I understand the idea of a blog is to keep it going and update frequently, but sometimes life gets in the way. I feel like I have been on a runaway train, trying to figure out how to jump off it, just temporarily, before I have to jump back on.
Where things are at: “Big Sister” garnered its third “finalist” nod from Creative World Awards. This is of course gratifying and exciting, and I hope it will be of benefit to the screenplay as we soldier on in efforts to sell it. But some people have told me that unless the script wins “Grand Prize” that a “finalist” mention is just that… a mention, not a prize. Be that as it may, someone at some competition liked our script enough to move it through four categories: preliminary, quarterfinalists, semifinalists and then finalists. I think that’s a positive thing, don’t you?
I used to live in Los Angeles, and at this moment in time, it seems to me that possibly living there would be helpful in order to connect with industry people, but until I can live there again, I have to find a way to get “Big Sister” into the right hands. This remains my struggle. When something has “heat,” people will get behind it. If they do not perceive it to be “hot,” then it’s a much bigger challenge.
I have no doubt that every screenplay that gets produced has followed a unique path. I wish I had further answers and insights, but I don’t. What I have learned is that it’s simply not enough to have written a great screenplay; you must also be a salesperson, a great “pitch” person, and, essentially, relentless. None of those personality traits come easily to me. I have to constantly push myself out of my comfort zone.
I am certain I am not alone in this struggle to get my script from page to screen, and I know there are a lot of communities, classes, organizations, mentors and more. It’s massive, it’s never-ending, it’s a maze and it’s mind-boggling. But if nothing else, one really has to be on one’s game, and one really has to push the envelope, if I dare to use such a dated phrase, on every single page.
I am encouraged, in a way, that the finalist nods we received on Big Sister were given on earlier versions of the script. I feel that now, after having received notes from the Black List and Spec Scout, and after having a reading with professional actors, that we have knocked up the script several notches.
So, it will be interesting to see how this new version fares. I hope I can check back in more often.
Meanwhile, I would love to hear from fellow screenwriters on their journey from page to screen.