The Screenwriter's Journey is an online odyssey created by myself, William Gilmore, to chronicle my efforts in writing and marketing a screenplay for Hollywood. I've been in Los Angeles for several years now, and my early exuberance at being in the movie-making capital of the world has been tempered by the daunting experience of not getting my work seen. By anyone.
That's not to say I haven't had successes as a writer; I've written on-air promos, trailers, DVD bonus features, infomercials and I've had a handful of plays produced in cities across the country. I've even had two feature film scripts commissioned, one of which was produced, but ultimately failed to get distribution (another story for another time). An original third script was optioned, but the production company was unable to secure adequate financing. Not exactly a rousing success story, but neither is it so disheartening that I feel compelled to abandon the dream.
Still, movies get made and that requires a script. So how does one breakthrough the morass and get noticed? Well, that's what The Screenwriter's Journey aims to find out. On September 1, 2015, I launched this website to chronicle my daily attempts at cracking the system that is Hollywood, and invited other screenwriters like youself along for the ride. Using this website you will be able to follow my progress on writing new scripts, reaching out to agents and production companies, uncovering the mysteries of writing the query letter and developing the perfect pitch. There will be interviews with fellow screenwriters, actors, directors, union reps and, hopefully, a few agents. There is even an ever-expanding Resource Page with links to screenwriting services, websites and screenwriting competitions so you can begin a journey of your own. You are invited to interact and comment here on the website, or you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and maybe together we can figure out what makes this industry tick.
One of my major obstacles has been my day job. As a writer/producer, I've been engaged heavily in Reality TV of late, and the long hours can make it difficult to put in the time necessary to market my scripts, let alone create new ones. And if I'm honest with myself, aside from attending some writer's workshops, I haven't really made the effort that is required to be a successful Hollywood screenwriter. It's a time consuming, creatively taxing and rejection filled endeavor with literally thousands of other struggling writers vying for attention. It's no wonder agents and production companies don't want to meet with me or anyone else; they're simply overrun.
"So how does someone break through the morass and get noticed?"
WHAT EVERY SCREENWRITER
NEEDS TO KNOW
• How do I find an agent?
• I've finished my script. Should I file with
the copyright office or register with the WGA?
• What is coverage and why do I need it?
• How do I write a query letter?
• What is the difference between a logline,
a synopsis and a treatment?
If you don't know the answers, join the journey and take the next step in your screenwriting career!
In the first year of the journey, I pounded out 548 pages of material, completed 3 scripts and culled 177 news articles on screenwriting from the web, made some high-powered Hollywood connections through conferences and festivals and blogged about it every step of the way, being completely transparent about both my successes and my failures. If you follow along, you'll learn what works, what doesn't and how to make your own quest for Hollywood success a journey worth taking. The news articles alone are an education in and of themselves, but you don't have to scour the internet looking for them; I've already done it. And they're right here on the site available to you at no charge. Plus you'll find web resources to download drafts of your favorite movies and learn how Hollywood's most bankable writers structure their own screenplays. With so much information available to you, you don't need a fancy education to start writing, but you do have to take that first step and The Screenwriter's Journey makes it easy. So what are you waiting for? Take control of your screenwriting career and join me on the journey today!