How Long Does It Take A Screenwriter To Write At A Professional Level by Mark Sanderson

Film Courage: How long did it take you to write where you felt you were writing at a professional level?

Mark Sanderson, Screenwriter/Author: Hmm…probably five feature-length screenplays? Because it was my fifth spec that was actually optioned and sold. So I’m like Well I must be doing something right? But it took about…the ones before were kind of bumbling and it wasn’t obviously quite up to par to compete. Those are the ones that you have to get out of your system, the first two or three. Many times writers write their first script and they’re like Where is my agent?! Their first script of their first draft and say This is brilliant! And you are like Well the first…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

Watch the full lecture here on Youtube

In this special Film Courage video lecture, Author/Screenwriter Mark Sanderson presents Staying In The Game: Surviving As A Working Screenwriter in Hollywood for a live audience (with Q&A) – recorded in North Hollywood, CA September 25th, 2018.

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

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About Mark Sanderson:

Mark Sanderson (aka @scriptcat) is a Los Angeles based screenwriter, author, script consultant and sometimes actor blessed to be living his childhood dream of making movies with thirty-six screenplays written in genres ranging from comedy to drama. His work ranges from his sketch comedy writing and performing as a founding member with The Amazing Onionheads, writing for MTV, to his spec sale, and twenty screenplay assignments with television premieres and worldwide distribution of his fourteen emotionally compelling films— the WWII indie feature “I’ll Remember April,” Lifetime Network’s “An Accidental Christmas” and “Deck the Halls,” the stylish indie noir feature “Stingers,” action-packed thrillers “USS Poseidon: Phantom Below” (aka HereTV’s “Tides of War”) and SyFy Network’s “Sea Snakes” (aka Fox’s “Silent Venom”), Lifetime Network’s highly rated thrillers “Mommy’s Little Girl,” and “A Night to Regret,” and the LMN Network premieres “Mother of All Lies,” “A Wedding to Die For,” “One Small Indiscretion,”“Hunted by My Ex,” “Family Vanished,” and the upcoming thriller “My Daughter Vanished.”

Mark’s films have premiered on Lifetime Network, LMN, SyFy, Fox, HereTV, HBO Canada, Christmas 24, NBC/Universal, The Movie Network, and have been distributed globally. His films have been recognized at festivals including a premiere and opening the Palm Springs Int. Film Festival, premieres at the Hawaii Int. Film Festival, St. Louis Int. Film Festival, The Rainbow Festival in Hawaii, Newport Beach Int. Film Festival, Fort Lauderdale Int. Festival, and nominated for the Starboy award at the Oulu Int. Children’s Film Festival in Finland.

Mark’s long association with award winning Hollywood filmmakers dates back to his first produced screenplay and has since worked with Academy Award® winning producers, veteran directors, and has written films starring Academy Award®, Golden Globe®, and Emmy® acting nominees and winners. Mark is also a screenplay consultant and his new book, “A Screenwriter’s Journey to Success” is now available on Amazon…(Read more here).


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