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Screenwriting Myths & Facts: Part 3

By Steve Kaire

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TRUE OR FALSE?

  1. Entertainment attorneys work only on an hourly basis

    False. You can negotiate with them to take 5% to 10% of the deal.

  2. Writers who sue a studio or production company for theft of their material generally win their lawsuits

    False. It’s a costly uphill battle that writers almost always lose.

  3. It’s unethical for a production company or studio executive to ask a Writers Guild member to make changes to a script without payment

    True. That violates the Writers Guild agreement.

  4. The length of spec screenplays should be around 120 pages

    False. Spec screenplays are now 90 to 100 pages in length.

  5. It’s unethical to send out your material to multiple production companies and agents at the same time

    False. Multiple submissions are necessary for writers to try and get their material read. If asked, you can mention that your material has been sent to a few places.

  6. Scripts can only be sold to signatory companies of the Writers Guild in order to qualify for membership

    True. You cannot sell your screenplay to a friend to gain admittance into the Writers Guild. Contact the Writers Guild to verify who is a signatory.

  7. If you register your script with the Writers Guild and claim theft of material, the Guild will represent you in court

    True. You’ll have to get an entertainment attorney to verify your claim and the Guild will then back you up in your case.

  8. Your logline should be a summary of what happens in Acts One, Two and Three

    False. Your logline is the premise or the setup of your story, not what what happens in your 3 acts.

  9. It’s harder to sell ideas now, than it was ten years ago

    True. There is much less development money now than in the past. Producers and studios prefer screenplays to ideas and treatments.

  10. A hook is a detail that’s added to a logline that makes an over pitched subject original

    True.

Read Steve Kaire's next installment of screenwriting myths and facts.

About Steve Kaire

Steve Kaire is a screenwriter and "Pitchman" who has sold 8 projects to the major studios without representation. The last project he sold, he’s Co-Producing for Walden Media. A screenwriter for over 30 years, he holds a Masters in Dramatic Writing and has taught writing classes at the American Film Institute. Steve was featured on the Tonight Show’s, "Pitching to America" and was voted a Star Speaker at Screenwriters Expo three years in a row. His unique CD & Ebook, "High Concept - How to Create, Pitch & Sell to Hollywood" is a best seller. His website is: HighConceptScreenwriting.com.
Screenwriting Article by Steve Kaire

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