Ashley Scott Meyers joins us to talk about how he has been able to build a career as a screenwriter outside of the Hollywood system. Ashley has created a blog over at www.sellingyourscreenplay.com and hosts a podcast dedicated to talking with other screenwriters who have been able to option and sell their work.
We discuss the nuts and bolts of selling a screenplay. How options work. What do producers typically pay for screenplays. What you can do to attract producers and what turns them off.
Here's a little more information about Ashley.
My screenwriting journey begin the moment I thought I figured out how to sell a script. While I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to write a screenplay, because I had no idea how to go about selling it I was never motivated enough to put pen to paper and actually write something.
One day in college while waiting for class I wandered into the poetry reading room. On one of the shelves they had a book called Writer’s Market. It listed thousands of publishers and had a brief description of what they were looking for. I flipped through it and found a section on screenplays which essentially listed about 100 production companies who would supposedly read scripts from unproduced writers.
That glimmer of a potential sale was all the motivation I needed to crank out the first 10 pages of a brilliant and hilarious untitled comedy script I had been kicking around in my head for years. I mailed it to two companies in the Writer’s Market who, from their descriptions, seemed especially open to reading material from new writers. A couple weeks later someone from one of the companies called me and basically told me not to bother sending anymore scripts out until I had done some serious learning. He recommended reading Syd Field’s Screenplay which I promptly did. A week later I got a letter from the other company thanking me for the undated, untitled submission and wishing me luck with my project and politely passing. While this isn’t exactly the reaction I was hoping for it was enough of a reaction for me to realize that if I had a good script I might be able to get it to the ‘right’ people. I have made thousands of submissions since that first one, optioned dozens of my scripts, and even sold a few and had them turned into films.
So this is the focus of my screenwriting blog: selling your screenplay. I may occasionally dip into the art of writing and give my opinions but I’ll try to keep focused on how you can actually get your script sold and made into a movie. Ultimately that’s what screenwriting is all about and frankly the quality of your script often times doesn’t matter if you know how to sell it.
I don’t pretend to be the most accomplished screenwriter in the world (click here to check out my credits on IMDb). I’m certainly not and never will be. So if you have suggestions, comments, or ideas please add to the discussion by posting comments. While I have had a few of my scripts made into films I know that I too still have a lot to learn about writing and selling.
Geeking out with Caleb about camera gear and discussing the real difference between consumer dslr's as well as lenses and other gear. Whoever you are, if you want to be a filmmaker there has never been a better time to run out, buy an inexpensive dslr like the Canon t3i and a 50mm f1.8 lens and start shooting absolutely beautiful video.
Two of the main cameras that Caleb recommends are the Panasonic GH3 and the Sony A7s. We also talk about why, at the time of this taping in 2015, there is really no reason for filmmakers to buy a Canon 5D mkIII. Caleb himself has started shooting with the Canon C100 which is specifically made for filmmaking. So we talk about the advantages of shooting with high end cameras vs. dslrs.
Caleb Pike is a camera operator, editor, and podcaster based in Chicago, IL. His experience branches from documentary and commercial, to film and educational material.
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Screenwriter, Actor, Director...Todd Berger is a triple threat. Today we sit down and talk with Todd about his life and how it has led him to direct the film "It's A Disaster" starring David Cross, Julia Stiles, and America Ferrera.
Here's more about Todd from the Wikipedia:
Todd Berger (born April 5, 1979) is an American actor, screenwriter, and film director, most prominently known for writing, directing, and appearing in the films The Scenesters and It's a Disaster. Berger has also appeared as an actor in films such as Southland Tales and on the television show Parks and Recreation.
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I first became aware of Kevin Shahinian's work a few weeks ago while watching some of the presentations at Cinesummit. Kevin's company Pacific Pictures specializes in ultra high end films for weddings however, I want to stay away from using a term like Wedding Videographer, because if you have seens Kevin's work, it is truly inspiring. His company specializes not only in creating films that spotlight weddings, but also in creating short narrative films starring members of the wedding party along side real actors.
One of the things that stood out for me especially regarding indie filmmaking was Kevin's description of shooting the short film Matroshka, where he shot almost everything on his own, including directing non actors and running his own sound. Honestly, describing his work doesn't do it justice. You need to check out his videos for yourself.
You can see his work here: http://www.pacificpicturesblog.com/blog/
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