Test Your Screenwriting I.Q. (Pt. 4)

True or False

1. You should try to get your material to directors or actors who may take an interest in getting your movie made.
True. Get your material to anyone who might be in a position to help.

2. Another term for a “thriller” is a “suspense film.”
True.

3. Most material that is optioned is successfully produced.
False. The vast majority of options expire without the project getting made.

4. Beginning as an intern or reader for a production company is a smart way to start a writing career.
True. You get to learn how the business works, read a lot of scripts and network.

5. It is easier to sell screenplays based on established books, comics or other medium.
True. Films based on established material from another medium have a built in audience.

6. Studio readers synopsize all the scripts they read and decide whether or not to recommend the script.
True.

7. You should write and try to sell sequels to successful movies.
False. If you don’t own the rights, no one will buy it. But you can still use it as writing sample.

8. The easiest genre to sell are comedy and romantic comedy.
False. The easiest genre to sell are action movies because they do well in foreign markets.

9. You shouldn’t write a period piece because it is more expensive and they don’t sell.
False. Although period movies are a much tougher sell, if that genre is your strength and you target the right companies, go for it.

10. With the increased studio focus on PG-13 films, horror specs are difficult to sell.
False. Horror films are typically low budget and have a dedicated following.

3 thoughts on “Test Your Screenwriting I.Q. (Pt. 4)

  1. M. Berg

    5b) Don’t potential agents/studios/managers like to see ORIGINAL writing samples, from someone trying to break in, before you try to push through an adaptation? (On the slim chance you actually secure the rights to material, even obscure lukewarm stuff, that isn’t already owned by someone in the business.)

    BTW, I love these columns, keep them coming!

  2. Blair

    For #1, when you say you should try to get material to “directors or actors,” do you mean by yourself, without representation? I mean, I can track down the addresses of directors and MAIL screenplays to them, but should I???

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