A quick glance through the hallowed inter-web reveals a haven of free information and guidance for the modern screenwriter. Forums, blogs and teleconferences ooze with advice on how to succeed as a screenwriter, so allow me to amalgamate the highlights in bullet-point format.
- Listen To Everyone – The world does not yet know who you are, so how do you know who they are? Whatever you are told by anyone in the film industry, just do it.
- Pay For Stuff – The only thing you get for free is the common cold. Subscribe to every magazine and network you can think of, regardless of fees. Buy multiple copies of every edition of the same book, even if it has nothing to do with screenwriting.
- Pay People – If you give someone lots of money, surely they will help you, right? Correct. Hire consultants, agents, publicists and anyone who charges more than $50 an hour. Just make sure they promise to get your script made.
- Think Outside A Box – Challenge the discerning reader. Abandon all notions of screenplay structure and just go for broke. The industry is currently thriving on action/drama, so write something excessively boring. In a funky new font. In Brown! With strikethrough!!
- Compete With The Best – Screenplay contests are a dime a dozen, and that’s because they are a guaranteed fast-pass to Hollywood. Imagine sitting at home after submitting a script and receiving a phone call from Mr Robert Spielberg! Fees are irrelevant, as screenwriting will make you filthy rich, so enter any competition you can find.
- Quantity Or Quality – Ever heard someone say they bombarded a studio with scripts and came away empty-handed? Write as much as you can as fast as you can. Aim to have at least 200 feature scripts in your arsenal, unless your first script is really, really good.
- Cut Corners – It’s no secret that the way to break into Hollywood is always changing, so develop shortcuts where you can. Edit your first draft with full camera directions, character notes and bold illustrations. This way you will remove the need for rewrites, storyboarding etc, and may even get production credits for several roles.
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