paramount-studios-photo_1371894-770tall

  • Hollywood, home of the true 1%

Behind this gated community are the kidney-shaped pools and impeccable hedge rows, the $20,000,000 mansions and Bling-Ring excess. This is the country club of which you are most definitely not a member. You cannot apply to this club.  The gatekeepers know you are not of their cloth.  They can smell you, oh Unknown Screenwriter. You are The Unwashed. They can smell your wanting, your desperation to join them on the inside. They have set up impenetrable motes and ramparts to stop you. How will you scale these gates?

For your part, you have always played by the rules. You wrote query letters to find an agent, read online message boards, attended Pitchfest or Screenwriting Expo, paid hundreds to take advice from gurus, even bought their books though they didn’t seem to help much. You sent into screenwriting contests, put your scripts up on flashy websites that claimed they had the ear of industry professionals, on and on…

You did all these things with a belief in your work as a writer. You just wanted a chance to… what? To have an agent, take meetings, get sent out on assignment work, pitch, work your way into the Writer’s Guild, pump out a respectable movie or two, establish a reputation, make a little pin money and have a career!

You dreamt of making it inside this Hollywood gate, of being welcomed into the country club. You…tried. Every Old School method…

Folks, Old School is dead.

hollywood_walk_of_fame

I’ve talked ad nauseum here at Script Gods about Jane Doe, my beaten-down, red-haired stepchild of a first film that was made for $250,000 and grossed over $2 million. It was featured on Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood. My second script was optioned through William Morris and greenlit at a major production company; all roads were go for a traditional Hollywood path to success. I waited for the second movie to happen.

10 years later, I was still waiting.

When my second movie was finally made it happened thousands of miles from Hollywood and was born out of the D.I.Y. movement. It happened because of my conversion to the Church of Micro (budget). I dedicated this website to helping new and not-so-new screenwriters with the tools and life lessons needed to see their visions through, whether they live in Hollywood, Iowa, or even, God forbid, Idaho.

People who wanted to express themselves without having to spend $22,000 a year going to film school or having to move to L.A.

Which brings me to today’s central point of consternation…

The damn blog name is Script Gods Must Die. When I first started out, I promised you consultancy without hypocrisy. That meant:

  • I am not an agent, a manager, a former or currently L.A. connected big-shot “script analyst” or bullshitter.
  • I don not run a screenplay contest or want you to mail me $50 dollar contest entry checks.
  • I do not travel around the country doing hit-and-run weekend seminars, professing to fundamentally help people in four hours or a weekend.
  • I will not be passing your script on to—or making claims to pass your script on to—industry professionals.
  • I will not post your script on my blog where dozens upon dozens of new writers have found dizzying success connecting with industry pros for representation, optioning, and selling their scripts.

If you wanna piss me off, call me a guru. Tell you the truth, I’m still haunted by the famous Craig Mazin post on www.johnaugust.com about screenwriting gurus. If you never read it, here it ’tis:

Genesis_Selling_England_by_the_pound

  • Selling England By The Pound

Attempting to navigate pure hypocrisy, I would like you to take note, Good Reader, of the new buttons in the left side column that read: Script Gods Screenwriting Series.  This is something new to Script Gods and something I’ve worked FREAKIN’ hard on. The Screenwriting Series is an 8-class package of video instruction on everything from Format to Dialogue and Structure and the Biz of Screenwriting. This was distilled from the 4-hour February Chicago Filmmakers lecture I gave and a 4-hour direct-to-camera series of lectures. These additional lectures include: Surviving Outside Hollywood, Screenwriting Tips, and Life Lessons For The Unknown Screenwriter.

Money is tight, so I priced these lessons with affordability in mind. Individual lessons are $10 bucks, the package of eight, either webinars or videos, is $49. Go to the left hand column, look for an interesting topic, check out the trailer. If you like it and want to check it out, hit the button, sign up at Vimeo, it’ll lead you to the Paypal site, pay there and you’ll get the password for the video. Pretty simple.

These are the distillation of much of the writing here on Script Gods, direct lectures I give at both Columbia College and Chicago Filmmakers. 12 years of teaching, boiled down.

Remember, I promise nothing.

But… Whether you are fleeing away from Hollywood-land or towards it, I think you’ll be helped in some small measure by these videos. Least I hope so.

Check ’em out.

HollywoodSunset

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *