Showing posts with label screenwriters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label screenwriters. Show all posts

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Patience and Perseverance

Thousands of aspiring screenwriters dream of writing the next hot script that is made into a popular movie. There are film industry players and prolific screenwriters who have already taken this journey numerous times. Nevertheless, thousands of writers spend countless hours in screenwriting forums chatting about their current/past stories, popular films they like, creative ideas that excite them, and famous screenwriters they admire. They are motivated to make industry connections, form new friendships and build meaningful relationships. Hundreds of Instagram page owners post content sharing personal script projects, screenwriting contests, potential story ideas and script pages to their personal screenplays. True screenwriters hold passion for creating compelling stories. Patience and perseverance hold the key to making your screenwriting dream a lucrative career.

If we wish our screenplay will eventually be optioned, we are putting our dream on a pedestal. Making Hollywood appear unattainable is giving the film industry way too much credit for our future happiness. It is possible to write a good screenplay capable of winning screenwriting competitions.

Your script can move past gatekeepers to get optioned. Your script can be made into a Netflix movie. Your script can become a blockbuster movie. Visualize what you want and apply yourself to go get it. 

We must believe in our creative adventures. Don't worry about what people think. You are not selfish for desiring to live your dream. If you put forth the effort, you deserve to live a better life.  

Writers have many goals in sight. Looking in the rearview mirror can/will block progress. Discipline, time management and passion will keep your screenwriting dream moving forward. We must keep writing pages, research what studios want/need, listen to podcasts featuring successful screenwriters, study great screenwriters, learn about the business of movies and build our stories into profound movies. When I mention scripts, I mean we must complete several scripts to increase our chances in getting noticed. 

One script can connect us with the right people who want to view our writing portfolio. It's possible this individual, that studio or those group of people may not have interest in optioning our only script. However, our writing talents may attract the attention of industry-connected people. They may ask us what other projects we have stored in our script arsenal. Don't sell yourself short by investing your entire farm into only one script idea, unless you are confident in this story to sacrifice everything.  

This is where your patience and perseverance come into play. No matter what obstacles and challenges stand in your way, you must be confident in your creation(s). Pet projects usually create intense excitement because these stories hit close to home. These projects hold a deeper meaning-- they fulfill our inner desires. They can go back to our childhood, where we enjoyed watching science fiction movies such as E.T. and Star Wars. Emotional connections can take us down memory lane. 

The most powerful filmmakers in Hollywood had to wait their turn. Christopher Nolan directed Memento, Insomnia, Batman Begins, The Prestige and The Dark Knight to earn his chance at making Inception. The Dark Knight Rises, Interstellar, Dunkirk and Tenet followed Inception. Given Nolan's track record, he is one of most successful directors working in Hollywood.  

Good things happen to those who are patient is a flawed saying. It should be good things happen to those who work hard while being patient for opportunities. Staying confident to continue working on your script project(s) hold(s) immense power over your dreams and goals.    

Most of the time, we must prove our value before we take a stab at prized projects. For the most part, we will likely have to pay our dues working on projects with no creative value. Reality television is a perfect example of aspiring filmmakers going to film school and accepting high paying jobs working on uncreative ventures to climb up that industry ladder. Never judge professional work that rewards you with valuable experience. If you get paid to perform your talents, you are moving in the right direction.

Many writers get stuck listening to what writing books tell them to write. They follow Save The Cat, Kate Wright's sequences, A Hero With A Thousand Faces, Story and other books that instruct writers what must happen at what time with careful attention to the author's thoughts and theories. Following this approach turns a screenplay into a cliched piece of unoriginal work. Even though our scripts are fictional pieces of work, we have no obligation to mimic past screenplays. 

The human condition and emotions connect the audience with characters who may have similar traits that resemble theirs. How do people behave in a pre-apocalyptic world? What will people do to protect a secret? What fears block them? What regrets do they have? What is stopping them from talking to their true love? End of the world movies convey real actions of real life people. 

Truth is, we waste too much time living in the past instead of planning for our future. We don't do enough to live our dream. We need constant attention to feel self-worth. We focus on what other people are doing. We stay on the sidelines, being afraid of looking bad in front of people who we don't know. We postpone making decisions to avoid rejection. We obsess over small things that have no impact on the bigger picture.

