“There are no shortcuts. There is only hard work. Perseverance. Luck. Craft. Failure. Success. Mistakes. And yes, dreams that come true.”
Screenwriter Bob DeRosa
Last week screenwriter Bob DeRosa started a new screenwriting blog and the above quote was pulled from his post Shortcuts. While it’s true that screenwriter Diablo Cody not only sold the first screenplay she wrote (Juno), and it got produced, found an audience and got rave reveiws—she won an Academy Award for that first script. That’s called an anomaly. Bob DeRosa’s story is more the norm for screenwriters who get produced and build a career.
“I moved to Los Angeles in 2001 with two solid indie samples. My manager at the time encouraged me to try writing a big studio spec. The resulting script got me my first agent and over thirty general meetings, which led to my first OWA (open writing assignment) for a studio. At the same time, I co-wrote “The Air I Breathe” with director Jieho Lee. It was probably my 15th or 16th feature screenplay, and the first one to get made.
My 23rd script was an original spec called “Five Killers”. Lionsgate bought it, made it, and shortened the title to “Killers”. Since then, I’ve written a half-dozen scripts. Some of them have garnered interest but none have been sold yet.”
Bob DeRosa (Killers)
P.S. In the post Beatles, King, Cody & 10,000 Hours I do point out that while Juno was Cody’s first script, in interviews she talked about writing everyday since she was 12 years old so she had a good fifteen year pile of pages before she turned her creative writing to screenwriting.