It is absolutely possible to succeed as a writer.
The entertainment industry is like any other industry and the same basic strategies must be applied in order to truly succeed and reach the top.
Perfecting your craft or skill is only the first step in any industry. BUT learning to profit from your craft is another skill entirely. This is why some companies are more successful than others, and it often has NOTHING to do with quality. No offense to fast food chains, which I frequent far too often, but if success was reliant on quality, most would be out of business.
So, let me tell you what it’s going to take to be a successful screenwriter.
Let’s assume you already have a completed screenplay. From that point forward you need to forget about your script as a piece of art, and look at it as a product, separate and distinct from yourself.
Your job as a writer is done for the moment, and regardless of whether or not you have representation, you need to act as though you are your own manager. This does not mean that you have to be a used car salesman. All you have to do is make more friends in the industry. You SHOULD focus HEAVILY on building LOTS of relationships.
Let’s make believe!!!
YOU ARE A MANAGER. As a manager, you are lucky enough to have a brilliant writer to represent. Why, as a manager, would you give a rat’s ass about what a few producers think about your client’s scripts or writing? You submit to a couple of producers with no response. Is that really a big deal? As a manager you would not care, because you know there are plenty of other fish in the sea. You know your writer has marketability and some of the things he/she writes are absolute genius.
As a manager, you know good and well that making that sale has a lot to do with numbers. For example, a door to door salesperson knows that out of every 20 doors knocked on, a sale will occur (It used to be this ratio. I don’t know what it is now). A good manager, who believes in you, knows that if he doesn’t have the contacts needed to sell your script, he had better make some more contacts! The manager’s attitude is always “WHO CAN I TALK TO NEXT?”
Good managers know that in order to be at the “right place at the right time,” they have to be at a lot of places! Not all at once, but they have to take every opportunity to meet and re-meet their contacts - to stay fresh in their minds, and vice versa!
So, for the time being, you are a manager and your client is YOU.
Let’s evaluate “your manager.”
A) How many calls and pitches has your manager made for you in the last 4 weeks?
B) How many meetings has your manager made for you in the last 4 weeks?
C) How many scripts has your manager sent out in the last 4 weeks?
D) In the last 6 months, how many jobs and/or scripts sold or optioned has your manager gotten for you?
E) If your manager really, really wanted to, could he or she do more for you?
If your answer is “yes” to “E” above, force him or her to do it. Don’t accept any more excuses no matter how “legitimate.” Your career is on the line. Do you really care how tired, busy or distracted your manager is? You shouldn’t. Don’t accept the whining, the plethora of excuses or plausible reasons. Tell your manager to get to work, and that he or she had better start contacting production company after production company, and to not stop until he or she gets a “yes”.
This is what successful screenwriters, BEFORE they became successful, demanded of “their managers.”
So, as a manager, your client is depending on you. Honestly, your client can’t do it without you. But the good news for your client is that with the right attitude and a little push, you can be amazingly resourceful and can do some wonderful things for your client.
Fortunately, your manager has most of the tools at his/her disposal to make his/her client a success.
And we created InkTip and the Pitch & Networking Summit (Sept 22), specifically with your manager in mind.
There is NO other screenwriter-focused event that brings in 300+ executive and producer contacts. This is where “your manager” has the opportunity to pitch your screenplays to dozens of production companies all in a single day. As a result of this one day, contacts will be made and deals struck that will lead to more than 30 deals closed and will absolutely lead to movies produced. From this one day alone, “your manager” has the chance to literally meet scores of industry professionals, all of them looking either for writers to hire or screenplays to make into movies. Go to: www.inktippitchsummit.com.
Regardless of what is done with InkTip or the Pitch & Networking Summit, you can do a good job for your writer client. All that is needed is to focus on your job and to do it.
I hope this helps.
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