We let years pass us by without responding to what we want. We allow true love to slip away. We don't take personal responsibility. We blame other peole for our mistakes. We don't show we care about our dream to be taken seriously. We need people to validate us. We envy others for living the dream we think we are better at doing but do nothing to make it happen. We are to blame for our own life. Nobody is responsible for our failures. The moment we can accept personal responsibility, there will be hope for us to achieve greatness. 

If you don’t give your dream any attention, you are guaranteed to fail what you want most in this life. 

Happy Screenwriting! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Remind Yourself With Reminders: Dreams And Goals

We need constant reminders of what we want to accomplish in the future. If we want to become a Hollywood screenwriter, wearing shirts, hats, using notebooks, screensavers and other mementos that convey this message can keep us on track. Of course, we must do the work to achieve our dream.

Reminding yourself using visual reminders can empower you to chase harder. Our dream is within reach. Start doing what you love to do and repeat this action daily. Stay proactive and be a go-getter. Sooner than later your dream will come true. See you on the silver screen! 

Happy Screenwriting! 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Humility is A Dying Breed: Social Media Is Ruining Screenwriting

Only a Film Degree--We must work to be screenwriters
We all know humble. We all know braggers. We all know action. We all know inaction...

Social media has casted a negative light on the writing world. On social media platforms, more people talk about the act of writing instead of waking every day to be proactive go-getters. In hindsight, writers once got work done; they completed scripts to option. Unfortunately, social media has turned screenwriting into a dream that is viewed as unreachable.

Screenwriting is an art form. It is also a discipline that requires time, energy and effort. Truth is, finished scripts are appealing to producers. There is little demand for unfinished scripts because they can't be produced. What separates professional screenwriters from aspiring screenwriters: Discipline.

Think about these comparisons: I am working on my degree versus I earned my degree. Any person can be working on a degree; however, only a select few will actually satisfy all the requirements to complete their degree programs.

Screenwriting is made out to be difficult. The real truth is that anything in life can be difficult if we fear the next step. We can make waking up on time to reach work a major challenge. We can make exercising daily an insurmountable task. We can postpone talking to someone we like over the lack of confidence. Placing constraints on our screenwriting will create fear. A large number of people worry about criticism. They automatically assume that receiving criticism is a precursor to failure. Their dream is better shared in forums, on discussion boards, on social media and in real life conversations.

Braggers need to draw attention to themselves. They need this attention to feel worth. The problem with sharing our dreams without doing the work is that we can block access to production. We spend way too much time trying to impress people with our creative ideas. We may post images about what we are supposedly doing, even if we are not actually working hard perfecting our craft. We will ask other writers/people what they think about our ideas so they can praise us. Condescending, bitter and petty attitudes can rule our emotions. We need to prove people wrong all the time. We fake being successful to create that adrenaline rush, that pure excitement of what it's like to accomplish a dream. Nevertheless, we can get carried away with all the attention that our dreams bring us.

Humble writers make movie magic happen. They wake up motivated and inspired to write. They write at their most vulnerable moments. They revise their previous projects. They don't crave attention. They already know their value as human beings choosing to be writers. There is no internal motivation to trick people, unless these themes are injected into characters.

Know the difference between being humble and bragging. If you are working hard, you earned the right to talk about your success. On the flip side, talking about the dream and not taking action to make it happen will delay the inevitable. Don't waste time. Your screenwriting dream will only come true if you do.

Happy screenwriting!


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Write Descriptive Visuals

What do you see? What will the viewer see? Write descriptive visuals that covey actions without dialogue.

Practice writing less to show more. Cinema is meant to explore visual storytelling. Get into the habit to set the mood in every new setting.

If you follow this approach, your screenwriting will lift off the pages.

Happy screenwriting! 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Look at smaller writing markets in movies to get foot into door

Many viewers enjoy laughing at sci-fi movies shown on SyFy. No disrespect to the SYFY channel, but these types of movies are really silly and quite lame. On the contrary, SYFY is actually a rich market for writers to get their feet wet. Screenwriters who are willing to step outside their comfortable box can launch their film careers by writing low budget spec scripts. Furthermore, paid writing jobs translate into writing experience that will pad IMDb credits.

