What's OLD is NEW...

Somebody on one of the screenwriting forums recently asked if a screenwriter could launch a career with just one completed screenplay. This seems to be a question many budding screenwriters have. Sure, it’s quite possible to get a career rolling on one script—and it happens all the time (Diablo Cody, anyone?)—but I’m a firm believer in having at least two or three really solid scripts in the ol’ briefcase when hunting for an agent, manager, or producer.

Apologies to those of you who are dedicated readers of my "how-to" blog, but...

In the “Questions & Answers” section of the blog, I have the question, “I’ve only written one script. Should I have more than that before I try to market myself as a screenwriter?”

This was my response:

"I think it’s important for managers and agents to know your creative well hasn’t gone dry after penning just one script—and it’s also important to have more than just one script in hand when you start meeting with producers. For instance...

Not long ago, my manager and I had a meeting at the home of a fairly well-known producer/director. We brought along three scripts that we felt might compliment his abilities. So we pitched the first script, a comedy. Nope, he doesn’t want to do comedies anymore.

A psycho-thriller? Nope, not his cup of tea right now.

A creepy horror tale? Bingo!

He took the script, promised he'd have it read soon.

This sort of thing has happened to me several times. If they don’t like one idea, hit ‘em with another, then another, then another.

Nope, I can't imagine having just one or two scripts in my repertoire.

If you’re a writer, WRITE!"

QUICKIE UPDATE: By the way...that aforementioned producer/director passed on my creepy horror script. Well, that's okay, I optioned it to someone else.


Screenwriting Compass said...

What's also a good idea and I tell this to my clients is that it's ok to have one script, but have like 5 great ideas to follow up that script.

If your first script is great, you can pitch the next idea and get paid to write it.

Hope this helps.

Dube said...

Agreed. Why would anyone *want* just one screenplay anyway? They're fun to write! :-)

Dawn Colclasure said...

Congrats on the option. :) And I totally agree! It's good to have more than one script in hand if trying to get somewhere in the screenwriting world.