Looking from the perspective of new film school graduates
Thinking from the perspective of a newly graduated film school student, one should focus on job opportunities. Most writers think that they can sell their scripts and become famous overnight. However, that is not the reality. Selling spec scripts is what everyone wants to do. It’s the goal of every writer whether new or old. Still, there are two sides to everything. Selling a spec script doesn’t guarantee loads of money. If a writer sells a script to some non-union production then they hardly get any money. Sometimes writers get paid 10 dollars or 100 dollars at max. The majority of the writers want their material to be produced so they grab the first opportunity that comes their way. Some even give away their script for free.
It’s true that once a writer’s script is produced and distributed successfully, more opportunities come their way. In the present times, more and more people write various things and self-produce their work. Taking a camera and putting something online has created an opportunity for youngsters to showcase their talent. In the previous years, this wasn’t so easy. Thirty years ago people couldn’t display their projects to the world as easily as they can now. That is why now people consider writers produced only when they are distributed. This is how things have changed in a few years.
Selling a script at a high price might not be easy
If someone thinks that selling their script outline at 50,000 would make them a success, it’s not entirely true. People are trying to get something made for a much lower budget. There has been a polarization between ultra-humongous budget movies and small independent films. People are giving cash to make such small projects and that’s why they have a low budget. Some projects with a budget of 500,000 won’t want a script at 50,000 dollars as it’s 10 percent of the total budget. Even producers with a 1 million budget won’t agree with the union. At that time, producers will bargain with writers to buy their scripts at minimum cost.
This is a negotiation business and those who want their stuff to be shown on the screen will go for it. Thinking realistically and making strategies for the next best move, help writers go forward. Make plans but look at one step at a time. One or two steps at a time along with setting up micro-goals helps writers learn more. As a writer don’t just sell a script, show the world your talent. Make money out of talent as well.
Don’t stick to just one department
Graduating students believe that their script is the only product they can sell. However, there are other opportunities as well. Platforms like SAN have brought work for writers in departments like development, polishing script, and improving drafts. Lead with strength and find an opportunity to showcase inner talent. Honest people who can give something to the community are valued. Every single writer isn’t good at only writing, some might perform well in rewriting scripts or polishing them. At the start, it might not generate money but it’s a good way to brush up on a skill. In the near future, it might bring business for writers. Give people something to value. Once others know a writer’s worth they intend to stay connected. Even if it doesn’t happen, continue to do the right thing. A determined person being led by perspective doesn’t go wrong. Therefore recognize inner strengths.
There is a new wave of script developers. With each passing day, a new writer’s script undermines the chances of another writer. Don’t take years to pump out a couple of good scripts. Instead focus on building a top-notch team, who provides support. That way a writer can put out a large quantity of quality work. Getting the right writers matters a lot. Deciding upon a writer isn’t easy, it takes years of exploration. While a writer is not employed at any place, he should take the initiative to do things for free.
Display skillset to producers
Hardworking people have a working mentality. They visit film festivals, interact with others to know about the insights. Likewise, new writers should also focus on finding such dedicated producers and directors. Show other producers an idea and a vision. Let the script be appreciated. With a portfolio, displaying these concepts becomes easier. A writer who isn’t sorted can never attract other potentially bright people. Screenwriting classes teach students to approach others in a professional manner to invoke their interest. People converting from screenwriters to script developers need specific skills. New writers must not think as though they can reach top-notch directors on their first day. Always remember, those on the top have connections and money to hire people according to their requirements. So start from the bottom.
Everybody in the industry has numbers that tell about how much business they can bring in. An unknown writer is worth nothing. Reputation builds with time just like in any other job. A plumber who performs well on his first job will certainly be contacted again for more complex jobs. This is how reputations are built. The first impression I the deal breaker in most cases. Even though the number of writers present is quite a lot but all of them are not in the business. Screenwriting programs also teach this fundamental rule to reach the ones on your level. Spot the driven ones amongst the sea of jokesters. Talented individuals who are in it to win it or die trying are the ones that need to be chased. Select the ones who are trying to transition from short to good feature films. It’s a hard switch for almost anyone.
Finding the right people can be hard
Without being a produced writer or director, finding good talent becomes tiresome. No one recognizes such people. For this reason, building connections is important. Writers continue to write hundreds of stories in isolation but never reach out to actors or other people. A writer who doesn’t contact producers will only have a pile of useless papers. Script development requires finding writers but without director and producers, no films can be made. It’s a horrendous strategy to leave your fate in another person’s hand. Writers often hand over their scripts to managers and pray to get selected. Don’t let others decide your future. A manager won’t connect writers to the ones at the top, individuals need to put in their own efforts.
In this industry, a manufacturer had no rights to sell their script. However, now the age of data-driven analytics provides opportunities to circumvent the middleman. Movies can be made without relying on managers. If someone is truly talented they will be successful in the near future. The only thing required is dedicated working partners. Offering quality free services helps win writers consideration from directors. Help seniors write their drafts and that too without charging a single penny. Doing things for free might seem funny or useless, but works for so many people.
Writers need to pick teams based on their credentials and their hunger to succeed. Individuals with the strength to overcome difficulties, keep the team morale high. Everyone in the industry is not after a spec script, some just want honest opinions. Directors often want a detailed analysis of their scripts. And the people who provide that analysis develop close relations with such directors. From sharing common friendships to sharing job opportunities, everything comes in the package.
Don’t work solo
A writer can either work all alone or use the support of a team to finishes an entire script. Recruiting 10 15 talented and committed people helps a writer achieve his goal. Still, amongst dedicated people, there are also some jokesters. Beware of them and their excuses. Commitment is the number one priority in any business. Even if someone isn’t quite talented but they’re committed to working, do give them a chance. Send them the best possible support. Once a support group is built, writers find amazing partners and clients from within them. Don’t wait for talented people, ask around and connect with them on a personal level.
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