Imagine seeing your films up there on the big screen. Imagine buying a beautiful home in Santa Monica or Brentwood. Imagine dating starlets or handsome actors, having dinner and drinks with producers, studio executives, agents and managers. All of the intelligent and creative people that will become part of your exciting life are really terrific. How wonderful it could be for you! That's the good news.
If you are writing your first or second or even your third screenplay, I want you to stop right now.
Before you go any further, you need to ask yourself some serious questions and if you can't come up with the right answers you might just as well go back to watching TV or playing golf, or trying to get a real job or education.
Here's what you need to find out about yourself and your motivations and dreams:
1. Why are you writing a script? If the answer is not that you have a burning desire to be a great writer and you absolutely have a calling to write for the screen, then give it up now.
2. Do you understand the sacrifices you will have to make to become a success? You will probably lose friends who will find you boring, too much of a dreamer and/or never available. This may also include the end of your current love affair. Your family with think you are nuts too. You will be spending your money on film festivals, writing classes, a better computer, Final Draft programs, a better copier, reams and reams of paper, writing consultants, contests, travel and hotel bills for events and more writing classes. There goes the new clothes, the movies, the fun stuff you used to do. If you have a job, all of the rest of your time must go to writing and learning the craft of writing. If you don't have a job, you will be broke.
3. Are you willing to accept a great deal of emotional battering? Your family will love your scripts but professionals will hate them. Writing consultants will find a millions things wrong with your script, story mavens will not even tell you they are turning you down. You will simply never hear from them while you are sitting by the phone waiting for them to call. People will tell you that you have a great project then you won't be able to reach them again......ever. You will finally realize that your first and second scripts are horrible which will embarrass you and leave you bereft for some time.
4. Are you young enough and determined enough to spend years as a failure without ever knowing whether you will eventually be a success? This is a tough one.
5. Are you willing to live with the fact that there are a million reasons for people to turn down you material and very few reasons to say "Yes"?
These are only a handful of serious questions about your future. Please believe me when I tell you that they are all true. You will not find any way around them. Even if you have relatives in the business that won't mean you will be a success. Getting in the door is not staying in the door.
If you've quit reading this because it depresses you.......you had better get a grip. The film business is not for sissy's. Of course if you do make it, the rewards are fantastic.
Read "MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent's Guide To Your Writing Career" to find out what you really need to know about having a writing career. (www.Amazon.com, the Writers Store, local book stores or email me for a signed copy at: firstname.lastname@example.org