format OFF SCREEN and CON'T on same CHARACTER Line

I'm talking about pre-production and getting a script sold and produced, something you appear to have read a book about. And I am a "Gate Keeper" pal.
https://secretlifeproductions.com/ I'm Director of Development. I can take your script straight to the money, IF it's up to my standard.

i came to Hollywood with one script 13 years ago, and have been working ever since, even though it took me 10 years to sell a script. I am a member of TVWriters.ORG. I know EXACTLY what it takes for a script to be producible and profitable, and I'm an expert on formatting. I freely share my knowledge with serious, ambitious writers because it's a Hollywood Tradition. My Mentor had a couple of little gold statues on her shelf.

You want to get noticed write a great script? I got 10 on my desk. They're all great. One has a shot at a reasonable ROI in a reasonable amount of time, the other nine are dead ends.

What do you know about Screenwriting?
I think you're a bitter internet expert with no practical knowledge of the Industry.
 
it's simple. It's about money. What's the demographic? If you're 22 and in college and "write what you know" you're writing the same thing as every other 22 year old college student. Who wants to see that movie? And if I want to make it, why wouldn't i call the WGA and hire a writer? Of course there are exceptions-- but McDonalds is filled with screenwriters who thought they were the exception. Write a story that appeals to the 17 to 35 age group and you have a way, way better chance of getting work and maybe even selling your script.

When I came to Hollywood I had a script I thought would be cheap to shoot. I was wrong. But I got read, laughed at, and then hired to do some rewrite work. because I'm real good with characterizations and now formatting. Since then I've worked on 21 scripts for pay over the years that have been produced, although I remain uncredited. But I've learned what a Producer wants, both Indie and Studio System, and now I am a frontline Producer. This is how a Producer mind works:

In order to get the "Produced By" credit (more money and into the PGA) a Producer has to choose the topic of the film before he has a script. In practice, that means that if I send out a call for a script about family strife over alcoholism that can be shot for less than $2 million, that makes it "my" idea. And you can bet that "my" idea is as commercial as possible, so write commercial to get me to read you, and you want WGA money.
Further, "Producer" is synonymous with "Cheapskate", so the Dog Dilemma comes into play, i.e., As soon as I read the word "dog" visions of veterinarians and handlers and money flying out of my budget come to mind. Never use an emotional support dog when a teddy bear will do-- that's writing for production.
Don't blow up the Hollywood Bowl-- it cost to much. If I want to spend that much money on F/X, I won't use an untested writer. I'll call the WGA.
Write tight, with budget in mind.

The Industry is nothing like it was 10 years ago. No one is buying screenplays from unknown writers these days. And when they do, they have to pay some guy like me to re-write the script and i don't come cheap. You won't sell a script, but a script might sell you as a Writer. Write what you feel, make it about an idea-- you'll never get read by a player.
Write professionally with a eye toward showcasing your craftsmanship and understanding of the Industry, and you might get an assignment, and that opens the door to pitch your script for real.

Or you can try to win a contest, in which case you won't sell your script, but you might get lucky and get work.

What you need to ask yourself is who is going to read your "great fucking story"? It won't be me unless it's a script about family strife over alcoholism that can be shot for less than $2 million.

I'm scheduled to go back to work in March and resume casting as the Produced By Producer on Tell Me I'm Pretty and preproduction on The Dark Side of the Day-- What will you be doing?
 
He doesn't-- but he does know what budget range his script is. And then he looks for script calls. If you're not connected, you can try the various listing services. In any case, if you get a meeting about your script, the first question at that meeting is "What's the budget?"

The movie biz is like a Craps game-- not hard to play, but really tough to explain. Ask a direct question and I'll answer it directly. But know that the internet gives a false impression of what a Screenwriter does. Working Screenwriters write what they're told to write. Sales are few and far between. The Industry wants Screenwriters, not scripts. When you're a big shot you can do what you like. Until then, you have to prove mastery of the craft.
And for god's sake, forget that whole perfecting a script thing. The perfect script is the one that gets financing.