Look into smaller writing markets to blossom your writing career. You gotta start somewhere. Why not consider low budget science fiction movies? Never think you are too good to take this route. Traveling down the SYFY path is a unique option that can reward writers with lucrative opportunities.

Master a genre to become known as that sci-fi writer. Better yet, flex your creative muscles writing short films and small movies to show big film studios what you are capable of doing with your writing abilities. Don't focus on selling a million dollar screenplay to attract attention to your self-worth.

Do your best to hone your craft. If you give all your effort, the sky's the limit. Think smaller to grow bigger.

And remember, write the raw pages to flush out your creativity.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

An Article on How Creed Movie Lessons Can Teach Screenwriters

Ryan Coogler's Creed hit movie theaters on Thanksgiving Day. Michael B. Jordan teamed up with director Ryan Coogler a second time, the first pairing in Fruitvale Station.

In this Rocky spinoff, Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) is now retired from boxing. He owns a restaurant inspired by his boxing career. Michael B. Jordan's Adonis Creed moved to Philly, walked into Rocky's restaurant and introduced himself as Apollo Creed's son.

According to ScreenCraft, Creed teaches us valuable lessons that screenwriters can use to master their screenwriting craft. Check out the following article on Creed and screenwriting here.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar Nominations Announced

In the next 6 weeks, The Oscars® buzz will rule the entertainment waves. Academy Award® nominations were announced today in all categories, including the two coveted screenwriting categories. If you want to become a screenwriter, read these screenplays and understand them.

Congratulations to these Oscar® nominated screenwriters. We're sure you are all on Cloud 9 right about now. Keep inspiring the world with your amazing stories.

The following screenwriters were nominated for an Academy Award® in their respective category.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short - Charles Randolph and Adam McKay
Brooklyn - Nick Hornby
Carol - Phyllis Nagy
The Martian - Drew Goddard
Room - Emma Donoghue

Best Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies - Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, & Joel Coen
Ex Machina - Alex Garland
Inside Out - Peter Docter, Meg LeFauve, & Josh Cooley
Spotlight - Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy
Straight Outta Compton - Jonathan Herman & Andrea Berloff

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Most Screenwriters quit

Great screenwriters are hard to find. However, there are seasoned screenwriters who give up after years of struggling to make ends meet. Screenwriters are getting smarter; they are now shifting to more lucrative alternatives such as becoming television writers to receive steady paychecks.

Catch 22 of television writing is that you must live in Los Angeles in the beginning. In the film world, screenwriting is no easy task to attain. Life will hold you back, dealing writers a blow to your confidence. Why do most screenwriters quit their dream?

Screenwriting is a craft, an art that requires some talent, good storytelling, and film connections. A good screenplay is only a part of the equation. Thousands of screenplays arrive on Hollywood studio floors yearly, but only a few hundred are optioned yearly and a small percentage of these scripts are made into movies. No options mean no pay. Can you afford to wait for an option?

Life gets in the way. We must survive. We have bills to pay. Our work schedules and low salary/hourly pay can block screenwriting success. Screenwriting requires day-job hours to finetune the plot, build character development and complete feature-length scripts in their entirety. Even after all that effort, revision-after-revision is necessary to make script adjustments. How can we concentrate on screenwriting if we can't pay our bills, eat a healthy meal, and maintain our health? That is a widespread challenge we must all deal with day-in, day-out.

Screenwriters quit for reasons beyond their control. It is not easy to succeed as a screenwriter. Our family, our friends, and strangers will tell us to stay away from this industry. They view screenwriting as an impossible dream, a Hollywood American Dream that will waste our future. We are judged on our writing inabilities before we can't share our writing portfolios.

Imagine completing a screenplay and selling this off to a studio to be developed. That is the dream you strive for as a screenwriter. Conflict and resolution lead every screenplay. Mostly all stories begin with some sort of conflict, and then we root for our protagonists to resolve these obstacles/challenges.

Money can make/break our screenwriting dream. If we make enough money, we get complacent. If we struggle to make a living, we procrastinate on screenwriting. It is common for screenwriters to lose focus, to postpone screenwriting until life gets better. The truth is that delaying screenwriting will push this dream to the brink of extinction. As screenwriters, you must keep writing and do this often enough that it becomes a routine part of your daily operations.

