Screenwriting : Things that make me (smile/smirk/laugh/wonder) by Craig D Griffiths

Craig D Griffiths

Things that make me (smile/smirk/laugh/wonder)

Let me start by saying we are all in the same puddle. Some of us may believe we are more advanced or even professional Hollywood types, but we are amateurs of varying shades. This is what I like about here. People lifting each up and reporting back on what they have tried.

What I find amusing is when people talk themselves up and then undo it immediately. For example: people list themselves as a producer then ask "how do I get my film produced?"

I am going to remake my profile to be as accurate as possible as see what happens

Jacob Buterbaugh

Asking questions is a good thing. It only irks me when people ask questions and argue when they don't get the answer they want. I've seen some of that here. For example, someone asks a question such as, "Hey, I wrote a Power Rangers Vs. Avengers Vs. Justice League crossover spec script. It's 400 pages of awesomeness!!! How do I sell it?" And then they argue when people tell them that it's not gonna happen.

Concerning your main point, I think some people are ashamed to admit that they're still learning. And that only hurts them. Most people are willing to share knowledge and experience with others. Those same people are much less willing to share knowledge and experience with people who already think they know it all.

Craig D Griffiths

I have a book on Amazon. In that I say that I get paid too much to leave my day job to pursue a writing career in Hollywood.

I intend to self-fund a feature in 2019 (I hope). But it has taken me four feature scripts learn how to write.

Martina Cook

What about the ones saying they teach filmmaking but then ask “how do you make a movie?” :/ I’ll also add, it’s a bit sad when someone asks for free feedback and then don’t even say thank you when you give them notes :(

Pierre Langenegger

I agree with that one, Martina. It's far too common for people to not show some gratitude. It's a pity they don't realize how far it will get them. I guess it's just the way they were raised.

Anthony Moore

I also agree. Gave several people notes (for free) yet no gratitude whatsoever. Even had one come back later asking for more help when he didn't take my advice the first time. But there is always that one or two that DO say thanks, that DO a rewrite based on your input and it turns out fabulous, that DO turn around and help the next person. And that DO is why I do help people.

And you will never see anything on my profile other than Screenwriter until I have Directed, Produced, etc., on a real film. You shouldn't claim the title if you haven't done the work, its worse if you don't even know anything about the job. I've directed a student film but that absolutely does not qualify me to call myself a director. I've written a dozen screenplays, won a few contests and helped others, so even though I haven't sold anything yet I believe that I've done enough work to call myself a Screenwriter.

Jacob Buterbaugh

I'm an aspiring writer, producer, and director. I know I'm not where I want to be/need to be yet. I still have A LOT to learn and experience, and I'm not ashamed of it. I want to earn the right to call myself a screenwriter, a producer, and a director. Some people may chuckle at that. Some people probably won't take me seriously because of that. But IDGAF. I'll become a better storyteller, a better filmmaker, and a better person in general by understanding that I still have a very long journey ahead of me....

I fell on my face in LA, because I was a dingus. I thought I knew more than I did. I thought I was more advanced than I was. I thought I was better than I was. I will NOT make that mistake again. It was a very important and very tough lesson to learn.

Doug Nelson

I'll gladly second this discussion... I'm no longer willing to be so helpful to most but I'll bend over backward to help those who demonstrate a little common (uncommon) courtesy and a desire to learn. Otherwise, I'm takin' my 73 years experience with me.

Dan Guardino

As long as it doesn't cost me money I don't care what people put in their profiles. I have had people in the past thank me for helping them and some never bothered to thank me. Life is too short to worry about such things.

Pierre Langenegger

Jacob, if you write screenplays, you're a screenwriter, as McKee once told me. You might aspire to be a professional screenwriter one day but just because you're not selling your work doesn't mean you can't call yourself a screenwriter. If you write poems but haven't sold a book on poetry, can you not call yourself a poet?

Danny Manus

Well, i think the issue is that when you write your Stage 32 profile, it is aspirational instead of actual. I see a TON of people write "script consultant" or "screenwriter" as their title or vocation on their profiles but it turns out they're neither of those things. They're just aspiring to do those things. And thats not the same thing and gets misleading. I would rather profiles say "Job:" and then "Goal:" or "Professional Intent:" so that we could know if the person offering advice is a Professional Writer or a Plumber who read McKee's book.

Jacob Buterbaugh

Pierre Langenegger That's a great way to look at it. If I remember correctly, Dov Simens said something similar in his two-day film school class.

Danny Manus "I think that would help a lot.

