Syd Field, Selling a Screenplay: The Screenwriter''s Guide to Hollywood, Delacorte Press, Bantam, Doubleday, Dell Publishing Group Inc., New York, NY, 1989, 282 pages. Once you''ve written your screenplay, in order to see your movie in film you''re going to have to sell your screenplay, which is even harder than writing the screenplay. It doesn''t work the same way as publishing a book where you have to find a publisher. You''re screenplay has to be produced on film. Therefore it must be sold to a producer, a director, or an actor who may also be a producer and/or a director. How does one attract the producer, director, or actor to your work? Some screenwriters hire an agent who knows the ins and outs of the whole Hollywood process. It is also possible to do it yourself, but not very easy, since you might also have to be like an actor to get your idea across. First one needs to pitch the producer and have a good pitch. That means you have to tell the story of the movie in a way that will make the producer listen and hear all the good qualities in your film and you do this in person. The author states that you can''t second-guess Hollywood. Everyone thinks they know all about Hollywood and what Hollywood wants but noone really has the answer. But the author gives us a whole chapter each on finding an agent, finding an attorney (needed also to make sure you get your money, etc), and the market.
His Top Guns chapter talks about producers and how movies were traditionally made and how the producer works today. Since once you write your movie, you''re going to want to sell your movie, this is an excellent book to fill in the blank spaces of raw formatted material. It gives you the dynamics needed to write a selling script. He discusses the independent producers, the other executives involved in the filmmaking process, and the readers. The readers work for the producers, reading many scripts a day before passing the good ones on to the producers. He discusses the development process of the many films producers start to develop and how they are whittled down to the very top twenty or maybe only one film a year that is fully developed. But if that one film is a real moneymaker it pays for the whole year of the development process. He finishes up his book with writing for television and the networks; gives some short biographies of some of the more prominent screenwriters; and the future of filmmaking.