HANG YOUR ASS OUT THERE
I’m begging you. For God sakes, say something with your screenplay. Anything. But have a strong point of view. It’s what separates you from everyone else writing for a living or writing in the hopes of making a living. What you think, how you see the world, what matters to you – that is what you really have to sell. Stringing together a vapid narrative is not enough – certainly not enough to build a career. Usually not enough even to get a lucky break. And never enough to give you any satisfaction in the writing of it.
Guess what Hollywood wants from you? Your point of view. They don’t want Scott Frank’s point of view from you. If they want his point of view, they’ll hire him. They don’t want a neutral point of view (even if the notes they give you tell you they do). No, they want your unique point of view. It’s what they can’t get from anyone else.
Who has made a living having a point of view? Oliver Stone (“Midnight Express”, “Platoon”, “JFK”), Gary Ross (“Big”, “Pleasantville”, “Dave”), M. Night Shyamalan (“Sixth Sense”, “Signs”), Julius and Philip Epstein (“Casablanca”), Robert Towne (“Chinatown”), Herman Mankiewicz (“Citizen Kane”), Aaron Sorkin (“A Few Good Men”, “The American President”), Woody Allen (too many to list) – in fact, all of the greats.
You, too, have a point of view. Develop it. Think about it. Use it to your advantage. Don’t worry that it won’t fly.
If they don’t want your unique point of view, you lose. If they do, you win. It’s that simple. If you don’t have one at all, you still lose.
Better to lose hanging your ass out then to lose because you are run-of-the-mill with nothing interesting to offer. Hollywood could care less about run-of-the-mill. Art houses could care less about run-of-the-mill, too. That’s because audiences could care less about run-of-the-mill.
Be something. Don’t be nothing. Please….
Enough. Now go write.