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Hey I never tried writing a screenplay. But I started doing "research" in the area and reading scripts. Firstly, I would like to know what are the chances of getting a script by a newcomer made into a movie by a good company, is it hard as a new author getting a book published? Secondly, how does a screenwriter get paid.
Thanks
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
what are the chances of getting a script by a newcomer made into a movie by a good company,

next to none... first, chances of a newbie even selling a script are close to nil... second, they're even slimmer that a 'good' company will buy it... then slimmer still, that it will ever be made...

is it hard as a new author getting a book published?

harder, to much harder...

Secondly, how does a screenwriter get paid.

depends... if you're working for a studio/network, you could be on salary or you could get paid per script... if you're both wga signatories, basic minimums are $50-100k for an original screenplay... there are all kinds of other levels...

if you're not, and writing freelance, you could get as much as a few hundred bucks or as much as a million or more... or anything in between...

'how' also varies... you could get a lump sum and that's it, or get a certain amount up front and a percentage later [if it gets made/released/makes money]...

for details: www.wga.org
 
Thanks...But if a newbie's chance is near to none, what do they do? Enter competitions or just hope? Or do they try to get an agent?
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
But if a newbie's chance is near to none, what do they do? Enter competitions or just hope? Or do they try to get an agent?

they do any/all things that can be done!...

comps cost money and aren't that much good for getting your scripts sold, but if you place high in one of the big three, at least your work will be seen by folks who may want to buy it...

'hope' is just another four-letter word!... while you're hoping, all the millions of other wannabes are working their tails off to sell their work...

getting an agent is your best bet for succeeding as a screenwriter... but don't even bother querying them, if all you have is your first-ever script... it'll take you years to learn the craft and get good enough at it to sell something... the average first sale by a newbie is the NINTH one s/he wrote!... so, when approaching agents, be sure you have at least 2-3 completed, polished, professional-quality marketable screenplays to offer, while querying with your best...

and before you do even that, have someone knowledgeable take a good look at your work to make sure it's ready to be seen...

love and hugs, maia
 

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