Film Courage: What is required to sell your script in the current marketplace? Last time we visited Corey you spoke to us about this six script cycles and having pitch perfect authentic scripts, have things changed?
Corey Mandell, Screenwriter/Instructor: Things have gotten better and to really put things in perspective I started teaching during the Writers’ strike in 2007 and especially after the Writers’ strike [Writers Guild of America strike of November 5, 2007, to February 12, 2008]. And after the Writers’ strike it was bleak. There were writers with impressive credits who couldn’t get work. It was nearly impossible to sell a script.
All the TV was almost all reality TV, there was very little scripted. Studios were all finalizing and consolidation and they just weren’t making movies. Back then it was like a good month was one or two of my students selling a pitch or original script (that was a good month). In the last week I’ve had 21 students sell pitches or pilot scripts. That’s a pretty normal week. So to put this in perspective around 2002 HBO their entire budget all-in for original content was about 500 million dollars, which is a lot of money.
This year Netflix will be spending about 15 to 16 billion dollars. Amazon is about 6 billion dollars. So Netflix and Amazon are spending 21–22 billion dollars and everyone else is trying to catch up to them. There has never been so much content. There has never been such an insatiable demand for original material.
Now that being said, while it is far easier to sell a script than it used to, it’s still not easy. It’s never easy to sell an original script especially for an unknown writer who doesn’t have a track record. It’s easier but it’s not necessarily easy. But there are things that people can do to give themselves a much better chance…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
Check out the book Mindset (which Corey refers to in many of his Film Courage videos)
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SAWGRASS on Youtube by Jack Peterson. Jack is an American filmmaker based in Chicago. He’s been featured in the New York Times, the Daily Beast, and ABC News for his work as an activist. His first feature film, Sawgrass, is a psychedelic journey through Florida, featuring an extensive interview with the brother of the Las Vegas shooter. Sawgrass also features a performance by the Rock-afire Explosion, a vintage animatronic band created by famed inventor Aaron Fechter. Jack’s next feature film, My Perfect Everything, tells the story of a magician chasing an imaginary woman he met in 1989. My Perfect Everything is currently in the early stages of pre-production.