Introductory Newsletter (Take the Screenwriter's Quiz)
Hello and welcome to Fix My Screenplay. My name is Barb Doyon and I'm a Hollywood Story Analyst. As a reader, I determine if a screenplay is a pass, consider or a recommend, and if it gets into the hands of a producer. My membership subscription website is dedicated to moving aspiring screenwriters to an A-list status, keeping writers updated on industry trends, and teaching writers advanced marketing techniques and even how to make money on-line. You can read my bio under the ABOUT section of this website.
HOW IT WORKS
Fix My Screenplay publishes a weekly newsletter with video instructions, audio instructions, long-form blogs, short form articles, assignments, quizzes, case studies and more. The content is presented in an easy-to-follow, simplified way to help aspiring screenwriters identify screenplay problem areas, fix the script, and advance their writing to an A-list level.
The weekly newsletter is published every Thursday, except Holidays when it'll be published on the Wednesday before the Holiday. Here's what to expect each week:
THREE MAIN OBJECTIVES
Fix My Screenplay is going to go beyond teaching you how to compose a well-written screenplay, to learning how to create a visual voice, a visual style, and how to evoke emotion, to assure the audience experiences the story on a visceral level.
What's your favorite movie and why? Regardless of the genre, your favorite movie is most likely a movie that made you laugh, or cry, it scared you or evoked some kind of emotion. Audiences don't remember a movie for how well-written it was, but for how it made them feel. A-list writers know how to use every part of the screenplay, even the format, to evoke an emotional response. This is rarely accomplished in a script written by an aspiring screenwriter.
That ends today! Moving an aspiring screenwriter to an A-list status is the primary objective of Fix My Screenplay. I can't promise you'll make a sale or even become a full-time screenwriter, but I can promise I'll give you the tools to do so. With hard work, moving out of your comfort zone, consistency, and the initiative to learn a new skill set, you could be the next aspiring screenwriter from Fix My Screenplay to make the A-list!
The perfect example is Screenplay Formatting! Have you ever written a screenplay, only to be told the format is incorrect, even though you learned the format from a book? Producers set the standards for format and they tend to change on a fairly regular basis. This causes published books on the subject to quickly become outdated.
That ends today! The first week of each month's newsletter covers the BASICS, which includes current industry standards in formatting. You will never again have to worry if your format is outdated. This newsletter will also cover TRENDS in the industry, with the objective of keeping the aspiring screenwriter updated.
In a constantly changing industry, aspiring screenwriters continue to fall into the same marketing trap they've been in for decades. They enter contests, attend festivals/pitches and send out queries, then rinse and repeat. While others have moved beyond the saturated query market and used Advanced Marketing Techniques to get producers to text or call them!
In addition to exploring case studies and showing aspiring screenwriters how to use Advanced Marketing Techniques, Fix My Screenplay, will teach writers how to make money on-line, while you're waiting to make your first sale. It's time to get you out of your day job and that awful cubicle, and into the laptop lifestyle!
There are two tiers, the Free Subscription Membership and the Paid Subscription Membership.
WHAT TYPE OF WRITER ARE YOU? TAKE THE QUIZ!!
Before beginning the journey to becoming an A-list writer, it's important to know what type of writer you are. This is a MANDATORY quiz because I will be referencing your 'type' of writer throughout the learning process. So, please take the time to take the quiz = 11 minutes! Have a pen and paper ready. Thank you!
Thank you for taking the quiz!
I've included several articles (see below) to address questions I've been asked many times by aspiring screenwriters. Let's get these questions out of the way, right up front, so we can dive into the material when I publish the next newsletter.
DO YOU HAVE TO LIVE IN LOS ANGELES?
Pre-pandemic I would have said YES because Hollywood's known as a meetings town with lunch meetings, meet & greet meetings, script meetings, contract meetings, development meetings, and agents are known for sending writers on pitches or assignments - all in Los Angeles.
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it's that we can all work from home! The world via Zoom is the new Hollywood meeting place. While it's not as fun, you can literally do lunch in two locations, pitch a screenplay, negotiate a deal/contracts, discuss revisions, share computer screens, all from the comfort of your home office. With Zoom, you don't even have to clean the house because you can use one of their virtual backgrounds and there's a FREE, downloadable version available for PC and MAC users!
However, with that said, aspiring screenwriters do have an advantage living in Los Angeles because an in-person meeting could carry more weight, and it shows the screenwriter is willing to go-the-distance to make the sale.
And for those aspiring screenwriters living in small towns, stay tuned. In an upcoming newsletter, I'm going to show you why you have the advantage, even over the A-list writers, and how to tap into your small town's gold mine.
ARE YOU TOO YOUNG OR TOO OLD TO BE A SCREENWRITER?
It's shocking how many times I've been asked this question by aspiring screenwriters. The younger generation worry they lack the experience to be taken seriously as a screenwriter, while the older generation are concerned they'll be seen as outdated and obsolete.
When a Hollywood reader or producer reads your screenplay, they have no idea if you're 18 or 86. And don't worry, the story won't give away your age. I once read a hysterical teen comedy and if you asked, I would've sworn the writer was between 18-25, maybe younger. While at a Hollywood event, I met the writer. He was a man in his 50's with four teen sons at home. In contrast, I met a young woman at an event and was shocked when I realized she was the screenwriter for a 1940's period screenplay. She just happened to love that time period!
If your screenplay moves a reader and a producer emotionally, you could be 99 years-old, show up at the meet-and-greet meeting wearing nothing but an adult diaper and walking with a cane, and the producer will applaud your bravado!
While a producer could care less what age you are, what you look like, whether you're male or female or anything else, there is one thing they do care about, it's a bad attitude, inflexibility, and unrealistic expectations.
Aspiring screenwriters often seemed reluctant to learn how the business works. Instead, they just want to write and leave the rest to an agent or manager. That seems reasonable, but you can't get an agent until you have a deal for a movie on the table with a producer. Have you ever accepted a job in your life where you didn't research the company and come prepared for the interview and eventual employment? Why would you do so in Hollywood, especially in a business that could land you a five or six-figure income from the first sale?
No worries because Fix My Screenplay is going to cover the biz from A to Z, including how to get an agent, when to sign with a manager instead, and when to bring in an entertainment attorney. Plus, many other areas you should learn before diving into your first screenplay sale.
And if you're still paranoid about being seen as anything other than a screenwriter, then only use your first initial and last name. Instead of John Smith or Julie Smith, put J. Smith on the cover of your screenplay. Frankly, it doesn't matter, but if it makes you feel better...
In addition to the topics covered in the weekly newsletters (see above), Fix My Screenplay will also be covering the following:
- Television Writing
- Writing the Look Book (TV)
- Television Formats (PrimeTime, Cable & Streaming)
- How to Pitch
- How to Turn an Idea into a Hit Reality-TV Show
- Meet the Producers
- Introverts' Guide to Becoming an A-list Screenwriter
- Landing Writing Assignments
- Novel Adaptations
- Industry Pro Interviews
- And much more...
Thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to explore the Introductory Newsletter. Please view the video for my Final Word and I look forward to helping you on your journey to becoming a career screenwriter!