Make Your Script Sellable : The Art and Business of Screenwriting
Although glamorous, the entertainment industry is a business. In addition to understanding the elements of what makes a successful, sellable screenplay, it is equally important to have a basic understanding of the business side of the movie industry. This includes knowing how to pitch your project, handling notes meetings, and delivering subsequent revised and properly formatted drafts to the production company.
The good news is that everyone in Hollywood is looking for an amazing script, and with streamers changing the game, there has never been a better time or opportunity for new writers to break into the industry and sell their screenplays.
Working on both sides of the table gives Cara a unique perspective. She found herself giving the same notes over and over again to new writers and decided to help screenwriters who already understand basic structure and story elements, but their scripts need a lot more work to get them into sellable shape. Cara explains the notes that are commonly given to writers by Development Executives on their submitted scripts to help you identify and solve those issues before you submit your script to a production company or studio. Knowing the right people, people who are willing to read your spec and/or are looking to hire writers for open writing assignments, doesn’t do you any good unless you can deliver a strong, professionally formatted, well-written, amazing script.
You usually only get one shot to have your project read, and it is important to make sure your screenplay is in the best possible shape!
SPEAKER: CARA J. RUSSELL
Cara J. Russell is a prolific screenwriter with a background in journalism. Her movies can currently be seen on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Lifetime, UPtv, PixL TV, and more. As of this writing, she has 10 + screenplay projects in development with various producers and production companies. In addition to her screenwriting, Cara works as a Creative Development Executive for MPCA (Motion Picture Corporation of America), a film production company in Los Angeles that is a world-leading producer of Christmas and family-themed movies and television entertainment.
As a Creative Development Executive, Cara has read and given extensive notes on hundreds of scripts. She works on the production side of film and TV projects for networks and streamers from the initial pitches through the shooting drafts. A large part of her job is working with writers and helping them get their scripts into sellable shape for buyers such as Netflix, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Paramount, ABC, CBS, HBO Plus, NBC Peacock, Disney Plus, Lifetime, and many more.