Hire the best screenwriter In San Francisco, California
Hire the best Screenwriter near San Francisco, CA. Check out the best screenwriter service in San Francisco with the writing skills, professionalism, & experience you need for your next project.
The ONLY A-List WGA Screenwriter
that helps sell your script when completed!
Deadline Hollywood trade magazine focuses more on the actual deals and future financing that keeps Hollywood alive and releasing films or series. When their team saw my website and interacted with me in emails to learn my system and goals they were so impressed they offered me the “Banner Cover” announcement for Monday-Friday daily news. This Banner would appear as the cover for 15 seconds before the actual news appeared. They were inspired by
my organization of new material from my screenwriting clients, my business model for investment, and my global travel. They vetted me pretty thoroughly. Gavin Polone (Producer of The Gilmore Girls for W.B. and also ran his own company) had predicted that soon the literary agent would die off when someone appears with a superior system for accessing fresh material. The system through which new projects are considered for television or theaters is broken and prevents the evolution of superior stories. Deadline realized my combination of the Creativity First Films Studio with Crypto-Integrity-Tao Edge Technology company was the future way to maximize profits if the original content was designed for more future sources of revenue like Games, Super Apps, Augmented Reality, Xtreme Reality concerts, Metaverse experiences, theme park rides, and massive merchandise. At the same time, my system makes sure there is at least one film that has his potential for awards in acting, screenwriting, directing, and cinematography. On my website are less than half of all the screenplays presented to me through connections or by new clients that hire me. If I agree to write a screenplay then it is because its value across many aspects of filmmaking is obvious, while at the same time they inspire people and shape the virtues of society. Hero Stories.
Look at these posters, how they are arranged, the stories they present on my website. Then you will know that your completed screenplay belongs with these wonderful examples of fresh film stories. Deadline Magazine would not have given me this special treatment without good reason. The launch in Florida will be impressive, and effective, and result in fresh films and new screenwriters shaping the future of the cinematic experience. You should be part of that.
Link To Deadline Magazine
Very excited to be the 1st CEO of a Studio to sit on the Board of Directors of a major investment firm as Director of National Entertainment, which includes all forms of emerging entertainment in Apps and Games. My entire career in Hollywood included Independent Productions with understanding financing a key skill. In addition, my world travels included meetings with national and private global finance executives. This gave me a skillset unique in Hollywood. Very few filmmakers or even Studio leaders understand the future of investment into film and the new revenue streams that are coming from Games, Next Gen Apps, A.R., V.R, Metaverse, Live A.R. Events, and X.R. Pac Pro Funding’s CEO realized my unique skills merged perfectly with their new investment system for films, which will be the first truly transparent, honest, accurate, and ethical bookkeeping for a film and television Studio, which will allow investors to see their investment money in real time 24/7. This also prevents fraud in revenue streams and inflated advertising costs. Uniting my company I.P. value with Pac Pro Funding’s newly-launched honest accounting is a game-changer and will force the Entertainment Industry into a superior investment system and profitable filmmaking dynamic. This means that all my clients who hired me as screenwriter and are on my website get considered for investment by clients of Pac Pro Funding and all other Mini-Major funding hedge funds. Examples of the types of Mini-Majors that we know are Legendary Pictures, Lions Gate, Artisan, Village Road Show, New Line Cinema, Plan B, Summit Entertainment, etc. If you want a screenwriter to hire that can get your film/series directly in front of investors, your investment into your story immediately is way ahead of all other independent or agency writing when it comes to funding possibilities.
You want the most talented screenwriter you can afford –
but you ALSO need help selling your finished project.
(And no other screenwriting service on the
Internet includes help selling your screenplay.)
My talent will be proven when I send you
my writing samples.
My proof of marketing skills and my status
in the film and financial arenas
is proven through links on my website to Media.
Scroll half way down the home page for them.
