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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 (often with a humorous eye) 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 have created a sort of buzz with my query.  Now what the heck do I do?  I am petrified of the Hollywood machine.  The interest is there, now I have to deliver.  What if I don't?  HELP!  HELP!....Allow me to say that again....HELP!   

Julianne


This week's answer: 

Scribe and Deliver

Julianne, I appreciate your S.O.S. (Screenwriter Overboard, Somebody!)  Like saws and bees, queries do have a way of creating that proverbial buzz, that sought after "thing" that so many in the biz (or maybe it's the "buz") "harken" for.  (And that's no easy trick to harken, let alone harken for a buzz).  Julianne, I want to thank you because, according to your question, I believe you have revealed once and for all the answer to the question that has daunted us all for so long:  "Where does the buzz actually come from?"  Now we know.  It comes from the Hollywood machine!  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  The Hollywood machine must somehow make that buzz.  

You say that you have to deliver now that you've created a buzz.  You've all by your lonesome created the buzz!?  That's very, very impressive.  And now that you, yourself, and you have generated the buzz, somehow you must have also started that Hollywood machine, which, according to your question, is terrifying you (which could make a heck of a good horror screenplay:)

Hollywood Machine Horror

It just started with a buzz... 

Who says you have to deliver?  Did you get a newspaper route?  Are you going to be your state's first "milkwoman"?  Are you working for U.P.S. or Federal Express?  Ohhhh, a pizza house.  That's where you must write your screenplays, in the backroom with the blocks of cheese (be careful not to get the dreaded writer's cheese block) and cans of tomato sauce.  

Everybody gets those "screenwriter's nerves."  It's the ol'...

I told them the idea.  Now they want me to WRITE it!?  Geeeessssshhh!

But here's the truth, Julianne, and anybody else who may be reading this... You can deliver.  You can do it.  The same part of you that started that "buzz" is the same part of you that KNOWS you can come through with the script.  Really, much of the journey is proving to yourself that that is the truth.  How many times have I started a screenplay with the first thought of "I have no idea how to write a thriller." (which is kind of odd since I was writing a comedy).  But, sincerely:  Each time I've started out looking at the blank Final Draft page (or my blank mind), not feeling an iota of confidence in any part of my body, mind, emotions, or in some faraway place known as "Screenwriter's Watering Hole," I've truly considered the idea that I can't do it this time, that I won't be able to write this next screenplay.  But, somehow, by the grace of the GREAT SCREENWRITER HELPERS IN THE SKY (you can just hear the soundtrack, can't you?), the ideas come; the dialogue is there; the story unfolds; the characters talk to me (and I've been thinking about getting some therapy for that).  What I'm trying to say is to have faith in your creative process.  You'll learn to.  Just like I have.  See:  I have a deep knowing that my Muses are always there for me, constantly awing me with their mysterious and magical way of showing me the way, helping me write and rewrite and write again.  And, I know, without a doubt, that, even if they were ever to abandon me...

I can always deliver pizza.

(Or maybe be a pizza consultant.)

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