I have a script that is being produced that I wrote. But during the polish, I felt I had lost my perspective on the story, so I hired another Writer to polish it. This writer is a woman who pitched me into reading her script. Her story was not up to par, but her craftsmanship was. Her handling of the events and the continuity of the story flow suggested to me that she could bring the right touch to the polish I needed. And she did, and now she's a professional Screenwriter. Same thing essentially happened to me, except I'm giving her screen credit, something I didn't get.
It's about being a great Screenwriter, not writing a great script.

Right now, I need a couple bilingual (English/Spanish) writers to develop for a long term project that is currently being negotiated. Anyone who meets the criteria, has a writing sample and a lot of heart is free to contact me to discuss the matter.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I'm talking about pre-production and getting a script sold and produced, something you appear to have read a book about. And I am a "Gate Keeper" pal.
https://secretlifeproductions.com/ I'm Director of Development. I can take your script straight to the money, IF it's up to my standard.



What do you know about Screenwriting?
I think you're a bitter internet expert with no practical knowledge of the Industry.
I asked what I thought was a reasonable question.

I'm sorry that you felt the need to resort to the typical message board put down.
 
I'm talking about pre-production and getting a script sold and produced, something you appear to have read a book about. And I am a "Gate Keeper" pal.
https://secretlifeproductions.com/ I'm Director of Development. I can take your script straight to the money, IF it's up to my standard.

i came to Hollywood with one script 13 years ago, and have been working ever since, even though it took me 10 years to sell a script. I am a member of TVWriters.ORG. I know EXACTLY what it takes for a script to be producible and profitable, and I'm an expert on formatting. I freely share my knowledge with serious, ambitious writers because it's a Hollywood Tradition. My Mentor had a couple of little gold statues on her shelf.

You want to get noticed write a great script? I got 10 on my desk. They're all great. One has a shot at a reasonable ROI in a reasonable amount of time, the other nine are dead ends.

What do you know about Screenwriting?
I think you're a bitter internet expert with no practical knowledge of the Industry.
LOL. I think that was directed at ME... I think you should save that line for your next SHOOTING SCRIPT:

GECKOPELLI
I am a gatekeeper, Pal.

I don't understand why you had to RESORT to getting personal here... Kind of goes against the entire IDEA of writing. I get that you FEEL CHALLENGED but that's what forums are all about... Or? Should be about.

HEALTHY DEBATE.

I do NOT agree with YOU plain and simple. I also think that a lot of newbies, or people trying to learn how to write a SPEC SCRIPT deserve to read a healthy debate on the subject. Additionally? And I'm just being HONEST here... I don't think you've qualified much of ANYTHING you've said in this thread. To me, your replies just seem to be stating that YOU ARE A PRODUCER AND OF COURSE YOU KNOW BEST.

That thought made me laugh because in my humble experience OVERALL? Producers are one of the worst THINGS to happen to productions. Especially their NOTES when it comes to screenplays.

I'm really not here to have a pissing contest with you but I assure you my resume is every bit as competent as you say yours is. You call me a BITTER INTERNET EXPERT. LOL. What is THAT exactly? How have I been bitter? I'm actually in a very good mood as I write this. I'm not sweating you one bit and IF after ALL this back and forth that I assume will keep going on? I'm even happy to ride OUT to wherever you are and MEET YOU IN PERSON so we can talk about all this even more.

By the way... Just to save you a little bit of future anguish? I highly suggest you close up your WordPress /uploads/ directory... We wouldn't want anyone to perform an SQL injection on your Production Company website... LOL.

If you don't understand what I mean? Just click this link: https://secretlifeproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/

If you don't know HOW to do that? Just ask, I'd be happy to explain HOW to do THAT too.

So back to the pissing contest...

Thus far? All you've managed to convince me of is NOT to have my representative ever send you (your production company) a spec script. LOL.

