VIDEO BLOG: Phillip interview with Suzanne Gundersen
Writing a spec screenplay
I read online posts in screenwriting forums from newer writers stating they've written a script or two and then ask "what's next?"
My suggestions are:
1) Don't overpolish your first or second script. Move on and keep writing until you have ten or more screenplays.
2) If you're serious about screenwriting and making films, make it your obsession. Write and rewrite often, and don't flog the same script for ten years.
3) Be open to writing in different genres and challenge yourself to succeed in crafting a cohesive story.
4) Do extensive research on how you can get your work in front of people that make films. Start with producers and directors making low-budget movies.
5) Don't wait around to be discovered by an agent. There are hundreds of thousands of screenwriters doing the same thing.
6) Learn script structure and formatting and write from the heart, not what you think the industry wants.
7) In this business, opinions are free-flowing and often a load of manure. March to your drummer and endeavor to be original.
8) Understand that soliciting work is a numbers game; you should spend time researching sources to pitch material when you're not writing.
9) I recommend going to film festivals and using social networking, using IMDb, and any other source to connect with other writers and filmmakers. The worst that will happen is you may make some new friends.
10) Don't pay anyone to pitch your material to their "contacts."
11) Help your fellow screenwriters.
12) Innovators stand out from the crowd. Be one of them.
13) Don't look at rejections as failures. Use them as fuel for your creative fire.
14) What's next is nothing if you don't work to make things happen.