Over the past years of working as consultants, many of our clients have found the recognition they so deserve—whether it’s via finding an agent, getting optioned, being vigorously submitted, winning a contest, winding up with a fine script that someone buys, or finding a way to make the film themselves. Many of these individuals have also found success inside themselves—people who were never able to call themselves “writers,” now do so with conviction; folks who were sure they had no talent, now realize they can truly make it happen.
All these accomplishments really matter.
In the early days of Hollywoodscript.com we worked with a writer by the name of Brad Kayya on the script for the movie O. How easy it seemed when it finally popped up on the screen and gave us something early in the game to brag about. We gradually began to realize how unusual it was to have gotten so lucky at just the right time.
Not too long ago, we were involved with a producer who came to us with a project that wasn’t yet working. He was already hooked up with folks who were prepared to make a film, subject to finding the right material. The script he brought to us was quite workable, but needed a lot of revision. The client worried it would take too much time to make all the changes, so we asked him if he’d be interested in looking at other projects that we’d worked on, which were already ripe and ready. He said OK. We sent him a few pieces of coverage from past clients and eureka, one of our favorite young writers, Tom Shipley, ended up selling his script to this producer and his backers! Tom’s film, Get Happy! (directed by hot newcomer, Manoj R. Annadurai) was shown at film festivals and won “Best Romantic Comedy” at the Manhattan Film Festival; “Best Romance Feature” at the Universe Multicultural Film Festival; was an “Official Selection” at both the Montreal Film Festival and New York Independent Film Festival; won “Best Feature Finalist” at the Maryland International Film Festival; and also won The Gold Remi at the 49th WorldFest Houston International Film Festival. Previous recipients of the Remi Award include George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, the Coen Brothers, and Ang Lee.
Indie-type films can often confront high walls in Hollywood. But The Amati Girls by multi-talented, actor/writer/director Anne DeSalvo was made despite the obstacles and went on to win several Best Screenplay and Best Film awards at festivals. Anne’s can-do spunk and determination was inspiring and we weren’t at all surprised that on top of everything else, she now has a position as a Professor teaching at the distinguished USC Film School in L.A.
Last Will (starring Tatum O’Neal, Tom Berenger, James Brolin, and Armand Assante) was a project on which we worked very hard creatively, but in the long run, it ended up getting made more as a result of our having helped to introduce the right players to each other, than anything else.
So too, when a veteran with quite a story called and told us about harrowing experiences he had while in the service, we could tell it was a doozy. Thinking his project very worthy, we directed him toward the right Hollywood reps for a project of this kind. We’re happy to say that the book version was published by Simon and Schuster. It’s called Murder at Camp Delta, written by Joe Hickman. Eventually, we hope to see it on the screen as well.
Sometimes a client is able to live the dream of writing a script and seeing it quickly take off. Our client Joanne Wannan worked tirelessly with us on her script Obituary, then sold it well within a year to the Lifetime network. It was broadcast all over the world—a true fairytale-type experience for all concerned.
Others have had to wait a bit longer, but the dream has come to fruition nevertheless. Writer Leonardo De Leon reports that his, Why Do Men Cheat (directed by Joe Menendez) received international exposure via its openings in Mexico and all of Central America. From start to finish, he was able to develop, write, polish, and get his script produced within a couple of years.
Dark Around the Stars, The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer, Two Minute Heist, Crazy Like a Fox and several other films we’ve watched go from page to screen all share in this unpredictable road to recognition that has no set timeline. But no matter what the details are in how these writers overcame obstacles, setbacks, industry gatekeepers or how long it took, there are always multiple forces at work including tenacity, patience, and wild good luck, all underwritten by strong material!
We’re very proud of all these writers whom we’ve seen go the challenging distance from having an idea to seeing it play out in a tangible and profitable way. Keep believing that it’s possible, keep working hard to get your material to the point where it is as good as it can be; and know that getting your script made is almost always a very capricious process.
Indeed, screenwriting, like life, is a true game of human will and the tides of fate ever converging.