Screenwriting : Thomas Lee Howell by Thomas Lee Howell

Thomas Lee Howell

Thomas Lee Howell

While everyone on this site may have a screenplay or several, there are many who do not have the writing experience as well as marketing knowledge to 'make it'. Here's the deal. As long as you dream of Hollywood accepting you first of all and EVER reading your material, it is a huge waste of time and effort.. IF a writer is under age 40 they may have a minute chance of getting a foot in the door. Hollywood would rather hire their cousin Bert or Uncle Hymie long before they pay anyone outside their clique. Read Alan Trustman's book The Hollywood Screenplay Sell. All of this info and more will save you lots of money and heartache. Indie films are the present and future. Fu-get Hollywood.

Benjie Anderson

I agree, Thomas. Indie is the "newbie." (and oldie too). There's a lot that is, and will be going on, w/ indies all across the country. Indie productions (as they continue) will fuel more variety for and w/in their respective niches (and some making it to the "mainstream.") Remember when it was only (TV) the big three? Film (the few studios) turning out everything? That was then, this is now. Hundreds of channels, (non-traditional) studios and producers turning out great productions. Iindies (like Curtis Mayfield sang) gotta... "just keep on pushin'." What indie wouldn't want (and deserve) millions of followers, viewers, $ for their productions (should they earn audience, advertising, marketing, distribution, etc.) if they can muster up buzz, interest, etc. I'm/we're workin' on it. Not there yet! Stand-by...

Tiffy Diamond

I do agree that indie is the present and future. Especially since I'm an indie filmmaker. However, as a screenwriter I have gotten my foot into many doors and meetings with no connections. The thing nowadays withe Hollywood is they're really not to keen on taking chances on new material. They want remakes, sequels and adaptations. They especially love an adaptation from something in the public domain (hello all these fairytale films!). I think that the reason indie is the future is because it's a great avenue for original stories to be seen and given a shot for distribution. I wouldn't give up on the Hollywood dream, I would just make sure to have some knowledge in the indie scene too. :)

Tui Allen

We don't have "Hollywood" in this country (New Zealand), though some people tried to re-name Peter Jackson's home town of Wellington as Wellywood. I think we sometimes view Hollywood films as being a kind of "type" and quite limited at that. A kind of blockbuster type always with the same kind of story (Hero's Journey) PJ's films actually do sometimes follow that same pattern but since he's doing so much Tolkien and Tolkien pretty much invented the Hero's Journey, we can't really blame him.

Joseph de Cross

Rather make my own projects a reality, little by little. Quality will prevail. Great discussion in here...

Gregory G. Allen

I've always been a fan of the indie. From films to authors; people are willing to take more chances. Love your thoughts on this, Thomas.

Don Thomas

I'm a flexible sort of guy. My plan consists of generating a continuous stream of content whether it be a professionally published short story, comic book, novel, or screenplay whether they originate from someone else's mind or my own. Always pushing forward creating new content, and refining what has not as of yet been fully executed. If someone offered me a chance to work on a script for a short film, I would bring it. I would bring it like a man who has been doing exactly what I say above, I have been doing. And if with that career wise someone felt inclined to offer me a chance to write a feature length Indy Film, I would undoubtedly redouble my efforts with the writing of that script, as that is the moment all the other content was brought forth from my own personal imagination to obtain. Then hypothetically gazing into the future, if I reached the point where I could as easily handle the writing of a professional script to use for the production of an Indy film project, just I am now at the point with short stories, novels, or comic book projects...LOL. Well...let's just say that's the point when if it is 100% true when people say Hollywood is only interested in remakes, sequels and adaptations I'll be perfectly fine with that. ;) Because the way I figure it, a couple of those under my belt, and there is a possibility someone somewhere might just give me the opportunity to fully execute one of my ideas as unfettered as modern day film making will allow. A truly arduous overall task if there ever was one, and more than likely I will probably never ever get to that hypothetical end. But I know where I am at now, and I fully understand what I am easily capable of, as well of what I might be able to do. So I figure wherever I end up it, it will still be much better than washing dishes somewhere for a living. Like I said, I'm a flexible sort of guy. :)

Thomas Lee Howell

Dan you understand we are discussing the film business on this page correct? Hollywood is referred to as a generalization of all those age discriminating companies in the state of California and especiully in the city called Hollywood. If you do not 'get it' perhaps others can explain the term to you. Good luck.

