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Old 02-25-2011, 08:04 AM   #1
catcon
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Default Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

re: Writing for Hollywood without living there

I've been thinking about starting a thread on this for a while, as I am a member of this distinct group that strives for success in the Hollywood game while stuck living several timezones away. The RSS feed finally inspired me to initiate one.

What tactics, issues, problems (and solutions) are applicable to this group of aspiring screenwriters. There are probably some innovative techniques (email strategies, website marketing, etc.) that everyone can benefit from, but which may be best suited to non-residents, and may be our only method of playing the game.

And there are two groups of us: Non-L.A. American residents (eg. NY or Texas) would have problems that are different, probably less extreme, from those outside the country, although some of the solutions may be adaptable for everyone's use. Even L.A. residents may find inspiration

Let's assume that everyone everywhere understands that writing in English is the only way to go. But that still leaves a lot of potential areas for "outsiders wanting in" to discuss and inform.

Of course, this isn't just for the non-pros. "Pros" who are "off-site" are the most encouraged to contribute. But "pros" in HW are of course encouraged to write in, too -- but please don't hijack the thread or say irrelevancies such as "just move to HW and get over it".

Some of us can't move. Some don't want to (as in the RSS Feed). Others (myself) can't do it until we've made some $$$.

I'll start it off by quoting from John August and the feed:

Quote:
JA said: ...I know a hundred screenwriters, and can only think of two who managed to start a feature writing career while living outside Los Angeles or New York. Bradley might be number three. It seems early to be making sweeping pronouncements.
This is obviously a fact, not opinion. As a screenwriting community we don't wish any member anything but success, but there's nothing wrong with pointing out the difficulties of the outsider's situation, as JA did.

So, it's a reality. How do we outsiders succeed in spite of it?

Last edited by Done Deal Pro : 02-25-2011 at 08:49 AM. Reason: Fixed/updated the link
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

I think it's like trying to shoot a round of par at Pebble Beach with only a 7 iron.

Living in NYC would be like having a full bag except the putter.

If you enjoy playing golf, it doesn't really matter. But if you want to shoot a competitive round, you probably will need all 14 clubs.

Plus having a caddie to guide your shots can't hurt.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamboogul View Post
I think it's like trying to shoot a round of par at Pebble Beach with only a 7 iron.

Living in NYC would be like having a full bag except the putter.

If you enjoy playing golf, it doesn't really matter. But if you want to shoot a competitive round, you probably will need all 14 clubs.

Plus having a caddie to guide your shots can't hurt.
Why is it always sports analogies? I'd like this better with a cake baking motif.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

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Originally Posted by sc111 View Post
Why is it always sports analogies? I'd like this better with a cake baking motif.
I'm trying to cut back on sweets.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

I sure like all these great tips so far! Keep 'em coming!

Personally, I intend to be the third one on top of the two in John August's post, but I guess that's another story!
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

The third rail.

I maintain what I said earlier, you are taking a huge hit if you don't move to LA and work in the industry...unless you've got a bunch of industry contacts already.

There are writers who I'm sure did not make it because they didn't make the move.

As stated before 95% of the writers I know are from LA or moved here to start their career. The number is probably higher.

Say what you want but that is a supreme stat.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:47 AM   #7
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Default Re: Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

My non-pro advice:

Write scripts that no one can deny are great. Write scripts that haunt their dreams - in a good way. Write scripts that make then feel, "I have to meet this freaking writer."

Then pretend you have agoraphobia and Skype 'em.

Seriously -- eventually HW needs to get into the 21st century with all these meets and greets after battling ridiculous traffic. I want to TELECOMMUTE! Damn it!
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

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Originally Posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
...As stated before 95% of the writers I know are from LA or moved here to start their career. The number is probably higher.

Say what you want but that is a supreme stat.
I think we admit that. So, I guess I'll wait and come back after the time zones come around where the writers who have "the problem", and have figured out some solutions, will do some entries here. Thanks anyway.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

The few that leap to mind are guys who won or were finalists in the Nicholl, and used that heat to set up their scripts and/or get assignments.
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: Success in Screenwriting without living in HW

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Originally Posted by sc111 View Post
My non-pro advice...
I think you're a pro, or at least beyond the fan-fiction stage, when you've written >5 scripts and are seriously making an effort.

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Originally Posted by sc111 View Post
...Seriously -- eventually HW needs to get into the 21st century with all these meets and greets after battling ridiculous traffic. I want to TELECOMMUTE! Damn it!
Absolutely. The RSS Feed was great up until the point the writer started going on about his meetings, as if his 2 week trip to L.A. could ever really substitute for being a resident.

As with JAugust, I admire the guy's gumption and organization, and wish him well, but those meetin's just aren't feasible for the group I started this thread for.

As you say, if the script (starting with the logline of the query) is good enough, the producer/agent/manager will Skype or something to help you, help him/her, make money!
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