Planning ahead and staying organized is key to achieving any goal, and your writing goals are no exception. Even full-time writers use writing schedules to help them stay on track and be productive and successful. If you have a job or simply don’t write full-time, a writing schedule is almost mandatory.
How to Keep a Consistent Daily Routine and Plan your Days in Advance
Do you remember the first time you brushed your teeth before bed? No? That is because you started a long time ago and never looked bad. Today you brush your teeth every night and don’t even think about it. That’s routine. And yes, it’s hard to follow a new routine, but here are a few ways to get started.
- Keep your goals and motivations clear. Write them down and keep them where you can see them. Whenever you feel like letting go, go back to them and remember why you’re doing this.
- Take small steps. You don’t need to nail your writing schedule from the start. In fact, it’s very likely that it will change as you advance in the writing process. Be flexible and take it easy, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Keep track and be grateful. Keeping track of your progress is a great way to stay motivated and find areas of opportunity. A gratitude journal, notebook, or bulletin board will help you see your evolution and go back to it when you need an extra push.
Take a moment before your week (or month) begins to plan in advance. Make a list of the main events and things you need to do (both personally and professionally) to have a realistic overview of how much time you’ll have available for your writing. Then make a list of things that could potentially stop you from dedicating this time, and come up with solutions to prevent them. This is a very basic guide toward planning and creating habits, but it’s a good place to start.
Setting Weekly Goals For Writing & How To Achieve Them
Breaking large objectives into milestones and smaller goals is a great way to succeed in reaching them. They allow you to measure success – which can be quite subjective – and keep track of what you need to focus on, they are also a great tool when it comes to scheduling tasks.
Goals need to be realistic and attainable, so start off by defining (honestly) how much time you can dedicate to your writing, every day, week, or month. Then, consider what you can genuinely get done during that time. This is different for everyone, some people can do a complete read-through of the script and make important changes in less than an hour, while some people might need a couple of hours to develop one scene.
This should give you a clear idea of what your milestones should be. In order to reach those smaller goals, you need to understand the tasks behind them.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say that one of your writing goals is to “improve character development in your script”
Your first weekly goal could be to improve your main character’s arc. Some tasks you can do are:
1. Create a character’s bio
2. Define his motivations and fears
3. Establish where he is at in the beginning and where he will be at the end of the story.
If you were to work 1 hour a day for that first week, you’ll have an hour and a half for each task.
This is more doable and specific than “improving character development”
Get Into The Writing Mindset
Having the right mindset is crucial for achieving any goal, in any area of your life. Writer’s block, imposter syndrome, and “being too busy”, are all great excuses to quit writing, but as Steve Maraboli says “once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.”
You are a writer and a creative, and your thoughts should reflect this. Be open to new ideas, express yourself and keep trying. Rejection is a reality and feeling like you’re not good enough is normal (and okay), but if you stay organized and are objective about your achievements, you’ll get there.
Make The Most Out Of Every Day
Use your “downtime” to work on your script. Most of the screenwriting work is done outside the paper/computer, when you’re planning your story, coming up with plots, and inventing your characters. The time you spend commuting, folding laundry, or waiting in lines, can be used to brainstorm and fix specific story issues, the best part? You can schedule these too.
I’m not saying schedule your every thought, but on your writing schedule, you can choose a specific problem to focus on every day, so when you have one of these moments, you can make the most of them. Carrying around a notebook designated for this is your best ally.
Welcome routine. Sticking to a routine might not be for everyone, but it’s a game-changer. Doing things constantly and consistently develops habits (good and bad), if you make your writing a must-do task, this will soon be part of your life, and reaching your goals will always be available to you.
Give yourself space to “fail”. It’s okay if you miss one of your writing sessions or if you don’t reach a milestone when you wanted to, it’s also okay to take a break and move on when things don’t go the way you plan. But don’t be hard on yourself. Start from where you left off and keep going.
Staying organized and keeping a realistic writing schedule will help you reach your writing goals, whether you can dedicate a lot or a little time to your writing career.
By writing consistently and recording your progress you will soon make writing a habit and soon enough, you’ll be able to finish or polish your script to make it GREAT.
If you’re ready to create your writing schedule, but you’re not sure about how it should look, I’ve got you. In my Etsy shop, you can find an affordable and super easy-to-use template.
As always, if you need help getting there, here I am!