Most screenwriters quit chasing the dream to make a living. Student loans, rent, credit cards, food, children, and other challenges may block screenwriting. Furthermore, significant others and family members could criticize this screenwriting dream to the point in which screenwriters eventually abandon their quest to option a spec script. Financial instability is a dream crusher.

Screenwriters realize screenwriting is self-destructing their marriage/relationships. It takes two people to make a living. This person may grow apart from your screenwriting dream. When there are no results to report, these people lose interest in your illusion.

Patience and perseverance determine the fate of successful screenwriters. If you quit, you may miss out on a potential opportunity to write that prized script. Surround yourself with positive people, not toxic people who make negative comments to sabotage your future success.

Of course, we have to be realistic. It makes sense to reevaluate our past to pave the future. If screenwriting is not working out, you may need to find a reliable job to make a living. This doesn't mean you have to give up on the fight to write movies. Screenplay writing takes discipline, passion and good time management. Possessing these traits could improve your shot at reaching the coveted screenwriting dream.

Please don't give up on screenwriting. We need inspiration to motivate people. There are too many unhappy people who need guidance to share their talents. Without your screenplays, we face an uncertain future filled with disappointment. A powerful movie can make a huge difference.

Most screenwriters quit after constant rejections. Remember, failure is a part of screenwriting. It is a mainstay of the film industry, where most film dreamers understand the dark journey that await them. Don't let this discourage you from completing a screenplay. Don't quit screenwriting! Keep writing!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sylvester Stallone quotes that are powerful

Sylvester Stallone was interviewed by People for his Rocky Balboa movie in 2006. This sixth Rocky movie challenged Stallone, as the writer he created major obstacles to challenge Rocky to reach deep inside his heart to continue on. Under distress, this historical character had a greater purpose to get back into the ring again.

As the screenwriter, director and main character, Stallone has always had a huge hand in Rocky's journey. One major event took place in this movie to change this protagonist's direction.

Watch this Rocky Balboa movie and see what event inspires Rocky to box.

Sylvester Stallone answered several questions on screenwriting. Two quotes, one about writing and another reflecting on the passing of the torch, sums up screenwriting and Hollywood.

The following two quotes from Sylvester Stallone's 2006 People interview are available below:

 "I can never understand those people who spend two years trying to get the perfect script one time out. That's not writing, that's waiting."
"You reach that crossroads and society basically has deemed you passé. You've had your chance; now they expect you to just move aside for the next generation. "

Many Hollywood stars face the "passing of time" obstacle. When is a good time to quit? How can perfection affect writing? In the screenwriting world, writers age to perfection. However, movie actors and actresses who age encounter an uphill battle to stay relevant.

Staying on top and falling to the bottom have an adverse impact on Hollywood performers. In order to be relevant, movie stars must sacrifice their private lives and accept constant criticism at the expense of their mental health. When reaching the bottom, the perils of surviving the industry continue to wane until movie roles evaporate like a dry well.

Screenwriters must keep reinventing their writing. They can't rely on time to be kind. A screenwriter may write a hit in 2014 and lose their luster in 2018. It can happen that fast.

Focus on mastering several genres, even the smallest of genres. Consider writing a few original scripts, so when Hollywood requests original ideas, you will be ready to engage.

Keep writing and be passionate.

Source: People

Friday, December 12, 2014

Screenwriting dreams locked away by life

Believe it or not, your unaccomplished screenwriting dreams are locked away in a vault, in an undisclosed location waiting to break free. What do you do to find this vault, and then unlock it? It is no simple task to become a screenwriter. But, however, passionate writers are up for this competition. They know what needs to be done in order to deliver their screenwriting dreams to Hollywood. With that idea in play, we can focus on our screenwriting dreams that are locked away by life.

Ever wonder why so many aspiring screenwriters fail to option screenplays that are made into movies shown on the silver screen. It is hard to option a screenplay. The right ingredients must be mixed together to whip up a decent movie. When we say decent, we mean that not all movies are good. Bad movies get optioned, get made, and get produced into real movies. 

Any movie that enters the box office is a success. It doesn't matter if these movies are good or bad. Thousands of screenplays reach Hollywood each year, but only a small fraction of those are optioned. Statistically, a smaller fraction of those are actually made into movies. How do we write what we know and make this interesting to option? 

