However much you know or don’t know about movies and television, you can’t deny that they are a massive, unhinged, inspiring part of our worldwide culture. And they’re relatively new (just like podcasts are relatively new too!) Humans have been telling stories since about the time we developed fire, but it’s only in the last century or so that films have risen to prominence.
And I love it. I love learning about practical effects and never-been-done-before techniques. And I love hearing about the things actors do (or won’t do), for the good (or detriment) of a film. I love the resurgence of stop-motion animation, and I love the way that computer animation has evolved over the last few decades. I love the gossip a little bit too if I’m being brutally honest (the Quibi debacle is breathing life into my cold, dead heart; what a mess). And I really love listening to podcasts about all of this.
It’s a fascinating world! Podcasts are the way into it!
There are plenty of myths and misconceptions about the world of screenwriting and film, just like any industry. The pervasive untruths that people believe about filmmaking are pretty wild, and before I got enmeshed in this world I believed plenty of them myself. (Heck, part of me still wants to believe that I can make bank with screenwriting. Ce n’est pas vrai. C’est la vie).
Here are some of the most common and most untrue myths about screenwriting and the film industry that I have come across.
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Myth: It’s lucrative.
Fact: This is one of those myths that makes me laugh. For the most part, you cannot make a living on screenwriting alone. At least until you’re fairly well established, and even that can be a bit of a tossup. The majority of screenwriting gigs for movies are commission based; you don’t know where the next job is coming from once you’ve finished the one you’re working on. Sometimes big payouts for a script get publicized. Various entertainment and industry publications will tell you about the latest acquisition by big-name directors and up-and-coming writers, utmost scripts rarely get bought. Those that do rarely make the kind of seven-figure payout you think of when you think of Hollywood.
I don’t write screenplays for the money; it’d be nice to make some but I’m not kidding myself. I write because I love it. (And because I want to eventually have someone buy my script and Chris Evans star in it, and then meet me and fall in love with me. Obviously. This is a sound plan.)