If you’re an unproduced (or a seldom produced, currently between assignments) scriptwriter – are you doing everything you can to get work?
I know a lot of you have no credits (yet) and are writing spec scripts of (possibly) outstanding quality; but are struggling to find a producer willing to option/produce said scripts.
My question is: is that your only approach?
Is that all you’re doing? Writing your material in the hope of selling it to someone?
Or are you trying to get paid work elsewhere? Basically, how many baskets are those eggs in? If your CV has nothing on it (training doesn’t count. No amount courses from a weekend seminar to a four year degree count as much as one produced film credit) then on paper you have no experience.
Yes, your spec script should be stand apart from your CV. If it’s good, it’s good – end of story.
But … how many people are willing to read your script? How many people secretly IMDb you before deciding whether or not it’s worth agreeing to waste valuable time reading something you’re trying to flog to them?
Even a CV full of bad films shows you’ve got experience collaborating with others and there must have been some interesting spark to your work to attract that cast and the money before it ended up being ruined during production. So what are you doing, in tandem to writing spec scripts for the over-crowded spec market, to get stuff on your CV to show you’ve got experience of working with producers, directors, actors, budgets, deadlines, genre constraints and all the other obstacles you have to negotiate in order to turn a script into a film?
Have you, for example, applied for every job on Mandy.com?
Take a look at today’s listings: http://mandy.com/1/jobs2.cfm?terr=wld&skill=scr&paid=no (if you’re looking at this tomorrow or next month, you’re probably looking at different jobs to the ones we’re looking at today). There are six paid jobs at the top of that list.
Possibly six idiots who can’t afford to pay anyone; but you don’t know unless you apply. Even the unpaid work is worth applying for sometimes. You don’t know who these people are or where they may be in a year’s time. It’s got to be worth sending them an email and a sample script, right?
I mean, come on, if no one is nibbling at your spec scripts then what have you got to lose? At the very least, you’ll have learnt how to spot a no hoper from their adverts, which is invaluable in itself.
Working for someone is great motivation and training for your burgeoning career. If you’re not getting anywhere and you’re seeing more closed doors than open ones, ask yourself this question: am I knocking on all the doors?
Don’t limit yourself in the beginning. If one approach isn’t yielding fruit, diversify. Try everything, you have nothing to lose.