Screenwriting is not a game, it takes time, effort, and, genuinely, courage. But what happens when all the work has been done and you’ve managed to type “THE END”? Those magical words appear to be the finishing line, but they are nothing close to it.
Yeap, turns out that finishing the script is only the start of a long and sometimes bumpy journey; however, screenwriters are not alone. In the world of creative writing, a figure exists that is meant to make this process easier for anyone willing to take help: The Script Consultant.
A Script Consultant is a writer or editor that instead (or aside) of writing, works with other writers and pieces to improve them. Be it structure, plot, character development, or plain storytelling. A Script Consultant provides very particular insight that helps the writer refine and polish the work done.
But what exactly do Script Consultants do?
Well, it’s a combination of several things – proofreading, analyzing, suggesting, and bouncing ideas… (in summary). Normally the process will begin with the Consultant reading your script and getting familiar with the project. Then they will do some work on it. They will analyze the strengths and areas of opportunity, and come up with notes and solutions on how to improve, in the areas mentioned above.
Once the Consultant has worked on the script on his own, they will now share the notes and work with you to exchange thoughts and come up with new ideas to enhance the writing, providing guidance on the re-writing process.
Consultants provide a new set of eyes, allowing you to see possibilities that you might have missed. Script Consultants have a great understanding of the industry, genres, and structure and have tons of references to older and newer movies. They know what works and what doesn’t, and the current trends in storytelling.
So, again, why do you need a Script Consultant?
Easy. You’re the writer and you should focus on writing. Script Consultants are here to take care of the rest. Provide references, create new scenes, ensure plot points exist and fix those mistakes that you might miss while you are caught in the excitement of writing. Script Consultants are a friend to rely on when things go well and a shoulder to cry on when things don’t.
Also, there is no right or wrong in terms of when to get a Script Consultant. It can be when you finish your first draft, when you have an idea circling around your head, or when you’re in the middle of a writing block. The right time to get help is well, the moment you feel like you need help.
I attend bi-weekly meetings with a local writer’s group, we chat and share ideas and it’s pretty refreshing. Last week the conversation was about screenwriting and I have to say, they asked me questions I hadn’t really thought about, and one of them was how do you begin to write a script, say you have an idea and you believe it would be a good movie, how do you start. I was quiet for a moment, how (the hell) do you start?! Well, I finally came up with a quick screenwriting guide and I thought I’d share it if you too have a story to tell and don’t know how to start. Hence the (very, very) basic step-by-step guide to starting a script.
1. Write your story.
in whatever format you prefer, be it narrative, bullets, drawings if you’re good at it, a short story, whatever. Just put it on a piece of paper so that it doesn’t die in your mind.
2. Outline the plot.
This is where you take the story as a whole and divide it into the “moments” or parts of the story (beginning, middle, ending). If you can divide it by acts at this point, even better. (Take a look at this article for an easy explanation on Acts)
3. Define your conflict and premise.
What is the story actually about?
What is the main obstacle for your main character and how is he going to ultimately solve it? As for the premise, ask yourself, “How are you going to tell the story?”. Will it be a perspective of love? Revenge? Perseverance? These questions, although broad, should give you a very good idea of where you want to go with your story and what to expect when you sit down and write.
Bonus: Once you’ve defined the three main parts of the story, try to think about the most important moments or beats (more on those here). If you can define this by now, you’re ready to start pre-writing.
As I said, this is a VERY basic guide. Obviously screenwriting is much more than this and represents a much longer process, but starting with something is better than just waiting to know it all, isn’t it? So get cracking on these easy steps and the rest shall be (hi)story!
Even the best chefs in the world start by following a recipe, in fact, the best of them still use them every once in a while. It allows them to ensure consistency and gives them a structure to follow so that they can create and let their imagination fly.
The same thing happens with screenwriters. Although there is no magic formula to create a script, there are recipes that provide guidance and direction to kickstart the passion and get you to type “the end”. Famous fellas like Blake Snyder, Robert McKee, and Syd Field, have tried hard to create and simplify these recipes with great success, taking the whole of the story and breaking it down to pieces or story beats. The beat sheet is also a great start to create an outline.
What is a beat sheet?
But what is a beat anyway? Firstly, beats are moments that move the story forward and set the course and tone for what’s going to happen next. They are simple narrative elements that bring the audience back to the story and challenge the characters that conform it. In other words, beats are the smallest part of the story structure and the acts it is divided into.
So now that you know what a beat is, let’s take a look at a beat sheet, which is like the script’s blueprint or map. This will guide you through the individual beats and help you determine what those moments will be, in your script, for each beat.
