Monday, June 16, 2008

Meniscus Point

After reading so many different books and taking so many classes on how to write, I think I'm at the point now that any new writing advice feels useless. Not that I believe I'm so good that I can't take advice, but I'm sitting at a meniscus point; I've internalized screenplay structure to the point that any new info seems to conflict with what I already know. I've read so many different styles and techniques for screenwriting that I now just have to nurture my own style.

On Denis McGrath's suggestion, this weekend I picked up a copy of Billion-Dollar Kiss by Jeffrey Stepakoff. Stepakoff's book is exactly what I'm into right now - looking into the world of Hollywood and how it works. How others have made it outside of having talent. And it's imprinted a big footprint on my ass. Stepakoff talks about his first TV spec, written while he was at school; he wrote a spec of the half-hour show Molly Dodd in one week. This one spec impressed John Wells and then got Stepakoff an agent in LA. One week! I know Dexter is hour-long and is a more complex show than Molly Dodd, but reading that has made me write like a maniac over the last couple days.

Makes me think though. I thought you needed 3 specs: 2 existing shows and 1 original pilot/play/ect... Right now I have 1 Heroes spec and 1 original TV script. Would it be a mistake for me to start looking for an agent before I have the Dexter completed?


Screenwriter Shep said...

I think the question you need to ask is -- would having an agent do anything for you right now? If having an agent tomorrow would make a huge difference, then you could go for it.

However, if it wouldn't make a difference, it might make more sense to have more ammo.

If a surprise attack isn't going to do the job, save up and use brute force.

Trevor said...

Well, having an agent now would be good in that they could start shopping me around and getting me work now. But it may be that an agent would have trouble doing that before I have that third script finished anyway. I guess waiting until I know I'm ready is probably better than taking the chance of jumping in too early.