misc Worth reading for screenwriters...

indietalk

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Common sense? People rave about books and books go viral through book clubs. Screenplays don't. So sure, a great place to look for some built in hype.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
its something ive noticed long ago

people know the names of book authors but they dont know the names of who wrote what screenplay
i've also questioned why more screenwriters dont negotiate themselves the book rights
 
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its something ive noticed long ago

people know the names of book authors but they dont know the names of who wrote what screenplay
i've also questioned why more screenwriters dont negotiate themselves the book rights
The reason you don't see it MORE is because of CLOUT -- plain and simple. When you sell your spec? You're almost ALWAYS selling EVERY RIGHT AWAY unless you have some kind of clout. You can hold out of course or try to negotiate rights to write a book but then 99+% of the time unless you're Quentin Tarantino or William Goldman (RIP), the studio and or production company will simply back out of the deal.
 
The reason you don't see it MORE is because of CLOUT -- plain and simple. When you sell your spec? You're almost ALWAYS selling EVERY RIGHT AWAY unless you have some kind of clout. You can hold out of course or try to negotiate rights to write a book but then 99+% of the time unless you're Quentin Tarantino or William Goldman (RIP), the studio and or production company will simply back out of the deal.
Perhaps this is true.

Another thing I have noticed is the divergence in terms of "publishable" works between screenwriters and book authors. A successful book author (and there are many) will have produced an impressive collection of books over their career, while the same cannot be said for most screenwriters (save for some notable exceptions).

Again, I think this is due to just how hard it is to do. If it were easy, Stephen King (whose books have been adapted to film in great numbers) would have done it too. But alas, it takes some genius to make the written word succeed in film time and time again.
 
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I've always wondered why people don't write the book first and the script second. I always write the story in default form first and then adapt into script. I find it much easier that way, since scriptwriting is much more challenging. It seems illogical to me to do the hard thing first, then sell it, then try to negotiate for the rights to do the easy thing. To me, the transition from story to script is like telling a joke at a bar, then going home and figuring out how to write the C++ code for that joke.
 
Perhaps? LOL. It's true. When you write a spec script and sell it? You're selling ALL the RIGHTS to that STORY unless of course, you're SOMEONE who can negotiate some of those rights AWAY from the studio/production company. As I said before... That usually goes to those with the most clout and reputation.

Most of the time if a book does in fact come out later on down the line because the movie did so well at the boxoffice? The studio hires writers to do that and of course, they don't own the book... Nor any rights to it. It's simply a work for hire.

Most screenwriters learn screenwriting -- not prose. They may improvise a little prose into their specs but very quickly realize -- if they keep at it -- that specs just can't be written that way.

I also learned how to write screenplays before I ever sat down and wrote a book. And? After having done it for the last couple of years, I do think that most screenwriters could easily work their way into that kind of writing. You still have to keep things short and to the point to keep the story moving but at the same time, there is one hell of a lot of freedom and I can also say that it's actually HELPED my screenwriting.

All things being equal? I do think screenwriters could very likely work their way into writing books a little easier than novelists becoming screenwriters... If, for no other reason than just the practice of being concise and pushing the story forward with little room for fluff.

Just my opinion though.
 
Selling rights, YES, but having clout as a bargaining chip (which I think your premise is) is what I am saying "perhaps" to...

Both Stallone (with his Rocky script) and Palminteri (with his Bronx Tale script) were virtual unknowns in the industry and yet had some power in negotiating the terms of how the films were made. Just because other starving artists choose to sell out to these sharks doesn't mean the artist has no say.

That is bullshit.

If your stuff is good, clout or not...They will come after it. Of course they are gonna try to rip off the artists but that's just the way the game is played. Truth is, good scripts are very hard to come by.

Check out the interviews from Chazz and Sylvester on YouTube about how those scripts were first rejected and then eventually the films got made...ON THEIR TERMS.

I am sure there are other examples but those are two from the top of my head.

movie heads telling Chazz the film will never get made... :)
 
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Selling rights, YES, but having clout as a bargaining chip (which I think your premise is) is what I am saying "perhaps" to...

Both Stallone (with his Rocky script) and Palminteri (with his Bronx Tale script) were virtual unknowns in the industry and yet had some power in negotiating the terms of how the films were made. Just because other starving artists choose to sell out to these sharks doesn't mean the artist has no say.

That is bullshit.

If your stuff is good, clout or not...They will come after it. Of course they are gonna try to rip off the artists but that's just the way the game is played. Truth is, good scripts are very hard to come by.

