Why Most Screenplays Fail – Brooks Elms

Film Courage: If a writer is being ignored by Hollywood is that a sign that possibly their work is just not ready?

Brooks Elms, Screenwriter/Writing Mentor: Maybe, it’s a great question. There’s two things going on here. Most likely they’re probably not ready. That’s more likely and because it’s a subjective business it’s entirely possible that work is totally ready and just hasn’t found the right person at the right time, so how do you know which one is you with your script? That’s when we come back to this idea of a high quality feedback system, right? So first your internal system with where you’re developing it and then when you get it to the point where you feel like it’s as great as you can make it, then if you’re an amateur you go to screenplay contests or Blacklist.com or SpecScout.com or Coverfly, really great places to see where you stack up and the metrics I generally suggest are 10 places. It could be an industry, it could be somebody that works…it could be a friend of yours that’s an intern at such-and-such production company. It could be one of the contests, it could be one of those screenplays exchanges that I just mentioned, any of those things. If it’s somebody in the industry that could be like Oh my gosh, this is the best script I ever read! I’m going to turn around and give it…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).


Brooks Elms is a screenwriter and independent filmmaker. His specialty is grounded personal characters and writing story tension so thick it knots up your stomach. He’s written 25+ screenplays, a dozen of them on assignment, and sold several scripts, including one this year with Brad Peyton as Executive Producer. Brooks was recently hired to rewrite a screenplay started by an Oscar-winning writer. Brooks began his career writing, directing, and producing two indie features (personal dramas) that he screened all over the world. And Brooks also loves coaching fellow writers who have a burning ambition to deeply serve their audiences.








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