Go Into The Story Resource: Annual Spec Script Market Reports

Detailed information and statistics on every verified spec script deal from 2008–2017, and analysis of the spec script market and business trends.

On May 16, 2018, Go Into The Story will turn 10 years old — you can read the very first blog post here. I led with this paragraph:

Welcome to Go Into The Story! Right now, it’s nothing but a humble, threadbare blog, but I hope it will evolve into an active resource for aspiring screenwriters, as well as a community for anyone interested in storytelling and the creative life.

And evolve it did! To the point where it was recently named “Best of the Best” Scriptwriting Website in the 20th Annual Writer’s Digest Best Websites for Writers list.

To celebrate 10 years of blogging about screenwriting, writing, Hollywood, movies, TV, and the creative life, each day in May, I’m going to feature a piece of Go Into The Story trivia, plus a writing resource you can find in the site’s archives. This is not an exercise in self-congratulations so much as I figured readers could use some tips about how to best use the site. With — to date — 24,028 articles and over 100 archive topics, there is a LOT of content here. Hopefully, these posts for the next 31 days will clue in more recent followers and remind long-time readers about resources you can use to facilitate deepening your understanding of the writing craft.

Today’s trivia: May 16, 2018 will mark the 3,653rd consecutive day I will have posted articles at Go Into The Story. That means I will not have missed a single day on this blog for 521 weeks and 6 days.

Of course, we’re not there yet. As my mother, a native Texan used to say, “Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.” Even with 15 days to go, that means today is the 3,638th consecutive day of GITS posts.

Crazy, right?

People sometimes ask me what’s with the consecutive day streak, why don’t I take a break for a day or two. There are several reasons, but the most important one to me is this: I want this site to inspire writers to write every day. Writing every day is perhaps the single best way to transform creativity into productivity. It’s the same principle as Jerry Seinfeld’s “chain”: Once you start writing every day, you create a chain, and then the simple rule becomes, “Don’t break the chain.”

If you get nothing else from whatever you take away from Go Into The Story, I hope you commit to writing every day. And THAT’S the bottom line for my consecutive days blogging streak.

Today’s Go Into The Story resource: Annual Spec Script Market Reports (2008–2017).

As some of you may know, I broke into the business by selling the spec script K-9 to Universal Studios in January, 1987. Pretty much since then, I’ve paid attention to what specs were selling because that’s a key way to track the mentality of the buyers. Other benefits:

  • Knowing what’s selling makes you a more informed writer which can benefit you in meetings with producers, executives, and talent.
  • As areas of interest on the part of the buyers ebb and flow, this can give you important information to help you decide which project to spec or pitch.
  • Better to learn about a project similar to yours when you have yet to start writing it than after you put it out there in the marketplace as you could be wasting your time if the projects are too similar.

Plus, it’s just interesting to see what stories are selling

Since I launched Go Into The Story, I have tracked 784 spec script deals (to date). At year-end, I aggregate all of that information and generally by February, I do a week-long series burrowing into that year’s deals to provide analysis of the spec script market. I break down those articles into these categories:

Spec Script Deal List: Each of that year’s spec deals

Spec Script Deals Analysis: Genres

Spec Script Deals Analysis: Buyers

Spec Script Deals Analysis: Agent and Managers

Spec Script Deals Analysis: Top Sales

Spec Script Deals Analysis: First-Timers

Here are links to each of those series between 2008 and 2017:

2008 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2009 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2010 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2011 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2012 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2013 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2014 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2015 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2016 Spec Script Deals Analysis
2017 Spec Script Deals Analysis

As an adjunct to these series, there is this: The Definitive Spec Script Deals List (1991–2017).

Several online outfits have flared up over the years tracking the spec market, most of them fading away. Between Go Into The Story and the excellent site Done Deal Pro, any writer anywhere in the world has access to pretty much everything you need to know about the Hollywood spec script market.

Resource Tip: Browse the loglines of spec scripts which got set up and see if they inspire a story concept of your own. You can even gender bend and/or genre bend a preexisting story into a something which slots comfortably into the way Hollywood operates: Similar But Different.

Finally, each day this month, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for supporting Go Into The Story. I’d love to hear from you in RESPONSES. When did you start following the blog? What are your favorite features? And as always, if you have any suggestions, feel free to suggest away.