April 22, 2024

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I Fall For Art

Creating a Screenplay That Sells to Hollywood

Many writers wonder if they have an idea worth developing into a screenplay, and other writers procrastinate long enough to convince themselves that their idea is too basic to transform into an interesting story for the big screen. If you think you have an idea worth pursuing, then you must know the market. Who buys scripts that are similar to your idea? If you’re thinking about pitching your script to Hollywood, a major production studio, or a film agent, then know this fact: you will be one of hundreds of budding screenwriters competing with thousands of scripts. Breaking into Hollywood is nearly impossible without the right connections.

No successful screenwriter can tell you the exact way to break into Hollywood. Every screenwriter who has sold his or her first screenplay used their own creative resources and network of connections to land their scripts into the hands of film directors. I have read stories about aspiring screenwriters walking on studio sets and persuading staff members to pass their scripts to the producers. Some aspiring screenwriters have delivered their scripts directly to the producers in pizza boxes. The best way, as you may already realize, is to know somebody in the game. In this article I will outline what Hollywood producers are most interested in, and suggest some options to sell your screenplay.

Scripts that sell the most are focused on three different things: 1) a core physical survival (Life or Death), 2) Sex, and 3) physical comfort or a pleasing environment. Viewers are interested in the basic elements of life; if your script consists of these three basic elements, then you have a more sellable script. Of course, if your script lacks these elements, if does not imply that viewers won’t be interested in your plot and characters–rather, it’s a tip to follow to know how to catch a bigger demographic. You can find tons of artsy films and character-based films that have become blockbusters.

To sell your script, the most important skill it to know how to pitch your idea in front of producers. This requires acute salesperson skills. Pitching your idea is nearly as important as writing an engaging, well-written screenplay. You must know how to captivate the producer within a matter of minutes. You must convince the producer that your script is brilliant, explain to him how the movie will look like, and how the audience will react. Most of all, you must be familiar with your script’s demographics and its appeal and estimate how much revenue your script will generate for the production company. Let’s face reality: the number of “disappointing” movies in America outweighs the number of blockbuster or fan-favorite movies. Don’t you ever wonder how those screenwriters sold their scripts? It’s a simple answer but a hard one to swallow: these screenwriters know how to sell, not necessarily how to write, and that is their secret. If you are not an exceptional salesperson then maybe it’s time to look for an agent to help you in selling your script. Everything on this planet is marketable; it just takes a creative angle to pitch the idea.

One way to break into Hollywood is to sell your script to independent movie makers rather than the mainstream market. Your chances will grow, and you will build your credibility and marketability as a scriptwriter as well. If you are a budding screenwriter, then it is necessary to make a portfolio, allowing you the chance to pitch your script to cable companies, or Indy filmmakers. If you want to go after the “Hollywood Holy Grail,” then I wish you luck and hope you find a crack to slip into the Hollywood scene.