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03/23/2001 - What Producers Really Want From Writers

How To Be A Producer: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Movies Happen

"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving and that is your own self."

-- author Aldous Huxley

What Producers Really Want From Writers

More than anything else, producers look for a unique "voice" and that can only come from the depths of a writer's heart and soul. It has often been said that "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Why even bother imitating others if you know that you have what it takes to blaze a trail with your own path. Write what you feel innermost and aim for a bullseye straight to the reader's heart. If you keep your eye on that prize, you'll succeed where others fail because your script will ring true with an honest conviction that only can only come from a special place deep inside.

Structure , Descriptive Passages and Dialogue

Although the accepted form is necessary in order to sell a screenplay--taking care to present scripts that are well structured with descriptive passages that let the camera do the talking, interspersed with realistic dialogue - in the end what matters most to a producer is that the writer has brought to life a screenplay with his or her own unique voice. A voice that stands on its own and can not be compared to anyone else's voice.
Just as no two fingerprints are alike, no two writers need to be judged as being alike. The sum total of your own experiences will allow you to be unique. Talent is what separates the men and women from the little boys and girls of the screenwriting world.

Scripts That Matter

Just about anyone can write trash. It doesn't take much imagination to dash off a terrible script. Admittedly, in some quarters, scripts that appeal to the lowest common denominator are often considered to be salable commodities.

However, the careers that endure are usually devoted to the pursuit of excellence, Let's look at the other side of the coin. Achieving excellence is not only a noble goal, it also allows you, as a writer, to walk with dignity and self-assurance knowing that you've touched lives in a significant way and made a difference. Go the extra mile. Anything less than giving your very best is a throwaway and a terrible waste. Too many talented writers get sidetracked. They take the easy way out and usually what follows is a life that is filled with inner torment and self-destructive conduct.

What Producers Really Want From Writers (Cont'd.) Page 2.

The Anatomy of The Long Distance Writer

The writer who elects to go the extra mile is the one who will win the race. There is loneliness in being a long distance runner but there is also an open field and blue skies ahead for anyone who cares enough to stay the course.

Producers of merit respect writers who are not manipulative. They also acknowledge with gratitude the work of writers who are capable of dissecting life with insight, exposing the truth about who we are and why we are here in the first place.

Producers, believe it or not, are human beings too. They bleed just like anyone else and they laugh and cry when words move them to laughter and tears.

The next time that you set out to write a screenplay, ask yourself what do producers really want and you may find the answer lies in who you are and what you are truly capable of delivering to a blank page.

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead
where there is no path and leave a trail."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Philosopher


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