View Full Version : So…what does a studio producer want from a new screenwriter?

11-07-2004, 01:20 PM
His/her ability to:

1. Tell a great story…even if it’s not marketable?

2. Tell a marketable story…even if it’s not great?

3. Tell a marketable story…even if it’s not good?

4. Tell a marketable genre story…regardless?

5. Tell a good story that shows a writer’s capability of writing future good stories?

6. Tell a good story that shows a writer’s great skills in handling the dreaded screenplay format?

7. Tell a good story that shows a writer’s unique style and personality…that might later translate into fame and dollars?

8. Other?


11-07-2004, 02:32 PM
a hard worker who understands that the writer/director/actors are the ones taking the "real" risks.... in other words... help them help u.

Camera Obscura
11-07-2004, 03:14 PM
An easily digestable concept which is fresh/unique and commerical with castable roles.

11-07-2004, 03:32 PM

a kickass script - after that very little matters - either you work out or you don't


11-07-2004, 11:30 PM
Tell a great story that is marketable. You need great writing plus a story that 600 million people worldwide can't wait to pay money to see.

- Bill

11-13-2004, 09:11 PM
Wrong question. The question should be what do YOU want from your producer.

11-13-2004, 10:12 PM

Can you elaborate?

I'm not being snide but I always read that it's more about what you (the screenwriter) have to offer.

11-15-2004, 09:54 AM
Do you have a clear cut vision of what you want to accomplish?

As far as what the root of the question at least seems to be, be someone everybody looks forward to working with on every level.

11-15-2004, 06:18 PM
Wrong question. The question should be what do YOU want from your producer.

Shouldn't the spec script speak for itself?

How can a mature screenwriter with a hot spec script not know what he/she wants from a producer? (Get produced, of course, with the best deal in town! Although, understandably, the hot script will be abused and raped by the team before it becomes a released movie.)

Do you mean doing some research about targeted producers? Knowing their backgrounds, their previous works, their career objectives, their moviemaking motives/habits/obsessions, their idiosyncrasies...their sex lives?

Or are you talking about striking a deal (rewrites, options, credit, payment, budget, attachments, etc.) with an interested producer?

I was specific, I meant a studio producer. More specifically, a big studio producer. Because dealing with an indie producer - although great in terms of "creative freedom" and "material rape protection" - one has to worry about all kinds of limitations, especially budget and distribution limitations.


11-16-2004, 02:09 AM
Do you want to just sell your script (and have it never made)?
Do you want to get an assignment?
Do you want to sell your script and have it made?
Do you want to get a job rerwiting someone else's script?
Do you want to pitch a project?

Your answer will send you to different producers and probably mean you're writing a different kind of script (to match the producer).

I have a friend who did assignment work for a couple of decades on projects that were never going to be made. He made great money doing it. When he began, he thought the films were actually going to get made (even though they were mega-longshots). When he figured out it was just busy work, he continued doing the assignments for the money (he had a family). He retired a couple of years ago. I thought it was weird that you could spend your whole life writing and never have anything get made.

I want to have *my* stories end up actually made and on screen.

- Bill (#18 starts shooting at the end of this month)

PS: But what producers want is still a great commercial script. Movies are a mass market medium - the stories need to appeal to hundreds of millions of people. That's the commercial side - people. People have to like your story enough to pay money to see it. Lots of people. And it has to be a good script, because there are hundreds of thousands of bad ones out there - and no one is buying them. Scripts have to do everything right.

11-16-2004, 07:21 AM
I want to have *my* stories end up actually made and on screen.

I concur. Nothing else appeals to me.

Congrats on your #18 movie, Bill! You certainly know what you're doing and where you're going!

And we're always learning from you!