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Posts Tagged ‘Dan Heath’

“Find a bright spot and clone it. That’s the first step to fixing everything from addiction to corporate malaise to malnutrition. A problem may look hopelessly complex. But there’s a game plan that can yield movement on even the toughest issues. And it starts with locating a bright spot — a ray of hope.”
Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard

A good thing about the book Tales from the Script is it shows bright spots. Screenwriters who have found success of some measure. And it also offers a ray of hope because any writer who has not had their day in the sun can read the common ongoing struggles that screenwriters have not only starting out (“I thought, ‘I will never get a movie made, ever.'”–Nora Ephron) but sustaining a career (“Every career is filled with peaks and valleys.”–Frank Darabont).

The one thing that shines clearly when you read about these screenwriters is that making a living as a screenwriter is hard work.

“I have written a lot of screenplays, but only two of them have actually been made into films—the ones that came directly from me, only two in sixteen years. My job, as a screenwriter working in Hollywood, is to give the producer and the studio what they want. Whether they make the movie or not, that’s in someone eles’s hands.”
Antwone Fisher

“Sydney Pollack had just done Toostie and Out of Africa, he had won Academy Awards, and he was just one of our most important directors. I said to him, ‘It must get easier for you.’ He gave me a look like I was a fool. It’s never easier. Every single movie is just as hard.”
Mark D. Rosenthal

Where’s that ray of hope? Obviously there has to be some joy in the journey. The small breakthroughs you get in your own writing and the encouraging words from someone who’s read your work (even if it’s just a friend). The times when you know you not only have a good idea but a good script.

The ray of hope is that ever writer in Tales from the Script was once an unproduced screenwriter.  The hope is that your next script (or even an older script) is optioned, and that your script is made into a film, and that that film wins an audience, and ideally after all of those things happen that it also becomes an award winner.

That’s the hope that every writer (from the beginner to the Academy Award-winner) has in common.

And perhaps the biggest hope for writers (after you’ve read all the war stories in Tales from the Script) is that people are always hungry for a good story.

Scott W. Smith

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