Getting To Work

The writer/producer's first work on a project can be broken down into two stages: (1) from birth of the idea to completion and acceptance of the proposal, and (2) from the research stage to acceptance of the shooting script. A great deal of writing will be done at both stages but to different ends. The final objective of the first stage is to sell potential backers such as a TV commissioning editor on the idea of a film. The objective of the second stage is to prepare a working document that will guide the film from shooting through completion.

So is the writer a huckster, a common salesperson? In many cases, yes! Occasionally, a writer is invited into a project that has already been set in motion, and in which the sole task is merely to write the script. More often than not, though, the writer will also be the producer or will work closely with the producer; in that case, his or her first job is to generate a piece of paper that will sell the idea of the film.

Of course, there are other objectives during the first stage, such as clearing the head of the writer, formulating the ideas in a lucid way, and agreeing on objectives with the sponsor. Nevertheless, in most cases the real aim of the first stage is to get somebody to accept the proposal and fund a film that might cost anywhere from $5,000 to $250,000. There are five milestones along the way:

1. Conceptualizing the idea

2. Delivering the basic suggestion

3. Discussing the suggestion or idea with the sponsor, TV station, or support organization

4. Writing and delivering the proposal

5. Discussing the proposal and signing the contract

All five stages are usually necessary when the idea originates from you personally, but sometimes stages 2 through 4 overlap. If the idea or request for a film comes from a television station or a sponsoring organization, then you will most likely go straight to the proposal. In this chapter, I deal with the first three stages.

Film Making

Film Making

If you have ever wanted the secrets to making your own film, here it is: Indy Film Insider Tips And Basics To Film Making. Have you ever wanted to make your own film? Is there a story you want to tell? You might even think that this is impossible. Studios make films, not the little guy. This is probably what you tell yourself. Do you watch films with more than a casual eye? You probably want to know how they were able to get perfect lighting in your favorite scene, or how to write a professional screenplay.

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