Gary W. Goldstein: There is a wonderful quote…it’s escaping me for a moment from a great science fiction writer I believe it was who said “You can’t allow your manuscripts to gather dust in a dresser drawer…”
Film Courage: Let’s talk about marketing a screenplay. When does it happen? How important is it? How does a screenwriter do it effectively?
Gary W. Goldstein: It’s not important…it’s essential. It’s crucial, it is life-affirming and it is absolutely the responsibility of any talent, any creative to market themselves.
If it’s a writer and it’s a script or a book or some product…time to market it! That’s what you’ve got to do. And here is what most people don’t understand, it should be and it is, fun. If I take that same writer to a cocktail party and I put a drink in their hand and say “Tell these people, they are fascinated by you and what you do, talk about it. They’re going to talk non-stop. You will not be able to shut them up. But if you, on the other hand say, “Ahh…you’ve got a script.” and you’re at home. Pick up the phone and call someone. No. They don’t want to do it. Suddenly marketing is a negative. It’s a bad thing.
“When you ask an agent to represent you or a producer to produce your film, you have to understand there is almost nothing in it for them at the outset. They’re going to invest their time, their belief and their relationships on your behalf for no money. That’s the reality. But if you make it about something else, if you make it about a shared common interest that’s exciting and fun…”
It’s all in how you perceive it. Marketing and sharing your talent with the world should be a joy. It should be your purpose. The problem is, people thing so narrowly. 99.9 percent of writers who have a screenplay ready to go to market. They’ve rewritten it, it’s ready, they’ve tested it, beautiful. What do they do? They automatically think “I need to send it to agents. I need to send it to producers.” Then they stop. The thought ends. Oh my gosh. That does not sound like a lot of fun because who are the people getting all the scripts? Producers and agents. I would look at it and say “Let me research this.” What are the kind of projects that are exciting that have been produced successfully (projects that people love) that are similar over the last handful of years? Whether it’s TV, film or whatever. And I’ll make a list and I’ll do a spreadsheet. And I’ll list the cinematographer and the editor and the script supervisor and the casting director and everybody but the producer and the agent. And I will start calling them and reaching out to their assistants. And saying “I’m calling because…Oh my gosh…You guys were involved with one of my favorite projects of all time. I so admire the work. And I have something spiritually very similar. I’d love your advice. Would you be my 5-minute mentor? Would you play with me on this a little bit?” There are endless conversations you can have. You develop a rapport with people because you share a common interest. That’s the key! And if you can get them interested in a conversation then you can get them soon on the third call reading your script. You’re not asking anything of them. When you call an agent, you’re asking them to represent you. That’s a huge ask! When you send your script to a producer saying “Will you produce this?” Oh my God! That’s the biggest ask of any. Because what that means is the producer has to invest several years on their own dime to create value and make this a reality.
When you ask an agent to represent you or a producer to produce your film, you have to understand there is almost nothing in it for them at the outset. They’re going to invest their time, their belief and their relationships on your behalf for no money. That’s the reality. But if you make it about something else, if you make it about a shared common interest that’s exciting and fun and those people can become your ambassadors and backdoor that script over to that agent or that script over to [another], it comes over in a different package. It comes in a different context. That’s where magic happens. That’s where alchemy kicks in. I could talk about that for about three days.
Question for the Viewers: Are you excited to share a script when it’s finished?
CHECK OUT GARY’S BOOK!
Writer’s Guide To Hollywood
THE BEAT OF THE BAT is a full-length documentary that tells the story of the music of the 1966 “Batman” Television Series and how composers Neal Hefti, Nelson Riddle & Billy May gave Batman his first real musical identity- and one that has remained inexorably tied to the character for over 50 years!
In fact, if you saw the just released “Lego Batman Movie” you might have noticed the numerous references to the music of the TV series.
And face it, you can go up to anyone, anywhere in the world and sing “Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na!” and they will instantly know what you are talking about!
The music was as important to the show as the bright colors, campy dialogue and tongue-in-cheek performances. Yet, strangely, the story of how it came to be has never been told… Until now.
AMERICAN TRIAL seeks to discover what a trial in the Eric Garner case might have taught us. How is our legal system designed to handle cases such as Garner’s? What verdict may have been returned after all the evidence was presented? More importantly, what conversations, perspectives and emotions went unexamined because of the grand jury’s decision?
Similarly to fiction courtroom dramas, the lead characters of this documentary will be the attorneys leading the prosecution and the defense. Our camera will capture them as they develop their public arguments and individual positions. How do they decide which witnesses to summon? How do they prepare for their court appearance? Are there any discrepancies between their systemic role and their true feelings regarding the case?
The film will also follow a news crews covering the trial and reporting on race relations in America within the context of the trial and the movement for black lives. They will travel across America to discover what public figures, intellectuals and activists think about the Eric Garner case, as well as other similar cases through the prism of racial relations in the United States.
COLD LOVE – Cold Love highlights three expeditions spanning many years of Lonnie Dupre’s career — the first non-motorized circumnavigation of Greenland, the first summer expedition to the North Pole, and the first attempt of a solo January ascent of Denali. The film’s powerful footage reveals up-close the beauty and life-giving forces of these icy realms. And in seeing, we can’t help but be inspired to love and protect our earth’s frozen places. Not only are they beautiful and fragile, but they are the global engine that regulates the climate and provides a stable environment for all life on the planet.
IT’S NOT MY FAULT AND I DON’T CARE ANYWAY – A rich and famous self-help guru’s controversial philosophy of extreme selfishness is put to the ultimate test when his only daughter is kidnapped and held for ransom (featuring the late Alan Thicke)
VALLEY OF DITCHES – A young woman bound in the front seat of a parked car watches helpless as her captor methodically digs a grave in the desert ground. The bloody lifeless body of her boyfriend lies framed in the rear-view mirror, a fate she will fight at all costs to avoid for herself. But this is only the beginning of a brutal struggle where survival could be worse than death.
From The Film Fund – Get up to $10,000 to make your short film by writing one sentence. The Film Fund is providing funding up to $10,000 for a short film in a way that’s a lot simpler than screenwriting contests, crowdfunding, or applying to grants – read more about Founder and CEO Thomas Verdi’s The Film Fund here via his website.