You see... Nobody ever challenged your resume. I more or less believe it but when it comes to writing a spec? You're falling WAY WAY SHORT here. I mean hey... YOU ARE THE PERSON WHO SAID THE FOLLOWING:

The "MASTER HEADING" is generally an amatuer thing-- lose it. When you're Tarantino, you can pick it up again. But it's not for someone trying to break in.

That statement ALONE and NOTHING else (even though there are PLENTY) was ENOUGH of a RED FLAG for me to jump in here and debate with you. The MASTER HEADING or what we spec screenwriters call, the MASTER LOCATION SCENE HEADING is NOT an amateur thing at all and ANYONE who says it is when it comes to writing a spec screenplay OR a SHOOTING SCRIPT is FULL OF SHIT.

None of the stuff you've told us thus far had anything to do with the OP's original question... Most of your replies neglect to answer anyone else's questions either. I apologize if, for some reason, you feel that I've made this thread personal against YOU. That could not be further from the truth.

I could care less about WHO YOU ARE and WHAT YOU DO but I too am a Professional Screenwriter... Feel free to look up Unknown Screenwriter on the big G. I've been around for a very long time. Although having said that? I am somewhat RETIRED now. Why? For exactly some of the things you've said in this thread. I'm no longer willing to WRITE what people TELL ME TO WRITE. Sure, the pay is good and was good but with some pre-planning? I no longer require a day job. I still write specs but ONLY when I feel like my concept is truly something original because THAT is HOW I PERCEIVE how the industry has changed.

I am also PAYING BACK. I was on IndieTalk a very long time ago when I was struggling as a professional screenwriter. Notice I said, STRUGGLING PROFESSIONAL SCREENWRITER. I was a professional even way back then but certainly not as successful as I later became. I've worked with numerous directors and producers and while it would be nice to go ahead and put that list out here and now? I will refrain from doing that because the last thing I want to do is bring any of their names into a pissing contest that will be easily found at some point on Google.

I'm not here to impress anyone... I'm not here to sell anything. I am a professional spec screenwriter. I have sold spec screenplays. I have and am currently a script doctor-fixer -- whatever you want to call it. I take jobs when I seriously cannot refuse the offer because it's totally worth it but to be honest? I don't like those kinds of jobs either. I like writing specs, plain and simple. There is NOTHING greater to me -- when it comes to writing -- than writing your own story.

You seem to think FORMATTING (you being an expert formatter and all) is more important than the story. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Oops. I almost threw up in my mouth... Where do you get this from? You seem to think nobody is buying specs anymore... Where do you get this from? I can point to at least one spec a month that gets bought. AT LEAST ONE A MONTH.

You said:

You want to get noticed write a great script? I got 10 on my desk. They're all great. One has a shot at a reasonable ROI in a reasonable amount of time, the other nine are dead ends.
I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THAT. LOLOLOLOLOLOL. And? That may just be YOUR PROBLEM. I guarantee that you do NOT have 10 GREAT SCRIPTS sitting on your desk. They may be competently written and well executed but I guarantee their concepts are NOT marketable because IF THEY WERE and YOU ARE WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE? You'd be in pre-production with all of them.

You also said:

And for god's sake, forget that whole perfecting a script thing. The perfect script is the one that gets financing.
Who said ANYTHING about PERFECTING a script? YOU! Not anyone else. Do you not read or understand the replies in this thread or are you so angered by me challenging your advice [sic] that you're now making shit up? All I ever said in this thread was to ELIMINATE problems in your spec. It's actually very easy to do yet most screenwriters both newbie and professionals do NOT do this. They leave the problems in thinking it's okay. And? For those with a track record? It probably is okay for the most part but for newbies? Why give a professional script reader any opportunity to pass on your script? That also goes for utilizing formatting that should be saved for those who write shooting scripts. LOL.

You said:

In any case, if you get a meeting about your script, the first question at that meeting is "What's the budget?"