This effort can’t be faked or done half-ass to get
interviews with Forbes, Observer, Hollywood Reporter,
Hollywood Times, The Authority,
S&P Global Investment Watch, Newsweek
Singapore Business News, SCMP,
And 30 more Media and finance news,
Most of them identifying me as one
Of the top experts on the future of
Film, Games, Apps, Metaverses, Social Media.
Scroll down to see the high-value client projects.
I wouldn’t hold this many faithful clients
unless I was writing home-run scripts
and was terrific and honest to work with!
My full launch for funding
begins October through December.
Hire me now and be added
to my high-value films and series.
My writing services include:
Rewrites on existing Screenplays
Bibles for Television/Streaming Series
I’m more than your best choice for talent –
I’m your best opportunity to sell your project!
Fees depend on what category:
Screenplays start at $25,000
Pilots start at $15,000
Bibles start at $15,000
Rewrites start at $5,000
[I will spend more than you pay me in
advertising and other Marketing to fund it.]
Don’t miss this chance –
I’m only taking 2 more clients before
I’m solely focused on production.
WGA Minimums are 4 times this costly
after percentages are added in.
And my writing even includes free rewrites
during the original Rough Draft.
Agencies would never allow that perk.
In the end, you’ll save over $100k per screenplay
going with me instead of an agency or other company.
And they won’t spend a penny Marketing for funds for you.
Hollywood Reporter's Special Emmy Edition has a "Next Billion Dollar Deal" page. They endorsed the future of filmmaking, showing the combination of Edge Technology and Original Content uniting the people that hired the screenwriter into his new studio, Creativity First Films. Go through the Emmy Edition to page 21 to see their recognition of his achievements.
What makes a screenplay valuable to Hollywood?
Screenwriting is a specialty within the broader profession of “professional writing.” The film industry evolves every few years just like any industry and this is reflected in how a screenplay is paced, formatted, and supported by other written material like Treatments and Bibles. The exact formatting of the words on the page is as important as the main story and dialog. At the start a screenwriter might think it takes years to truly master screenwriting. In reality, to master screenwriting it takes a decade, and it also requires gradually-building knowledge of how deals are made and decisions “on the other side of the table.” However, dozens of new writers get discovered every year as they write on spec a winning feature film or series. They have talent from the start and learn as they go how the industry really works, making a fortune along the way. If I write your screenplay, that would be your path: you would shortcut the long road to being an in-demand, produced screenwriter.
In this case study you’ll know more about your goals and how to reach them than you’ll learn in any books or film school. Few people in the business will tell you the blunt truths because it belittles their job title and pay. Oddly enough, at the same time the refusal to uplift screenwriters goes against their mantra repeated while accepting Oscars that “it all comes from the screenplay.” The fact is that with the exception of the current hot writers, screenwriters are treated with the least appreciation. We are, after all, the only profession in the business that is expected to do work before any payment.
Facts are that most agents are lazy, hand off their work to assistants, and are driven by two things: fear of losing their job and the desire to be seen around someone cooler than they are (actors.) The Red Carpet might allow screenwriters into the Oscars, but you don’t see many publicity shots of them, do you? This is why hiring the best is so important: your final screenplay must rise to the level it wows them and makes them realign with the commitment to find superior dialog, scenes, and stories.
The Hollywood systems work in mysterious and even sometimes non-sensical ways. In most cases there are reasons for these business methods. But one thing has always remained the same: you’re either an insider or an outsider. An insider knows the difficulties of all the other professions as well as casting and financing. These skills are learned when veteran producers or leaders in the industry mentor you, sharing insider information on how a film really gets funded and why. Fortunately, several legends in Hollywood mentored me over the years, including Barry London the head of Paramount Pictures and Freddie Fields, who produced many Academy winners and started ICM agency. Add to that list many top Directors or Producers, and in 25 years all the methods and metrics were learned by me. In addition, I traveled the world to learn from other nations that are key to a film’s success what is trending, which increases the likelihood of the film or series being a hit.