Tui Allen

I heard "Hollywood" movies are commercial-style movies (whether they're made in Hollywood or not) and you split all movies very roughly into two camps - Hollywood and "art" movies. Is it an accepted view as far as others know? So Titanic and LOTR are actually Hollywood, although LOTR was not made in Hollywood. But films like Elephant Man or The English Patient might be classed as 'art.' Not sure where I picked this up but might have been from reading Robert McKee

Julian Nabunya

i tweeted this Thomas

Julian Nabunya

@ Jacqueline Drury , this post is possitive about Indie film , as the writer makes the conclusion ,Fu... get hollywood but your right , the begining of the whole statement is like telling us to quit this thing [industry] or wait till your 40s and infact when it comes Hollywood and their cousins then even 40 can not be a grantee for all of us , if i may ask how man here are related to them ? but any way , some times writer have subtext or deeper meaning of their statements , you may not understand them unless when you reread and reread , i hope i got you right Thamos .

Rachael Saltzman

Tui - The English Patient was just as 'Hollywood' as Batman. People tend to use it as major studio vs. small, independent studio, hence 'indies'.

Denise Cruz-Castino

Breaking into Hollywood may not be easy. But you need to write what Hollywood is buying and then try every avenue you can to get noticed. Indie films are made by huge Hollywood producers though. Some can be outside the system. But a lot are in it, just doing scripts they may feel closer to. I keep at it, and I get closer and closer. A lot of indies that are not in the Hollywood system end up being self-produced. So if a writer doesn't want to raise the money, then big features are the way to go, not indies.

Tui Allen

Rachael, Your definition of Hollywood is very different from mine then. We may all have different views of it. I just believe in my heart that it's all about the story. If you come up with a good enough story they will want it eventually. I think I disagree with "writing what Hollywood is buying." It smacks of writing to a formula to me. I think we should write the best story we can. We should produce something NEW and totally original. Look at your story and ask yourself, "Has anything remotely like it ever been written before?" If the answer is no, you're on the right track. The sad thing to me was that film Avatar. Such fantastic artwork. Such terrific effects. So much technical advancement in every way but all gone to waste on a mediocre story that was a tired re-hash of so much that had gone before. JC himself is reputed to have come up with that story. His talent is clearly in other directions than story creation. That's where he needs US! The story-people.

Tui Allen

However, sadly, I read somewhere that he's decided to only film his own stories in future. The Titanic was a story he did not create. He should continue in that direction.

Rachael Saltzman

Um, huh? That's just the standard definition - shorthand for large studio vs. small. Not my definition, its the industry definition.

Denise Cruz-Castino

One of my favorite teachers who reps at ICM and produces movies now, told me to think like Hollywood. If you can't, then you have to produce it yourself. Best thing he ever told me. No one said that had to be what's already been done. But there's a reason it's called a business. They need to make their money back. So they need a reason to buy it. If you want to be a paid writer, you write what Hollywood wants. If you want to fund it yourself, sure then you can write whatever you want. Paid writers always get to write indies after they're making a living at it without funding it themselves because directors and actors will always do something for Sundance. Just depends on what kind of career you want.

Tui Allen

Rachael it depends whose standard I guess.

Rachael Saltzman

Denise - wise words indeed. Tui - you either speak the standard language that's used in business, or wonder why no one ever returns your calls. Up to you.

Tui Allen

So Denise, did they sink the Titanic because that was what Hollywood wanted? Did Tolkien write LOTR because that was what Hollywood wanted? I guess if you write what Hollywood wants then you might get to be a Hollywood scriptwriter but you'll still end up writing just another Hollywood forgettable movie. But if you write something truly original, they'll want it anyway and you'll have become a truly original writer as well.

Rachael Saltzman

One, citing an actual tragedy is in poor taste. Using the example of a lauded historian in his field deciding to write about the myths his was intimately familiar with in an (at the time) anemic genre doesn't even make sense. Cameron selling HIS Titanic myth had everything to do with his previous experience combined with the classic doomed love story in a new setting. Bestsellers get turned into films. What of it? You're not making sense. And the 'sour grapes' attitude of dismissing hard working writers just because they're successful is offensive and kind of pathetic.

