As the US declares it is officially out of the current recession, some European state leaders jump on the bandwagon declaring the end of their countries economic downturn.
However business owners in the UK are labelling Government organisation as the latest oxymoron as Britain languishes in its longest ever recession on record. Despite the current credit crunch in the UK the film industry remains quite buoyant. It seems that mass unemployment, job closures and increased crime rates are forgotten as British citizen’s escape to their local multiplex cinemas watching the latest offerings from Hollywood.
Hollywood and Bollywood remain the epicentre of feature film production, however Hollywood producers and Bollywood directors are scouring recession hit Britain in an attempt to purchase film scripts for sale. Script agents have all but shut their doors to new upcoming script writers who are eager to get their foot on the first rung of the Hollywood producers and Hollywood directors.
Historically a Hollywood producer would be contacted by script agents representing established script writers. If the producer was interested then a deal would be negotiated and the successful script writers would step up from novice status to previously produced status.
However it has always been difficult, and often impossible for many new script writers to gain professional representation. Given that for every successful Hollywood blockbuster success there are thousands of failures and possibly tens of thousands of undiscovered script writers it should come as no surprise that script agents are overly cautious.
Although most script writers view Hollywood as the Holy Grail, they might be mindful that Walter Wincell an American newspaper columnist once wrote that, ‘Hollywood is a place where they shoot too many pictures and not enough actors or screenplay writers.’
The success of recent British movies have piqued the interest of several Hollywood producers and Hollywood directors enough for them to consider a different out of the box approach to identifying new film scripts for sale. Some movie producers are now collaborating with script agents in a proactive approach to identify new screenplay writers who have their own film slate or film portfolio of 3 to 5 movies which are ready for post production.
In the UK many script writers who have graduated from a film course university collaborate in writers groups. Frequently these groups sit on valuable undiscovered film scripts which never get to see the light of day because the script writers fall into the dreaded catch 22 syndrome. i.e. A Hollywood producer or Hollywood director will not commit to reading their script because the script writers have no representation from professional script agents.
Script agents will not consider representing most new writers because they are new writers with no prior track record. The only real difference to this pattern is when independent film producers and directors producers collaborate on a low budget feature film. Everyone involved in the international film industry recognises that gaining financial investment is always the toughest hurdle in an prospective feature film project.
Another startling revelation to anyone on the peripheral of the film industry is that every successful Hollywood movie lives or dies on the professional quality of the script.
Universities, colleges, schools and private training institutions are churning script writers out at an unbelievable rate of knots.
However Hollywood producers and Hollywood directors should know most of these institutions are pre-programming their writing students for failure rather than success. They achieve this failure pre-programming by virtue of not training the writers in how to be sales people.
After all undiscovered new script writers have to first sell themselves to potential script agents and then to movie producers.
I graduated several years ago from John Moores University in Liverpool England with a Master of Arts degree in screenplay writing. Out of the 25 aspiring script writers I know of only 2 of my course associates besides myself who have ever been commissioned to write a film or theatre script which was successfully produced for a fee paying audience.
When one considers that hundreds and hundreds of script writing programmes are run every year in the UK alone. Tens of thousands of aspiring script writers graduate after writing 1 to 5 feature length film scripts. On the law of averages, there has to be hundreds of unpolished gems or scripts waiting for movie producers at any given time.
Historically script agents and movie producers are bombarded with an avalanche of unsolicited film scripts every time an academic training course for script writers finishes. I blame most of these academic institutions for not really teaching script writers the art of business war in relation to offering their film scripts for sale.
Basic business common sense should dictate that there is no point sending out your unsolicited film script to every one of the directors producers and script agents listed in the writers and artists year book. Because all that happens is your script will be designated to a low level company subordinate who is frequently a failed or aspiring writer them self and is paid a paltry sum to identify the next Hollywood blockbuster.
In reality your unsolicited film script will be designated to the ‘File 13’ and be promptly dropped in the garbage can. Although this might seem like a cynical and unfair description of how many script agents and directors producers operate, you only have to walk in their shoes to identify why this happens.
Imagine for a moment that you run your own independent film producers company in London England. Imagine that every week you receive 50 unsolicited film scripts per week. Your business would financially collapse in no time at all if you had to pay professional script writers to carefully read every one of these scripts.
This is one of the main reasons a Hollywood producer and Hollywood director collaborates with professional script agents. Hopefully things will change for new British script writers as our recession brings a fresh approach from Hollywood producers and Hollywood directors who are trawling for new film scripts for sale.
I have been the lead writer and lecturer on various film writing projects in the UK and I have read many great scripts from several yet undiscovered script writers. As part of my duties leading these groups I am aware of a number of film portfolio slates which are pre-production ready.
One such film portfolio offers a very attractive slate of 5 feature films from different genres which would prove an excellent investment. This slate would be of special interest to independent film producers and or any directors producers seeking a ready to go film script portfolio for investor interest.
Although these script writers do not have professional representation from recognised script agents these films have been critically evaluated and edited for screen by professional script editors and movie producers. As a final point I offer all UK script writers an insight into the mind-set of a Hollywood Producer.
Samuel Goldwyn the famous American Film Producer once wrote, ‘I don’t want any yes-men around me. I want everyone to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs.’
Source by Dr Mark Yates