Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So You Want To Be Writer In Hollywood ?

Breaking into the movie business has obvious perks but how do you do it?  There are several schools of thought but I’ll touch on three here. Let’s call the first way, “The Front Door”. This is how it’s always been done. You (prospective screenwriter) write a script, try to land an agent based on that script and wait for your agent to shop your script and secure a deal for you. Most would agree that way hardly works anymore but it could so stay open. The next way is what I like to call “The Back Door” and this way is very popular. In fact, there is a whole industry built around it. It’s even become so popular that well known screenwriters hold classes on how to do it. You take the back door when you skip the agent and try to secure a deal by yourself. The Hollywood Creative Directory, or some tool like it is an absolute necessity if you decide to use this method. This book lists every major studio, network executive and production company known to man. The idea here is to send out your script to everyone in the book that may have the slightest interest in it. You also have to close your eyes and jump up and down while clicking your heels three times when you do this method but hey it works for some people. I call the last method “The Garage Door”. This last method is the most time-consuming because it requires you to actually produce a film instead of just a script. The good news is that people in Hollywood tend to be visual creatures so having something they can actually sit down and watch is a bonus for you. But here’s the reality check, you actually have to find someone to watch it. I call it “the garage door” because you are technically “in the house.” If you’ve created a film, you can call yourself a filmmaker but you’re still outside the main stream. I can hear all of you asking which door should I try? In my humble opinion if this is something you really want to do, you should try them all. You never know which one might open up. So your next question is “how do I do it?” First, if you’re not already, get educated. There are plenty of places where you can buy books or DVDs that will teach you what you need to know. The Writer’s Store and Film School Online are just two of them. Second, establish an online presence. If you don’t have accounts with Twitter and Facebook already, set them up and then network, network, network! Follow (on Twitter) or friend (on Facebook) people who are doing what you want to do. Take plenty of notes and follow advice when it’s given. This will put you a big step ahead of the pack. Also, set up your own website or blog and let people know what your doing. People love to follow a journey. The important thing is to get your name out there and build a platform. If you have a product, advertise it. You can buy ad space almost anywhere but try to focus on a specific group. For example, if you’re writing romantic comedies, you probably don’t need to advertise on sites that the Hell’s Angel’s frequent. Find your people and stay attached to them. Lastly, be committed enough to stick with it. If you’re really meant to break into “the business” you will, just give yourself time. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Check out the links below then go forth and conquer!

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