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Luis Olmeda

Keep the Writing Faith
by Luis Olmeda

June 2000

Not too long ago I wrote about screenwriting success.

Well, since then I continued to polish my script and mailed out many query letters. A few replied -- not many. Those who did were not interested and two of those required an Agent or Management or representation by an Entertainment Attorney. Therefore, I started mailing out letters to Agents. The reply…? They were not interested. Surprised…no. I figured this would happen. I have read and heard about it many, many times. For example, a young actor told me that his uncle, a young rookie writer at the time, wrote an episode for the 70’s show ‘ALL IN THE FAMILY’. While in Hollywood he presented the idea to the big shots in the network. They rejected the story line. Not too long after that, to his amazement, his story became an episode…they produced his story without his permission! What did he do…? Well, that’s another story…

(Word of advice: Go to the Writers Guild of America web site, located at the end of this story, for information about protecting your work)

Okay, back to what I was saying before…It is like this…if you do not have any past work, achievements or come highly recommended, then it’s very difficult to break in. Unless of course, you know somebody that knows somebody that knows somebody in the business that is willing to listen to you pitch your story. Yeah right! But it could happen. YEAH RIGHT!!! HA HA HA… okay, let me calm down…I’m loosing my concentration here…

Anyway, what was I talking about…? Oh yeah, got it…So what’s next? Well, I called a local producer who referred me to an Attorney, who then referred me to another Attorney who manages and represents writers. After a long chat with the Attorney, she suggested that I have my script read by professional writers within the same field to obtain CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM.

There is a local group in Austin, writers themselves, who congregate twice a month to read and give out constructive criticism and positive compliments. It is totally up to the writers’ discretion to use or disregard such suggestions. This group has guidelines that you need to be aware of -- it is NOT where you can just go one time and call it a day after they read your script. You need to have the knowledge of the process and so forth. This group is also looking for volunteer actors / actresses to read the scripts at these meetings. If anyone is interested, the email is located at the end of this story.

Another recommendation is to take a class or a seminar and submit your script to a professional script consultant. Once your script is at its best then submit it to contests (web sites for these contests can be located in the Texas Film Commission web site).

The above mentioned will present the Agents, Management and Attorneys with a good idea of your local achievements and so on. Any of these ideas will make your script better than before, but there is still a long road ahead….

Here are a few web sites per the above mentioned:

WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA

http://www.wga.org/

SCREENWRITER GROUP:

Christine Bonney at

cbonney@prodigy.net

THIRD COAST SCRIPT CONSULTING:

www.scriptmuse.com

KEEP THE FAITH!

Luis A. Olmeda

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