First Screenplay: Writing Sample Or Six Figure Sale? by Daniel Calvisi

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Film Courage:  Dan, if we were the delve into the mind of most new writers (whether they live in Los Angeles or they are living somewhere else), do you think that they view a lot of their work as a sample or a series of samples or are they seeing it as the next big thing that “Wow, once it’s discovered this “thing” is taking LA, New York and London by storm?”

Daniel Calvisi, movie studio reader, screenwriter and private screenplay consultant: Definitely London! Not as many scripts get bought as used to be so I think it’s imperative that they think of it more as a writing sample of their work.

Yeah, too many new writers are thinking “I’m going to sell this for six figures and I can live off that for the next ten years and I’m going to sell a whole bunch more scripts in the meantime.”

But they don’t buy as many scripts as they used to and it’s a really, really competitive market, especially for newbies.

So I think it’s best if you can think of it as a writing sample. But I do see a lot of writers who are trying to write for the market and they are trying to write something that…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

STORY MAPS: How To Write A GREAT Screenplay

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STORY MAPS: TV Drama: The Structure of the One-Hour Television

Pilot (Volume 4)

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)



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There are days when New York City seems to open its doors to you and every single piece falls nicely into place supporting the dream that brought you to that big wonderful city. Then there are the other days…the days when those same pieces become ill-fitting sharp-edged shards ganging up against you and any goal you may have. Those are the days when the cruel heartless city itself seems to be conspiring against you. Those are the days you know you’ve been…New YORK’d. It WILL happen to you…