My start in screenwriting was far easier than most people. I was working as a body double on a series at Universal and began screenwriting. I handed my screenplay to a friend on the set who got it to a top boutique agent and suddenly I was represented. My next screenplay got Optioned, a bigger agent took over my career, and suddenly I was sent out on pitch meetings all over town. Yet, despite studying the basics of screenwriting like “The Hero With A Thousand Faces” and the McKee book, I wasn’t really a top quality screenwriter until my 4th screenplay. A mentor advised me to go to the WGA library and ask the oldest librarian her top 10 screenplays – read them and then write in a new style. This changed my career. My next script sent out by a mid-level new agent got me over 15 interviews. The writing talent raised so much Development people all wanted to meet whoever wrote it. Suddenly, I could pitch anywhere. I quickly learned to write what the industry is seeking – what is trending and marketable – by following advice given by famous Producers, Directors, and Studio Execs.
I also entered screenwriting competitions, and to win one is extremely difficult. Placing in the top ten means that out of up to 3,200 screenplays, mine were in the .03% level of best writing. And I placed in the top tier in every single contest I entered (about 10 of them.). I tied for 1st place two times, so this established my talent against others.
Then my screenwriting hit a new level when I was a Director for the first time. My Writer-Producer-Director film won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress Awards. I was immediately booked for several “test Pilots” and was hired as a “Silent Script Doctor” to punch up films or television screenplays but not get credited. The great aspect of this was it put me in the room with Producers that talked to me as a peer trying to get production going and not just as a screenwriter.
Within screenwriting there are also categories. The most obvious division is between film and television/streaming. Within film there are genres, and agents like to box you in as an action writer or comedy writer. This is unfair but makes their job easier. Herein lies one of your greatest hurdles: the lazy agents. I’m one of the few screenwriters that proved myself in multiple genres in this order: Action, Comedy, Sensual Suspense Drama, Sitcoms, and True Life Story written for a film. Most likely, your screenplay is read first by an entry-level new employee that is forced to read dozens of scripts a week. This person might be fresh out of college with no Hollywood or writing experience. They are given a pamphlet or a one hour talk presentation on how to reject a screenplay more than how to recognize a hit screenplay.
The sad truth is that many first readers of your screenplay are told not to advance a script up the ladder of approval unless there is Talent attached, it has some funding already, or the screenwriter has some connections of value to the agency. If you place in the top ten of a screenwriting competition a few agents will pursue you and ask for your best screenplays or Pilots. Aside from that, the screenplay they open has to grab them within 2-3 pages and cannot show a single format mistake in the first 15 pages. After that, it comes down to the question for them, “Is this the type of film we’re interested in doing?” That answer comes down to budget, what talent they know, how easy it is to set up, the payoff at the end, and a few other factors. Let’s start with how to win them over.
How do you grab them? With several tools or skills. The screenplay writing must be strong and easy to follow. It helps if the screenplay is obviously “high concept” from the start. It helps if it is a topic that is trending in popularity or fits a category Hollywood is promoting. A surprise hit like Paranormal Activity resulted in 10,000 screenplays or films at the AFM the following year, so work fast and get it out there if it is a new sub-genre.
Surprise hit genres aside, the screenwriting has to be engaging, top quality, with crisp dialog, and it has to hit all the turning points in the format aspect. The reader is told essentially, “If it doesn’t do this by page XYZ, then just list reasons to reject it and write fast coverage, then move on to the next one.” For this reason, hiring an A-level screenwriter keeps your script alive to the next level.
Another factor in the screenplay’s marketability is how much trailer material does the screenplay have in it? Barry London of Paramount told me that my screenplays have so many great trailer moments they jump off the page, and make advertising and explaining why to fund the screenplay so much easier. (Whereas he said most screenplays do not have enough trailer moments.)