Look at all the things you've done in life. Jobs you've taken. People you know. Stupid obstacles that make you laugh. Stories told to you. What you see on the street. Listen to at work. What is reported in the news. These premise ideas are there for you to seize, to capture, to make into movies. No more waiting for the perfect screenplay, to make this script right.

Lets look at the startup industry. Why do tech companies continue to search for software engineers? You'd think these startups are represented by top talents in their field. Well, they are stocked up. It never hurts to advertise and find another talented individual to join the team. 

Screenwriting works this way. Hollywood knows there are hundreds of unsolicited scripts stored in computers. These movies can easily make Hollywood millions of dollars in the box office. The problem here is locating these commercial screenplays that have the right ingredients. Diamonds in the rough are hard to come by, so for reason alone the major players are searching long and hard. 

We know your life can be interesting, though not the simple moments where you share a beer and talking about sports. We're talking about those stupid moments where you look up to the sky and yell. These are funny events, funny obstacles that make us life.

We live those real moments. We dislike the odds that are stacked up against us. We complain about our lives. When we watch these scenes at the movies, we can relate to them. We identify with these characters. We empathize with tear-jerking moments. Humanizing characters and telling a creative story are tricks to complete a quality screenplay.

It really sucks that these dumb obstacles put in every road are what hold us back from reaching Hollywood. This material sells. People enjoy watching these events play out on the silver screen. Add an unexpected twist at the end and now you have a dynamic piece of work. Start from the ending and move the story between this beginning to that big end. Interconnect these events with an ensemble cast that have a deep connection and this shows Hollywood you are a great screenwriter. 

You see, you can do it, too. Instead of investing all your time into writing that perfect screenplay, you can search for that screenwriting safe and unlock those ideas, events, experiences, jobs, family reunion disasters, and everything else known as life. Life may hold you back, but it will give you an edge. The scariest of moments, the funnest experiences, and the tough hardships you face, are what makes screenwriting worthwhile. If these scripts are written right, using the best techniques, these screenplays will sell. Screenwriters must write often, write religiously, and write with a mission to option their scripts.  

Think about these scenarios. A coder writes decent codes to make a mediocre website that lacks a theme. However, highly skilled coders write brilliant codes to create a dynamic app like Instagram. A team of coders write basic codes to keep a simple social networking website like Facebook operable. It is because Facebook gives people that 15 minutes of fame every day, that is what keeps this social networking company running. Facebook is the heart, whereas all its companies are outlets to expand their service base. Scroll down the board to see all those people happily sharing their lives.  

People want to tell their life stories. They want attention. They believe their life makes a good book. If this story is told wrong, then it lacks interest. The screenwriters who understand basic script formatting, basic storytelling, and know which events to include, will sell their screenplays in Hollywood. Don't listen to negative people. Locate that safe filled with unique, original ideas, and unlock these scenes, these moments called life. If you can do this, you will win in Hollywood. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Check out ScriptMag article by Chad Gervich

Read ScriptMag article on PrimeTime: The Truth about Protecting Your Work by Chad Gervich. This screenwriter/writer is solid. He writes in a tone that keep you glued to the next point he wants you to remember.

Chad mentions that screenwriters who attach a serial number and/or copyright on their scripts are amateurs. It makes the screenwriter appear as a rookie. He says never do it! 

Good writers are confident. They don't worry if ideas are stolen or taken. However, protecting a script in its executed form is wise as a timeline to show you own this screenplay, this story.  

Definitely check out this article to answer question on script protection. It is a great read! 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Be Selfish with Your Time

Screenwriters must value their time to write great scripts. Time is of the essence. Don't allow any person to influence your time and block you from accomplishing success as a screenwriter.

Screenwriting is not an easy craft to master. It's not because a writer is not talented enough, is because you must protect yourself from family, friends, co-workers and strangers that use negativity as empowerment to disrupt you. They believe success is based on immediate results, so writing is viewed as a struggling art that lacks substance and profitability. Their first impression of you is that you're dreaming and can't compete against what they believe are highly talented professionals.

Little do these people know that your writing can earn you a good living. People are quick to judge. If you don't drive a fancy car and own a home, you are considered a failure.

Education doesn't matter to these people. Some people have said that college degrees make good toilet paper. It is the mere fact that if you're not earning money and hold a quality education, then this is frowned upon. People form an image of you as being unreliable to search for realistic jobs. They see you as dreamer who doesn't want to wake up to reality.