Tui Allen

Good Heavens, can't I participate in a discussion in a positive way without being labelled pathetic? I'm simply advocating originality - I'm not "dismissing" anybody. Who have I dismissed? But if someone is determined to never try to be original I guess they might take offence at my suggestions. I'm the only person here whose views have been dismissed - because you have called me offensive and pathetic. I would never dream of saying that to anyone especially someone trying to make a positive contribution to a discussion.

Tui Allen

Is this the sort of thing you say to everyone who opposes your angle in a discussion?

Tui Allen

I have written an original story. I did not write it to please anyone other than myself. I did not write it to please anyone in Hollywood. I'm proud of that. And so I should be.

Tui Allen

Analysing why this unwanted conflict has arisen, it my be that I am not really a screenwriter at all. But I am speaking with people who are. I'm a novelist but had to choose the term screenwriter because it was the closest choice on offer. The difference between screenwriter and novelist might be the problem. It's probably quite a different point of view.

Rachael Saltzman

Crapping all over successful writers in any field is in poor taste. And all writers write for themselves first. Yes, you may not adore your current assignment, but it's based on your writing history, which always starts with what you love. Original is highly overrated. What I mean by that - craft is king. A clear, solid story will always trump a nonsensical mess full of holes, no matter how unique the writer may imagine their idea to be (in my experience, it never is - just that the aspiring writer isn't widely read yet). Damning hard working people who've spent years working on their craft stinks of childish envy.

Denise Cruz-Castino

Well it makes more sense now that Tui you say you write novels. They are a totally different beast. I have friends who write that and you are appealing to totally different things in order to get published and get attention from publishers. Titanic was very Hollywood in story telling. As was Avatar. Just because Hollywood didn't buy them, didn't mean they weren't Hollywood scripts. And Rachel is right when she says all writers are writing to please themselves. If I a writer doesn't do that they won't love what they're writing and you'll smell that a mile away. And it's true it takes years and years to learn the craft of writing genre writing for Hollywood. It's all about selling to producers when you talk appealing to Hollywood or appealing to Indie producers. They are each looking for different things.

Tui Allen

Denise, the more I look into this screenwriting thing, the more I feel I should probably leave it to the ones who focus specially on that craft. I need to continue creating my stories and honing my own craft. I'm new to S32 and came here looking for creative people. I've found them too. But you have to be able to get along with people before you achieve anything so people skills are the number one criteria always. The last thing I expected was to raise hackles by stating a preference (in this particular environment) for creativity over formulaic prescriptions. But I do admit there is still a place for that kind of writing. Some of those formulae have the capacity to make millions and there is endless demand for those kinds of stories. And it is always the safe course too. But it is not my own direction and that will never change. It was a novelist/screenwriter who suggested I join S32 for networking. She had read my book.

Denise Cruz-Castino

Well it's good you joined. I think novelists can learn a lot from screenwriters. I have a friend who is taking a novel writing class but her screenwriting husband helps teach it. So I think that's really smart. Because as we know, novels that are very visual, get snatched up and turned into movies. So writing it for that purpose surely can't hurt. Believe me, not being a novelist, I wouldn't pretend to know much about novel writing! Definitely stay the course with novel writing since that's the world you feel comfortable in. They always say, write what you know. I wrote screenplays because I always saw more movies than read books.

Tui Allen

The reverse in my case. I read and read all my life. Every movie I saw, that was adapted from a book, disappointed me. So I mainly enjoyed movies that were not adapted from books I had read. Now I'm looking at that from a whole new angle. That's partly why I'm in no hurry at all. I'm waiting for Ripple to find her own way and she's quietly doing that. Meanwhile, I'm contentedly writing another story, also about dolphins. This dolphin is called Melody. She and Ripple can help one another. I live here in paradise, surrounded by mountains, forests and fields, writing my stories and living in a place so beautiful, I hardly even want to leave it to join my characters in their world, which is even more beautiful than mine. But their world is so dangerous, I must go there, often, and help them. Everything I write is for them. I try to help them because, in today's world, they are in real danger, worse than any of the dangers they face in my stories.

Julian Nabunya

this post can make some one believe that if you can not board a plane and fly to hollywood , then forget about the movie thing Period . OMG .any way i thought any one can produce a movie in any direction as they think as long as you have what it takes to get your audience , why then to photo copy what others have done ? . Holly wood was established by some people i respect so much in my life , but can't some one else start up some where else and extblish some thing else ? i find it hard to believe that most artists think that you have to imitate Holly wood icon to survive in this business , where is originality then ? creativity if your limited to certain group ? artistic view if we have to do what is been already done for decades now ?

