Film Courage: What’s the most amount of time you’ve spent
on a screenplay?
Mark Sanderson, Screenwriter/Author: The most amount of time? Boy those are years ago, not a lot of time now. But I think it would be my fifth spec and only because I stopped on page 60 and that was because of a personal tragedy and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to go back to it because I felt guilty about not going through my grief. Someone passed away and it took me probably six or eight months of being stopped on page 60 to go back and finish that first draft. I had good momentum and then I was knocked out and couldn’t focus.
But that experience worked its way into the script because there was loss in the screenplay as well. It really found its way in there in the successive drafts after that (not in the first obviously because it was 60 pages) but it was upon the other drafts.
I think that would have taken the longest time but I don’t know? From writing assignments because there’s a schedule, I really like to get a script done in obviously the time that the contract states, but just as in my own spec too. I don’t want to work on it for years. I want to have something available and do successive drafts and then have something to be like Okay this is the one that at least that I can show people.
I would say three pages a day is a feature in a month. Easy, it’s very doable and people say Oh I worked on the script for a year, again you can…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
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.
MORE VIDEOS WITH MARK SANDERSON
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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