What if you have already developed a writing portfolio? You've probably written quality projects. While these writing samples are out there, making a name for oneself can actually be compromised. Writers must survive, which is the reason they take money rather than credit. In result, the writer is prevented from showcasing all their past writing work and this may impact their job hunt.

Family, friends, co-workers and strangers can become antagonists that make you feel insecure about your screenwriting goals. These people may represent conflict, obstacles and challenges which resemble structured scenes in screenplays.

Be selfish with your time and don't give your time away so easily. Never let this negativity, this jealousy block your success. Your dream is about your happiness. Think of all the people in the world that can benefit from your stories. Thus, your dream makes many people smile. It makes them ambiguous. It inspires and motivates them to dream like you and everyone else.

You wasting time trying to please others may hurt your chances. It really depends on the attitudes that surround you. If people look down at you, then you are fighting an impossible battle. Screenwriters need to survive in the moment until their scripts are optioned and/or if another writing project arrives that keeps the income streaming in.

For most screenwriters, consistency is never a dependable theme. It's sad to say that money and lack of support kill screenwriting dreams. Those screenwriters who can overcome these major challenges will reach the top. It is true that the odds are against you. They really are. Not for the reason you think with lacking talent, instead this setback is lacking support.

Protect your dream. Utilize time management to treat your screenwriting dream like a job. If you're not a working screenwriter, your screenwriting is primarily your future job and career. Schedule time to write. Don't let people deter you because they will instill fear and doubt in your mind. If you allow this to happen, you don't really want to become a successful screenwriter.

Be selfish with your time. Treat your screenwriting like a job. People don't usually bother others that go to work. They may bother you because they think you're just a writer and nothing is happening in your life. Don't believe this. Everything is happening.

Tell them you have to work. You have projects to complete. In time, your dream of becoming a screenwriter will gain traction and people will watch your work unfold. Just believe in yourself and never falter on fears. Screenwriting is your journey to teach people about real life, real struggles and real dreams.

We are capable of reaching dreams. Our passion and desire rely on time. We have a certain amount of time allotted to this dream before we must move on. Just like movies, we can keep the audience in the movie theater forever. Your time matters most, so don't waste it on people who want to sabotage your dreams, your success, your happiness.

***A good movie to watch about a real-life character experiencing unfortunate events and reaching a dream is The Pursuit of Happyness. Perseverance and persistence are the foundation to prosperity.   

Monday, August 25, 2014

Who do you know?

Ready to embark on your screenwriting dream? Dream of writing movies in Hollywood? The main challenge is who you do know. It really is. Who you know can determine who reads your screenplay. The right eyes must be fixated on your great screenwriting to get you noticed, get you optioned, get your name in front of film executives. Want to write and submit the next script to make you famous?

Who do you know in Hollywood? Is there one person that can pass your screenplay to an important person? Know any person working as a script reader? A film student classmate who is currently working in Hollywood? A script supervisor? Anyone? Who do you know?

If you don't know anyone in Hollywood, you need to get out there and meet people. Good screenwriting won't find you success without creating some type of exposure. Write for new media to generate buzz. Write for students who can shoot a short film.  Better yet, go to celebrity hotspots.

Screenwriting instructors will tell you to write a creative script. They show you the tricks of the trade to equip you on your journey into stardom. The truth is that screenwriters are not household names. They really aren't the typical people we discuss while having breakfast or speaking about who we want to meet.

I, for one, would like to meet a UCSB alumni, the UC I graduated from in 2007. This UCSB alumni, Jeff Nathanson, is a highly established Hollwood screenwriter that Steven Spielberg has worked with on a few projects. He is also the credited screenwriter behind the Rush Hour movies. This guy knows how to write commercial movies. His movies have done well in the movie box office. We can argue that a few of his past movies are duds, but who hasn't made a box office flop?

Box office flops are movies that underperformed; they didn't catch on commercially and actually took a production upside down to lose big money. It is possible that major box office flops may result in terminations, where top executives and entire departments get the ax. Film studios can't afford to keep making movies that lose money, so someone of importance must provide answers to explain this poor showing.