In all, I’ve written for Producers or Executives from: Paramount Studio, Tri-Star Studio, Universal Studio, Warner Brothers Studio and many Indie companies. I was also chosen by Oscar winners to write specific concepts into screenplays or had them attached to projects I wrote, including but not limited to: Simpson-Bruckheimer, Freddie Fields and Jerome Hellman, Robert Zemeckis, John Badham, The Nobel Family, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Edward Neumeier. And my writing got meetings with Sam Rami, Lew Wasserman, the others. In my international travel I met with the heads of Wanda Film Group, Ricci Holdings, Shanghai Film Group. Bona Films, and was invited to speak at the Shanghai International Film Festival.
When you first talk to me about your story or what you have written, we both begin a new level in your journey to having your story produced. In enjoyable conversation we go over both your story and how it will best fit in the industry. Our original point of origin is many levels higher than most screenwriters you could hire.
I’ve been contacted by people that spent a fortune with an agency only to get a terrible finished screenplay. And I’ve been hired by people that tried to save money by hiring someone with no actual production experience for a cheap rate and now realize the advantage to hiring an A-List screenwriter with experience Directing a film.
Now it is time to take a look at my website. There isn’t any website in Hollywood with such a strong presentation of original screenplays. And there isn’t one wherein one writer has been interviewed by both film and finance magazines about the future of Hollywood. By explaining more to you through my website than any company in Hollywood, and answering your questions in our phone or in-person meetings, we evolve your story into one that can be funded and you improve your film industry skills. With this new level of understanding, our writing of your screenplay already begins on a higher level than anywhere else you can seek this service. And it just keeps getting better.
I spent a fortune on the Marketing, on my experience internationally, and all the end result you see on the website. All the other screenwriting services have a list of writers and some quotes from happy clients. They might have a few more frills. But none of them have this much proof of superior writing, vision for the future of Hollywood, knowledge of funding, and display of high-value original screenplays. All of this is set for my big marketing launch in late October. If you hire me, your poster and pitch will be added to my website in our first week and be able to take part in this marketing blitz. We’ll have your screenplay started, and the buyers are told it is weeks away from its final Polish.
You won’t get this level of writing from most screenwriters unless you spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars. And even then, they won’t Market it for you. The agency might send it out, but they drop it if it does not get immediate reactions. But my plan is a sustained Marketing plan. I recently sealed a deal for a new television series and have high-level Entertainment Industry meetings starting soon.
Hope is a great human quality; however, you need real industry experience and not cut corners to get a top-quality screenplay that gets funding. The investment pays off when you hire someone that is so committed to your screenplay selling that all this website and marketing is created and paid for when you need it most. You’re coming along in the final months of my preparation for the full media launch of my studio with these projects – and YOUR project – presented to companies that fund films, games, and other new technology merging with filmmaking and the audience experience.
Read more in my links and blogs to see what it is like to write for Oscar winners.
Why completing the masterpiece screenplay, written for the famous Nobel family, represents screenwriting at its best.
The Nobel Prizes memorialize the pinnacles of success, creativity, talent, and breakthroughs in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, and Peace. The Nobel Family is one of the most influential in modern world history – yet only a fraction of a percent of the world knows why. Their Prizes and who receives them gets international front-page news while the origins of the Prizes seldom is explained, and when it is explained the reporting is incorrect or so minimalized the real reasons and events that led up to them are not fully understood.
The Nobel Family did have a documentary created and released to sellout theater crowds across Europe in 2001. Several mini-series or ad hock films were produced without the full endorsement of the Nobel family or organization. Around 2010 the Nobel leadership decided they needed a feature film and hired an award-winning screenwriter from Europe. It took an extremely long time to write the screenplay, and it failed to please the family on both a factual basis and cinematic story basis. The family hired two more screenwriters that won awards in European film festivals or award events, but their screenplays failed to capture the energy, risk, passion, and personalities of the family and the powerful people against them or befriending them. To tell their story in one film proved so extremely challenging even to the most talented and acclaimed screenwriters for hire because it required studying hundreds of pages of history that involved not only powerful dynasties but also involved the Russian revolution.
When a representative for the Nobel (BraNobel Conference or entity) contacted me to write the screenplay, he openly stated he did not expect me to succeed, all others failed, and he didn’t expect a screenplay for well over six months – perhaps by nine months I would submit a screenplay the family rejects.
