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Old 01-14-2013, 07:00 AM   #1
gambit924
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I finished!! So what's next in the process?

So I finished my action film script and I was wondering, what is the next best course of action. I am going to register it with the WGAW, but what after that? Should I think about an agent? Should I pitch it to producers? Should I try and find my own financing and do it myself? What is the next best step in the process?
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:50 AM   #2
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Hey gambit,

That's the million dollar question.

If I knew the answer to that one I'd write a book about it and sell it for $1 a copy and retire.

Have you had it critiqued either here or anywhere else ? Revised it at least a couple of times ?

Finished is a difficult word for me, so where exactly are you up to ?

cheers, niteshift
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:15 PM   #3
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If you're like me, there are a few major re-writes between the time you first say "finished" and the time it's actually ready for market. So probably getting some crits and doing some re-writing is the next step.

After that, if you want to do it yourself, get some books on making your own movie and start putting together your budget, cast, crew, etc. Making a feature-length movie is a huge undertaking.

Otherwise, you could send it to contests or write 2 more screenplays and start querying agents. Many Hollywood agents won't even look at writers who don't have 2-3 completed screenplays. Pitching to producers is even harder, and also best done with 2 or more other screenplays ready to show.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:00 PM   #4
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I just designed a building - what's next? Should I try and sell the design, or build it myself?

Well - that depends. Is it a design for a garden shed, or a fifty story skyscrapper? Have you ever built ANYTHING before? Do you have the tools, money, real estate, permits and connections to build a skyscraper? Three room house? Hunting shack? Garden shed with no plumbing?

No way to answer that, without having an idea of what your blueprint looks like.

Having said that - do you want to be a contractor, construction manager OR an architect who designs buildings? Because, you know - any ONE of those careers can take up all your time to master. And SHOULD.

As other's have said - get some feedback. Is there a local screenwriting group who will give you a critique. List it on SYW. Ask for beta readers. REwriting is a constant process. It's ALWAYS a first draft - right up to the moment it is sold. No one wants to buy the 'fifty third' draft of any screenplay.

If it's in a place where people rave about it - sure - send a query to some agents. List it on "Inktip", put it in a couple of the reputable screenplay contests - see what people who don't KNOW you or CARE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS think.

Meanwhile - start working on another one.

Good luck!
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:08 AM   #5
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Well, it's been through the process of a rewrite, considering the fact that I write everything out long-hand and then type it out. It has played out exactly as I had planned it and is now a 90 page work of art after adjusting and adding new scenes to it. It has been revised, added to, spell checked and everything. So I plan to register it and I plan to have a reader check it over and see what they think. If I can't find an agent who will take it, I might just consider making it myself, but I want to work out all my options and see what I can make happen. Are there generally good honest readers here? Can I trust the readers?
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All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost. The little guy getting poked is worried he's going to get pushed into the troll's blade. But kitty will save him. Go go magic kitty!!!

Current WIP "Tears From the Skye" YA or NA science fantasy currently in the rough, rough stages.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:37 AM   #6
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"Can I trust the readers?" - I don't know, what is it that you are suspicious of, and how can you be certain it won't happen?

Look. It's going to get re-written. It's going to get revised. That's the process. Art is never completed - only abandoned. Glad you think it's perfect - all you have to do is find the perfect home for it.

How does that work? You keep submitting it until you find someone who likes it EXACTLY THE WAY IT IS. That means, if someone says "Well, it's almost there - can we change the main character to female? Because I think I have an actress that is perfect for the part ... and we keep the female romance, give it a GLBT twist..." You're happy to say "Keep the money, this is perfect the way it is."

If you think it's flawless - and won't need to be revised to meet a filmmaker's needs and requirements - then you should make it.

IN which case - you've got all the skills necessary to do that right?

"Work out all my options" - should include rewriting it to meet a potential buyer's needs.

http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/20...-revision.html

I'm not saying it's not ready to go out. It might be at a place where you can't think of it needing a change. Frequently, I finish a script and think to myself - "You know, I could make this ending more "Hollywood" or more "Art House" ... And I put those alternate endings in my pocket - for when someone asks.

There is a Share Your Work forum on this board you could post there. You could ask to 'exchange' scripts with someone - offer to read and critique theirs, in exchange for same.

I typically get at least six, preferably a dozen readers for my scripts or novels. Now then, if more than TWO people, say the same thing about an issue - I'll take a serious look at what that might be. "I don't understand how they got from here to here... I don't know why they just don't call the police... Her actions here, are completely unbelievable, we had no idea up to this point, that she was a weapons expert, and you never explain how she got that training..." Whatever. If two or three people have the same issue with the character, the dialog, the plot point - I definitely take a hard look at it. Sure, some people just won't like a character. "I didn't like the guy..." And someone else "LOVES" him... that's just personal preference. And when I get conflicting feedback - THAT'S useful too. Is it MEN who like/don't like it? Is it just the older readers? Maybe it's a target audience issue - important to know and understand come marketing time.

