What Do I Write About?

After a lengthy absence from screenwriting, I got back into the game and finished a script I had been working on for a good number of years. I received a lot of great feedback and decided to solicit some managers.

Long story short — I didn’t get signed. But I did get a number of reads (the majority of which from an industry referral) and speak to a few managers. I didn’t really gel with any of them but one. And that person passed on a lot of good advice that I’d like to give to you.

First off, everything about making a movie is hard. It’s hard to get money. It’s hard to get talent. It’s hard to produce. It’s hard to shoot. It’s hard to sell. It’s hard to distribute. Especially now. However, if you’d like to increase your chances of having your script realized as a movie, this could help increase your odds of coming into contact with the right people.

  • Write in a genre that sells. Horror is probably your best bet. Possibly thriller.
  • Make the concept unique. It’s this meets this; a unique twist on a tried-and-true formula.
  • Minimal locations. Generally speaking, the less a production has to pick up and move, the less expensive it is to produce.
  • Write for an ensemble cast, a cast that doesn’t necessarily need a big movie star, but could if the right situation presented itself.

There are tons of ways to break-in and no one path is the same. But developing your concept from a business point-of-view, trying your best to put yourself in the shoes of the people out there making the deals and selling material can only help your chances.

Good luck out there.

William Robert Rich
William Robert Rich

William Robert Rich is a story analyst, screenwriter, and co-author of Story Maps: The Films of Christopher Nolan. He's currently based in Austin, Texas.

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