Working for a fraction of the money paid far more famous screenwriters, I delivered first a massive Treatment proving I had the story and facts correct as per the Nobel legacy representatives, and then a 128-page screenplay in less than three months – and the screenplay was wholeheartedly embraced by the family representatives in charge.
I’d already met with the initial representative fronting for the Nobel family (although not related to the family.) My advice proved so useful they added an Associate Producer Credit to my Screenplay and Treatment writing Credit. Peter Nobel and two reps flew to Hollywood. I presented the screenplay to Creative Artists Agency and within two days got amazed reviews. Within a week both Robert Downey Jr.’s production company and Brad Pitt’s production company were (supposedly) interested in producing the film. We celebrated in the Soho Club on Sunset Blvd. with the agents. Now, the process of moving forward takes time and I was in charge of having our own budget for the film determined by a solid Line Producer. In addition, a major agency presented a rough minimum budget close to the one my connections presented to the Industry and Nobel home office in Norway, where several people had to learn as they go and give approvals. This takes months, and all was progressing extremely well.
I flew to Singapore and then to Hong Kong and through previous production connections for the Jean-Claude Van Damme film I wrote was able to get a meeting with Ricci Holding Company, which secretly was some of the first money ever invested into the first Marvel movies. In less than an hour meeting I had a commitment from Ricci Holding to fund up to $18 million of it if the Nobels could come up with $10 million. This is really a good progress report. The rest of the money would be easy to get once the lead Actors were attached and the Director signed. I personally was very interested in Robert Downey Jr. for Emmanuel Nobel who did so well playing Sherlock Holmes. We also talked about Actors like Anthony Hopkins playing J.D. Rockefeller, and needed big names to play the lead Lord Victor Rothschild, Stalin, Beria, Samuel Samuel the Mayor of London who had control over the Suez Canal for transporting oil, President Wilson, and two spies sent by the United States – all of these in addition to who would play Alfred Nobel who established the Nobel Prizes and Ludvig Nobel – both of them extraordinary inventors and visionaries.
This established me with the major agencies and several Producers on a new high level of respect. We were sure this incredible film script would be produced. Unfortunately, I lost oversight control of negotiations and the reps who were too new to the film business to know when they were “being suckered” went for a different deal without telling me. I warned this would result in a “Development Hell” freeze on the production and a large loss of money but it was too late by the time they informed me to turn down the Ricci offer.
As they say, “In Hollywood there are a thousand ways for a film to die.” This is one way. My faith in artistic power tells me that soon this screenplay will be funded and made into an award-winning film. The roles are too rich and wonderfully complex to never get to be shared with a theatrical audience, and the story all the more important and relevant to today’s world events for it not to be produced. Few top Directors would be a perfect fit, though top of my list would be Ridley Scott. This is a very demanding film to make, so whoever takes it on as a Director has one of the great artistic challenges ahead of him or her.
Here is my invitation to speak at the annual BraNobel Conference to announce the film and my role as the only screenwriter with the talent to write the approved screenplay.
And here is the link to the BraNobel Conference website.