Register it with the WGA. If you think it's 'perfect' just the way it is - go ahead and file with the copyright office - cause the WGA registration is only good for five years anyway.

Get feedback - lots of it. LISTEN to it. Keep rewriting it. (Hell, sometimes history overtakes our plots, technology changes, politics change - scripts need to be revised to keep them current.)

Then start writing your next one.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:48 AM   #7
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Okay, thank you. I will try to round up some reliable readers, and then revise, if need be. And I will start on something else as well. I think it is a good vision, but it certainly doesn't have to be the ultimate vision. I plan to send out this version and see if I get any bites, if not, another option may be the best. I am perfectly willing to make revisions, I just don't want to lose the feel of the original story. It is my baby and I am willing to compromise, but I am not willing to dismiss the original vision all together.
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All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost. The little guy getting poked is worried he's going to get pushed into the troll's blade. But kitty will save him. Go go magic kitty!!!

Current WIP "Tears From the Skye" YA or NA science fantasy currently in the rough, rough stages.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:20 AM   #8
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Right. That's what being the architect is all about - know where the load bearing walls are located.

I've optioned scripts - made some MAJOR changes... and come to a point where I had to say "Look, if you want that changed - you're looking at a different story. I can write that story if you want, but that's not THIS story..." To push the architect metaphor again - understanding it's okay to change superficial things, understanding that if you move THIS wall to there - You'll have to shore up THIS wall here instead - that's being smart.

If you think it's ready, and get feedback to support that - then by all means - send it out into the world. The 'catch-22' of finding an agent doesn't have to stop you. You can use a listing service like InkTip. Or the new "Black List" service, or "Script Pipeline". Heck, you can upload it today to Amazon Studios - and they have a 'free' 45 day option on it - while they decide if they want it. IF they do, it's 10k for an 18mos option - read all the details. You don't 'need' an agent to upload it, you just have to agree with THEIR terms.

Best of luck!
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:24 AM   #9
gambit924
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Someone suggested to me that I might want to try and become a producer on the film so I can keep involved in the making. Is that a good idea?
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All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost. The little guy getting poked is worried he's going to get pushed into the troll's blade. But kitty will save him. Go go magic kitty!!!

Current WIP "Tears From the Skye" YA or NA science fantasy currently in the rough, rough stages.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:47 PM   #10
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Sure, that's something to keep in mind. But that sort of thing hinges on your LEVERAGE. As a new writer - you have next to none.

UNLESS - you have written the next great Billion Dollar All Original Guaranteed Blockbuster.

And it's absolutely apparent to everyone who reads it, on the very first read.

Look - it's possible to win the lottery, by buying one ticket. In fact, it's a lot less painful to try, than writing a screenplay.

Is your script a small script? Low budget? Quirky? Likely to get picked up for small change by a micro-production company? Something that's going to get made for less than two hundred thousand dollars? A small company that really really loves your script - MIGHT give you a 'producer' credit as incentive to sell... but no real 'producing' power. Ever watch "State and Main" - lovely film about filmmaking. Funny as hell. David Mamet - brilliant. One of the running jokes is how often they hand out "Associate Producer" credits in the film.

Do you KNOW what a 'Producer' does on a film? Do you know all the different KINDS of producers?

First things first. You'll have plenty of time to negotiate your best deal - IF and WHEN you have a buyer on the line.

To make rabbit stew... first, catch a rabbit.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:54 PM   #11
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Arrow Get it right before it goes out...

I can't tell you how many scripts I've critiqued from writers who were absolutely certain their script with in top form and ready to be sent to agents, producers, script comps, etc. They'd send it to me, saying, "Just clean it up a little; fix the formatting, correct the spelling problems." Then I start reading the script and it's dreadful from the first pages. Not only are there the aforementioned formatting and spelling problems, but also insipid dialogue, superfluous/overly long descriptive passages...and one of the biggest problems: a 37-page idea stuffed into a 120-page screenplay. Ugh.

As some have suggested here, get your work looked at by professional writers, or at least non-pro writers that can read your script with a critical eye and provide an intelligent evaluation. (I suggest you find 5 writers that can provide a critique. If one says a scene is fine and four say the scene needs work, it's a safe bet the scene needs work.)

So, in a nutshell: Your script isn't nearly as "ready to go" as you think it is. Critique, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, critique, rewrite. You get the point.

Good luck!
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