Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why I Write: For the money

One of the things that lured me into screenwriting (as opposed to say short story writing) was the promise of easy money. If I made just one million dollar sale I'd be set for life. And I'm not a greedy man. I'll take half that, particularly US money. The exchange rate's in our favour here.

So half a million dollars for one script. How long's that going to take me to bang out? A few weeks? Sweet.

Ten years plus later I have yet to make that big Hollywood sale. Or any Hollywood sale. Most Full members of the New Zealand Writers Guild earn less than $10,000 a year from writing, and I've been in that camp for a number of years now. But at least I have been paid and stuff I've written has been made. For a screenwriter anywhere that is a big deal.

So I've had to revise my Hollywood riches scenario a few times now over my screenwriting career. In fact I work full-time now so screenwriting doesn't have to pay the bills. This way, if some screenwriting money comes through to help pay for the bung door on the downstairs flat, I'm a happy man rather than a desperate man.

But there's still part of me waiting for that Hollywood money to flow. Easy money. And isn't that what screenwriting is all about - the fulfilment of dreams?


d f mamea said...

sup Sean - wilkommen! for me, the paying gigs (Producer: I want her to have big boobs... bigger) pay for the spec scripts in which budget is no object (until i want to sell it) (arf).

Sean said...

Thanks David. It's a fair path to take. I'm more taking the 'write the spec scripts and hope they're good enough to be made' route at the moment. I'll see how it goes!