If you read my blog you will know that I am all about encouraging action, and action RIGHT NOW. As I run the London Screenwriters’ Festival I am constantly being asked by screenwriters if I know any producers who would make their script into a movie – and while do know many producers, I also know that for a whole raft of reasons, the odds of getting produced are stacked highly against the writer.
And so I always make the suggestion, ‘You should produce yourself’. This is met with reactions that begin with … ‘hmmm, there’s an idea…’ all the way to ‘are you crazy? I can’t do that’.
Yes you can do that, what you really mean is ‘I don’t want to do that, I would rather someone discover my brilliant work…’
Actually, yes you can…
So, why not consider producing your own screenplay? So here are my top ten reasons why screenwriters should self produce.
1. When you take action, the magic happens – saying you will do it, is not actually doing it. So do it!
2. No-one will push your project and team harder than you will.
3. You will be shunted out of your comfort zone. This is a VERY good thing. I recommend you do it more often, and in every aspect of your life.
4. You will maintain creative control.
5. You can’t blame others for things that went wrong. More crucially, you will become fully responsible for the words on the page – you wrote it, so ‘the book’ is really stopping with you.
6. You will learn TONS more about screenwriting as you will be privy to the compromises, cock ups and last minute rewrites. You won’t sit in your ivory tower blaming others for ‘mistakes’, they will be YOUR mistakes. This will inform your future screenwriting.
7. You will become more commercially minded – more than just your script is now on the line.
8. It’s not hard! Really, it’s just a graft – sure you might need to turn the charisma dial up several notches, but again, for screenwriters who don’t get out enough, this is a good thing.
9. You will make powerful contacts and new relationships that you would never make if you were just the writer.
10. By far the most important one, taking this action will move your odds of getting produced from near zero to a certainty.
Remember, you can wait for success to come your way, or you can grab every opportunity and relationship with both hands and force it into existence – success has nothing to do with luck, and everything to do with action.
Onwards and upwards!