Going for it again after a long hiatus

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  • Going for it again after a long hiatus

    Hey everyone,

    I had a bit of a success as a screenwriter back in the early 2010s, but walked away for various reasons before I could turn that into a full-fledged career. I've decided to give it another go and I assume a lot has changed since then. I'd love it if you could take a few seconds to answer some questions for me:

    • What does the market seem to love and hate in terms of specs these days? Are there still any good reports or online resources that cover spec sales?
    • How much does formatting matter in 2020 and what's the average length of a modern script?
    • What's the current screenwriting software of choice?
    • What, if any, are the worthwhile contests and sources of paid coverage/feedback?
    • How important is living in LA in this age of Zoom meetings?
    • What podcasts and news sources are worth following?
    • What books are worth reading?
    • Are the Blacklist, Hit List, and other lists still a thing?
    • What are the best online communities, resources, and places to download scripts?


    Thanks a ton -- appreciate it!

    Nate
    QUESTICLES -- It's about balls on a mission.

  • #2
    Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

    I just wanted to say welcome back. As someone who took 6 years off (personal stuff too) from actually writing anything, I am also now back in the game.

    I bet less has changed than you think.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

      Welcome back, Knaight.

      Well first and foremost you need to warm up by writing a short script for the Summer Vacation Writing Contest here in the writing exercise forum. I would image Bono just forgot to mention it because he's so busy working on his own short script for the contest.


      And not much has changed.


      Come to think of it if you do win the contest, to answer your question "What, if any, are the worthwhile contests and sources of paid coverage/feedback?", you'll receive a year's subscription to Done Deal Pro which you can use to answer some of your other questions.


      Hey! You might do it in your house, but in this house we don't lick our butts. -- Mother Teresa

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

        I think covid has changed the meeting culture permanently to a large degree. I'm sure it will come back at some level, but most people seem to understand that driving across town for a jerkoff session is a pretty big time suck. But I think overall it's good for out of towners, even though most people have long since come around to being fine with that on the feature side. Obviously it's still better to be in LA for networking but at the moment the playing field is a bit leveled.

        Podcasts - Scriptnotes still. Scripts & Scribes. And I find Todd Garner's podcast to be the best one going.

        Personally I'd keep specs under 110. People are going to groan if they see 122 when they open a pdf.

        Online? You're looking at it. This place is batsh1t insane and it's still better than any other discussion for Screenwriting. Reddit is Mos Eisley.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

          Welcome back Knaight.

          What everyone else has said.

          I think there are opportunities in the high concept contained thriller market due in part to COVID those might be the first to get in the can outside the studio projects already in the works.

          If you want to write for TV there're a lot of places to go that weren't available a could years ago and if you write a Netflix series, you can think about closing the series in two seasons, at most three. If you keep up with what happening there, shows don't seem to last longer than that and it's about getting NEW SUBSCRIBERS, which means a focus on new content.

          Netflix had teamed up with Imagine Impact and has, I think, three more prompts that will be available over the next 9-12 months. I think there's a thread about it.

          The Black List website is a resource the industry uses, but you should be prepared for possible inconsistencies in the paid evaluations.

          As for everything else? WTFK?

          Good luck.
          "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

            It seems to boil down to:

            - Win the Nicholl or Austin
            - Make your own stuff and get attention that way
            - Query and network like a mo-fo (timeless )
            - Be diverse

            No shortcuts, unfortunately

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

              Welcome back. I've also crawled out of hiatus. Halfway out would be accurate. Alas, I can't answer your questions but it's nice to see you again. Go for it.
              Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

                Originally posted by Knaight View Post
                Thanks a ton -- appreciate it!
                I hate people who use double dashes outside of screenplays.

                Hope that helps.
                Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
                "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

                  Watch every movie in your genre that's come out recently and done well. Include Netflix, Hulu, etc, because that's where a lot of genres are landing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

                    Hey all - thanks for taking the time to share some insights and it is awesome to see all these screen names I recognize. I apologize -- I forget who quite a few of you are in real life, even though I'm sure some of us are connected on social media or elsewhere. Feel free to shoot me a PM.

                    Originally posted by Crayon View Post
                    I hate people who use double dashes outside of screenplays.

                    Hope that helps.
                    Ha -- you are for sure going to despise me.
                    QUESTICLES -- It's about balls on a mission.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Going for it again after a long hiatus

                      Originally posted by Knaight View Post
                      Hey all - thanks for taking the time to share some insights and it is awesome to see all these screen names I recognize. I apologize -- I forget who quite a few of you are in real life, even though I'm sure some of us are connected on social media or elsewhere. Feel free to shoot me a PM.



                      Ha -- you are for sure going to despise me.
                      Grrr - now I'm looking like your avatar.
                      Know this: I'm a lazy amateur, so trust not a word what I write.
                      "The ugly can be beautiful. The pretty, never." ~ Oscar Wilde

                      Comment

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