Creating the beat sheet
1. Opening image:
This is the first thing we see and your opportunity to show the world your characters live in. Be bold and get your audience hooked 😉 (Page 1)*
2. Where are we? What is this movie about?
Where are we in time and space? Is it nowadays? The past? The future?
What’s your promise to your audience? Will they have fun? Learn a lesson? Cry? Laugh? It is also the moment where we state our theme (family, friendship, love, success, power, etc.) (Page 4).
3. Who are they? Who’s your protagonist?:
Introduce your main character and those who surround him**. In other words, think of who he is? What is he like? What’s his job? What’s happening in his life? Who does he coexist with? What are they like? (Pages 1-8).
4. The kick:
The moment where your protagonist’s life changes. Although he still needs to decide upon it, his life can’t be the same after this. This is the until moment (Page 10).
5. The question:
Your protagonist’s debate. Most importantly, what is she** gonna do about the kick? Is she going to act upon it or try to run from it? Here, she will ponder her options and their consequences. (Page 10-20).
6. The answer:
What is the result of her** debate? This is what kicks off the rest of the plot, the decision of your protagonist to go get what they want. It’s where the journey begins, they’re packed up and out the door. (Page 20).
7. B plot:
A secondary story that accompanies the main plot and the protagonist. This is usually a romantic relationship but it doesn’t have to be. The B plot has its own development and is intertwined with the main narrative. (Page 20-25).
8. Kicks and giggles:
This is why your audience is watching this movie. The trailer moments, the adventure, and the journey. Here is where you make us laugh in a comedy and make us suffer in a drama or thriller. (Page 25-45).
9. Winning or losing:
Commonly known as Midpoint, this is the moment where your protagonist seems to be figuring it all out (or not). If it’s a happy movie, this is the moment where nothing can go wrong; if it’s a drama, this is where it seems that nothing can go right. This is also where we raise the stakes and add urgency. (Page 45).
10. Bad guys close in:
The conflict is here and we need to face it. The bad guys are on our protagonist’s tail and it’s starting to look like there is no way out. (Page 45-61).
11. No hope left:
At this point, it seems that our protagonist hit a dead end. The stakes are higher than ever and it seems there is very little left to do to accomplish the objective and solve the conflict. (Page 61).
12. Darkest hour:
This is the lowest point, where nothing our protagonist does seems to be enough to resolve the situation. He’s* losing hope and drive to continue.
This isn’t a single moment, but a series of situations that keep getting worse. (Page 61-70).
13. False defeat (or success):
Something HORRIBLE (or GREAT) happens. The death of a loved one, the finding out of the well-kept secret, discovering the treasure…
Above all, this triggers the final decision that our protagonist has to make to accomplish her* goals. (Page 70).
See it to the end. Our protagonist makes a final decision of whether he** is trying one more time or moving on. This is where the team regroups and strategizes and decides on a new course of action. Our characters have hit rock bottom, so there’s no way but up. (Page 70-90).
15. This is it:
The last thing your audience will see. This is the message you want to sink into your audience’s memory. Summarizes the theme and teaches the moral. Make it last! (Page 90).
In conclusion, beats are one of the many ways to organize your story’s structure, they’re detailed and allow you to see the story as a whole. Your beat sheet will be the map to follow and get to a happy ending, but there are a couple of other steps to work on before getting cracking on the actual script. Read more about the process of pre-writing.
*Page count for a 90 pages script, click here for templates on other script durations.
** I use he/she pronouns indefinitely.
You’ve done the research, read a couple of articles (hopefully this one too 😊), asked some experts, and decided to self distribute your movie. At this point you’ve probably found that there are a lot of options. From a small premiere with family and friends to your movie in the top 10 of your preferred streaming service. To help you out a bit, here are some ideas on how to get your movie to the world of online video on demand.
Prime Video Direct
A division of Amazon Prime. Allows you to upload your own content and decide how you want to get paid for it, with a variety of Licensing options. You maintain your rights and keep creative control. You also have at your disposal many marketing tools straight from the giant of online retail. Prime Video Direct also provides you with metrics and information about your viewers to help you understand your audience and market your content properly. This is no doubt a great way to get to distribution with no middle man.
Streaming your movie on Youtube/Vimeo/Own website
Another interesting option for self-distribution is online video platforms. Like Youtube and Vimeo, but also your own website, Facebook, or even Instagram. These platforms allow for your content to be seen, reach a wider audience and get feedback, but will not really help you monetize. This is not necessarily bad. Going this way or not will depend completely on your goals and plans for your project.
