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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

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This week's question: 

I get so close sometimes, DcH.  Options, promises from producers, etc.  But I still can't seem to cross over that Hollywood boundary line.  Do you have any advice?


This week's Answer: 

That's Screenwriting

I appreciate you contacting me, Quentin.  And if your last name starts with an "F" and ends in an "o," my advice to you is keep writing and directing those films and one day you'll make it.  And if this is not that Quentin, then I have some other things to say to you.  

It sounds like you've been living that old saying:  

Close but no script sale.

Take heart.  Many of us have gone through this and we have lived to tell the tale.  You, Quentin, and you, dear reader, may very well have gone through moments when it looked like you were finally going to be able to grab that pot of gold, find the brass ring at the end of the rainbow, see your four-leaf clovers coming in, and finally find that lucky ship.  Or something like that.  You know what I mean.

It can be very frustrating to get that close and not be able to have what you want after all that effort.  But it's not as bad as you think.  For inspiration, let's not forget what Frank Sinatra sings in one of his classic tunes:

   I've been optioned, promised, and stabbed in the back

I've been lied to, plagiarized and told I was a hack.

(I may have not quoted him directly.)  But how does Frank always end the list of dour, memories of difficult moments?  What does he sing for all to hear?


According to the song -- and this might be a good idea for all of us -- screenwriters, artists, everyone... after Frank was down and out... he'd say:

I just pick myself up and get back in the race...

So, that's what we need to do.  Whenever we fall, we just pick ourselves up again and get back in that race.

And, Quentin, regarding that Hollywood Boundary Line.   I'd like to know if I've crossed it, myself.  Which is hard to do since I have no idea it where it is.  If you do, please tell me.  I can't even find it with Mapquest.



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