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Old 12-28-2007, 04:35 PM   #1
MPrince
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Question Writing/Producing as career - Family concerns over disability/steady work... Advice?

(I haven't been here for a few months. Sorry everyone, life happens, I guess.)

For 2008, I am going to push towards being a Writer/Producer, but I don't think people don't take me seriously. My parents keep reminding me that I'm lucky to be in my current office job, but I love movies so much, I go to the cinema 2-3 times a month, and bore my friends about it. I'm so serious that I have bought lots of screenwriting books and attempted several scripts.

I've booked a screenwriting weekend in January and I have to bring a new movie treatment with me.

But if things go well, how do I convince my parents that I can pursue a career in Film/TV? My disability is Scoliosis, which means I need medication and some days I can feel really tired. I had an operation last year to help me.

Are my parents right that I should stay in my office job?

Can I manage a career in Film/TV with a disability? Does anyone here have a simiar disability and how does it affect them?
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:21 PM   #2
maralyn
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Default Re: Writing/Producing as career

I was chronically shy as a teenager, and in hindsight I think that's why I started writing. And maybe it was therapy.

Writing/producing is a hard road that requires enourmous dedication and energy. And resillience. So maybe just start by writing. If it's good, others will like it.

Start small, write a short and see if you can get it produced.

I used to love taking my mother to openings.
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:39 PM   #3
suzeaa
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Default Re: Writing/Producing as career - Family concerns over disability/steady work... Advi

2-3 movies a month isn't all that much. I try and see that many each week.

Join Netflix (or rather it's U.K. equivalent) As a movie lover you will be able to see many more films at home, and cheaper.

You have a very long way to go before making a decision about a career in this business. Have you even finished writing anything yet? The seminar is a good start. Whatever your health issues, this business isn't easy -- but I would never try and talk someone out of it. It's certainly not something you can just 'switch to' from your current job, unless you have a very powerful relative in the business. lol

One thing you might consider also is being a film critic. You can try first with your local paper and work up from there. Instead of just boring your friends you can bore your entire town! (Just kidding)

Last edited by suzeaa : 12-28-2007 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 12-28-2007, 10:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Writing/Producing as career - Family concerns over disability/steady work... Advi

Writing and producing are two different skill sets (though occasionally you exercise the same muscles). Pick one and focus on that first, the other shall follow.

Writing is a road easier to define (though both paths are difficult). The more you write, the better you get. The final result is a product you can sell and showcase your talents. A writer can focus on a single project and reach a foreseeable finish line and potentially a pay check. Technically, the writer does not have to depend on others to write a script. You don't have to have a single meeting or really know anything about the inner workings of the industry to type FADE OUT (that's what agents are for).

Producing is more malleable. A producer's final product is a produced movie, his talents validated only by the credit. A producer's journey is long, and the job is all about connections, resources, timing, the ability to work with others, to lead and follow simultaneously, and to possess the savviness to maneuver through the social and political landscape of the industry with the intense singlemindedness that everything you do is all for the good of the project. A producer must know everything about the business. If they don't know everything, they always have to be at least 2 phone calls away from knowing anything they want. A producer is a fool if he/she focuses on only one project. Because of the lengthy process of seeing script to screen (5 - 7 years average), a good producer has 20 projects going at once. A producer must depend on many people saying "yes", many things to go right to reach his/her goal, and a producer does so through a series of endless meetings, casting sesssions, location scoutings, etc. You cannot produce in a vacuum.

I noticed you are located in London. I don't know what the industry is like there, so perhaps other DDer's from your part of the world can offer more insight to the nature of your movie biz as applicable to your situation.

Last edited by The White Album : 12-28-2007 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:32 PM   #5
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Default Re:

mprince,

i personally would never let the disability get in the way of what you want to do.

However...and this is a big however...so many people WANT to do this but just don't have what it takes.

that's the big question. how good are you? Or, how good can you be if dedicated?

If the answer is that you have raw talent that just needs to be refined, then what the heck...go for it.

If you ask 5 people who know better to read a couple of your scripts and they respond that the work just isn't that good, well then... maybe the office job is the way to go.



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Old 12-29-2007, 09:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: Writing/Producing as career - Family concerns over disability/steady work... Advi

Santino is correct. You have to find out if you are any good. You can do that from your office job. Write something. Enter some contests. Find out where you stand against the competitions.

You have two sets of competitors. First there are all the people just like you who are on the outside trying to get in. You have to better than any of them to break through. Then, if you are good enough and lucky enough to break in, you have to compete against the pros. That's another ball game all together.

Find out how you stack up, then decide.
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:36 AM   #7
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Default scoliosis

mprince. I have scoliosis, found out I had it back in highschool and I am now 25 years old. I don't have to take medication for it or anything but I did have to wear a stupid backbrace for a couple years until my bones stopped maturing. So, in a sense, i'm in the same boat.

I still am able to write/direct. My scoliosis hasn't done anything in that regards. I only have one outlook, to write/direct. My creativity is insane, and my writing is a skill that I am able to improve. So there is no room for me to just settle in an office job. Keep fighting man!
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Old 12-31-2007, 08:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Writing/Producing as career - Family concerns over disability/steady work... Advi

The White Album gave some very good advice. I would start with a small project if I were you. Write a short with two locations and produce it yourself. You'll quickly discover if you've got the magic touch.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:18 AM   #9
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Writing/Producing as career

[quote=MPrince;412285](I haven't been here for a few months. Sorry everyone, life happens, I guess.)

[b][size=2]For 2008, I am going to push towards being a Writer/Producer, but I don't think people don't take me seriously. <<

I have a couple of things to say on this. First, it doesn't matter what other people think. If you take yourself seriously, they will take you seriously. If you're concerned about others' perceptions of you, you will come across and act in a wishy washy way.

Second, unless it affects your ability to communicate and move around, your disability shouldn't stop you. I know a guy with a major spine injury who runs an actor's prodco and is making movies around the world. It's noticeably difficult for him to walk, but he doesn't let it stop him.

Third, sorry to be harsh here, but you don't sound serious. You "see movies", you talk about movies a lot, you've bought books and you've "attempted" scripts.

Does this sound serious to you? Come on, man, if you're old enough to work then you're old enough to try and get a job doing what you want. The efforts you've made so far sound minimal.

Listen: if you don't do it now, you probably never will.

So here's my advice. Don't try and write and produce. That's like trying to climb two peaks at the same time. Get a job with a prodution company. That is hands down the best way to learn about producing and to learn about screenwriting. Work your ass off at a Prodco and write on the side for a couple of years. You're young, what else do you need to do? Write two to three scripts for the next three years, climb the ladder, get some development and production experience and voila, people will see what you're doing and take you very seriously.

What else are you going to do? Listen to your parents and stay in some sh*tty job ffor the rest of your life? Do it now.
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Old 01-01-2008, 05:56 AM   #10
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Default Re: Writing/Producing as career -

Writing-Producing is a good idea BUT you need product to produce first so I agree with others here - focus on the craft first and on producing strong material which is validated by other peers, industry people etc

If the feedback comes back that you've got the chops then you can start thinking about how you go about producing your material e.g how you will attract finance, bring on other more experienced and credited producers as partners, attract a director, cast etc.

Producing is about emailing and phoning and in this internet age you can do a lot just from your office so that shouldn't be an issue. What you may find strenuous is travelling to meetings, flying to film festivals etc but I guess you will just have to try it out.

And PLEASE, don't give up the day job. YES your parents are right. Producing requires money - money for travelling, legal fees, film festival fees, phone calls, presentation material etc.

Anyway that's future stuff - for now you have to write, write and re-write.
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