If this is a super commercial, easy-to-understand romantic comedy, this will be (in my opinion) an absolute no-no. This is the kind of movie that you can make money from. Streaming your movie on a free platform will just be hurting your work. However, if we’re talking about a more insightful short film, that touches certain topics or shows a more independent/artsy vision, go for it. This will allow you to show your style, while talking to a much closer and familiar audience. This will also help you gain momentum that can help you to reach other distribution alternatives.
Aggregators and getting to (basically) every other streaming platform
Say none of these options work for you (and your project, mostly, your project). If you still want to have your movie on iTunes, Hulu, Google Play, and whatnot, you will need an aggregator. Aggregators are basically sales agents for VoD, and you’ll need them to stream your movie. They are companies that, for a percentage of your revenue or a fixed fee, will get your movie to streaming platforms. Just like exhibitors, these platforms don’t deal with individuals directly so you can’t really pitch your finished project and get a contract. But aggregators can.
We’re not getting into detail as to what aggregators are best or what kind of deal you can expect. But – in theory – they can be easier to find than sales agents or traditional distributors. Also, aggregators do the work of encoding and preparing your film for streaming, while a sales agent/distributor will normally require you to provide that. So there’s that too.
I hope this gives you some insight on where to go with your project. In any case, always make sure to consider distribution from the start and include it in your budget. Even if you go for free or low-cost alternatives.
Writing a complete screenplay is no easy task. It takes time, effort, tons of creativity, and its share of sweat and blood. But when you finally manage to type the last period, you know that it was all worth it. Unless nobody reads your script ever, in which case, the whole process might be quite disappointing. BUT I’m here to cheer you up! And show you that there is a light at the end of the always-pitched-but-never-produced-screenplays tunnel.
When we think about writing a movie or TV show we automatically think about Netflix. Whew! There was a time when we would think of the big screen, or even television, but let’s face it, that is sooo two thousand and late. And it’s no mystery why. Netflix has completely revolutionized the way we watch entertainment media, creating a change of paradigm that is here to stay. Combine this with the new accessibility for producing films along with things as, let’s say, a global pandemic. You’ll have everyone who ever worked in media wanting nothing more than to be on this famous streaming service recommendation list. So how can you sell your script to Netflix?
Well, in order to answer this question I first must explain how Netflix works exactly. And no, I’m not talking about signing up and getting your first 30 days free. I’m talking about Netflix being a production company, and here’s the thing: It’s not. Yep, you read that right. Let me explain.
What exactly is Netflix
Netflix is essentially a distribution company. This means that they take content from other production companies (Disney, Century Fox, Sony Pictures, etc) and make it available to watch on their platform. This means that the way this content comes to you has more to do with rights management and broadcasting deals than with any other production stage. Now, in the last couple of years, Netflix has started “creating” original content. But (here is where all the blabber comes to be) they aren’t really creating anything themselves.
Netflix delegates the production of their “originals” to other actual production companies across the world. In most cases, Netflix doesn’t even pay for production, but rather offers a pre-sale deal (again, distribution and broadcasting contracts).
In some other cases, they might bring money upfront to the production, but that is not as common. At the end of the day, it all depends on the specific deal they have with that specific production company.
So can you sell your script to Netflix?
So again, how can you get there? Well, now that you know how it works, you’re probably getting an idea. The only way to get Netflix to produce (or more properly distribute) your content is to bring it to those production companies that will then bring it to them. And the great news is that these companies are not so hard to find.
For instance, working with Netflix is something production companies tend to brag about. Therefore, it’s easy to spot them on their websites or Linkedin/Facebook profiles.
You can also find out by literally watching a bunch of Netflix (which let’s be honest, you’re already doing). Pay attention to the opening and ending credits, and you’ll find which company or companies produced that specific content. These are also companies working with Netflix.
And like everything else in life, you can also take your search to Google. There are multiple research reports, articles, and lists of companies that are known to work with Netflix. In fact, depending on your country, there might even be official reports from Film Commissions about this.
And once you’ve identified these companies, you’re on the other side. Of course, you still need to reach out to them and pitch your project. But don’t feel overwhelmed. You can take a look at some of our resources on how to pitch your project and get ready to knock it out of the park.
