To survive the fantasyland that is show business, you need to know the fundamentals and hard truths of scriptwriting and selling. More importantly, you need to know the tricks of the trade that can only come from years of experience.
The screenwriters and producers who have contributed to this issue have learned to use these insider tools and tricks of the trade the hard way. With their help, you''ll learn them without the blood, sweat and tears.
In this issue, you''ll find articles on writing query letters that can get your script out of the drawer and into the world, tips on writing great opening scenes, and information on how to turn a novel into a screenplay.
Plus, you''ll see the importance of distinguishing yourself, through professionalism and scriptwriting know-how, from the wannabes. We take an in-depth look at what producers, agents and contest judges want from scriptwriters, and give you advice on agents and Web sites for selling scripts.
This issue is packed with everything from a users'' guide for script-formatting software, to a chart detailing feature film plot structure and turning points.
As if that weren''t enough, scriptwriting professors from major film schools answer your questions and give you pointers on how to craft memorable scenes and avoid common writing traps.
What''s more, we bring you profiles and personal advice from some of today''s most successful scriptwriters.
Perhaps the biggest secret to scriptwriting is actually writing the scripts. There are far too many people who think they can sell an "idea" for a film without doing any work. Barry Kemp, one of the producers who speaks in a round-table discussion in this issue, says, "It''s like an athlete saying, ''you know, I don''t like to practice, I just like to play the game.'' It doesn''t really happen that way."
So, with the scriptwriter in mind, we''ve also included a resource guide filled with more than 100 Web sites for general scriptwriting information, software, organizations, contact information for production companies, film festivals, contests and more!
Whether you plan to write and produce the next Oscar-winning feature film or sell your services as a writer for an existing television show, I hope the articles in this magazine provide you with everything you need to get your foot in the door and make your scriptwriting fantasies come true.
This article appeared in the August 2001 issue of Scriptwriting Secrets.