Who do you know in Hollywood? Is your neighbor a Hollywood director? Hollywood executive? Script reader? There has to be someone you know in the movie biz? If you don't live in Hollywood, or anywhere in the 30 mile zone, you better get moving soon. There is a low probability a screenwriter will make it big without taking the dive into Los Angeles. LA is where movies are at. This is where new screenwriters must live in order to establish their writing careers.

Ask yourself today, right now, right at this moment, "Who do I know in Hollywood?" If you know no one, you get you find a way to answer this question in the next month with, "I know this person who works at _____?" Get out there and meet people. Screenwriters and TV writers don't always sit in dark caves and write a storm of words. They know how to connect with the right people. These are the important people listen to in the industry. They have a track record for success.

Make your tracks count. Make your mark today. Make it happen at this very second. Screenwriting is your dream. It is not hard to write movies. Believe in your dream. Don't listen to no person. Criticism comes at a price; people empower their jealousy through making you feel insecure. You lived your stories. Just plot and organize them to create dramatic movies, scary movies, funny movies, intense movies, amazing movies, award winning movies and memorable movies. You control the future.

Who do you know? Who do you need to know? Who do you want to know? Who do you want to become?  Make your screenwriting dream happen today. No waiting, period. The longer you wait, the less opportunities there are available to you. Don't keep telling people you are a screenwriter. Instead, let your writing do the talking in those brilliant, amazing screenplays you have stored in your computer. What are your Hollywood connections? Who do you know?

Good luck. Make screenwriting prosperous.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What genres do you master?


Movie genres that attract the most box office business are action, science fiction, horror, comedy, adventure and war movies. Sub-genres of horror and comic book movies are highly popular among moviegoers. Hollywood banks on kids movies because this entertainment translates into large ticket sales. Typically, parents attend movie showings along with their children. Unfortunately, original movies are not as relevant as they once were in the past few decades. What genres do you master as a screenwriter?

People may ask screenwriters what type of movies they enjoy writing. Therefore, answering this question and knowing the types of genres you write best can make a name for yourself. Movie fans can identify you as a horror writer, or as a sci-fi adventure writer. 

Horror movies such as The Conjuring, Insidious Chapter II, The Purge, The Sixth Sense, The Possession all have something in common; these movies entertain our greatest fears. People love to watch scary movies that put them on edge. It is those jump scares that set off chills during these unexpected and terrifying moments. The high rush of getting scared packs movie theaters on opening night. The funnest experience is going to watch horror movies on a Friday night where teenagers provide secondary screams to amp up this chill fest. 

Horror movies cost less money to make and return a nice profit on this small investment. Screenwriters can break into the movie business by writing a good horror script. Science fiction horror movies are even better to write and produce because there is already a built-in fan base. Combining the two major genres together may attract fans from these two groups. 

Marvel has a huge grasp on the comic book movie business. They own the rights to most of their comic books and many characters within them, but there are characters (Marvel sold the rights to some of them) that other movie studios own. The Walt Disney Company is the parent company to Marvel Studios. However, Sony Entertainment owns the rights to Spiderman and Warner Bros. has creative control over Batman. Screenwriters not affiliated with these studios and don't have a hand in these comic books are cautioned to not write such movies. 

Spiderman is possibly the most lucrative Marvel character ever. It is this comic book character who spawned a billion dollar movie empire, worldwide. 20th Century Fox owns their fair share of comic book rights. They can make any movies on Wolverine, Fantastic Four,  and the X-Men. Iron Man has taken in massive box office business, where three movies earned nearly $1 billion in domestic ticket sales. 

Screenwriters and directors can write their own comic book. Director James Wan recently got optioned for his graphic novel, Malignant Man, which Fox now owns and can make a movie on this character. During the beginning of his Hollywood adventure, James probably never expected to be directing Fast and Furious movies or two two horror movies that went on to open at $40+ million in their opening weekends in the same year. 

Great screenwriters are in high demand. Hollywood needs more awesome scripts to make into profitable movies. Think commercial first, and then write creative later. 

What genres do you master? Are you a comedy writer like Tina Fey? A horror writer like Leigh Whannell? Science fiction writer? Crime movies? Pick your genre or genres and master them.

Visit AMC's FilmSite to view a list of genres here

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Screenwriter John Gatins and Real Steel screenplay

Real Steel is an inspiring story about an underdog robot, a father and a son bonding through the robot fighting circuit. The son Max loses his mother, so his father Charlie decides to sign him away to the deceased mother's sister. Eventually, the father and son form a strong bond with an old robot they find in a dump site. John Gatins writes with passion to inspire the moviegoer.

