I posted this a couple of years ago but I still see the same old complaint from writers about scripts being overlooked by ‘gatekeepers’ searching for the next new thing. Now, while I have some sympathy and experience of similar disappointments, I am not so easily derailed these days. What follows are a few pointers people might consider doing to facilitate making it happen for themselves.
(The parts written in orange text are practical things that I have done or I am currently in the process of doing to make things happen for me. I share them not as pomp but as an encouragement that if a die hard writer like myself can do it then so can you!!!!!!)
1. Profile – develop a social media presence (blog on twitter, post facebook, contribute on web forums…you get the idea )
If you don’t have a website, attend a WordPress or other site building course to get one up that will help you to promote your writing.
(Currently, I have 4 websites and blog on 3 of them once a week. Also on Facebook groups, Twitter and Google+)
2. Network – do this as much as you write. Get onto Linkedin and join other Facebook groups that give you access to directors, producers etc. Set yourself a goal of (remotely) attending one networking event per fortnight/month/term etc.
3. Have a plan – if we aim for nothing, we hit nothing. Set yourself targets to get a script ready, a number of people to network with in a month, socials to attend, actors to work with you to help film or record something
Set yourself a goal even if its just writing an audio project one month and finding an actor for it the next, producer to record, etc
4. Produce! – if you want to see your ideas on screen, stage, online or wherever, then take production into your own hands – set goals to get things made whether that’s an ebook, novel, short film, an animation filmed on iPhone, a blog, hosting a film event – the list is endless but do something in addition to writing because life’s too short to wait for the Golden Ticket to arrive.
During the year of lockdown I have – in addition to writing a number of scripts – also (with the help of actors and tech peeps) produced 2 audio sitcom episodes, one comedy monologue, one two-hander audio comedy (and) been placed in two film freeway competitions (albeit for short film scripts).
Presently, I have another 8 projects in differing states of production, one of which involve eight (2 minute) comedy episodes of filmed series.
5. Learn new skills within the industry. Invest in a camera and make some short films – download the free edition of DaVinci Resolve or another and learn how to edit your work. Check out BFI and Future Learn who both run free online course on screenwriting, films production and distribution. Go online and watch short training films on how to direct actors.
ps when making short films make sure you direct them yourself (as videos are never a showcase for writers, only directors!)
Currently, I am storyboarding my short scripts ready for filming when the restrictions of pandemic finish or lift enough to film. Moral of the story? Now is the time to be writing your short film and getting people on board ready for when you can make it outdoors. The Kings of Urban’ Image (top of post) is from the mood board that accompanied my pitch when I reached the finals of the Enter the Pitch Competition at Pinewood a few years ago now.)
Never stop learning and definitely do not ever think you know it all! Instead, keep engaging and honing your script until it is the most interesting, enthralling and compelling read that the person who picks it up has read in weeks.
All the best, Bob