What do these films have in common? A question for screenwriters trying to make it.


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It has been some time since I have seriously added to my screenwriting blog. I’m afraid that I am as much a victim to ennui, depression, hopelessness and despair as anyone else out there. And I very easily burn out. But I think it’s time I venture out again.

Christmas is over and New Years is on the horizon. So it’s time to start thinking about screenwriting goals. I will be the first to admit I’m much better at giving advice than taking it. But still, I think I will share some ideas in the coming months.

Over and over again, one of the major questions asked in screenwriting pages on facebook and other social media is how do I, as a screenwriter, make it; sell a screenplay; get enough money to buy a million dollar mansion in Beverly Hills. And the answers are usually given by people who haven’t made it, who can’t give away their script and who live in a one bedroom apartment with three other people. And this includes moi as well. I haven’t made it either and so my opinion on what the big steps are to build a stairway to paradise is probably as good as anyone else’s on these pages.

But to my defense, if defense there is, I do observe. I try and keep up on the recent movies and the new crop of filmmakers and try to get some idea as to how they got to where they did. Some made it quickly, some didn’t. For some (if not most) it was years of struggle and disappointment. But they did make it. Or at least have reached the top of the lower rungs of the ladder.

So to answer the question as to how people make it in the industry, I will start with a question. What do the following films have in common: Mother and Son, Hansel and Gretel, Virgin, The Adventures of Slater’s Friends, The Strange Thing About the Johnsons, Small Deaths, Pisces, Hanna Takes the Stairs, American Paradise, Ali & Gripp Feat. Chocolate Tai: Go ‘Head, Save Me, Kissing a Fool, So I Was Wondering, Longbranch: A Suburban Parable, The Shack, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, Come As You Are and Atlantic Avenue.