Dan MaxXx

Union plumbers make more than union screenwriters. The late John Gotti was a plumber :)

Dan Guardino

Dan M. That is because they were smart enough not to want to become a screenwriter.

Cherie Grant

I just put 'Screenwriter' on my profile cause screenwriting is why I'm here. No one cares that I clean toilets, or shovel horse shit or make sandwiches for a living. (I have done all those things) My real jobs aren't relevant here, but I do agree with previous comments about people being misleading.

Craig D Griffiths

As Dan said "As long as it doesn't cost me money"...

But it would be great to be able find people that have done what they say they have done so I can ask a question or trust their answers.

I believe we are like a school of fish. When one of us finds a safe or productive path we all follow to someone finds something better. I hope one day to deliver something that benefits the school.

Danny Manus

Craig, but thats why professionals charge money. To separate ourselves from those who havent had the experience necessary to charge money for their skills. Professionals SHOULD cost something. This is the only industry where everyone thinks they can do the job and get paid, but thinks they can learn the job and break into the job for FREE.

Bill Costantini

With regards to "amusing"...I find the occasional sour-grapes blanket statements that are horribly inaccurate to be amusing (and sad), but they are offset 100x by the gracious and insightful comments that are posted here. At least a couple of those folks have changed parts of their tunes recently, though - and a couple others are completely gone or rarely post anymore.

With regards to how people label or characterize themselves here...I don't think it's a bad/wrong thing for people who haven't achieved any degree of professional accomplishment to use one or more of the Stage32 identifying labels in their profiles - like "screenwriter", "director", "producer", etc. I think anyone who attempts to do anything has earned the liberty to use the label. Those labels probably aren't meant to definitively express a person's actual competence levels, anyway, and the company/title/occupation labels can be in flux or in transition at any given time, at least for some people.

What is bad/wrong, at least in my mind, is if people grossly misrepresent themselves, and try to swindle, fleece or rob me. Or you, too. But hey - welcome to reality, right? We should all be wise enough as writers and students of human nature to know if someone is b.s.'ing a bit - or a lot - anyway. And I think all humans can probably admit to maybe aggrandizing themselves or stretching the truth just a little on an as-needed basis at times?

Note to self: take "Studio Owner", "Prince of the Pan Flute", and "Picasso's Grand Son" off my profile. Stat!

All in all, there are a lot of really benevolent professionals here (and non-professionals), and I've gained a lot of invaluable insights from producers, filmmakers, directors, actors, musicians, authors, cinematographers, distributors, consultants, and writers through the forums, blogs, or through private correspondences.

Craig D Griffiths

Experience separates people from the inexperienced. Resume credits etc. perhaps it is my career in consumer protection that makes me cynical. Conman charge money just like professionals.

Of money was the qualifier I’d send an invoice not a pitch to a producer.... lol

Steven Michael

Then there are a small number of people who don't offer advice per se. They only say, "find out for yourself". I'm somewhat conflicted on this because I'm also very independent and self-reliant. But, I have also learned throughout my life that unless you give something back, you're destined to be alone. Both personally and professionally.

Dan Guardino

I would never tell someone to "find out for yourself." I've seen people say that sort of thing here before and I always wonder why they heck did they even bothered to answer the persons question if that is all they can offer.

Owen Mowatt

No excuse for that kind of reply, but some "writers" do ask some seriously lazy questions.

Especially question that scream.....I've never read a script!

Adam Harper

Not to stray too far off topic but, when people say "find out for yourself" it reminds me of some of the user's answers about products on Amazon.

Q - How long does the battery last on this iPhone?

A - I don't know, I don't own an iPhone.

I find it hilarious but, it's also a bit worrying.

Dan MaxXx

I say that often "figure it out yourself". It's my response to laziness of wannabe writers looking for easy short cuts or miracle advice.

Read piles of scripts, watch movies, make movies, study film history, write & rewrite, stack ideas, build up the library inside your head. That is the bare minimum.

Phillip "The Genuine Article" Hardy

I'm not in a puddle with anyone and care little what others write in their bios. I don't think anyone really knows who the hell I am or what my output, successes and failures have been based on my bio alone. I care little about what other writers are doing unless they come to me for help. Then I attempt to be as gracious as possible no matter who they are or what level of writing skill they're at. IMHO, your a professional if you're lucky enough to occasionally get paid and people trying to make feature films or television take your work seriously.

Stephen Thor

People have a tendency to put their best foot forward, whether on a beginning dating relationship, on a resume, or even here. However, the truth always seem to comes out later. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise... needless to say, disappointment is something I am not unfamiliar with. However, there are the exceptions. But your point is well taken... Stephen Thor

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