Don Thomas

The internet has given everyone the misconception that by virtual of the golden idea itself, a storyteller can make it big and bring down the grand lucrative successes similar to the handful or more screenwriters they actually know. Complete bunk. balderdash, and ill conceived poorly formed logic at the very best. Ideas are as common as blades of grass on the Great Plains of America. Imagine for a second how many people right now throughout the world who have gotten the same idea that "if only" they take their great and highly precious grand movie tale and write it up into a screenplay, all of sudden Hollywood and the International Film scene would instantly be chomping at the bit if only life was truly as "fair" as it should be. Life is not fair. Nothing great ever came without great effort,and you are not accounting for the fact that more of the upper tier studios in Hollywood have steadily been optioning scripts to put in their library as well as fully executing movies from some of those ideas from which they can always make a sequel or remake from with absolutely no need for a completely new and original idea. So more accurately brilliant ideas for movies by themselves are comparable to a single blade of grass, "if only" the entire world was covered in grass. This is something I clearly understood way back in the 1970's when I wasn't even technically a teenager. There is a "What's Happening" episode where the character Roger "Raj" Thomas comes up with this brilliant "lightning in a bottle" idea for an episode of a television show. So like so many of us, he rushes off and writes it up and eagerly submits it to the network, I can't remember exactly as it has been a while, but probably utilizing his friend Rerun's limited connections to the television industry. But the thing is he waits and waits for that phone call from the producers of the television show fully expecting for this big opportunity to just happen because his "idea" was so amazing. Then weeks pass, so much time passes that Roger gives up and accepts defeat At which point we have the all important "Life is not fair" scene where while watching the television show low and behold there is on the family TV a new episode of the show which is highly similar to his idea. Outraged the gang all do what they can to restore balance to the world confronting the makers of the television show. But in the process Roger learns a highly valuable lesson about ideas and their true value solely by themselves to Television and Film, as one of the writers from the television show clearly shows Roger that his brilliant idea for an episode nearly line by line had already been written up by a writer working for the show and made into an episode 6 or 7 times before he ever even came up with it.

Rob Innes

Well, this is depressing! But fear not, many have tried, many have failed but some DO get their work picked up. With imagination, perseverance, networking and a little bit of luck, others will cross the line. Steel yourselves, people of stage32, for the road is long ... but what a journey.

Rob Innes

Hey Jacqueline, hope the project resolves positively for you.

Denise Cruz-Castino

This post isn't about it NOT happening. At least, I don't think it is. It's about upping your chances so it DOES happen. If you know what Hollywood wants, then you can succeed. It is a long road. But the ones that really want to succeed and stay at it, will succeed. I've seen many friends drop off the screenwriting path and I've passed them by in the biz. It's not that I was better, it's that I keep at it. I am seeing success now. It's been a long road. But one I never would have traded. Because those of us who write, we know we have no other choice! It's what we love to do and MUST do. Keep at it!!!!

Julian Nabunya

i don't have any problem with those who say that , "its hard to break into hollywaood " indeed its , why because people on the door are defensive to their jobs and its obvious , but my problem is those who think that any piece of art out side holly wood is "trash "

Rachael Saltzman

Jacquiline, that's exactly it. Agonizing over 'original' is a waste of time. Worry about 'good'. Whatever you write will have your unique spin on it, anyway. Julian, I haven't seen anyone trashing work outside of Hollywood (which is a county, btw, as well as trade shorthand), but a whole lot of the opposite. No matter where you stand, expending energy on all that negativity is a huge waste of time, and makes the person doing it sound like they'll be difficult to work with, further lowering their chances of success.

Julian Nabunya

Racheal if yo haven't, i have , let me tell you the power of Holly wood city is not only in America or LA but every where in this world , why ? because of media . when i talk about people boarding a plane and fly to LA so that they can start thinking like movie makers ... i have experience with that , in Africa you find people selling houses to secure Visa to US so that they can leave atleast closer to hollywood , and when some one walk up in the morning to start some thing you find it hard to make they side with you , besides when you read the above notice its the same things ,almost every one is been disoppointed with Holly wood thing if not adoring it or day dreaming about it , yes i respect holly wood and very much , if it wasn't for them then i wouldn't have been inspired , especially Mel Gibson , his pictures is what makes me busy in cinema hall , but if they refuse to read my script , i will not stop my mission of contributing to the social development of my community after all its priority number one then money and fame can come later if it likes to be on my side .

