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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

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This week's question: 

I think my script is really good, but I've gotten a lot of comments from some producers who think this or that is wrong with it.  Then I don't know what to do or think. 

Justine C. in Cleveland


This week's answer: 

Irresponsible Responses

Justine, thank you for writing me.  I get a lot of e-mail from disgruntled screenwriters who have worked with script consultants and other screenwriters.  They thought  they had a good script, but, after they got a number of rejections from producers, they started to doubt their scripts and even themselves as screenwriters.  

Although it's true that somebody's comments can be helpful and be exactly what you need to know in order to improve your script, the other side of that coin is also, unfortunately true:  the comments may not be helpful.  In fact, they may be quite harmful.  Harmful to your "writer's spirit."  It seems that, just because somebody has directed, produced, invested in, even acted in movies, that person often considers himself an instant critic or top script consultant.  This is often not the case at all.  

Directors and producers do not necessarily a good script consultant or story analyst make.  

It takes a skilled eye and a unique ability to express thoughts about a screenplay.  The truth is that most do not have this ability, and these are the ones who often thrash screenwriters, causing much carnage along the way.  

This might assist you, Justine, and other screenwriters  to not get lost in confusion and from doubting what you have:  Just look for the gems in the responses you receive regarding your script that could help improve it, only the comments that you agree with and that you feel are supportive (a key word there).
Let the rest go. A big part of this business is discerning what is helpful and what is not. 

DcH


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