How Many Scripts Does It Take For A Writer To Break Into Hollywood? by Kathie Fong Yoneda

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Film Courage:  Kathie, what are some fatal errors that a writer should avoid at all costs?

Kathie Fong Yoneda:  [Laughs] Wow!  I think one of the things is that you need to know that it’s not just one script.  You have to think about your whole career, that you don’t just bank all your hopes on this one piece of material, that you have to be working constantly and that things don’t happen just like that.  One of the things I did in my book was I took a survey.  I asked all of writers who came into the studios and that I worked with a couple questions.  And I asked them…and one of them was “How long did it take you?  And how many scripts did you have to write before something major happened like you got an agent, you got an option or somebody bought something?”  I interviewed over 200 professional writers.  These are not waiter writers.  These are professional writers.  Only one got her script sold…the first script!

Film Courage:  Wow…

Kathie Fong Yoneda:  And she said it took her five years to get a second sale.  And the average actually turned out to be eight tor nine [scripts].

Film Courage:  Eight or nine….?

Kathie Fong Yoneda:  Scripts.  So you have to love what you do.  You don’t want to be a one-script-wonder.  It doesn’t happen very often where somebody only writes one script and then that’s it and then nothing.  They have to be writing constantly.  And that is what agents, executives and producers are looking for.  They want to build a relationship.  You’ll notice that people like Spielberg and all the big directors.  They all have the same credits.  All the same people for cinematographer, script supervisor, and they go to some of the same writers because they have built a relationship with them.  Because they like their kind of storytelling.  Their characters speak the same kind of language that they would like to convey to movie viewers.  And so being able to have those kind of relationships, it’s not just writing, it’s also writing the kind of things that are going to continue that relationship.  So I love the fact that most of the writers nowadays have a better understanding and now when I see them at Scriptfest or Great American Pitchfest…when I ask them…I always ask them “What else are you working on?” just to test them nowadays most of them will say that they have more than one.  So I guess it’s working.  I guess they are getting used to wanting to have more than one piece of material.

Question for the Viewers:  How many scripts have you written?

 

 

 

Watch the video interview here

The Script-Selling Game: A Hollywood Insider’s Look at Getting Your Script Sold and Produced / By Kathie Fong Yoneda

 

CONNECT WITH KATHIE FONG YONEDA

KathieFongYoneda.com

 

ABOUT KATHIE:

With over 25 years of industry experience, Kathie Fong Yoneda has worked for such prestigious studios as Paramount, Columbia, MGM, Universal, 20th Century Fox, and Disney, specializing in story analysis and development of live action and animated projects. Her career includes executive positions with Walt Disney, Touchstone, Island Pictures and Walt Disney TV Animation where she has evaluated more than 18,000 submissions (Read more here).

 

 

 

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