Writing to Produce Pt. 1: Mindset
By Leroy James King · August 17, 2010
So let's say, hypothetically, you've got a rare fire lit under your posterior and you've actually sat down, written your script, and finished it. I know, I know – only in a perfect world. Believe it or not, though, some people actually do finish their screenplays (I'm not one of those people at the moment – I've been working on one for over a year and half now and there's no end in sight.)
Anyway, you've got your script, it's a great idea, and you're ready to get it sold. Problem is you have no Hollywood connections, nor do you know where to start in the first place. There's a whole other entry to write about establishing those connections, but unfortunately those tips are reserved for those who are "privileged" enough to live in or around Hollywood.
For the rest of us though, there are strategies to getting a script sold, and the all trace back to the same concept: PRODUCE THE DAMN THING.
Now, if your sci-fi epic isn't exactly "shoot in the garage with a train set" material, or your period piece about William Wallace's awkward adolescence doesn't really add up to being something you can shoot for next to nothing, then you might want to rethink what you're writing to begin with.
Before I get into specific producing strategies, there's a big point that needs to be made. When you're writing with the eye to produce as well, make sure it's something you can actually execute! This is a totally rudimentary concept, but it's neglected more times than not. So unless you have a financier, stunt drives, and access to an ungodly amount of squibs, don't write that crazy car chase sequence – simply make it an on-foot chase scene. You get the idea.
That's of course not to say that I'm condoning a watering down of creativity. On the contrary, I challenge you as writers to become more creative. Think of practical, feasible ways to create a unique production that doesn't subscribe to the overwrought conventions we see in films all the time now.