Everybody needs a method that helps their writing process easier and more enjoyable. This very easy (and effective) method works great for experienced and amateur writers alike since it allows you to see your structure and make modifications without spending time in writing and rewriting, it also helps to make sure that every scene contributes to the story and remove unnecessary scenes without getting rid of them completely.
How does it work:
- Write each scene on an index card (post-its work too). You can either write (or print) the whole scene, or just headline and description. What matters is that you’re able to identify the scene by looking at the card alone.
- Organize the cards as they currently appear in your script. You can put them on a wall or board if you have them available but if you don’t, a table or floor will do the trick.
- Do some staring. Seriously, look at your cards and understand where you’re at and where you want to get. Are you getting there with the way the scenes are now? What do you need to change in order to get there? Is every scene contributing to your story? And then you go from there.
Now you have individual scenes at hand to move and switch them around your timeline. Having the cards on a wall allows you to look at them constantly and maybe make changes even when you’re not purposely rewriting, but it can also be distracting from other things, so maybe keep this in mind. To put them away when not in use, simply use a binder clip and make sure you save the current order you’re working with.
Let me know if this works for you, and happy writing!
Stories are about characters. Whether it is animals that represent morals, like in the good old fables or multi-dimensional, colorful, fascinating people, characters make stories come true. So when we write for film and TV, we need to be careful and respectful of them in order to create real, engaging characters that our audience can relate to.
Achieving good character development takes time and practice, but here are some things to get you started in creating great characters.
1. Creating solid character backgrounds
We all have a background, like it or not. There are things from our past, our families, culture, and personalities that define us and the way we act and react to situations, and fictional characters should do too. The difference is, it is you as the writer who gets to create them. Deciding what features of the character to create or focus on depends on every writer. Some prefer to simply outline the character’s background and their most important personality traits. These are some things that I consider a must:
Inner life: Name, gender, race, social class, family background.
Experience and learning: Level of education, skills, and abilities, sexuality, acquired family (spouse, kids, in-laws).
The character today: Age, job, friends and enemies, looks, hobbies, likes and dislikes
The way they see the world: Belief system, personality, sense of humor, hopes and dreams
Creating characters is also about giving them a voice. The way we express ourselves, tells a lot about us. A person that is respectful and courteous will have very different life experiences from someone who is rude and constantly cursing. The people around them will see them differently, include them in different social activities, and generate a different perspective, in general. One will probably be more successful in a corporate environment, while the other might struggle to build interpersonal relationships.
The dialogues we write need to cater to the people we are creating. This should help reinforce the background we have established for them. The way we talk differs based on our education, cultural background, knowledge of things, even our profession.
If you want to create real, believable dialogue, you need to LISTEN. This is my best advice when creating dialogue, listen to the people around you, listen (really listen) to the characters from the movies and shows you enjoy and, if you can, listen to people who are similar to your character.
I once had a client shadow her dentist for a week and she was thrilled with the results. Knowing almost nothing about the human mouth or how to take care of it, she managed to create a character that truly spoke like a dentist, without unnecessary medical slang or assumptions that weren’t accurate.
3. Creating characters who change
Change is interesting and the ability to change even more so. Your characters need to have that ability, even if they decide to change or not. If you think of fascinating characters in film, you’ll notice that change is one big thing they have in common. Think about Shrek, a moody ogre that wants nothing to do with anyone else but ends up fighting for the princess he fell in love with. What makes him interesting is that falling in love with the princess and fighting for her is the last thing we would expect him to do (granted, it’s a fairy tale so we do expect it, but you get my point).
Change can be induced by many factors. Growing up, learning new information, or simply realizing that you were wrong, whatever it is, it must be related to the background we created for the character. A well-educated character is more prone to change his ways after learning something new. On the other hand, a more emotionally driven character will be more likely to change after going through something hurtful.
Note that not all characters change. Some characters simply fight against change constantly and this works too because they are still affected by change. The bottom line is that static characters are not interesting characters, so the more dynamic they are, the better.
Character development is an art, and nailing it requires time and practice. Whatever stage your writing career is at, applying these techniques will eventually get you there.
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As I mentioned before, writing a script requires a very specific format. In order for it to comply with industry standards and for the different production departments to understand it. This format can be created in almost any word processor. However, there are certain specific screenwriting software options that do the formatting for you, allowing you to focus on the writing and giving you one less thing to worry about. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Different screenwriting software options cater to different needs, think of what your project needs when choosing the best for you.