Wow. I've been in a whole hell of a lot of meetings and the budget was NEVER the first question. In most cases? The budget never even came UP! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL. Maybe this is just how YOU do BUSINESS. I could easily list quite a few well known producers who are NOT going to bring up the budget at the first meeting if in fact, the meeting is about your spec screenplay. The first meeting is almost always a meet and greet and "CAN WE WORK WITH THIS SCREENWRITER?" meeting. It's a meeting to try and get a FEEL for the screenwriter who mesmerized the professional script reader with their spec script that got a RECOMMEND.

You do realize that within a few million give or take... Most everyone in the room already KNOWS more or less what the budget will be IF the spec in question actually goes into production.

You said:

And if I want to make it, why wouldn't i call the WGA and hire a writer?
LOL. That's an interesting answer... So basically, what you're really saying here is that no agency is pitching you their screenwriter's screenplay(s). That pretty much says it all for me about your production company.

You said:

What you need to ask yourself is who is going to read your "great fucking story"? It won't be me unless it's a script about family strife over alcoholism that can be shot for less than $2 million.
Wow. How long have you been in the business? LOLOLOL. You said yourself that YOU READ some female screenwriter's script because YOU LIKED her PITCH of her screenplay. So I guess you've ANSWERED YOUR VERY OWN QUESTION HERE, haven't you? Who's going to read my great fucking story? ANY PRODUCER THAT LIKES THE PITCH! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.

Jesus Dude... Get a GRIP.

Okay... Awaiting the next line of PISS.
 
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You make good points Unknown Screenwriter, however not sure I agree with your decision to expose his site's vulnerability on a public forum. Why didn't you send him a private message instead?
 
You make good points Unknown Screenwriter, however not sure I agree with your decision to expose his site's vulnerability on a public forum. Why didn't you send him a private message instead?
Probably for much the same reason you decided to ask me this question on the forum instead of sending me a message. LOL. Probably for much the same reason @geckopelli decided to get personal. After all, I did end up identifying this thread as a pissing contest. Probably for much the same reason you didn't send @geckopelli a message to tell him to chill out... This is JUST A DEBATE and NOT a pissing contest.

Maybe it's the same reason I used to see bullies picking on little kids in high school and promptly denied them that ability.

Maybe it's all the above. Maybe it's MORE.

What I do know is that I do not necessarily have to share the same opinion as you. Just because you asked the question doesn't mean I should have sent the guy a private message.

Right?

LOL. To me at that point? That would have been like donating money to someone's cause who just prior, talked shit about me. Ain't gonna happen.

As far as I'm concerned... It's like being in a court of law. Once someone brings SOMETHING up? It open season on that topic until the Administrator shuts it down. At which time -- if that happens? We will all have learned a lesson here.

Just being honest...

*EDIT: I had hoped to come BACK to IndieTalk to share what I know about screenwriting... Good. Bad. Ugly. Craft. Anything and everything I KNOW and have experienced is up for grabs. All I know how to do here is be honest. Am I flawed? Of course I am. Am I going to apologize for it? Hell no. We're all human beings... We're all flawed. If the kind members and admin of Indietalk would RATHER me NOT share what I have to share here in the way I have to share it... In other words... I'm NOT gonna change now... I will be more than happy to move on down the road. Just let me know. I never know anymore if people just want smoke blown up their asses or the truth. LOL. You tell me.
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Dude. Eat a Snickers.

angry chocolate GIF by Snickers


Better? 😆
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
*EDIT: I had hoped to come BACK to IndieTalk to share what I know about screenwriting... Good. Bad. Ugly. Craft. Anything and everything I KNOW and have experienced is up for grabs. All I know how to do here is be honest. Am I flawed? Of course I am. Am I going to apologize for it? Hell no. We're all human beings... We're all flawed. If the kind members and admin of Indietalk would RATHER me NOT share what I have to share here in the way I have to share it... In other words... I'm NOT gonna change now... I will be more than happy to move on down the road. Just let me know. I never know anymore if people just want smoke blown up their asses or the truth. LOL. You tell me.
You do tend to take things personal - even when it's not meant that way.

