For quite awhile I've been trying to figure out what most new writers are concerned about. There seem to be a few issues that come up quite often when I have a Q and A session at one of my Seminars, or things that come up repeatedly via Facebook writing groups. Many of these issues you should not even think about, much less spend time worrying about them or asking questions of other new writers.
One of these issues is whether or not you should attach actors and/or a director to your script. I've gone over this in a previous blog but I want to remind you that NO you should not even think about attaching actors. First of all you don't and can't know which actors are liked and which actors are hated. You don't know who has a drug or alcohol problem or if they still mean anything at the box office. If the actors you pine for are famous, great talents and star in films quite often, then you will never get to them. There agents and managers are the gatekeepers and they do keep those gates locked.
Remember that to become a working writer in Hollywood, whether via major studios or independents, all you need are a few wonderful scripts and a willingness to work well with others.
I also think you need to plan your writing career. Do you want to sell one script that is close to your heart? Do you want to have a full blown writing career in Los Angeles, with major studios? Do you want to direct your own films? Are you dying to get jobs that have you rewriting other writers or be hired to write the film adaptation of a book? There are a lot of choices to make.
Many of you now run as fast as you can to pay good money and get into writer's contests. The problems with this are many. Film contests don't get your film made, they don't make you famous, they are not considered important to major film makers. A couple of them may be a bit prestigious but they are only one line in your query letter. If your scripts are ready for contests then they should be ready to go out to agents and managers. That's where you need to spend your time.
Lastly I want to advise you dear people that giving your precious scripts to other new writers and expecting good notes is a big mistake. Your writer friends might be smart and nice but they don't know how to judge your material. They are only guessing.
Send me other questions you have and I'll try to answer them.
REMEMBER that my online course, "HOW TO BREAK INTO THE SCREENWRITING BUSINESS" is presented by the wonderful Screenwriters University. The course begins on February 16th and is limited to a small amount of people Sign up now at: www.screenwritersuniversity.com or via www.writersstore.com. If you have any questions please email me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always I work to help you enjoy a successful writing career!!