Wednesday, October 03, 2012


I've gotten a lot of questions via email lately. Anybody else have questions about screenwriting stuff? If I don't know the answer, I can probably find someone who does.

If you've been wondering something, anything, ask in the comments. I'll do my best to find an answer.


  1. Hi Emily,

    Nice topic. :) Well, there are probably a ton, but I'll ask the few that stick out the most.

    1. Can I just have one good script when I try to get a new manger or agent again? or is it better if I have two scripts? Here's the dilemma, a script takes forever to write so you see your life literally passing by, but there's also the knowledge that if you do have a rep, you would need a followup to keep your career going or else you get in a position where you might have a rep in name, but they aren't doing anything for you.

    2. What do you recommend to keep the creative juices going and getting things done? Read scripts, go to the theater and watch movies? Some days you feel like you have found the secret youth serum and the next you're wondering how you'll ever cross the Andes Mountains known as Act 2.

    3. How many drafts of a script is ideal or minimum before showing it to someone in the industry?

  2. Thanks, Paul! I'll frame a post around those questions.

  3. Ever seen Winona Ryder around? At heart, I suspect that she's a writer, too!

  4. I don't see a lot of celebrities. When I used to live around Larchmont I'd sometimes see TV people, but never anybody A list. And now that I'm in the valley, the biggest celebrity I see is Bill Martell on his bike.

  5. Bill Martell...the screenwriter?

    LUCASFILM ANIMATION. Will they accept a logline? Or do I need a release form for that?

    Or, am I DREAMING?

  6. Paul, ANYONE will request a script if the logline is amazing enough, no matter what they say, but Lucasfilm would be an extreme long shot. It can't hurt to query. The worst that happens is you never hear back. But don't hold your breath.

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  8. Man, Emily, what part of the Valley do you live in? You can't walk into a Starbucks without bumping into a big time actor (best sighting Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts) around here...

    And that's not including the porn stars taking their kids to school.



    If you're interested in only writing movies (as I am), should you still write a Tv sample (of an existing show) or just write spec movie scripts?

    And do query letters really work?


  9. 1) The Valley is a big place. I don't live in a part of it that celebrities would ever visit. And sorry if it's disappointing. I don't try to avoid them. I just don't ever see them.

    2) If you only want to do film, I'd concentrate on film. However, pilots are pretty popular right not. A lot of film execs are looking to break into TV. If you've got a couple of great film scripts and have a good TV idea, I'd put a pilot together. A spec of an existing show is a waste of time unless you want to focus on television.

    3) Query letters do work, just not very often.

  10. Okay Emily,

    After I send out queries I sometimes get requests for my scripts. Once the scripts are out, however, I generally don't hear from the company in question again - until I send a new query for a new script. Then the process is apt to begin anew.

    Anyway, I have no idea what any of this means. It's just some strange cycle. Perhaps you can offer me some clarity.

  11. Sean, that's often how it goes. Your script is at the bottom of the pile of stuff to read, so it will sit around, sometimes for months.

    If you don't hear back in three months, it's a good time to send a reminder email. If you don't hear back after that, let it go. If they loved your script, they would tell you.

    Always be working on the next thing.

  12. Hi,
    I've just now started seriously thinking about writing a screenplay, but I'm a bit overwhelmed from where to start. I just have notes scribbled here and there. I downloaded some scripts but want to make sure I'm learning everything. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for your time

  13. Vanessa, that's a good topic for a whole post. I'll tackle that one in a few days.


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