And you know you get very... animated.. with your posts. Lots of shouting
and very dramatic. Passionate, for sure.

But you give great advice. As a long time member of indietalk I'd rather you
stick around and share here the way you have to share.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
2020 was a hard year, I feel emotionally unstable lately and will take things personally. i totally get that.
i might as well be on a spaceship to jupiter with how empty my life is. and I feel powerless to change that with society being shut down.

IT is my social life right now lol sadly. I don't want any regulars to leave. it's not that big of a community.
And I appreciate the benefit of your experience.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Mara, You, and Rik are the 3 most helpful people here regarding screenplays, no offense to anyone else there's actually a few more that have great advice too, but you guys are the power trio. This site is lucky to have you and I think some people come in here not knowing we have such great professionals so when they offer advice that is off, they are surprised as they probably visit sites where they are not corrected or challenged.
 
You do tend to take things personal - even when it's not meant that way.

And you know you get very... animated.. with your posts. Lots of shouting
and very dramatic. Passionate, for sure.

But you give great advice. As a long time member of indietalk I'd rather you
stick around and share here the way you have to share.
I admit taking things personal when the thread turns personal. I try to go out of my way NOT to get personal before then. And in a way? This forum -- even though it's a discussion forum -- can be a little like Social Media. When @Contantin asked the question about the site vulnerability, I got that he didn't agree with the decision which is fine. We're not all ever going to agree on everything but had the thread NOT gone personal? I would have definitely messaged him and told him about the site. I can't even imagine the person in question actually taking a message from me seriously in the first place AFTER he decided to get personal.

And please... Make no mistake. I wasn't/am not trying to get anyone to vote on me staying here or anything like that at all... There was/is no Admin/Thread thing in my head either. The question of the site vulnerability just reminded me of social media and how I've seen it turn on a dime so quickly.

Bottom line when it comes to screenwriting though... Writing in general? I am extremely passionate about it. I capitalize words for EMPHASIS and always have even way back in the day when I was here. It's just how I try to make my point. It's not meant as shouting or any of that crap. I've been on the Internet since the beginning and I choose NOT to buy into the entire CAPPING WORDS is shouting thing. That's just me. I cap for EMPHASIS. Kind of like UNDERLINING in a screenplay.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
You don't buy into the often accepted generality that uppercase is shouting.
But many do. Most of the time when writing it isn't about what you, the writer,
means or buys into; it's how the reader perceives it.

We make this place. We can treat it like social media or we can treat it like a
respectful discussion. We can escalate a personal attack or we can try to bring
it back to a conversation.
 
I would imagine the CAPS is something many writers do on their own screenplays when emphasis is placed on a SOUND or some IMAGE and I just figured you are so used to doing that in your screenplays that its just carried into your thread posts. I never mistook it for shouting.

It is only shouting if the person writing it doesn't do it consistently so it STANDS OUT LIKE SHOUTING
 
You don't buy into the often accepted generality that uppercase is shouting.
But many do. Most of the time when writing it isn't about what you, the writer,
means or buys into; it's how the reader perceives it.

We make this place. We can treat it like social media or we can treat it like a
respectful discussion. We can escalate a personal attack or we can try to bring
it back to a conversation.
You're correct but as far as I'm concerned? I didn't get that personal. I simply responded to each individual attack. As for capping? I've been capping since the inception of the Internet. I won't be changing that.
 
I would imagine the CAPS is something many writers do on their own screenplays when emphasis is placed on a SOUND or some IMAGE and I just figured you are so used to doing that in your screenplays that its just carried into your thread posts. I never mistook it for shouting.

It is only shouting if the person writing it doesn't do it consistently so it STANDS OUT LIKE SHOUTING
I appreciate that... I guess I should stick a disclaimer in my replies.
 
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