Georgina Gajdosik

Original is not a good thing in this business, not until the movie is made. In otherwords, in packaging and financing, it is better to align your story to what has already been funded and successful. This is how to attach like-talent and professionals that get yoour financing for you. Try at least to slant your work towards what has been done, but add how your film is even better!

Rachael Saltzman

@Julian - absolutely. As I said before, 'Hollywood' is shorthand for 'major studio picture'. That part of town is pretty much studio lots and fast food - I wouldn't want to live there. I think what people are missing is that producers want 'the same, but different' - classic story arcs that audiences identify with, but told in new, exciting ways.

Julian Nabunya

@Rachael then we are on same track , any one any where , who can keep their audience and add more , is whom they are looking for but not their cousin , with certain age range .... etc etc ... nice day . good luck with your new project , i have read some post when you mentioned being invited for another shot . please keep me posted if you don't mind .

Tui Allen

The recent "Life of Pi" movie is a recent good illustration of a movie adaptation of a famous novel. To me that novel was truly original. I don't think he sat down to write that, thinking he was trying to please anyone in the movie business. He just had something very important, new, and original to say. Incidentally, what he had to say should be of interest to all of the story-writers here because it was a kind of "story about story." The novel is one of my all time favourites. I've read it several times. I enjoyed the movie, thought it was an excellent illustration and technically wonderful, but the imaginary movie I made in my own head when I read the book was even better. I hope creative people like this continue to produce such books forever. It's also hard to imagine that you could start a genre on "Life of Pi" in the same way that the Twilight stories ignited (or re-ignited) a genre of teen vampire romances. So that limits its commercial usefulness. But I'm very glad that the book was published and the film was made, in spite of this . . . er . . . defect.

Rachael Saltzman

You mean literary fiction in the adventure category? Based on Max and the Cats, as per the author's own interviews? Literary fiction has long been mined for high concept stories, and this book was written in 1977. That someone decided to make a film from it is great. Writing literary fiction with the idea that it will be turned into a film is like learning how to make souffle with the intent of captaining a luxury yacht. Also, the writer did not pen the screenplay. If you want to be a working screenwriter, write screenplays. If you want to make a living writing books, write genre. If you want to write literary fiction, write that. Citing one exception and trying to make it a rule only works if you don't want to sell work.

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

I echo Rob's sentiments. Don't underestimate the importance of networking. It's not what you know... Of course, you have to backup your claims.

Patty Sherman

I know people who got agents and managers interested in repping them based on their writing in NY and LA and are on their way. I did a play with Julie Fergus recently and her husband Mark Fergus wrote "Ironman" as well as several other films, one Oscar nominated, with his long time writing partner and they are not related to anyone and their agents are CAA. I have another friend now who got something she wrote published in another friend's books of stories and is now writing her own book and has a manager. To say it is all an inside job, these people all give to their friends or worse to just their relatives is just not completely true and so negative. Not easy to get an literary agent or manager, but it is possible. By the way most of these people have a degree in English, writing and/or acting too and still take a class here and there to bone up. I had an ex boyfriend in NYC who said he was a writer and worked part time reading other people's scripts for Dustin Hoffman's production company and he claimed he was also a writer. However when this boyfriend of the time had the chance to have my manager read some of his work and perhaps rep him or give him a referral to another agent or manager, he chickened out. There is that kind of thinking and behavior too that gets a person no where at all.

Rachael Saltzman

Thank you, Patty. That's what I keep saying. Either do the work, or wallow in petty jealousy and whining. It really only makes a difference to you - no one else cares.

Tui Allen

I am the luckiest person in the world to do the work I do. It doesn't feel like work to me.

Benjamin James

uplifting stuff.

Karen R. Hardin

It is 2013 there is no "Hollywood" as such...The limits are in the mind as are the limitless options.

