I’ve received a couple of advertisements recently for screenwriting classes. The classes must be popular because I occasionally run into an acquaintance who’s taken one and tells me his classmates gave him rave reviews for his script. I always offer a pat on the back to these budding screenwriters, but in my heart I know that cracking Hollywood’s nepotistic system has always been difficult. Now add two economic downturns and a decline in theater audiences due to competition from eBooks, TV, iPods, electronic games and Netflix and you realize that getting a break with a screen play is less likely than finding a Picasso in a second hand shop. Equally tough on aspirants is the change in the industry’s structure which has altered from moguls who loved to make movies to large multinational Industries who want to grow their bottom line.
Margaret Heidenry brings us up to speed on screenwriting in her article, “When The Spec Script Was King.” (Vanity Fair, March 2013 pgs 284-292). She explains that in today’s world buying lottery tickets provides better odds of winning than attempts to get a script on to the screen.
To be honest, Hollywood isn’t looking for anything new. It wants assured audiences for those movie seats and to accomplish that, it’s concentrating on time honored retreads — – sequels, prequels and remakes. In sum, it wants stories already tested, branded and with a huge audience, like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Twilight, and Hunger Games.
So here’s my advice to budding screen writers. Take a class on how to craft a bestselling novel, instead.
(Courtesy of Yahoo.com)