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Screenwriting Myths & Facts: Part 1

By Steve Kaire

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  1. Literary agents are eager to add new writers to their client list

    That’s false. Agents are busy enough handling their present clients and don’t take on new clients very often. The exception is when a writer achieves success on his own, and then the agents come calling. The other exception is when a person whom the agent respects recommends that the agent look at a writer’s material with the possibility of representing him.

  2. Options are generally a good deal for screenwriters

    False. Options are a bad deal for writers. For very little money, the writer can’t pitch his project to anyone for the length of the option. And when the option is up, the company optioning the material usually fails to set up the project and years have been wasted.

  3. Half the members of the Writer’s Guild earn no income from their writing each year

    Unfortunately, that is true.

  4. High Concept is any big budget film

    That’s false. High Concept is not related to budgets at all. It’s an original concept with mass appeal that can be pitched in a few sentences.

  5. A rejected screenplay can be resubmitted to the same company after revisions

    False. You have only one shot with each company you submit to.

  6. Dramas are one of the most difficult genres to sell

    True. Dramas are a difficult sell because they are execution driven, rather than pitch driven. You have to read the scripts to appreciate it.

  7. Verbal contracts are just as enforceable as written contracts

    False. Verbal agreements are legal contracts but it comes down to one persons word against another. Get everything in writing so there are no misunderstandings.

  8. There is a lot of theft of material in Hollywood

    False. Contrary to public opinion, theft of material does happen, but it occurs far less frequently than people think. It’s much cheaper to acquire material legally than steal it, avoiding lawsuits and bad publicity.

  9. The writing & rewriting of a screenplay is generally a one to two year investment of time

    Very true.

  10. Never sign a release form because you are signing your rights away

    False. Signing release forms is sometimes the only way to get your material read by production companies and studios.

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:
Screenwriting Article by Steve Kaire

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