Screenplay – Blood, Sweat & Tears

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You just finished your screenplay. Congratulations!

Now what?

You have a couple of choices, SUBMIT or MAKE FILM.

First, you can spend years submitting and re-submitting to agents, producers and what-not within the film industry. Constantly receiving rejection after rejection,realizing your FILM IDEA isn’t everyone’s passion. To everyone else, it’s just another screenplay amongst thousands of others submitted each month.

And to make matters worse, are those who will gladly take your screenplay without question! But, and this is a big BUTT, only after you PAY them first.

Oh wait!

Did you just say,”You must pay them to pass along or read your screenplay?”

Unfortunately, THEY are what we like to call,” Bottom-feeders” or in my mind “Trolls” who feed off on your desperation. Unknown to you, you submit your screenplay and hard earn cash, expecting results.

In reality, they quickly pocket the cash and shred it, not really caring of the years of blood,sweat and tears it took you to write your master piece. The worst scenario ? They actually read it, finding your screenplay ingeniously executed. Quickly change the name and author, sending it to known connections as their own. A year or two later, you hear or see a short-movie or part of your script on TV.

Your first reaction? You’re crushed! What happen? How could they possibly steal my idea?

This seems to possibly have happened to me.

Have you heard of AGENT SKY before? I wrote a short script, of an Agent called Sky. Somehow or is it by mere coincidence, I noticed the same name on a popular TV Series. A couple of years before I had submitted AGENT SKY to Hollywood.

You get the picture.

BEFORE you submit your screenplay to anyone, be very sure you REGISTRY it with one or both, the WGC (Writers Guide of Canada) and or the WGA West (Writers Guide of America).

Secondly, if you have to PAY big bucks for them to see your work, something is wrong.

It’s a RED-FLAG.

I understand there may be registration fees, when submitting a short film to Sundance Films, but as far as screenplays are concerned, the cost (if anything) shouldn’t be more than $65 at best, or ideally, FREE. For example, as a UK citizen, a couple times a year BBC will allow you to submit your script for a TV Series or film for FREE.

In North America, everyone wants administration fees in order to process your script. To me, it’s just another “Cash Cow” opportunity feeding off your desperation. But, it’s becoming the “norm” practice, with everyone getting on the bandwagon. Do your research and ask well known established institutions, such as WGA or WGC; even Sundance Institute may help you in the right direction.

Preparation for submitting your screenplay will undoubtably cost you a grand total of $150 with registrations fees to both WGA and WGC, including whoever you decide to submit to.

But it’s worth every penny and considerate it as the lesser evil of what can happen if you don’t.

Always keep records and copies of your screenplay throughout your creation. This way, if you ever have to sue someone for illegally using your script, you have written proof of the timeline and the creative process.

The second option sounds more inviting, but takes a lot of work and commitment. Not saying your screenplay wasn’t work.

FILM MAKING

“I envision a story and bring it to life” James Montana Films.

These are my words, passionate about the film industry. If you want something done, you’re just going to have to do it yourself.

First and foremost, I would like to point out, I’m NOT a professional Film Maker. Just another screenwriter amongst hundreds of thousands of other hopeful souls who would like to see their screenplay storyline as the next blockbuster film.

In fact, Black Angels could easily be made into a trilogy from past to present; my imagination is wildly inventive.

James Montana Films is in the infancy of working with established professional film companies in Canada and Unites States to produce short films or introductory start-up films for group funding, such as KickStarter.
My first project is Black Angels of Sirus 5.

James Montana Films is about screenwriting to filming using a professional film crew who are already established. I will also use professional FX (Visual effects) professional companies, such as, GFZ Studios located in Vancouver, B.C.

This is only the preliminary stages of James Montana Films who is part of Canadian Northwest Studios.

After producing my film presentation for crowd funding, such as KickStarter, my next step would be to produce a Short Film – Scifi for Sundance Institute in Colorado.

Ideally, a corporate film executive will see your work on screen at Sundance, YouTube or maybe Vimeo, taking the necessary steps to execute your story and bring it to life after years of blood, sweat and tears.

Is this option too costly for you ?

If you can’t afford it, begin by taking film classes and or joining up with your local film society ,like Fava (Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta).

The resources to making a film is not easy, but at least you will have the satisfaction that a portion or all of your script will be seen by an audience, either on YouTube or favourably at Sundance.

If you already have a firm idea and screenplay in-hand, along with a budget, you can directly hire a film crew, like Fat Monster Films in Los Angeles California or Sepia Films in Vancouver, B.C.

Whatever you decide…

It takes time, patients and passion along with blood, sweat and tears.

By Bari Demers – Screenwriter

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