The General Film Story and Characters
The family saga begins before 1900, when the inventive Nobels (Ludvig, Alfred, Robert, and Emil) engineered the first wagon wheel that did not get easily stuck in frozen mud in Finland and Russia. They improved the design of the rear-loading rifle for the Russian military, and got a contract to make the rifle stock out of a special cherry wood. It was Alfred and young Emmanuel (sometimes spelled Immanuel) that sailed into the Baku ports to buy the wood. They instead saw the massive pools of oil on the ground, which at the time was pumped up by a horse walking circles around a post, and people would take the heavy oil by the buckets to burn for heat and light. But the oil produced a lot of smoke. The distilling process to make kerosene used in Moscow and the better homes was completely reimagined and engineered by Alfred Nobel. Soon they created the refineries that produced by far the cleanest kerosene and led to faster creation of gasoline from raw thick oil. At that time, J.D. Rockefeller running Standard Oil had the largest system out of Pennsylvania and wanted ownership of all the world’s oil fields. If it were not for the fact that Alfred kept innovating faster than Standard Oil could shut them down, Rockefeller would have own a monopoly on oil in the world by 1915. At the same time, Rockefeller sent spies and business fronts to assess Emmanuel and considered him a buffoon who could easily be destroyed – but Emmanuel was clever. Meanwhile the Russian Revolution began. Beria was in a Baku prison and let out. Standard Oil decided to remove the competition by funding some attacks on Baku, hoping to kill the Nobels. And, Lord Victor Rothschild sat in the sidelines watching to see who won as he led the greatest financial and banking entity in the world, followed by J.P. Morgan. Ultimately, the Russian Socialist Army stormed Baku and killed almost everyone, then took over the Nobel oil business. Emmanuel barely escaped. All other oil owners were assassinated. But the Nobel Prizes were Alfred’s creation. He was dying and needed a warmer climate, so he spent his last years living in a villa with nurses. He had a few close calls with death, and one of the worst suggested he might not recover that night. Rockefeller’s spy thought it would be a great idea to announce that Alfred died, and that he was the inventor of dynamite and sea mines that sunk ships in war. So they bribed a major newspaper to print the most damning story of Alfred Nobel. He survived and read how the world would see him after his death. In order to correct the record, he devoted his fortune to the Nobel Prizes. There was at first a problem with the family heirs and the Swedish government that wanted to claim this money and oil rights. But the legacy moved to Norway as the first Nobel Prizes were given out many years after Alfred died. Emmanuel fled to Switzerland and France and made good friends with Diesel, who invented the engine with the Nobel money. The two of them spent their old age motorboating on the seas. The United States and Rockefeller knew the power and importance of oil as the future energy for the world, and sent spies to wrestle all the monopoly they could. And so, this film was called “The Great Game – The First Oil War” for a reason. Stalin and Lenin may not have been so successful in creating the USSR if the U.S.A. had not helped them. And today oil is of course Russia’s main commodity to export.
You can read my official BraNobel invitation and announcement in this document.
[ILYA, INSERT THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT HERE]
Why the Nobel saga means so much to the world in the last century.
Climate Change has made oil “evil.” But in fact, oil saved more life by the fact it is the only truly portable energy source in the world, and this led to the development of every nation on earth, the creation of hospitals and infrastructure, global shipping and commerce, and led to innovative farming which allowed us to feed the world. Oil was required to build the dams that provide clean energy and prevent floods that killed millions frequently. It built the canals, allowed for the invention of air travel, and without it there would be no computer industry. Oil was the key to winning WWI and WWII, ending the Cold War with Russia, and it built an empire for Arab nations to lift people out of poverty. It did though lead to senseless wars in Iraq and funds a lot of terrorism with that oil money.
The Nobel family with its determined leadership and very virtuous standards wanted the best for humanity. Sure, they also wanted their position in the world as oil barons, which was only taken from them due to the greed of Rockefeller. Imagine if Rockefeller did not go on the attack to wipe out the Nobel’s oil dynasty. The Nobel family’s ability to invent and innovate would have accelerated cleaner oil in all forms. Terrorist nations would not have fully owned all their oil fields. The price of gas would be less, heating more affordable, and a few wars would have been avoided. In addition, Russia would never have the totalitarian rule of their oil to use against nations.
Every modern city and its infrastructure could never have been built in the times they were if the Nobel family never took over enough oil to compete with Standard Oil. Sure, eventually, better distilling of oil and processing and delivery would eventually have been discovered. But considering the timing of WWI and WWII as well as the Russian Revolution under Stalin, how many millions more people would have died without the Nobels?
I was the first and only screenwriter the Nobel family found and hired to write their saga into a hit film. It was a great honor to write it and to speak at the BraNobel Conference. I expect that with the launch of my film studio one of our priorities will be funding this film so the world can understand the many assassination attempts the Nobels survived, and the great innovations the Nobel leaders in 1890’s to 1920 delivered to improve the quality of life around the world.
