.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Fun Joel's Screenwriting Blog


-- On Screenwriting and Related Topics

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, CA

I moved from NYC to LA in October, 2003. And though I still think NYC is the greatest city in the world, I'm truly loving life here in the City of Angels. I'm a writer, reader, and occasional picture-taker.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I Is a Professional Screenwriter

Okay, so time for me to spread the good news I mentioned at the end of this post.

In short, I signed a contract last night to write a screenplay on assignment for an independent production company. Well below WGA minimums, but still a professional screenwriting job. And I'm quite pleased and excited about this big step forward.

The somewhat longer version:
Some time ago, a friend put me in touch with a producer he had met. My friend is not a writer, so he was happy to mention my name and talk me up when he found out these people were looking for a less experienced writer.

I got in touch and they asked me to send them a sample. I was actually a bit hesitant to send them anything, primarily because the best sample I had to send (the D2DVD horror script I wrote) was unlike the types of stuff they were looking for, and because I still planned to give it a full revision. Still, I eventually sent it to them and explained the reasons for my hesitance, essentially asking them to keep those things in mind when they read it.

They did, and asked to meet. When we met, they described a project to me, and asked if I would be interested. I said I was, and they asked me how much I would ask for the job. I was a bit overwhelmed by this, and took a few days to think it over, as well as to ask people for advice. That advice came from many people I knew, both in and out of the Scribosphere. Let me now give thanks to some of those people.

Thanks go especially to Stephen Susco, Bill Cunningham, Alex Epstein, Chris Soth, and Bill Martell within the Scribosphere, and also my buddies Rock Shaink, Jay Tan, Jonathan "Rack" Rackman and my writing group outside it. I also consulted heavily with an entertainment attorney I know.

Anyway, we met again, and had a lot of back-and-forth discussions, negotiating my fee and the like. In the end, I am quite happy with the deal we struck. I'll be getting paid decently well, and will have a nice-sized back-end, should the film go into production. I'm also looking forward to receiving a produced film credit to add to my resume! Furthermore, since the film is an action adventure set on safari in Botswana, the company will be taking me on a research trip to said safari. So come August (probably), I'll be off to that great continent of the Southern Hemisphere!

Now interestingly, this life development transpired around the same time as another one. I was recently laid off from my job, due to an unexpected (by the employees) downsizing. There is a belief that God creates the cure before he creates the disease, and I feel that this is another example of that. The potential for the screenwriting assignment came to me before the layoff, and both were completely unexpected to me.

I was originally planning to write the film around my other job, but now I am back to freelancing full time, and will be writing the screenplay around that. The screenplay itself will not pay me enough to do that alone, but I am liking the return to the freelance lifestyle, and greater attention to dedicate to this project. Of course, my financial situation will still be taking a step backwards overall, meaning I will need to keep working, but I will also have the chance to focus on this script a bit more.

Unfortunately, I can't say much more about the project, at the company's wishes. But I'll just say that I'm excited about this screenplay, and am already continuing with research and development of the treatment.

So, that's what's going on in my life. I hope I'll be able to pull some insights out of the process to give you guys some more good posts down the road!

Tags: , ,


Anonymous Eddie said...

Sweet! Congrats, Joel.

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Rock said...

Congrats man! Glad it all worked out.

1:28 AM  
Blogger Ralphie said...

Mazel tov! This is great news. And pretty cool that they're taking you to Africa.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Emily Blake said...


1:31 AM  
Blogger Webs said...

Mazel tov, Fun-San.

2:07 AM  
Blogger Heshy said...

Mazal tov, my friend.

2:28 AM  
Blogger shecanfilmit said...

That's great! Botswana - you better take some pics on your trip, that's something I want to see. Maybe you'll run into Brangelina while you're there?

2:44 AM  
Blogger CAROLINE said...

Wonderful news! Bask in the glow then get your butt in the chair and work.

4:01 AM  
Blogger Grubber said...

Congratulations and looking forward to reading about your adventurous research trip.

4:10 AM  
Blogger Fun Joel said...

Hey everyone! Thanks to all, friends old, new and unknown! I appreciate the support.

Special welcome to all of you who have found your way here from Alex's blog (seems there are a lot of you).

4:12 AM  
Blogger Erik M. said...

Congrats, Joel. Bien hecho, hombre. Bien hecho!

5:39 AM  
Blogger Kira said...

Most fabulous! Congrats, Joel. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy! :)

6:44 AM  
Anonymous David Anaxagoras said...

My hat is off to you, Joel. Congrats, man.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Shawna said...

Congrats!! Make sure you have all your shots. :-)

(for going to Africa, that is, not for writing the script. Although, maybe there are shots for that too -- they just tend to be alcoholic in nature).

8:32 AM  
Blogger RW said...

Congrats Joel! Sounds like you've been really busy. I am still working on a script I pitched at Final Draft to BenderSpink. Its coming along and I cant wait to get it out there. This will be my first step into the ocean.

Keep posting, keep writing.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Melanie said...


9:55 AM  
Blogger Christina Shaver said...

Wow! Good for you! That trip to Africa sounds like a nice kicker too. Please do keep this wanna-be informed of how things go. I'll be interested to hear how things work "on the inside."

2:31 PM  
Blogger Piers said...

Top news, dude. Congratulations!

3:07 PM  
Blogger choc mint girl said...

Hi, Joel! I’m a new visitor and wow, I think I should congratulate you as well.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Leif said...

Awesome news Joel!
glad that your hard work is starting to payoff, but I have a feeling that the hard is only just beginning!

Good luck with the project and I can't wait to hear more about it when you're able.

4:33 AM  
Blogger Alycia said...

yeaaaa Joel!

11:06 AM  
Blogger Kelly J. Compeau said...

Fantastic news. The kind I never get tired of hearing about. Congrats!

7:16 PM  
Blogger annabel said...


9:11 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...


10:49 PM  
Blogger RW said...

Joel, I met you at Final draft. I was the Canadian Tri-ad. I forget the word that was made up, lol.

3:16 AM  
Blogger oneslackmartian said...

Haha! Too freakin' cool! All that PLUS a research trip to Botswana! You might think of replacing the "Fun" moniker with something more apropos, like . . . “Indiana.”

8:39 AM  
Blogger Scribe LA said...

Fantastic news, Joel!! Cheers. Now go knock it out of the park so we all can say we knew you when...

3:50 AM  
Blogger prof said...

put your info in jewisheritage.fr

6:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home