Cameron, Chris created a path for himself by taking up directing. As he notes in his tweetstorm, that is not for everyone. So the more generally applicable takeaway is this quote: “It’s infinitely harder to sell a screenplays than it is to sell one’s proven abilities.”
Identify what your “abilities” are and grow them. Refine them. Develop them. That’s why I included a link to my post “Learn the craft.” It’s more than just writing a script, it’s about developing your voice. Instilling good work habits. Being productive. Learning how to pitch. Knowing how to work with people.
I believe what Chris is saying is think beyond selling a script and focus on what it is you can do to engender a career. What assets and “abilities” can you bring to the table beyond a mere spec script?
Yes, if you have the instincts and potential to be a director, go for it. But I would encourage people who read Chris’s thread not to come away feeling like, “Well, I have no interest in directing, so fuck it, I’m out of here.”
I don’t think that his point. Rather it’s about thinking beyond the lottery of writing a spec and hoping it sells. No, think of yourself as a creative. What assets can you bring to potential producers… studio execs… talent? How would an agent or manager look at your personal ‘portfolio’ (not just written words, but the whole thing) and go, “Yeah, I want to sign this person.” What about you suggests “career” to a rep… and not just “sale”.
That’s my take on Chris’s thread. It’s why I resonated with it so much because it’s what I’ve been ‘preaching’ on my blog and with my students for decades.