas. So it seems there is just little demand for content right now. The major studios want to stick with familiar ideas and brands. They would apparently rather lose fifty million on a brand than make fifty small budget original films.

Gustavo Freitas

They didn't know it was impossible. So they did it.

Doug Nelson

Victor; "Contests are useless, all pitch sites are scams, agents just don't care about new scripts, nobody accepts screenplays, not even queries anymore..." - where do you come up with these notions? There are jillions of contests out there, the vast majority are pointless indeed but there are a few that truly are of value - you must do your research. ALL pitch sites are scams - again do your research - it's not all. Almost every Agent/Manager I know has an office full of interns who want to be agents. The agencies send them to the pitch sessions to train them. If Agents don't care about new scripts, where do you think they're getting the stuff to sell? Nobody accepts screenplays; really?

Just the sheer number of "screenplays" floating around is overwhelming - trying to find a "good" one is like taking a sip from a fire hose.

If the world of screenwriting is such an utterly useless downer - why would you want to be in it? Not everybody has the temperament to be a screenwriter - what's wrong with being a sculpture, painter, doctor, an accountant...?

Victor Titimas

Thank you for commenting on this post:) Even though I don't always reply, I always read evey reply to the topics I start.

I think I might have fell prey to the dose of "negativity" that is spread on many screenwriting sites/forums.

They present a very bleak picture for screenwriters(or spec screenplays)...

There is also a lot of more optimism, especially on contest sites which present their winners and what they accomplished..:)

The most optimist sites I can think of(I hope it's not spam) are Script Mailer(with its articles and services) and FilmScriptWriting.com. Most of the others present that negative portrait I wrote about:(

In truth, I never did try to do something with my screenplays, as they are not ready, so I don't know what it would be like, except what I read.

In some ways, this is akin to all those talks(the comparison stops here!) about the afterlife.

Some say this, others say that, there are arguments and theories, but the only way you'll really know the truth about what happens is when you get there!

Perhaps I am not such a positive person by nature(My reddit account username is Mrpessimistik)...:(

But I feel I'm overwriting here, and wouldn't want to be boring...

Thank you again for your answers and for being part of this beautiful community- Stage 32!

Jacob Buterbaugh

Victor - Focus on your craft. (Like Laura said.) Learn as much as you can about film making, and about the industry, not just screenwriting. If your screenwriting isn't ready for features yet, then write a short--and get it made.

Meet local people to learn from, work with, and go make some stuff. I don't know where you are, but I guarantee you that there are people there in the same situation as you.

A lot of negativity comes from standing still. Take a step forward. That alone creates optimism and momentum.

You got this.

Heather McCluskey

Ah, the maddening question on the mind of every screenwriter. How do you get a job you can't apply for? Make the world aware of your talents and they will come to you. In the words of Steve Martin "Be so good they can't ignore you"

Pamela Bolinder

Heather, I appreciate your comment. The more I observe and learn on Stage 32, the more I believe getting my screenplay optioned, comes down to who you know and who likes you. It goes without saying, you have to have a stellar screenplay. I do not hobnob with others in the industry (face to face). As of late, that has become a concern. A producer has not contacted me about my script. So far, being here has proved to increase my understanding about writing screenplays and I'm developing good relations with fellow talented writers. But, no sell, no job. :/

Heather McCluskey

It's the seven degrees of Kevin Bacon concept . Post about your writing, blog about it, let people know what you do and what you're passionate about,. You may know someone on social media or wherever who knows someone who knows someone that is looking for a good script and your name gets dropped. The what if's are endless as long as you don't limit your options.

Stephen Foster

all of that's true and false. some are scams, some are money pits, but really and truly it's how you network and sell your work.

Doug Nelson

Pamela - I looked at your loglines & stuff and I'll gladly offer a few comments and observations - but not here in a public forum.

Pamela Bolinder

Oh gosh! Thanks for sparing me, Doug! I owe you dinner. =) pamelainmidway@gmail.com. Maybe you should wait for that logline suggestion, for Deception, Doug.

