Imagine for a moment that you are fresh off the plane in the LAX terminal, ready to start your career as a Hollywood screenwriter. Once you get over that initial wave of optimism and set to work on your script, you begin to face a problem every writer faces. With so many movies out there, some good some not so much, how do you know that your script will be one that sells?
The Unknown Advantage
Hollywood thrives on unknown talent. It’s a little known secret that’s right out in the open if you know anything about Hollywood history. So many major names sold shoes, did laundry, sold coffee, sold anything under the sun before they got to where they are now.
As an unknown, you have an incredible advantage you might not readily see. Most scripts floating around and looking for a buyer aren’t the kind investors want to take a risk on. Good scripts tend to stand out among all the ones that are not up to snuff.
The real answer to the question of whether your screenplay is good is that someone tells you that it is. Not your teacher, not your mother and not your friend. Someone with an understanding of film production. Work your network to get some feedback, and be persistent. Hollywood is a very busy place but people make time for people they care about.
When someone has given you some validation for your work, keep going with it! Even if that script needs a major rewrite, do it! You are the only one who can make your movie happen.
Bio: Charles Matthau directed the Elmore Leonard story “Freaky Deaky,” and is best known for his adaptation of “The Grass Harp” by Truman Capote. The Charles Matthau Company produces works for television and film. For more information, visit the Matthau Company online.