Patty Sherman

PS I also worked as a CD assistant for former CD Jeff Passero in NYC/LA, he did/does he often cast his wife, sister or daughters now in a small role when he could, yes, did it lead to them having even a middle class working actor's career, not so far it seems. My boyfriend now has a friend in Maryland who in his late 40's has had several books published and is doing well after years of not doing this well on the subject of UFO's. Often a script begins with a book that does well and that happened by him doing the work, research and seeking an literary agent. If your book, script just sits on a shelf because boo hoo my family is not in the biz to help me more, then I do not know what help there is for that. I have also had actor friends who wanted to buck the system for years and did not want an agent or manager saying they did not want to give any percentage to them, of course they were lucky to have 5 auditions if that, a year with freelancing and not being signed if they had reps at all. Not everyone is related to a well known relative who helps them make it, that is just not the whole truth or the facts.

Chuck Dudley

If cousin Bert or Uncle Hymie can write a good screenplay, AND they have a Hollywood hookup then why not? However countless screenplays of cousins, uncles, sisters, aunts, etc... of Hollywood insiders also get a PASS!!! As Denise pointed out, if you choose to participate in the business of Hollywood, then understand Hollywood as a business. Understand Producers are looking for material they can bring to the studios AND independents. The producer doesn't get paid development money or any fee until their project (your screenplay) gets considered. Paramount, Disney, Lions Gate, Relativity Media... the process for entry is basically the same: do you have a property that will make them money? Now the DSLR/micro budget movement is exploding. Today there is no reason you can't produce, write, direct and distribute your own projects with a very minimal budget. You don't need "Hollywood". You just need to get started!

Tui Allen

Patty, we ordinary authors (as distinct from screenwriters) have this same ongoing discussion about whether or not to have an agent helping us. In my experience, having tried both ways, the agent is better. Your work gets taken more seriously, and you end up making far more money in total even though you have to give the agent his share. With an agent you lose the isolation factor. You're no longer alone out there, you have someone else going out to bat for you and he's the one with influence with publishers, and skill in zones I don't know so much about, like contracts and stuff. When I found myself on the way to Frankfurt for the book fair last year, I was so glad to know he was on the scene, to protect me from any predators out there who might try to rip me off. .

Mike Bustillos

That was not a good way to debate a point of view. If I wrote a screenplay and pushed it all the way through to production and distribution would you say I was juiced in? I have no Uncles in the biz. no family there. I know many writers who have "made it" without being a part of the "Hollywood" machine. This little post takes away from their struggle and triumph.

Tui Allen

Mike, true creative flair will make it through anything. If your work is good enough they will want it in the end. A 9 yr old I knew wrote a story of soaring originality. I put it out there for her and it was picked up by three different publishers.They were falling over themselves to get their hands on it. I learnt so much from that kid. She was an angel. A disadvantaged angel but still an angel. What she had was the vision in her brain and the very few English words she knew to describe them. It was all she needed.

Tui Allen

Dan, I think you can just click the follow button and you can stop following it. I might try to do the same and see what happens. Very new to this forum so a bit hazy.

Don Thomas

same here. Sorry just not really down with derogatory statements and words about other groups of people, even if I do not personally belong to said group.

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

You can look at Hollywood (or Big Publishing, Big Recording, etc.) as either dying beasts or creatures going through a metamorphosis due to a change in climate, if you will. We can crowd-source (though everybody and their sister's dog is doing that these days--much more competition that a couple years ago), make our own films, launch web series, self-publish, distribute mp3s, etc. I went the self-producing route, and hated it. My project is too ambitious, I learned the hard way, to do on a shoestring in a small town. I'm pursuing a gig on television now, because I've come to realize it's definitely good enough to find an audience and bring in ratings, and would fit nicely into the lineup of TNT or USA, for instance. I feel my best bet is to network, hoping that someone in a position to make it happen. I'm also pursuing more traditional routes.

Chuck Dudley

Marcello- would you attempt self producing on a smaller scale just to build a sort of portfolio of your work? I think a few small projects are better than trying to go big first time out.

Philip Hay

This subject is my pet-peeve! On-line contests, film fests???.. etc...etc...On and ON! I decided that my short film is worthy of production into a movie format...SO..I struck an agreement with some very clever 3rd Yr. film students. They will produce, act, put in sound, ,do crew functions, edit and foley the project. This will keep my costs down significantly and provide the students with an addition piece of work, for their schooling. For funding I went to indiegogo.com to raise the necessary money. When finished, I will have a high-quality film to submit to film fests and market for distribution. Search "When Freddy met Fred being Freddy". .Participate if you wish and thanks if you do. I'd like to hear back from writers who have or will, by-past the studio and indie production houses. Cheers

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

Chuck, I did assemble a mostly inexperienced team, and we produced a pilot for this project for $800 a few years ago. Considering that, it came out really well. But I really don't enjoy filmmaking. I'd prefer to hand it over to producers, and maybe to direct. But that takes cash, and we fell short of our $12,000 Kickstarter goal last year (for the reboot). I did get great media attention, even appearing on Morning Edition. But I see what you're saying. I just don't want to produce. Philip, I wish you great success. That's exactly what we did, but finding actors to work for free in Western North Carolina was much more challenging than I'd expected.

