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Old 01-05-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
BattleDolphinZero
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Default How to Make it in Hollywood

my guess is the best way to do it is the same as it has always been: no queries, no loglines, no contests...

write a kick ass script and let it work for you.

Not saying that people shouldn't try all avenues, sh!t, you gotta do what you can, but the most common formula is that simple.

Haven't there been several writers who started off here and hit it big? I know the guy who wrote Armored used to be here, right? What are their stories? (I'm asking in earnest.)

It takes most people a lonnnnnnng time to get good enough to make a break for themselves.

Understand that a lot of people who post pages here just aren't ready yet. Doesn't mean they won't be superstars in a few years but the stink of noob chops can often alienate a reader on the first few pages.

Commitment? On these boards, at these conferences, I hear people who lack it. Doesn't matter how good they are, you can hear the failure in their statements. If you're asking Hollywood to do ANYTHING for you, if you think anyone is gonna make ANY accommodations, you're done. I know a lot of pros disagree with what I'm about to say but...

...move your ass to Los Angeles and get in the film business. Be a PA, an assistant, whatever. You can't do it? You got kids? Most likely, you're done. When you live out here you meet people who are coming up. They're gonna be the next "somebody." It sounds cliche' but it's 100% true. Also, when you move out here you're surrounded yourself with people who had the commitment to move out here. Your writers' groups will be made up of serious minded people. Your friends will be the friends who actually have opinions based on the pulse of what's going on in this business.

Books don't really help most writers. "Rules"? That sh!t is BULLSHIT. Beyond the most basic formatting, no one cares. No one cares about anything. I did so much wrong on my first few projects, your mind would be blown. Readers need Sluglines, Action/description, Characters, and Dialogue to be in the right format, that's it.

The "rules" nazis infuriate me. It is SO wrong it's hard to put into words.

Don't worry about "subtext" and "theme" until you know how to write. The first, most important thing I've ever heard any writer tell another writer is this...

"Just be interesting." - (paraphrased Ted Elliott)

When you're starting out, that's all you need to know. Just work on that instinct. Know when your sh!it is meandering, know when it's flat...nurture the instinct that spots those moments and demands you fix them. This is, imo, the only thing beginning writers need to work on. Not even structure matters when you're learning. If you have the knack to "be interesting", you'll inherently gravitate towards some kind of structure.

I'm not in a position to offer advice so I won't be doing that. This is just a stated opinion based on reading this board and being exposed to up-and-coming writers.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to Make it in Hollywood

Sweet!!!!! The next 300 post thread that I can read instead of having to write today!

I agree with 80 percent of what BDZ has to say.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to Make it in Hollywood

Quote:
Originally Posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
my guess is the best way to do it is the same as it has always been: no queries, no loglines, no contests...

write a kick ass script and let it work for you.

Not saying that people shouldn't try all avenues, sh!t, you gotta do what you can, but the most common formula is that simple.

Haven't there been several writers who started off here and hit it big? I know the guy who wrote Armored used to be here, right? What are their stories? (I'm asking in earnest.)

It takes most people a lonnnnnnng time to get good enough to make a break for themselves.

Understand that a lot of people who post pages here just aren't ready yet. Doesn't mean they won't be superstars in a few years but the stink of noob chops can often alienate a reader on the first few pages.

Commitment? On these boards, at these conferences, I hear people who lack it. Doesn't matter how good they are, you can hear the failure in their statements. If you're asking Hollywood to do ANYTHING for you, if you think anyone is gonna make ANY accommodations, you're done. I know a lot of pros disagree with what I'm about to say but...

...move your ass to Los Angeles and get in the film business. Be a PA, an assistant, whatever. You can't do it? You got kids? Most likely, you're done. When you live out here you meet people who are coming up. They're gonna be the next "somebody." It sounds cliche' but it's 100% true. Also, when you move out here you're surrounded yourself with people who had the commitment to move out here. Your writers' groups will be made up of serious minded people. Your friends will be the friends who actually have opinions based on the pulse of what's going on in this business.

Books don't really help most writers. "Rules"? That sh!t is BULLSHIT. Beyond the most basic formatting, no one cares. No one cares about anything. I did so much wrong on my first few projects, your mind would be blown. Readers need Sluglines, Action/description, Characters, and Dialogue to be in the right format, that's it.

The "rules" nazis infuriate me. It is SO wrong it's hard to put into words.

Don't worry about "subtext" and "theme" until you know how to write. The first, most important thing I've ever heard any writer tell another writer is this...

"Just be interesting." - (paraphrased Ted Elliott)

When you're starting out, that's all you need to know. Just work on that instinct. Know when your sh!it is meandering, know when it's flat...nurture the instinct that spots those moments and demands you fix them. This is, imo, the only thing beginning writers need to work on. Not even structure matters when you're learning. If you have the knack to "be interesting", you'll inherently gravitate towards some kind of structure.

I'm not in a position to offer advice so I won't be doing that. This is just a stated opinion based on reading this board and being exposed to up-and-coming writers.
Love it. Good shit, dude.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:55 AM   #4
emily blake
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Default Re: How to Make it in Hollywood

Amen.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to Make it in Hollywood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamboogul View Post

I agree with 80 percent of what BDZ has to say.
Yeah, for any given person some, none, or most of that post will apply.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to Make it in Hollywood

Don't really believe in the "move your booty to LA" thing, but the rest is Pure Gold.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to Make it in Hollywood

Quote:
Originally Posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post
Yeah, for any given person some, none, or most of that post will apply.
I agree with the root sentiment of your post which is that you should just focus on the craft and telling the most compelling (you used "interesting") story.

Amongst my friends who broke in, so many did it because of contest placement and/or education. I guess you could argue that they had their kick-ass scripts do the work for them.

But it's a Catch-22 statement you posed in:

"my guess is the best way to do it is the same as it has always been: no queries, no loglines, no contests...

write a kick ass script and let it work for you."

And the only solution you are presenting in lieu of no queries, no loglines, no contests seems to be: MOVE TO LA.

I get the logic of that statement, especially when it comes to commitment and being surrounded by the industry and all that. But about half the people I know who broke in and have a decent career at this DIDN'T have to make that move until they were garnering so much interest/work that they had no choice.

And I say this as someone who did move to LA, who won contest awards, who went to top schools (undergrad and MFA film), yada yada. I think a great deal of what you are saying is true. But I think it also comes from your way (which is probably true for 80 percent of working writers) as opposed to an infallible way (which there isn't one).
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to Make it in Hollywood

Quote:
Originally Posted by BattleDolphinZero View Post

...move your ass to Los Angeles and get in the film business. Be a PA, an assistant, whatever. You can't do it? You got kids? Most likely, you're done.
Really, genius? There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule and your post will not discourage those that are destined to be the exceptions.

All that said, I basically agree with what you have to say.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to Make it in Hollywood

For whatever reason, my knee-jerk reaction was to react violently to this post. Upon further reflection, however, I don't think I disagree with anything BDZ had to say. I do want to add one thing: Read lots of produced scripts.

Last edited by Done Deal Pro : 01-05-2011 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Removed the giant quote.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to Make it in Hollywood

Well, 100% of the working writers/directors I know, who worked on Big Budgets/tentpole, never moved to LA. So I guess I'll do the same.

You know, many foreigners -mainly artists- think that LA is filled with superficial/uninteresting people.
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