Friday, October 01, 2010


Does everybody but me count their scripts? People always spout off how many scripts they've written, and I have absolutely no idea. 10? 15? 8? Beats me. I wrote a lot of crap that never saw the light of day before I started writing stuff I wasn't ashamed of. I didn't keep count, and I didn't even keep all the scripts. Things that sucked got lost or erased. Plus there's shorts and TV scripts.

I've given myself a number sometimes on other websites when people ask, but to be honest it was just a guess, and as time goes by that guess gets hazier.

Do you keep count? Am I alone in this?


  1. Nah, you're not alone.

    Counting scripts is like counting people you've kissed - there's no need to keep track after 5... :)

  2. Perhaps the number of scripts that one has written serves as a sort of yardstick of their so-called accomplishment. To me, it doesn't matter how many scripts you've written: I'm only interested in how many of your scripts have been made into films.

    Writing a script is easy. It doesn't tell me anything about how good of a storyteller or a writer you are. People like to wave around their self-proclaimed title of "screenwriter", as a sort of flag-waving vanity. It feeds their ego and confirms to them that they are better than other writers. "Oh, how many scripts did you write? Two? Oh, well I've written six." The truth is, if your script is just sitting around in some drawer, you shouldn't really be counting it.

    Personally, I say that anybody who quotes their numbers is just insecure. Think of the guy who brags about how many women he's slept with, how many dollars he makes a year, how many horsepower his engine get the point.

  3. Nope. I don't count either. Whenever I think about it (usually after reading one of those "you don't get good until after X articles") I have to go over them all in my head to get a tally.

  4. I have six scripts that I like. But I couldn't tell you how many shitty scripts I wrote before I found my way.

  5. Always say, "Seven, but that's not counting my produced work. I can't talk about that shit... I said I CAN'T TALK ABOUT THAT SHIT! So, about 7, then."

    Then walk away smoking a long cigarette and holding a snifter of brandy.

    When you're a few paces away, look back over your shoulder and glare, then slowly break into a coquettish grin as you turn back and continue walking towards your limousine.

    Once in your limousine, feel free to breathe a sigh of relief and say to yourself, "Phew, dodged another bullet today."

    Then look over at the short, bearded man from Bangalore and ask for a steno pad. You have an idea.

    He'll humm and haw a bit, put up a fight like he always does. (Oh, Sanu, always with the drama.) Finally, after he tells you a story about the motherland and how he had to teach his younger sister to sew (limbs, not clothing), he will hand you what you asked and you will write down another idea.

    "Make it eight", you say to yourself, recounting the adventure of the night. "Make it eight".

  6. I know, but it's still a relatively low number and I haven't been screenwriting for very many years. On the other hand, if you ask how many treatments or outlines or short stories I've worked on, I wouldn't have a clue. Probably because I didn't sink months into them like I do a screenplay.

    I think sometimes it can be personally helpful to look back and think about why this script got trashed or you think that one has potential. But I heard a development guy give a lecture the other week and his philosophy is that it doesn't matter how many scripts you've written. You only need one really good one. So focus your time and energy on that instead of churning out more and more scripts [and don't advertise that you have x number of unproduced scripts. It's not very reassuring to business people].

    I think that sometimes it takes writing a script to see if it's a story you want to take with you for years and years, but his logic seems sensible to me.

  7. No.

    I have no idea how many I've written. Or even how many are features, hour, 1/2 hour pilots.

    I guess if I really wanted to I could sit down and count them. But I don't see the point.


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