Hey fellow scribes!
Its been ages since I have been back – I know I promised I would return months earlier, but things have been crazy heavy on my end so it’s almost a relief that I have finally had some time to share thoughts on the blog.
The last two months have been a whirlwind of activity on my end. I had some requests for two of my scripts from a few production companies and agencies (HURRAY! Who woulda thunk?), then found there were some revisions I still wanted to make before passing it on, so that’s kept me busy for a while and now it’s a waiting game to see whether any of them will bite (or not, I am trying to be wise and keeping myself occupied with other projects)
One of the things that I am slowly learning is what you think works well isn’t always what other people concur with, but on the same note, I have also found the complete opposite to be true – though in the end subjective as Hollywood is, ultimately everyone wants a great story or two (including myself) which is what I have been busy striving for. Along the way, I have also spent a lot of time simply reading more and more scripts, analyzing them, learning from them and also for the first time in my life, actually ‘pitched’ to some Hollywood studios and managers through every means I could possibly find.
A little bit about pitching on my side: I have always been a bit of a shy person (like seriously I was so shy in high school that even though I could sing decently, when we had a group project which we were introducing with a music number, I pretended I sucked and couldn’t hold a note to save my life, to avoid doing it in front of people). So my point is I had no idea how I was going to manage it – but it’s one of those things where if you really love something and want to do it regardless of everything else in your life, you just find ways to work your way through it – which in my case meant spending countless early and nightly hours rehearsing and recording and pitching to anyone who was willing to listen. In this case, close friends, my spouse, my parents, even my dog at one point since being a busy parent with two young kids who also have had learning difficulties, I really don’t have the luxury of much time during the day. Also I discovered that while there are several great tips on the internet out there about how to pitch, how much to pitch, what to say, what not to say, at the end the key takeaway that I got is ‘passion’ and knowing how to sell the hell out of your characters! Every exec I have had the good fortune so far to pitch to seemed to be gunning for these things: great concept, story, passion, character… and also ‘similar but different’. By ‘similar but different’, an antecedent or a different spin on a Hollywood movie that’s been done before – as they all seem to want a successful film they can compare yours to. It’s been an interesting adventure to navigate for me overall: learning what each specific exec is looking for, how to target the right people for my projects, what details to give, what details to avoid and finding myself, slowly, but surely getting a bit better each time. I have also had a majority of hits and misses, but have found myself learning a ton from both, particularly from the misses.
I will admit, there are times these last few whirlwind months that I have just wanted to put it all away and curl up into a ball and find something else (I sometimes miss being that kid who played with dinosaurs and wanted to be a paleontologist) but over all the ‘marketing’ and ‘do they want it? don’t they want it?’ hoopla, it’s remembering why I wrote them in the first place that’s kept me grounded and keeping the chin high up. I mean, sounds corny but just feeling strongly like there are some stories worth telling and characters who choose the writer to tell them, not the other less humbler way around, are just some of the factors that’s kept me personally awake every morning.
Also every job is hard and screenwriting is no exception. You write something for months, sometimes even years and years, with endless acquaintances and family members thinking you are lazy or crazy (whichever) and just chasing a frivolous pipe dream that most people often don’t get to achieve – my own journey has felt many a time, rather than simply a pursuit of passion, a high-pitched battle. A constant fight that constantly threatens to eclipse your own innate desire to do what you can’t help doing regardless of all the reasons NOT to do it. So in the end, above all things, the only thing that’s helped battle the highs and lows or shall we say, the ‘blues’ is this:
To screw everything else and KEEP writing ANYWAY!!!!!!!! JUST…. WRITE!
And maybe down the road, good things will happen, but for now… I am putting on my writing cap and getting back to work:).