My personal favorite. Celtx is a web-based application with a free and a pro, paid version. While the free version is great for writing, the paid version offers a number of features for project management. Such as budgeting, scheduling, and storyboard creation. Prices vary from 7 to 22 USD a month, depending on features and the number of projects you can create. They also offer special prices for companies and schools.
Celtx is a great tool to start with little to no investment. It’s also great to work with other team members through their cloud-based collaboration feature. They also have mobile apps and a free 14 day trial. Take a look at it here.
2. Final Draft
The industry favorite. About 95% of well-known production companies use it and love it. Naturally, Final Draft offers many more professional features for both screenwriting and project management. It allows you to add images, scene descriptions, and also has a collaboration option. It is software that you need to license and install, and although they offer a 60 day trial period, there is no free option after this.
The pricing is where Final Draft gets a little bit tricky, with a regular price of 259 USD for two activations (two devices). They also offer iPad and iPhone apps, not included in the PC license. They usually run offers and you can get it for around $149.
I personally used Final Draft for a while, until my Macbook outgrew it and I had to buy the upgrade. That was when I discovered Celtx and decided not to invest any longer, but like everything, it’s up to you. They do offer special discounts for current users who are upgrading, students, military and first responders, and companies.
3. Movie Magic Screenwriter
Another industry favorite. Movie Magic is very well known for their options on budgeting and scheduling, however, they also have screenwriting software that has their own fans. It’s also an installable piece of software, easy to learn and use, and the go-to of the American Writer’s Guild.
Aside from the price, which is also rather on the expensive side – ranging from 100 – 249,95 USD, a downside to Movie Magic is the lack of compatibility with newer iOS versions. The latest version of Movie Magic is only compatible with Mojave 10.14. They do include a free upgrade to Big Sur when the time comes, but it’s not available as of yet.
Similar to Celtx, it offers a wide range of writing and producing tools for free. It’s easy to use and allows collaboration. There’s no need to download or install software and you can edit and export existing scripts in any format.
5. Fade in Software
Available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone/iPad, and Android. Fade In offers a much more affordable alternative to Final Draft and Movie Magic. Allows collaboration, image support, and additional formatting options, and offers cloud storage.
At 79.95 USD and with free updates, Fade In is certainly worth checking out. You can do so here.
There are obviously many other options out there, so there’s probably no such thing as the best screenwriting software. Think about your project and your writing routine and I’m sure you’ll find the best for you.
There are a lot of tips and secrets (and rumors) about how to break into the filmmaking industry and get hired as a writer. Some of them are real, efficient ways of getting there, but the truth is, a lot of it is just mumbo jumbo.
In this article, I’m gonna tell you the story of how one of my clients got hired as a writer in a sitcom’s writer’s room without connections or secret magic.
Elena always wanted to be a writer, she majored in Literature and later on studied filmmaking. She did her due diligence by doing short films, looking for internships and jobs, and yeah, “collaborating” (a.k.a. working with no pay) in different projects. But nothing worked. After years of trying to “break into the industry,” she hit a wall.
But not all was lost.
I met Elena about a year ago. She was ready to give up on her dream of getting hired as a writer for fiction and was looking for work as a copywriter (by far not the same thing). On the side, Elena was working on a project of her own. A sitcom that had been around her head for a while and that she was finally putting on paper.
I read the first ten pages, as part of my free script review, and they weren’t great. There was a lot of work to do, but she was on to something. I mentored her for about 6 months and then she went on to work on the script on her own. Using our work together as a starting point and roadmap. We finished our contract and parted ways.
About two weeks ago, Elena called me in tears. She had finished her script and had been submitting it to competitions and pitching it to producers. No one showed interest in that particular piece, but her pitch caught a producer’s eye. He liked her writing style and felt that what she had to say could be a match with a project he was working on.
And then, the tables turned
Now the producer was the one pitching to Elena. She expressed interest and agreed to write a sample. The producer liked it and offered her a job in the writer’s room on the spot.
Elena is now working full time on the show, with a salary that allows her to live comfortably as she keeps learning the craft. And because the world has now changed, she even has a few days a week where she works from home. Which gives her some extra time to keep working on her sitcom.
This isn’t just a motivational story. This is an example of how things happen in real life in the screenwriting and filmmaking industry. Getting hired as a writer is possible if you work smart and focus your efforts in the right place.
Writing and pitching is not an easy task, but there is a fantastic team out there waiting to hire you. So write on, and call me when you land that gig!