Yesterday I sold my first short. It is being produced for Sparta, a film challenge. (*This is NOT a film competiton as was previously indicated. My apologies for any confusion.) http://spartafilmchallenge.com. I feel as though I have won an Oscar. I have officially launched my film career as a screenwriter.
Many beginning screenwriters often wonder how to grab a producer’s attention. Is it the script formatting? Is it what software you write your script on? Is it the idea you have? I tell you most sincerely, it is a combination of the above and the plot had better have one helluva hook to grab the producer’s attention.
How do you know someone is going to love what you wrote and want to option it? The truth is, you don’t, but confidence and perseverance go a long way in the industry as some of my more decorated and successful screenwriting colleagues have taught me.
The hook is the part of the screenplay that grabs the producer’s attention. What is at stake for your protagonist? Are there time elements involved? Does the protagonist have 24 hours to solve the problem or ten minutes? Rising conflict is important in the narrative. Will the protagonist lose someone they love if the problem is not solved? Why? What does this mean for everyone or everything else? Storyboard your idea then write the screenplay. When that is done, like most, if not all other award winning screenwriters put your script in the desk drawer or your secret work-in-progress hiding spot and let it sizzle before editing the second draft. But not too long, you may lose interest or the topic may no longer be a hot one coming up for production. (In all honesty waiting to write the second draft is the part for me that is always the hardest. As a freelance journalist for eighteen years I often produced articles that demanded editing the same day, if not in the same hour to meet the writing deadline.
My short, Toy Box Memories, is an intense drama that I am hoping will have some people crying and others smiling. I am certain that the mark of a good or even great writer is the ability for their words to stand alone on a page or on the big screen and still evoke raw emotion from people whether happy, sad, angry or so on.
In celebration of the sale of my first short I am working on my second short. I am also certain that hard work and dedication to writing breeds success in whatever genre of writing one happens to be involved in. As for me, I will never be a master of one writing genre but I hope to be published in most if not all genres as well as an author of literature. It’s on my bucket list.
What are your goals as a writer? What genre might you want to specialize in? Whatever it is, do your research, write hard and often. This will help you on the path to creative success. It’s worked for me. I hope it works for you too!