Thomas Lee Howell

Having scripts read and having anyone sink money into yet another spec project are two different things. Experiencing Hollywood firsthand and its motives for the past 13 years when I say something it is because it has been tried doing so numerous times. Not because I say it because I tried it over and over. So if you are under 40 and have any luck even getting a script read, the chances of having a big wheel produce it are one in a million. But that's okay. Do it however you think it will work for you. I prefer not to take the endless dead end routes again and again.

Patty Sherman

With all due respect, why is Thomas listing himself here as a screenwriter if this profession he attempted has brought him so much misery and the rest of us all are doomed to try to this unless we are related to someone in Hollywood? How many agents, literary agents read his scripts over the years? He says he is also a CD, so that gives some clout and one has some connections from casting films, TV, commercials or theatre, right? The CD I worked for produced a play in NYC and did this with the help of an former actor turned producer. If it all turned out so horribly for Thomas then why be here at all on Stage 52? To just be the voice of doom and misery? Is that networking here and maybe this should be vented in a therapy session. Like I said before and I will again did a play recently with Julie Fergus, wife of talented screen writer Mark Fergus who wrote "Iron Man" and is Oscar nominated for his other screenplays. He is not related, nor his wife to anyone in LA or Hollywood in the biz. I happen to know too many writers repped by decent literary agents not related to people in the biz that work and have screen plays done for film, TV and theatre. Did Mr. Howell live in Hollywood for 13 yrs or send his scripts to people from Colorado? Did he try to get an agent and did he take feed back well if there was any from people experienced in the business? There is gonna be feed back and I have known people who cannot take it or stand it and hence they have no career.

Patty Sherman

Also I do not see this person's education listed under their profile so I have no idea what college or education in writing/literature or anything else they may have. There are people here in LA and ones I met in NYC self proclaimed casting directors, producers and screenwriters with no or a small number of credits, listing no education anywhere, who say they are professional etc... The best people have no problem speaking of their education, training, on going training, projects they have worked on etc... Casting a few things does not make one a paid CD. I know someone who produced and helped to cast one little film he was also in and now calls him a CD and producer. Okay, yeah he did cast a few actor friends in his short, is he a CD now because of this? Not really. I assisted on films, inde and commercial and Off Bway plays with CD Jeff Passero and this man went to college for theatre, began casting theatre and moved into films and TV casting. I have known those that hate the idea of showing their work to an agent or manager, any feed back they get, if they do get their work heard is met with many obstacles and they feel their words are just too important and precious to be tampered with. So the scripts for plays, films do not get done. What is the point then?

Julian Nabunya

@ Pratty , i don't live in America but i don't think education is only way, one can justify sucess . another thing, i have just read some other post from Thomas him self , he says he is 60 now , and he learnt how to write a screen play in 1999 , that's less than 20 years now , meaning he was above 40 by then , besides in list of education and work experience , he listed Emmy award winner as tutor for screenplay , so cousin or "network" was in his thread , there 4 i landed into this conclusion , Thomas is urging you, me or anyone else here to do as he did , so then its up to you , you can either fall his path or do things the way you want ,after all we are all looking for sucess. good luck .

Michael Lockett

Lest we all forget its called "the film industry" or the "movie business". The bottom line is everyone needs to eat, put a roof over their head and take care of their loved ones. This is the chosen profession that although creative and fun beyond belief is still a business. Whether you're an indie film maker or deeply entrenched in the "Hollywood" machine, its still a business. Everyone in the process wants people to pay to have their eyeballs and ears glued to the particular work. There is no shame in wanting to ear a living doing something you love. The jaded idea that "Hollywood" keeps churning out constant crap is misguided because a plethora of "indie" films are financed by that same "dirty Hollywood money". Lets all keep our egos in check and simply produce work we can be proud of.

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