The Business of Screenwriting: If you write a great script…

…Hollywood will find you.

Sale. Option. Representation. Writing sample. Writing assignments. Any/all of the above.

This is not a pipe dream or fantasy. This statement does not involve unicorns, leprechauns, or magic pixie dust.

This is the damn truth.

If you write a great script, Hollywood will find you.

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How do I know this?

Because it happens dozens of times each year. [For instance in 2011, spec script sales are up nearly 80% over last year, many of those sales by first-timers.]

Because hundreds of scripts that do not sell result in writers landing a manager and/or agent and busting into Hollywood to write movie projects and begin screenwriting careers.

Because Hollywood is always seeking new writers, new voices, new blood.

But mostly because there is not an agent, manager, producer or studio exec with whom I have ever talked who has said anything different. [As an example, check out this interview with manager-producer Dan Halsted and scroll all the way down to the bottom.]

All of them are looking for great stories. All of them are hoping for a great script. All of them are searching for great talent.

This is not conjecture. This is a fact. And it is the basis of an invisible pact that exists between Hollywood and aspiring screenwriters: If you write it, they will come.

Sure, you will have to take that first step. Maybe you send 400 emails to people in the business. Perhaps you get your script to a second cousin who has a co-worker whose friend knows the father of a guy who is married to an assistant of an L.A. agent. Or you submit your script to the Nicholl or Austin screenplay competitions.

No matter the entry point, a great script will always find its way to Hollywood… because Hollywood is always looking to find great scripts.

Yeah but…

There are no but’s. There are no excuses. There is nothing more to say about anything other than this: Write a great script.

Everything else will take care of itself.

So why this bromide today? Because I want to remind you to get your mind off concerns that don’t mean squat and onto matters that mean everything: You should be entirely focused on the writing, your script, your story, your craft.

Focus. On. The. Writing.

If after having read this post you still have a hard time believing what I’m saying, consider this: I was a complete and utter outsider to Hollywood. I knew nothing about the film business. I had never taken a course in screenwriting.

And a spec script I co-wrote sold for three quarters of a million dollars and was made into a hit movie.

So if you ever doubt the veracity of that invisible pact between Hollywood and aspiring writers, all you need to do is think of me.

I am living proof it is true. It is a fact. It is the way of the movie business.

If you write a great script, Hollywood will find you.

For more Business of Screenwriting posts, go here.

[NOTE: I was interviewing a screenwriter yesterday and he made this precise point, so I thought it worth revisiting this post as a reminder: Focus on learning the craft which will put you in a position to write a great script.]

The Business of Screenwriting is a weekly series of GITS posts based upon my experiences as a complete Hollywood outsider who sold a spec script for a lot of money, parlayed that into a screenwriting career during which time I’ve made some good choices, some okay decisions, and some really stupid ones. Hopefully you’ll be the wiser for what you learn here.

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