Wednesday, May 13, 2009

my new bible.

I just finished reading "Breakfast with Sharks". (A Screenwriter's Guide to Getting the Meeting, Nailing the Pitch, Signing the Deal, and Navigating the Murky Waters of Hollywood) by Michael Lent.


It answered questions I never even knew I had. It prepared me for some inevitable tests of patience, and just when I start to think I am better off trying to fly to the moon than sell a script, he pulls me back in to thinking I can do it. It talks about how to make your script stand out, how to survive pitch meetings, agents, managers, studios, the readers, contracts, writing groups, indies and much, much more. I feel wiser, better armed and equip and encouraged after reading it. I find that I'm quoting him now, with lines like "It takes 5 years for an overnight success, and 10 years for a career in screenwriting." (although to be fair, I think he was quoting someone else who gave him that advise) and my other favorite is that people don't fail in screenwriting, they just give up. I love that because I'm no quitter.

I'm going to go through the book again, and highlight all the points that I need to keep in mind. Like how NOT to submit a query letter. Damn! I just hope that the ones I already sent prior to reading the bible are as forgettable as they are wrong. So very wrong. What Mr. Lent says makes perfect sense. But without experience or success, I doubt I would have ever figured it out on my own.

Maybe it's a personal thing. Maybe I really needed to hear what he had to say. But it's an easy read, and full of practical, useful info for trying to sell a script. Not just for Hollywood (although that's the focus for sure) but for trying to get a career in screenwriting. I highly recommend it.