Not Yet And Maybe Never | Script Revolution

Not Yet And Maybe Never

As we move into the new year, you may be feeling a mixture of emotions. Part of you may feel positive and excited for what 2018 may bring and part of you may feel a little bitter that you've not been discovered yet, or perhaps even been noticed at all. You're not alone and John Hunter is here with a timely reminder that we may as well enjoy ourselves on this journey, as futile as it may sometimes feel. He also has a tip for how to start getting some traction - CJ

I started writing scripts to help me overcome some lingering effects of a mild concussion received in an automobile accident. It was the hardest mental exercise I could find. It worked and I’m better. Maybe even more better? A Version 2.0, an upgrade to the wet wiring in my brain — Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

While studying scriptwriting under the lash of a NYC dominatrix who will always have my gratitude, I dreamed of becoming a rich and famous. Never drawn to the allure of the Red Carpet, my dreams did have young starlets rubbing themselves on me and purring like cats. 

“Years later and it still hasn’t happened.”

I take comfort from a passage in thin and enigmatic book of ancient Chinese wisdom, the Tao Te Ching, which goes something like this:

Heaven hates what it hates and there is no reason why.”

How else can we explain Norman Reedus, a star on Walking Dead, being ‘discovered’ while sitting on a motorcycle in northern California? Or the many questionable films we see on TV which make us jump up and shout, 

“And this they made into a movie?”

Let’s face it - Reality sucks. Be that as it may, it remains immutable and doesn't seem to care what we want.

“Many are called and few are chosen”

Because we haven't been discovered yet means very little. This merely means we remain members of a very large group of aspiring wannabes, The Brothers and Sisters Of Not Yet And Maybe Never…And we’re talking big numbers here. Even now I can feel the warmth of this vast community sheltering me from the cold sting of reality.

Now here’s some unsolicited advice from an aspiring, peewee, wannabe and it’s worth every penny you didn’t pay for it: Write what you like and have fun with it. Don’t write stuff you think others might like. Write stuff you like.

If you must, go ahead and write a feature to get this out of your system, but unless Heaven really, really likes you, your first feature will more than likely stink. I know mine did. I sat down, typed FADE IN and it took off in all directions. I struggled to find a plausible ending after a whopping 145 pages. I’ve since re-written it many times over the years, but it remains an unsold monument to my unskilled vanity.

Now, the wind up and the pitch:

“Improve your skills and develop your voice with shorts.”

Your voice is that quality of story telling which makes your stuff unique and marketable. Voice is your personality in pixels.

Why shorts? Shorts have fewer pages, but this doesn’t mean they’re easier to write than features. They can actually be more difficult. Most shorts don’t have 145 pages to clear your throat. In shorts, every word must move the story forward. Imagine developing bold characters, an interesting story line and an OMG ending in just a few pages. It ain’t easy.

NOTE: The same skills required to write good shorts are required to write a marketable spec feature - Guys talk, you hear things.

Shorts have a greater chance of getting made than a feature. A Shoestring Budget vs Big Money Whopper - You do the math. To improve your chances of getting produced, write low budget shorts which don’t depend on car crashes, FX and CGI. Don’t ask me how I know.

Beyond improving your story telling abilities and helping you to find or develop your voice, shorts have a greater chance of getting read by someone outside of your immediate family and getting you noticed.

Shorts may actually be the “short” cut to the Promised Land? So go forth forth, pixelate and always remember to have some fun with it.

About The Author

John Hunter's picture
Real name: 

A curious nature has led me down many paths: former Peace Corps volunteer, big ticket sales engineer, commercial graphic artist, packaging design consultant, recovering golfer and more recently, an award winning and produced scriptwriter.

As a writer, my voice is character driven,...Read more

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John Hunter's picture

Thank you Cecil and thanks for the read. :)