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View Full Version : What are the chances?


SnoopyPilot
07-12-2004, 07:57 AM
I am a statistics man. I am also a novice writer. What are the chances of a new writer, with about 4 to 5 screenplays completed, and does this part-time, to actually have a shot at making low six figures (approx. $150-$250K) from one of them? Like how many screenwriters are actually out there doing this? 3 million? 10 million? And how many actually get bought? You know what I am trying to say? Like if there were 200,000 works written and submitted this year and only 200 are bought, then that's .1% of the group and if you submit 20 of those screenplays then maybe you have a 10% chance of getting lucky, you know what I am getting at? I love movies and watch them all the time, but it seems that the only ones I see made are the known screen writers that already have a few under their belt. The same for all the ones sold shown in Script Sales? So is it easier to win the lotto or break in with a work?

pantalone
07-12-2004, 08:35 AM
Like if there were 200,000 works written and submitted this year and only 200 are bought, then that's .1% of the group and if you submit 20 of those screenplays then maybe you have a 10% chance of getting lucky

There is no luck in screenwriting. At least not like you are talking about. When you submit 20 mediocre screenplays, you chances of a sale are not better than the guy who submits one great script. Meta-statisticaly speaking, you might have a better chance of an option if only because you might create an original story idea. Of course, the other guy, the one with the great script will be brought in to rewrite it.

kullervo
07-12-2004, 01:23 PM
I agree absolutely with pantalone. The odds are zero for most writers. For others, who have the combination of fantastic talent, dedication to craft, hard work, and ability to get their work in the hands of the right people, the odds are nudging 100%.

And just to make you feel better, it is estimated that there are one million spec scripts orbiting around Hollywood at any one time. That makes getting your script into the right hands feel like the major stumbling block. Unfortunately, too many writers focus on that aspect of the struggle to the exclusion of refining their craft. On the bright side, it might be the excuse many of those zero-percenters need to give up the struggle.

kullervo

zemiller
07-12-2004, 02:46 PM
one million spec scripts orbiting

Who's your source for this statistic, the Easter Bunny?

greyghost
07-12-2004, 04:46 PM
If there are one million spec scripts that need reading and I charge, say, one dollar to read each one, at the rate of one script completely read every 30 seconds, I could really make a bundle.

kullervo
07-12-2004, 06:39 PM
100,000+ new scripts written every year, and tragically they don't cease to exist after a year of unsuccessful queries. They keep coming back like the zombies they are. Hence the million scripts. No, not the easter bunny. Former head of 20th Century.

kullervo