I’m one of the Moderators at one of Sweden’s most popular movie creator’s forums; and I explained to a novice, the difference between having this stunning idea that has never been made before and being able to present an actual script.
I got a reply like “you seem to have insanely more experience than I”.
Well. . .
I don’t know. I’m not quite established yet, and I’m certainly no well known; but when it comes to experience, I’ve been writing movie scripts since the late 90th, and succeeded with about a hundred blunders.
A serious one was not to listen to the feedback unless it agreed with my own opinion. If someone said my script was terrible, I decided that they were wrong, and hadn’t understood it (which was their own fault of course). It was not until I got a chance to hand my script over to someone who got well paid to write, and he smashed it flat in an instant, that I realized that I wasn’t a writing genius.
Another fantastic blunder was my meeting with Fanny Danielsson, one of Sweden’s most well known upcoming directors at the time. She declared she thought writing an action movie was one common mistake among beginners, and I ask her if she would like to read my action script. Also forgetting to tell her that it was written in English.
I’ve been sending scripts to Hollywood actors. Once even with a tape with mood music; embarrassing, but true.
I’ve refused to write according to standard format. I’ve even written with the wrong font.
One smart thing I did was mailing a bunch of query letters when I was in the States, saving money. On the other hand, I didn’t get one single reply.
For long I was focused on writing a feature script in English to sell for astronomical money in Hollywood.
Yes, there have been a lot of blunders.
On the other hand, I had confidence. A solid, unwavering confidence that I was the best writer the world had ever seen. I must admit it felt fantastic to be that. The backside was, I became rather frustrated when nobody got the sensation in my writing.
There have been two significant changes in my career. No, three.
The first happened when I finally understood that I did have something to learn; that I was a novice. My hardest lesson, but a necessary one.
The second was when I decided that writing movie scripts was something I wanted to do full time. That was about 2008 when I started this blog. Then I stopped writing in periods when inspiration hit me, and I began to write close to every day and learning to fetch inspiration when I needed it.
The third was when I sold my first movie script. It was Walking the Graveyard. And not only was it my first short script sold, it wasn’t even written when the contracts were signed. Robert A Vollrath had the full confidence that I would write a script that he would like to produce. This is just something that doesn’t really happen, but it did.
Not only did he buy Walking the Graveyard. He also paid me to co-write a script of his that needed rewriting. So suddenly I had a CV containing two entries instead of none and that made an enormous difference. From late 2009, I’ve expanded that list to no less than eight short scripts, and being a judge in two contests as an addition.
I guess I must have done something right along the line.