Screenwriter for Hire
Categories of Hollywood Genres and WGA Definitions
Few screenwriters or companies offering services give you an orientation to the terms used by agencies, producers, and studios. They also seldom explain in enough detail what the end product should look like, what a producer is most likely to ask you to present next, and ways to reduce your costs at the start. My belief is the more knowledgeable you are, the better we hit your vision with a bullseye and enjoy the process.
- Action Comedy
- Teen Horror
- Paranormal Suspense
- Sensual Suspense
- True Life Story
Within these we have terms like “Fish Out of Water” like Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop, or a “Buddy Movie” to shape the story. If you want a Fish Out of Water keep returning to that because it ties the whole movie together. “Coming of Age” and “Underdog” movies follow themes that revolve around making you care about this one individual. Under the category for television drama there are “Procedurals” like CSI or Law and Order.
True Life Stories are a specialty of their own within screenwriting and you need someone proven in that genre. The reason why is because the screenwriter must follow real life events to some degree (or perfectly) while also providing what the audience wants. I was the only screenwriter out of four famous screenwriters they hired before me that was able to tell the true-life story of how the Nobel family became so powerful. Having that as my high-standard proves I excel in true life stories being turned into marketable films.
Rom-Coms might be fun to read but they require chemistry between two bankable lead characters, the most obvious example being “When Harry Met Sally.” These are often dialog-driven scripts.
Straight Action, Teen Horror, Slasher, and Paranormal are usually the easiest to write and this is why they cost the least when I write them.
Sci-Fi now requires the story to really deliver some wild breakthrough that audiences haven’t seen before. Someone recently came to me with a Sci-Fi suspense story that was originally a book he wrote, and his only special factor was “this guy can move things with his thoughts.” Oh, you mean like fifty movies with telekinetic powers in them? That is not original any more. Firestarter worked because we hadn’t seen that before, especially from a young girl, and you cared about her as much as you were visually glued to the next spectacular fire. I empathetically explained that his idea was not original enough to make readers amazed or actors impressed enough to take the role. He came back with a far more advanced sci-fi concept 6 months later and we wrote it.
One thing most writers, even advanced ones, do not know is that all great and successful films revolve around something very simple. This is not the theme of the movie. It is what this film is “About.” I put this in quotes because this word means something very different to A-List Directors and Actors. The theme might not appear in all scenes, but every single scene must present what the movie is “About.” Barry London who led Forrest Gump told me about the day Zemeckis and Hanks met to decide what that movie was “About.” They posed a few ideas, and then determined it was About, “Surrender to fate.” In every scene if you look for it, there is a moment when Forrest or others surrender to fate – even Captain Dan has a special moment for this. Forrest might get vexed or worked up over something … but then surrenders to fate. The most experienced Directors, Actors, Producers, and agents know it when this higher aspect of screenwriting is in the screenplay.
Finally, you might like knowing that there are seven main stories that anchor almost all mythology.
- MAN AGAINST MAN (boxing, crime, rivals)
- MAN AGAINST HIMSELF (seeking his destiny, overcoming flaws)
- MAN AGAINST HUMANITY (war, politics, big business)
- MAN AGAINST WOMAN (love, divorce, competition, sexism, sexual pleasure)
- MAN AGAINST ALIEN (aliens, zombies, rabid dogs, ghosts)
- MAN AGAINST NATURE (Armageddon, survival movies, Castaway)
- MAN AGAINST FAITH (family bonding, faith in God, faith in love)
WGA CLASSIFICATIONS AND FEES
When I started screenwriting decades ago, there were very few official WGA categories: Screenplay, Treatment, Pilot, Episodes, Documentary, Network Television, Cable Television, Limited Series, and a few more. There was not even a category for Bibles or Synopsis. An idea was not protected, and Loglines, Concepts, and brief Synopsis did not get protection. Bibles were like secret recipes and for the most part most were written by established Show Runners or Producers and Writers working together like Aaron Spelling. But the WGA is all about making their 14% on top of writer fees so they saw the expansion of Streaming and YouTube and quickly began making extra categories.
