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No One's Got Time to Figure You Out

I saw this flyer stapled to a lamp post a few days ago. And you know what I didn't feel like doing? Scanning the damn code to figure out what it was for.

In his defense, the guy who made this flyer is not a writer trying to sell his script. He builds miniatures, and he's created this social media campaign to expand his community.


But it got me thinking about writers who name their scripts with obscure, indecipherable titles like, "The Island and the Cheese" or "Sarah." Or writers who are vague in their loglines and synopses because they want to keep the potential reader in suspense.


Unless I was on a joy walk with the purpose of doing nothing but exploring my environment and taking everything in, I would not scan this QR code (I only did it for the sake of writing this blog post.) Agents, studio folks, and other people considering your material, are also not on a joy walk. They've got shit to do.


"But what about 'Michael Clayton?'" You ask. "That movie just has a person's name in the title." Yes. And Tony Gilroy, who wrote "Michael Clayton", had already written the "Bourne" franchise and "Armageddon," to name a couple. "But, Caroline! He also wrote 'Dolores Claiborne', and he only had one hit before that..." Yes, but (1) He had one hit before that; and (2) "Dolores Claiborne" was based on a Stephen King book of the same name.


If you're new to the business, you're already at a disadvantage. So do what you can to make your script as intriguing as possible. Could a spec script called "Sarah" sell? Of course! But on the face of it, there's nothing alluring about it.


They're not going to know how good you are until they've read your script. So get them to read it!


 

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