Thoughts on screenwriting


I have a friend who is a movie producer. I’ve known him since grade school, (close to 50 years.) When we were young, we made Super-8 movies and waited patiently for them to be developed so we could watch and learn from our mistakes in order to make the next one better.

 

He went on to work in TV and movies, and I went on to acting, and although I had to give that life up to pay the bills, I kept writing in order to keep my muse happy.

 

A few years ago I decided to start sharing the stories I had written and try my hand at getting published. One of the things that helped my story telling, was my decision to enter short story competitions. Several of my stories won rounds, received Honorable Mentions, and have since been published–including my first fully paid-for story.
Having succeeded at that goal, I’ve decided to try screenwriting.
When the desire to begin writing for film hit me, I did the same thing. I entered a NYC Midnight Screenwriting Challenge. (You can read my first screenplay here, A BARBED WIRE ROSE TAKES ROOT)

Although as of the time of this post, I’m still awaiting the results of that entry, my decision to learn and build my reputation by this method, turns out to be a pretty good idea.

My friend–remember him from way back at the top of this post?–sent me an article to read about the business of screenwriting by Chris Salvattera, an executive with HBO and someone who began his career by writing screenplays.

 

If you’re at all interested in the business, or wish to try your hand, read the article, it’s very informative.
The quote that prompted me to write this post.
“One way to help get your script in people’s inboxes is to do well in a reputable screenwriting contest. It’s a level of vetting your work, especially if you don’t have representation.”
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3 thoughts on “Thoughts on screenwriting

  1. Have you read “Save the Cat”? 🙂 It’s supposed to be the bible of the film industry… but hey, if you want to see a short script come to life, try to contact college film clubs/departments. They are always looking for materials to put their skills to use on.

  2. “Save the Cat” is by no means “the bible” of the film industry, but it is one of the better books on how to structure a screenplay. The section on loglines is especially helpful.

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