100,000 Screenplays Written Every Year, How Does A Screenwriter Stand Out?
by Author Scott Kirkpatrick
Film Courage: From your book Writing for the Green Light have there been success stories where people have reached out to you [after having read it]?
Scott Kirkpatrick: Yes. And it was very meaningful to see it actually because…okay, Writing for the Green Light is not “I wrote the great script in 3 days and I’m emotionally invested in it and I want to see it on the big screen. Writing for the Green Light is about writers who want to write professionally. Who want to figure out that great question that no other book really answers and it’s really just how do you begin that process? How do you talk to people? How do you pitch your work? And so that’s why we kind of focus on the goldmine genre that are the tried and tested, they are going to be around forever type things.
So the process for writing a script or getting a job as a writer is not “I wrote the script and I am going to sell it!”
Writing begins with being able to showcase you can write. Writing requires that when a production company is in a crunch and they need a writer who can just get the job done the first time around, you’re the person to hire. So Writing for the Green Light is about helping writers become that, if that’s what they want to become. So the success stories I saw were people change their style of writing. They gave it a shot and one woman wrote to me that she read the book, she wrote a woman-in-peril thriller, she sent if off and was basically given writer-for-hire agreement (a step agreement) which was basically we really liked your work. You obviously know the kind of genre that we like to work with. We need this script written. Can you write it and give us a treatment?
I had another woman reach out to me basically saying I read this book, I thought it was interesting so I gave it a shot. She wrote a Christmas dog family movie and basically she did it as kind of (I wouldn’t say a joke) but like “I’m just going to spit this out and see what happens, you know?” (watch the video interview on Youtube here).
About Scott Kirkpatrick:
Scott is the author of the book Writing for the Green Light: How to Make Your Script the One Hollywood Notices and is the Senior Vice President of North & South American business development, sales and global digital strategy for the London-based distributor DRG. Previously, Kirkpatrick served as Executive Director of Distribution for MarVista Entertainment, a Los Angeles-based production and distribution company that produces original TV movies and has managed international TV deals on major franchises including Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Before shifting to the distribution side of the industry, Kirkpatrick worked behind the scenes on major studio productions, including Talladega Nights: The Balled of Ricky Bobby. Kirkpatrick has also produced and directed TV series and feature films including Eye for an Eye, Muslims in America and Roadside Massacre.
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