I don’t want to move to LA , slave away as a waiter for years – hoping for some agents or some random producer to find me. But seems like this is the only advise I get from people either on YouTube or on google.
I always loved writing, wrote few books on Amazon a few years back and I own a video production company on the side. But unfortunately, I am stuck at a tech job which I literally hate , but have no option to leave because I don’t want to be in a financial pickle. But I am getting to a point where I’ve had enough. I have a copy of final draft and I know I can write a “unsucking” script in a week or 2 if I just knew there was a way to get it sold. I don’t even know where to sell this stuff- Is there like a craigslist for screenwriters? I am just wondering.
Can anyone recommend a good course or program on screenwriting where the focus is on making “real money” part rather than the “artistic or the long arduous journey” one has to take to get to before they make even a cent from screenwriting?
There are PLENTY of courses out there... LOL. None however, that are going to show you HOW TO SELL A SCRIPT or MAKE MONEY. And? Most of the courses I've read about or have been told about by others who've taken them really only teach you the basics... Which of course, you can pretty much get out of any good screenwriting book.
I have pretty much read every book there is on screenwriting... Even the shitty ones and there are also PLENTY of those. If I had to recommend ONE all-inclusive book to help you hit the ground running though... It would be this one:
Screenwriting for Neurotics: A Beginner's Guide to Writing a Feature-Length Screenplay from Start to Finish
It's really the only book I've read on screenwriting that talks about MANY of the things you shouldn't do with your spec script. Worth reading but it is certainly not the golden ticket. That only comes by writing specs and getting them IN THE MARKET.
If you really think you can write an "unsucking" spec in a week or two? It shouldn't even take you more than a year to get 10 really good specs in the bag. IF they are in fact GOOD? You're going to get noticed.
Another huge piece of advice you might hear is to write what you're passionate about... I understand the logic of this recommendation i.e., hopefully one's PASSION will come through in the story and everyone's gonna fall all over it. However, in my humble experience in this industry? High Concept sells a hell of a lot better than passion.
Passion can easily work for competitions... And? Good competitions can get you meetings. But? As I've said on this forum more than a few times before... Passion specs that get you meetings are invariably followed up by the inevitable question, "What else ya got?"
Because if that passion spec ain't
high concept? Why put it into production? Because it's as good as what's already been done? Uh no. You can write direct to video specs that are easier to get into production but you almost always have to have at least one "B" star and here's the rub... They don't really even care about the story that much... LOL. They care more about WHO'S gonna star.
For theatrical films? Your spec is gonna have to be HIGH CONCEPT 99.99999999% of the time in order to compete with screenplays adapted from books i.e., preexisting IP. On top of that? It's harder than ever to get anyone to even read any kind of spec these days unless you've got representation. It can be done of course without representation but that is always going to be the exception to the rule.
So if I were one to give advice? I'd say learn as much as you can about HIGH CONCEPT and what it really is. Then? Spend the next month or two creating your 10 but at least 3 high concepts and get to writing. If your high concepts are AMAZING? Almost any manager receiving an email from you with the logline is going to request the screenplay. If they like it? They'll also ask, "What else ya got?" Have at least two more more well-executed high concept specs to IMMEDIATELY show them. This supports the fact that you're not a one-shot wonder which Hollywood is completely LITTERED with.
I'd also say to try and keep your high concept specs from being period pieces or full of special effects... All anyone sees when they read the first few pages of specs like these are COST i.e., "This thing is gonna cost a $100 Million." Very few newbie screenwriters' specs are gonna get greenlit if what's on the page is that expensive to produce. Nobody wants to TAKE A CHANCE on a new spec screenwriter with a spec that's going to cost that much to make.
If you do have those kinds of high concepts? Great. Keep them to yourself until your foot's in the door of the industry and you can get your specs read as soon as you're finished with them.
I could go ON and ON and ON because this has been my job for a very long time and I still perform script-doctoring which, believe it or not? I don't even like doing. I love writing but working on someone else's material ain't really writing to me. It's like performing body work, sanding, and primer before painting a car. LOL.
Your mileage may vary though...