Monday, January 5, 2015

The writing life 2015

Okay, 2014 is gone, I didn't get to make Ghostkeeper 2 and I didn't get my new book published yet and I didn't do a lot of things I should have done.

Was the year a complete loss?

Nothing of mine was made although the French company assured me they would be making my script Chase in summer of 2015. Also the actor script is getting closer to being made.

So what?

Well, I'm trying Ghostkeeper 2 with a new strategy as well as writing a new spec screenplay and I will publish the book maybe by the end of January.

Now I want to talk about getting work as a writer as compared to the "old days."

There's an ad in in the "looking for writers" page wherein producers are looking for writers to write stuff. If you've never gone to then go there. It's got job postings from everything from writing to directing or producing or any job related to film.

But beware.

For writers it's a mix of jobs, today there's one where an "international film company" who are looking for top quality scripts. Sounds good?

Well, the job is only for reading screenplays for the company. 

And the pay is...  NOTHING.

But think of the experience a new writer could get, or an old one needing a job, right?

They're even asking for experienced readers! To work for nothing. And I love this line; It will advance you in the film business.

While there are some good gigs to be had on mandy, mostly they're there looking for free work from starving writers and almost-writers.

Someone once said that everyone in America is writing a screenplay. And sometimes I think that person was right. Just buy Screenwriter or Final Draft, the two best softwares for screenwriting. Mine is Screenwriter, the oldest and to me, the best.

In the last twenty years, there has been an explosion in courses for screenwriting and it seems almost everyone is a screenwriter. I have a coffee joint near me, not Starbucks, and I see many of these writers, or at least they call themselves writers. I really don't know how they can write with noise around them. Cars, trucks, music, talking people.

I wonder if these writers look around them. 

There's a joke that goes like this for those writers; 

"Starbucks has banned screenwriters from writing in their shops because nothing written there has ever been made."

 Okay, it's a joke. But it's also real.

Personally I don't call a writer a writer until they've sold anything, or have written some screenplays. I say some screenplays, because if you get a meeting with an agent or producer they probably won't want to make the film you wrote, rather they will as that famous question;

"So what else do you have?"

This goes back to working for free which writers get asked to do over and over again, even with Writer's Guild writers. 

So, is there any worth working for free?

I suppose you can read those screenplays above for free. But becoming a reader for no money will lead to other jobs with no money attached, or at the very least. Some producers will pay $10 for you to read a screenplay. Ten of them in a day is $100. But reading ten will make you crazy.

There is money offered on mandy and on a dozen other sites for screenplays. One of them is Screenwriters Market in which anyone from a washed-up screenwriter to an old lady in Iowa has screenplays to sell. And everyone in between, including all those screenwriters who graduated from universities and schools.

And when a job is offered on Screenwriters Market, it becomes a shark frenzy as everyone offers their screenplay, or partial screenplay or idea.

But lets examine this and what your chances are in my next blog this week. 
And there is hope!

No comments:

Post a Comment