Maybe I just need to vent, but I am getting so tired of reading over and over variations of this phrase: "Just write a great script!"
The problem I have is that it implies two things that aren't true: (1) That only "great" scripts get bought and produced. A quick perusal of the Netflix movie catalog or the master list of movies made in any given year will disabuse you of that notion, and (2) that there is a universally agreed-upon standard of "great." Taste is extremely subjective, and one person's steaming pile of hot garbage is another person's "great" movie (ask me what I think of most of the superhero movies, and then ask a Marvel fanboy the same thing, and you'll see this vast chasm of difference in action).
Obviously there are lots and lots of scripts that get bought every year that, while they might be good, competently written, properly formatted, decently crafted, etc., are probably not "great." Only several every year tend to be truly great, and that's what the Oscars are for, to cement popular sentiment forever for those films. The other ~495 movies (and the scripts that spawned them) might be good and marketable, but were probably not "great."
So the far more useful advice that isn't being said—because everyone's too busy saying "Write a great script!"—is "Write a competent, marketable script." And that's what I believe 90% of the scripts sold every year are. Telling everyone to make sure their work rises to the same level of award-winning artistry that Oscar winners show is not only unrealistic, it is probably confusing to, if not damaging to the psyches of, aspiring screenwriters by telling them they have to achieve a near-impossible standard.Having said all that, I should add a positive note, which is that (in theory) it only takes one executive who, for whatever reason, really likes your script and maybe even thinks it's "great" to create a sale.