FELLOW WRITERS, I posted part of Deception (It's in polishing-stage)

I challenge anyone on Stage 32 to guess the twist/surprise ending of Deception.

Pam shuffles off to Buffalo (tap dances off stage) stands behind the curtain.

Sam Borowski

Heather, as for the "Be so good they can't ignore you," I wanted to let you know I have a buddy from Universal Studios who says this all the time. It really is true. GOD BLESS and STAY FRESH! ;)

Pamela Bolinder

Doug, I'm still looking forward to your comments and observations. I agree not here. Please send them to my email? pamelainmidway@gmail.com. Thanks.

Cheryl Allen

I write because I have to write. I am almost as compelled to put words on paper as I am to breathe. I've been this way since I was old enough to put words on paper. I hope and try to connect it with an audience. I would be lying as a matter of fact if I tried to sell you on the fact that I don't want to sell you what I'm writing. ;) That said, if no one ever came at me with cash, I'd still write. I'd write for myself because I have to, and it would be quality writing because the audience I know it has (namely myself) is a really picky reader.

Chad Stroman

I made the decision a couple of years ago to write, improve, write, improve and keep trying. I may die not having sold a thing or having anything be actually produced. Very real possibility. But if that happens there'll be a bunch of screenplays for features and tv shows with my name on them. My kids and maybe my grandkids before throwing them out will look at them and think "Hmm dad/granddad tried to write a bunch of screenplays once upon a time."

I'm not going to give up. I will eventually succeed or die years from now (hopefully) still trying.

Sam Borowski

Chad, with the World of Independent Cinema these days, there's no reason you have to die without having anything produced. Why not write a GREAT SHORT that is dialogue driven and raise the money and make it? Team up with an experienced producer. It CAN BE DONE! Show people what you're capable of! Years ago, my cousin, who happens to be an Oscar-Nominated actor, did his best to convince me to make a short instead of a feature. Took me a few years, but when I finally listened, my short had some names and qualified for the Oscars. One Year later, I was directing a feature film starring an Oscar-Winner, several Oscar-Nominees and Natasha Lyonne. True Story. GOD BLESS and STAY FRESH! <3

Curtis Kessinger

I'm of the DIY school of thought. I wrote a few scripts then shot a feature...it sucked because the script sucked, but I proved to myself I can make my own films. It is simply a planning process to make a film. Think one shot at a time and shoot when you have time. Don't rush anything. Plan it out step by step, shot by shot. It's not rocket science. You can do this. I am now finishing up several almost-zero-budget scripts to shoot. I'm not waiting for anyone to help me, because I know they are too busy trying to earn a living like the rest of us and they want a sure winner. Agents don't want to have to work with you...they want to have that sure-fire winning script so they can collect their percentage. I've taken the time to learn all aspects of the process and now it is time to roll the dice. I've taken the time to learn all aspects of the process and now it is time to roll the dice. I will be shooting my stand-up comedy special first and then distributing it online. Then 3-4 films after that. See you at the movies...or most likely online. Best wishes, Curtis

Dan MaxXx

My 8-year old niece and her friends are making short movies using cellphones and editing on ipads. Nobody told them they couldn’t do it.

Chad Stroman

Sam Borowski That's definitely on the radar and in the cards.

Pamela Bolinder

I don't want to produce my own film. I just want to write great screenplays.

Doug Nelson

Pamela, do you intend to ever seen any of your great screenplays up on the silver screen?

Pamela Bolinder

Yes! Doug, there are many paths to the screen.

Jacob Buterbaugh

You may not want to produce, but it probably isn't a bad idea to learn how. Screenwriting is probably my least favorite part of the entire process... But I still want to learn it, and I still want to get good at it, because it's a very very very important part of the process.

I think the point is that learning how to make a film gives you another path to get your work off the page and on the screen. That's a good thing.

Good luck.

Pamela Bolinder

Jacob, I'm sure you're right. But, for me, right now, I just need to focus on knocking two screenplays out of the park and I will. Maybe, I'll meet and marry a producer so I don't have to produce my screenplays. I can just sit and write in an office with an inspiring view. A girl can dream...

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