In my opinion, Show Runners are the only thing there is a shortage of, and that shortage is manufactured on purpose by agencies to maximize how much they can charge for a series and also get on the back end in syndication. I base my opinion on the following facts.
- A few successful series began without a Show Runner or lost it early and never replaced the job, and still did fine.
- Reality Shows never had to have a Show Runner for years and the first were smash hits. They had head writers and the Producer help stories. But now all Reality Shows must also have Show Runners.
- The success rate of shows with the most expensive, famous Show Runners is the same as series with new Show Runners or with just a good writing team.
- I have written Bibles and designed entire Series for a full three years of episodes and the projects got a green light. But then they brought in a Show Runner that later would state, “Whoever wrote this script and Bible did everything possible, there’s no place for me to go better than he did.” This was after they got paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to join the team of Producers at a major Network. So why did they insist on bringing in a Show Runner rather than just going with me? Money. Everyone’s salary goes up with a higher ranked Show Runner. And, it helps convince agencies this is a long running series. Now, I will agree that there are many series that must have a top Show Runner. Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, 24, Prison Break, Westworld, Stranger Things, Ozark – these have fantastically-complex relationships and events that do not come to a conclusion for seasons later. One person or a duo must lead the way, knowing what no one else knows.
Show Runners are usually head writers that are given their big chance and helm a show that does well. Many of them actually Produced or Directed at least one episode of a series. This helps them keep all the aspects in sync.
If you have a series in mind, then you will need a Bible as much as you need a Pilot Script. This is because the Bible protects your rights to the greater story, credits, and direction of the series, and it also helps sell its idea as one that can last for many years to syndication, which is every agency and Producer goal.
A Bible gives the Network, Producers, and everyone else on down the line an idea of “what they’re getting into” and “is there enough bang for the buck?” Bibles take skill to write. When I began, most Bibles were only 3-6 pages. When I wrote my first one for Miramax to review they loved it but did tell me that at ten pages it is longer than it needs to be. Today, they have Bibles up to 30 pages.
They also have these things called Pitch Decks. I am not a fan of Pitch Decks. To me, they are for people that do not have vision or know how good a screenplay is by reading it. A veteran filmmaker will know it comes down to what is in the script, not in your flashy pictures. I think this is an example of the dumbing down of Hollywood shot-callers. Those with real talent are harder to find in every department. The need for better writing in this Streaming age is obvious. Just ask yourself, “Would Lord of the Rings made so much money and garnered such a long legacy if it were released first on Streaming?” Would the dialog for Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs been so succinct and powerful? Would Harry Potter or Star Wars dominate so many childhood lives and become a metaphor for today’s social ills – which comes down to a ruin of free will in these movies. That is what they fight for in all the above films. Mythic. Immortal.
The WGA fees change, but always go up. Whatever fee you see quoted, realize that if you have an agent they will press for more money than the minimum. If you go directly to a Producer they most likely will try to cut you out of as much as possible, down to the minimum. So get a good Entertainment Attorney to push for your best payoff. If you hire a screenwriter from an agency, you can bet you will pay over $100,000.00 for the screenplay. This does not include any rewrites. With rewrites expect to pay over $200,000.00 by the time it goes out for consideration for funding.
I set my fees at approximately one-quarter of the WGA costs and include rewriting for free during the writing of the rough draft. And unlike most screenwriters, I am confident enough in my rough draft to send you pages as I make progress. Usually, I send you every 10-15 pages so you can fine tune my tone, style, descriptions, story, and characters. By the time we’re half way through the script almost all questions are answered and it is easy sailing.
I hope this added information shows how dedicated I am to your screenplay being top quality and selling. Your focus on it and expense is worth this much and more from whomever you hire to write your vision and story.