How I Sold My First Two Screenplays by Gary Goldstein
Film Courage: Can we talk about how you sold your first screenplay? What was it?
Gary Goldstein: Oh, okay. I had been writing television. I had been writing episodic television and getting some assignments and things. But I didn’t get staffed on a show. It was hard to do. It was at a time when they gave out more freelance assignments on TV shows than they do now. But still, the whole point was to get on staff on a show. I was just finding that this wasn’t the direction everything was moving in. So I decided to start writing screenplays because I always loved movies and that’s kind of what I started off wanting to do but I felt that TV would be a good way to enter the business and something a little more accessible, which I think it was. But I started just writing a screenplay. I took a couple of courses about writing a screenplay. I took a great course called Writer’s Bootcamp with I ended up teaching for a long time a few years after I took it. And I wrote a few scripts and they got attention, a few got optioned, things happened. And then ultimately I just kept writing spec screenplays. I mean you have to keep writing if you’re not getting assignment work and you have the time to write on spec, you have to keep cranking things out. So at that particular point in the movie business, this was a little after the big million dollar spec sales where everything was selling (I sort of missed that wave) but high-concept comedies were kind of in. You could sell them. They had to be good but they were saleable. But now it’s different. The studios are making fewer of them. It’s harder to see those now unless there is a big star attached to it. But back then it was just kind of like the bread and butter. Everybody wanted those scripts.
I wrote a script called MANHATTAN TRANSFER which was about a New York radio shrink, sort of a shock jock of a radio shrink, who on one day starts taking on the neuroses of all of his callers. At the time…the very week that he is making the leap from local radio to national television as a TV shrink. And it’s just a story about how he gets through this period of time. He hooks up with his old graduate school girlfriend who turns out…(Watch the video on Youtube here).
Find out more about Gary Goldstein’s play APRIL, MAY and JUNE here.
Gary Goldstein is an award winning writer for film, TV and the stage. He has written numerous films for Hallmark Channel and its sister network, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, including the comedies “The Wish List,” “Hitched for the Holidays,” “This Magic Moment” and “My Boyfriends’ Dogs,” and the first two films in the “Flower Shop Mystery” series: “Mum’s the Word” and “Snipped in the Bud,” starring Brooke Shields.
Gary’s feature film “Politics of Love,” a romantic comedy set during the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, was released in theaters August 2011. He also wrote the feature romantic comedy, “If You Only Knew,” which starred Johnathon Schaech, Alison Eastwood and James LeGros.
In addition, Gary has sold or optioned a number of original screenplays, has a string of episodic TV credits and has sold half-hour comedy pilots to both NBC and Warner Bros Television.
On the L.A. stage, Gary has been represented with the comedies “Just Men,” “Parental Discretion” and “Three Grooms and a Bride.” His family drama “Curtain Call” premiered in late 2008 at Carmel, CA’s Pacific Repertory Theatre. His newest play, the three-sisters dramedy “April, May & June,” will have its World Premiere in March 2017 at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills, as part of its 2016-17 subscription season.
Gary is also a freelance film reviewer and feature writer for the Los Angeles Times.
Lazar works as a ‘decoy’ or ‘bait’ who distracts the police and oversees the transfer of illegal immigrants across the border with the EU. Intelligent and discreet, he lives under the patronage of a local mobster and is able to support his family with the money he makes from trafficking. He falls in love with a young student, a stranger to his world, and contemplates changing his life. One night, his brother Toni is responsible for the drowning of one of the immigrants. Lazar is called to help and is faced with an impossible decision.
The Cyclotron is a thriller that takes place at the end of the Second World War. Simone, a spy working for the Allies, is entrusted with the mission to find and execute Emil, a scrupulous Berlin scientist who discovered before the Americans the way to build an atomic bomb, and is fleeing with his secret. Simone finds him on a night train speeding towards Switzerland. German soldiers, led by König, a German scientist, who want to arrest Emil and make him talk before he leaves the country, are also chasing him. Things get complicated when memories of love and quantum mechanics get intertwined in the pursuit.
BNB Hell tells the story of a young woman’s hunt for her missing sister ends at a rundown bed and breakfast in the Hollywood Hills run by an ill-tempered woman called Mommy. Disturbing messages left by former guests suggest unsettling secrets lay buried there.
Show Business is an American comedy that follows screenwriter Guy Franklin as he moves from NYC to LA with his fiancé. It should be a great gig but Guy soon realizes that being in Show Business and balancing his life love is easier said than done – a movie by Composer/Filmmaker Alexander Tovar