Film Courage: So you have a mantra on your site which is Actfourscreenplays.com. And the mantra is ‘Craft Equals Business, Which Means Focus on Your Craft and Foremost and the Commercial Success Will Follow.” I was wondering if you can expand on that?
Daniel Calvisi, Story Instructor: It’s more important to write a great script than it is to worry about what door you are going to get it in, you know (to worry about the commercial aspect, the marketing aspect). Focus on writing a great piece of material and that will open doors for you.
So don’t worry too much about writing for the market. It is something that you should consider, I mean you don’t want to write a three hour drama set in 1903 about a grandma and her dog maybe. Unless it’s the greatest thing you could ever think of. You probably do want to write something that’s a little bit more for today’s commercial marketplace. But your main job is to write a great script that’s going to blow away that reader.
Film Courage: Well, I think you also said that if you try to play to the market, by the time you get that story out there and you go through meetings, that trend will have sailed?
Daniel Calvisi: It’s very possible that that particular trend will be gone by the time you finally finished it, get it in professional quality (you know, highest quality) to really blow away that reader and really move up the ranks. And an example of that would be there was a there was a big fairy tale trend in Hollywood in Film and TV a few years ago. And it’s pretty much dead now because they bought so much material and so now you probably should think twice about writing a new take on a fairy tale. It doesn’t mean you can’t. It doesn’t mean you can’t write a great thing on that, but you should probably check with The Industry to see if there hasn’t already been a script with that similar premise.
Like let’s say you have a new take on Goldilocks and The Three Bears (for example). Check with people that you know in development to see if maybe there weren’t three Goldilocks and The Three Bears specs floating around 5 years ago…(Watch the video on Youtube here).
BUY THE BOOK – STORY MAPS: How To Write A GREAT Screenplay
BUY THE BOOK – STORY MAPS: TV Drama: The Structure of the One-Hour Television Pilot (Volume 4)