How to get your screenplay to go places
I included the following in a recent script report. I think it's a good way to look at screenwriting and screenplays generally: as business plans. Why? Because film, alas, is a business. Film investors want their money back with a percentage. They rarely get it. Why? Because so many screenplays are self indulgent and many screenwriters fail to consider the film budget to possible retrun on investment side of what they are writing. How? By writing what they want to write rather than what audiences want.
'It’s very useful to think of a spec screenplay as a new car. Why do you want to build that car? How will you design it? - in accord with market realities, obviously; so it must work at least as well as its competition. There must be strong demand for it that is demonstrated by people buying other, similar cars. What does your car offer that is the same enough and different enough for people to want to buy it so that financiers will invest huge sums of money developing your idea from scratch and turning it into something that gets driven?
Thinking of a screenplay in this way gives screenwriters who do so a head start over other screenwriters and film makers who design and try to build the ‘car’ of their dreams, which may have no relevance to the market at all – only to them – and thus be unsaleable.'
I may include this in all script reports from now on because it's universally applicable to film scripts.
To get real about your film or VOD screenplay, hire me to cover your film script. A dose of reality early on in the development of a screenplay serves to refine the script immeasurably, and help to package it.