Check out the interviews from Chazz and Sylvester on YouTube about how those scripts were first rejected and then eventually the films got made...ON THEIR TERMS.

I am sure there are other examples but those are two from the top of my head.

movie heads telling Chazz the film will never get made... :)
First of all? Those days are GONE and that was an ANOMALY. LOL. Second? Anyone can try to negotiate the rights to a book, to direct, to act, et al. Anyone. Most studios however, are simply NOT going to take negotiations from an unknown like that SERIOUSLY and unless there is a preponderance of those who can greenlight a project that are WILLING to give up whatever rights are being negotiated? It ain't gonna happen.

Stallone's POWER and CLOUT was in fact his steadfast belief that ONLY he could play the part of Rocky and of course, his willingness to pass up a sale -- which he did -- in order to play Rocky.

You can say whatever you want... The fact is that most screenwriters are going to make that sale. LOL. Whether YOU agree with it or not.

I don't have to check out any YouTube videos... LOL. I know the story very well.

You seem to think that any screenwriter could just sit on their hands and pass up a sale to a studio or production company just so they can negotiate the rights to eventually write and sell a book. And? Any screenwriter could in fact do this with their spec but MOST are not.

I wasn't talking about Stallone and Rocky. APPLES and ORANGES. LOL.
 
I wasn't talking about Stallone and Rocky. APPLES and ORANGES. LOL.
Yeah, too many ORANGES, not enough APPLES ...

1639077687699.png
 
Yeah, too many ORANGES, not enough APPLES ...

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Most screenwriters... Even newbies just don't want to write books. That's WHY they're trying to write spec scripts. LOL. So? It probably wouldn't even occur to them to try and negotiate a deal to keep the rights to write a book. A studio who's very likely going to turn right around and hire another screenwriter or screenwriters to rewrite that spec the newbie just sold AIN'T gonna take the chance on a book that hasn't even been written yet -- again, by a newbie -- that IT couldn't somehow screw up the potential for an eventual production of the newbies spec.

They would rather bank on the eventual production doing outstanding boxoffice and then at that point? Hire a writer to write a book based on the production and NOT the original spec script so that they WORK and compliment each other.

One could most certainly say, "NO SALE!" to a Studio, Production Company, or Producer just so they could keep the rights to write a book. It's a free country. Nobody's gonna stop them.

Unfortunately, there's a 99+% chance that IF the newbie screenwriter were in fact steadfast in that decision? The spec would probably never sell.

@sfoster is correct... Better to write the book FIRST. Even if you simply self-publish on Amazon.

Really has NOTHING to do with too many oranges... LOL.

*NOTE: And if NOT writing the book first? Since it'll probably take some time to sell anyway? Take the spec script draft and write the book from it -- using it as an outline -- self-publish on Amazon at a complete minimum.
 
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Most screenwriters... Even newbies just don't want to write books. That's WHY they're trying to write spec scripts
Most choose screenplays over books because they love film over books. I am sure newbies think there isn't much to it at first, but given the constraints imposed on writing good screenplays, they soon figure out just how tough it is.
@sfoster is correct... Better to write the book FIRST. Even if you simply self-publish on Amazon.
I agree with this, but not for the reasons you state; it is better because writing books is a lot easier than writing screenplays...
I've always wondered why people don't write the book first and the script second. I always write the story in default form first and then adapt into script. I find it much easier that way, since scriptwriting is much more challenging. It seems illogical to me to do the hard thing first, then sell it, then try to negotiate for the rights to do the easy thing. To me, the transition from story to script is like telling a joke at a bar, then going home and figuring out how to write the C++ code for that joke.
Couldn't agree with you more...
 
Most choose screenplays over books because they love film over books. I am sure newbies think there isn't much to it at first, but given the constraints imposed on writing good screenplays, they soon figure out just how tough it is.

I agree with this, but not for the reasons you state; it is better because writing books is a lot easier than writing screenplays...

Couldn't agree with you more...
Well... We'll have to agree to disagree when it comes to writing books. It's DIFFERENT.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
I can't even get people to watch a 10 minute short film.
It seems an insurrmountable task to get someone to pick up a whole book and attempt to read it.
 
I can't even get people to watch a 10 minute short film.
It seems an insurrmountable task to get someone to pick up a whole book and attempt to read it.
LOL. Actually? Books are doing very well these days... And physical books are doing better than digital/eBooks. Many people of my generation have gone BACK to reading books because basically?

Movies suck.

I used to hit the theater every weekend and watch every Film I'd read about -- especially Indies.

Those days are gone.
 
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