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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

I really don't like this time of year when it comes to my career.  I get gloomy because the industry starts to shut down soon and nobody seems to want to look at my scripts.  How do I cope, DcH?

Copeless in Seattle

This week's Answer: 

Handling The Holidays

Ah, Copeless, I understand your plight and I feel for you.  I agree:  the film and TV industry should be open 24/7, never closed, and interminably open to your script submissions.  Who cares if the Bob Cratchet's (translation:  script readers) in their "coaless" offices have to sweat and slave over that script during the holidays when their Scrooge boss execs are off to Fiji or Bali?  So what if it's your script that keeps those Bob's from being home with their families and spend their last days with all their tiny, little, Tim's?  Why should you care?  I bet your final thoughts are "God bless us, one and all the screenwriters who haven't sold anything for a year," isn't it?  You cad.  Where's your humanity?

Actually, Copeless, the holidays aren't always the easiest time for screenwriters (unless they sell a script for many hundreds of thousands and are off to Fiji, Bali, Bora Bora, The Cayman's -- to deposit their screenwriting profits in offshore accounts -- or anywhere else where they are planning on spending their holidays and new-found cash).  It does take an adjustment when studios start shutting down and are no longer in a feeding frenzy to find that next Script Of The Golden Ring.  There is a definite and apparently abrupt change in the "studio atmosphere," which I advise you to prepare for so that it will not throw you each time of the year when it comes around.

There a few things that you can do from this time until the new year that I have always found work well and help you not obsess about your lack of script submission opportunities.

Halloween time:

Go trick or treating dressed up like a screenwriter (forlorn, anxious mask; fingertips done to the bone) at homes of known film producers (forlorn anxious, tanned faces; fingertips marred with ink from handling so many checks and cash) and, when they take pity on you and give you some sweets, hand them your script.  If they have no candy for you, TP their homes, but, instead of using toilet paper, use pages of your screenplay (then you would SP their homes).

Thanksgiving time:

Drop off turkeys to producers that are stuffed with your screenplays (the turkeys, not the producers).

Christmas and other holidays time:

See if you can make it down producers' chimneys in Santa attire and leave gift-wrapped copies of your screenplays under Christmas trees and other symbols of holiday cheer.  Be careful about drinking the eggnog, though, because producers don't always favor screenwriters and Hemlock Eggnog is selling well lately.  (especially, for some odd reason, New York, Los Angeles, and other major metropolitan areas that have a strong affiliation with the film industry).

If Easter time gives you the same problem...

1.  Wear a bunny outfit and hop around the entrance driveway of William Morris (both William and Morris are nice guys and will probably not shoot you) and hand out large eggs with your screenplays inside.

In case, none of the aforementioned suggestions suit you, you can always go to Fiji and not come back until the first of the year.  No wait, it's probably better to come back around January 20th.  Come to think of it, that's near Chinese New Year (I mean, there are Chinese producers, you know).   Better to come back in February.  No, that won't work:  Lincoln's birthday.  Come back in the middle of February.  No.  President's Day.  How about around the 20th of February.  Sorry.  Washington's birthday.  (There are producers with wooden teeth, you know.  Although, I'm not sure they can not tell a lie.)  Maybe you better wait until March.  But, then again, you'll run smack dab into Saint Patrick's Day.  April might work.  No... Earth Day...



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