Since 1990 I have consulted on screenplays through my company Su-City Pictures East, LLC. Over 1,000 worldwide clients later, I still hear from (if not sometimes commiserate with) writers and filmmakers who are stymied, motivated, stuck, enthused, overwhelmed, underwhelmed, joyous and frustrated about their screenplays. I provide detailed feedback on their scripts and films, as well as encouragement mixed in with a dose of reality about the challenges many face in a film industry that is often fraught with rejection and false promises. For over two decades I have listened to their success stories and disappointments — their insecurities and their hopes to make their dreams come true — that finally, one day, their words will appear on the screen.
Some words of advice I offer to my clients and students that many tell me stayed with them over the years is this:
If you are not passionate about your screenplay, neither will be the film executive reading your screenplay.
Writing a screenplay demands commitment and passion for the material. Screenwriting is indeed challenging, but receiving feedback on your work, submitting your work to contests, producers, and so on, means baring your soul. And, over the years I have heard many stories of both triumph and frustration, and sometimes I must remind my clients that I am not their therapist but their Screenplay Doctor!