“How to Choose a Good Script Consultant”

Doc Holiday's Grave in Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Screenwriting, as movies, are subjective. What one person likes, another person does not like. If you’ve ever discussed a movie with someone, you know what I mean.

The same goes with script consultants. What each one sees in a script might be different than what each other one sees in a script. So, you should find out what kind of genres/movies they like the best. If their interests fit the genre of your script, then, they will be more objective when helping you out with your script because they have a deeper knowledge of the genre and what works and what doesn’t work with that particular genre.

Another thing to look for when choosing a good script consultant is where his/her focus is. If they have a background in working on high concept projects, then, their focus will be on high concept projects. They will be looking for “cookie cutter” elements in your screenplay. In other words, high concept movies are movies that are the same as other movies, the only difference being a unique and fresh approach to the same genre.

For example, with high concept action flicks, they will compare your script to successful box office action movies, if your script is an action script. The same applies to romantic comedies, animation, etc. The more elements they see missing in your script, the higher price they’re going to charge you to help “fix” your script so that it fits the mold of a successful action script.

The problem with this is that the more they have you fit your story and characters into a successful box office mold, the more it takes your story and characters away from you, your original intention for your script. And, the more danger it puts your script in with respect to being tight, rhythmic, the appropriate tone and mode, and a smooth flow with respect to story, characterization, dialogue, etc.

So, choosing a good script consultant boils down to why you are writing a script and what you want to achieve with it.  Box office success? Acclaim for its story and characterization? A combination of both? Whatever. The fine point of choosing a good script consultant is for you to know what your goal is with your script.

I hope this has been of help to you.

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
The Zen of Writing
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net

“Hollywood’s Little Secret”

A professional screenwriter is a screenwriter who has been produced and paid. A professional screenwriter follows Hollywood’s rules in order to get produced. Hollywood’s rules require screenwriters to follow genre formula’s in order to produce their films. This means that professional screenwriter’s utilize their creativity by creating fresh, compelling, and unique stories within the context of a Hollywood established genre. This is the essence of utilizing one’s creativity in Hollywood. If a screenwriter wants to go independent of Hollywood in order to be creative, then, create to your heart’s delight. If a screenwriter wants to write screenplays simply to have fun writing screenplays, then be creative, have fun with it. If, however, a screenwriter desires to become a professional screenwriter, then, one must channel that creativity into specific channels in order to sell and get their screenplays produced.

Donald L. Vasicek
Olympus Films+, LLC
“Commitment to Professionalism”
Writing/Filmmaking/Consulting
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net

“Market Ready Screenplays”

Writing screenplays and getting them
sold and produced are highly competitive.
One must write screenplays that are
market ready. To do anything less will
result in failure.

A market ready screenplay requires
dialogue, characterization, format, plot, subplot(s),
action, narrative, description, etc. that must
execute genres which people will go see at the
movie theater.

To write a market ready screenplay, the writer
must study screenplays that have been box
office hits. Once that is accomplished, the
screenwriter should then write their screenplay
that is fresh and unique, but yet, parallels
that of box office hits.

For example, a romantic comedy simply
requires the question, will the couple in
question, get together or not? The
twist here must be unique and fresh. “Must
Love Dogs” starring Diane Lane and John
Cusack exhibits the twist that Ms. Lane is
seeking a man through ads. The require-
ment, he must love dogs. Well, guess
what, Mr. Cusack doesn’t love dogs, but
she falls for him anyway, and on it goes.

Study the genre you’re interested in writing.
Study the format. The writing. Incorporate
a fresh and unique approach to your genre
of interest. This can be accomplished via
a new twist that has never before been
used in the genre of your choice.

Donald L. Vasicek
Writer/Filmmaker/Consultant
Olympus Films+, LLC
http://www.donvasicek.com
dvasicek@earthlink.net