Recently I came across a post called Selling Screenplays From Outside L.A.? by Hal Croasmun where at an event he says he asked the question, “Is it possible to create a screenwriting career from outside L.A.?” to 16 L.A. producers and two agents. Croasmun writes;
Up until recently, the typical answer to the “selling from outside L.A.” question was “The odds are against you.” But this year, there was a change.
QUESTION: Can writers sell scripts from outside L.A.?
15 producers said YES.
1 producer and both agents said NO.
QUESTION: Have you optioned or bought a script from outside L.A.?
8 producers said YES.
3 producers had already made movies with writers from outside the U.S.
It’s not a perfect score, but it means that it is possible for a writer to succeed from anywhere in the World.
Honestly, when I started the blog Screenwriting from Iowa…or wherever you live outside L.A. just over two-year ago the title was a little tongue in cheek mixed with a little bravado. I picked the place that gets picked upon as representing the middle of nowhere. Iowa is the poster child for obscurity, yet a deeper look reveals that it has produced some amazing creative talent. And Iowa is just a springboard to show the writers who have come from all over the world and found success to one degree or another.
But it’s also given me a front row seat to watch the film industry slowly evolve into being more open to embracing writers from outside Los Angeles. Mix that with low-cost, high quality digital cameras and the proliferation of non-linear editing systems with self-distributed micro-films and film incentives popping up all over the world and this is one exciting time for screenwriters.
Croasmun on his Screenwriting U website has an excellent post called 15 Ways to Sell Screenplays Online which includes in a Twitter link to 87 Producers you can follow. I’m not going to say that this all started with Diablo Cody and her blog, but I think it’s safe to say to her Oscar success was a sign of a signficant change in an industry that doesn’t change quickly.
The secret Hollywood handshake has always been a great script. And now thanks to the Internet it is easier than ever to connect to agents and producers. Of course, writing a great script is just as hard as ever. Happy writing.