Screenwriting is a glamorous career, no doubt about it. From all appearances, a successful screenwriter will garner fame, fortune, and the chance to fraternize with Hollywood celebrities. Of course, the reality of a screenwriter’s life is something quite different. The vast majority of screenwriters spend their entire lives writing and tweaking their screenplays without ever garnering the attention of a single production company. The truth is, most screenplays never go any further than the a computer’s hard drive. Sounds like a great career choice, doesn’t it?
How many movies are on your favorites list? I have about ten movies that I love and watch quite often. A few of those titles: Unforgiven, Heat, Ronin, Snatch, and any one of the Lord of the Ring’s movies. What transforms a typical blockbuster into a personal favorite? If you take a close look at the movies you love, you’ll find that the characters in the movies I just mentioned are fully developed and have extensive backgrounds. In fact, the more developed a character’s back story, the more involved the audience will become, and screenplays with highly developed characters typically transform into highly successful films.
Every year, it’s estimated that several hundred thousand screenplays are written. Out of those several hundred thousand, only a few hundred are produced for theatrical release. That’s a very low ratio of screenplays written to screenplays produced. Needless to say, the production companies only want to invest their production money into the very best screenplays. Before you submit your screenplay to anyone for their review, you had better make sure that your screenplay is perfect. To do otherwise would be very foolish.