Most critics will bash Real Steel as a poor man's Rocky movie. We see the emotional structure in the robot movie. John Gatins show us that a tragic event and one interest can unite a father and son together. The movie makes you think back to your father taking you to baseball games, camping, WWF wrestling matches, football games, and playing baseball with your friends. These inspiring movies are the best to watch.  

The resolution in the last act is touching. We actually felt compelled to let out tears of joy. We're not ashamed to admit the movie ending resonated with strong emotions. Bailey's tears of joy makes the moviegoer feel her warmth and happiness.

John takes a script about a future robot fighting circuit and transforms it with an emotional movie about bonding and reconnecting a father with a son he essentially abandons to live his broken life post boxing. His robot fighter is reduced to scrap, so he invests his newfound $50,000 in another top robot that is also scrapped apart in a match.

A screenwriter must understand the emotional components to reel in the audience. John knows how to win the audience over in the movie ending. I haven't felt this inspired in a movie ending since watching The Karate Kid. Good screenwriting will capture the moviegoer every time. Real Steel is the real deal.        

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Screenwriting Dream: Screenwriting dream that continues on

We can't predict our future... Keeping our dream alive may involve making mistakes to stay on track. Unfortunately, our recurring failures may cause us to fall further further back. If we focus on the bigger picture, we may give the right amount of energy and effort to live a better life.

It's highly unlikely that we will follow a precise dream plan. If our dream is to become a screenwriter, just know that chasing after this big goal can create conflict and introduce recurring hardships.

Nearly 16 years ago, I set out to become a Hollywood actor. My planned goal turned out to become an utter failure. When I decided to attend one acting program, I ended up going to film school. Instead of going after an acting career, I decided to change my focus to screenwriting.

I served in the U.S. Air Force a few months after deciding to accept the Hollywood dream. Since then, I moved down to Southern California about five years ago to finish my college studies. I earned four college degrees, including a Master's Degree, Bachelor's Degree, and two Associates Degrees.

In the past few years, I worked extremely hard to improve my writing skills. My writing skills were once geared toward writing screenplays and creative writing pieces. In present time, I can write on virtually any subject matter. When you chase after a dream, you will find many people attempting to derail your success. You commonly hear people saying "you're dreaming in the clouds" reference. We would never hold a dream unless we could realistically accomplish the goal.

Don't always believe in the criticism you hear from others. Whereas it is wise to listen, you have to make your own personal choices. Why do people try to disrupt your dreams? Some people who fail at accomplishing their dreams may attempt to sabotage your dreams. Unfinished dreams may turn into negative emotions such as bitterness, resentment and pettiness...

The next time you feel like giving up on your screenwriting dream, think about how far you've come to make it to this point in time. The screenwriting dream is worth the challenge, especially since the journey to better yourself is worth your sacrifice. Reflect back to the exact moment in which imagined your screenwriting dream--use this moment to find daily motivation. Stay persistent to continue on the screenwriting journey because you never know when your chance to write the next great movie will arrive.

Keep putting in the work until you find that golden opportunity to seize the moment in Hollywood. Believe that you can accomplish your screenwriting dream. Good luck!

Screenwriters: James Cameron inspires screenwriters to write good movies

Does any writer inspire you to go after a writing dream? After I first watched Titanic, James Cameron's screenplay inspired me to achieve my writing goal. James Cameron writes and directs great movies.

James Cameron inspires the screenwriting world to write excellent screenplays. Screenwriters probably have bins full of movie scripts. They plan to revise their screenplays, but the lack of motivation and or writer's block delays the process. Aspiring screenwriters can find motivation in viewing past screenplays.

After watching Avatar this holiday season, I want to move into the right direction - to become a professional screenwriter. James Cameron is a great writer that inspires many screenwriters to pursue their movie dreams. Whereas there are many famous screenwriters who have written great screenplays, James Cameron deserves the most respect for writing the best inspiring screenplays.  

The movie industry realizes that James Cameron is a major asset. Titanic and Avatar are two stellar screenplays which represent the two highest grossing movies of all time. James Cameron inspires screenwriters to write great movies.