Q. I have great ideas but it seems like others get these things done before me. For example, etc. etc.
A couple of possibilities.
One, maybe you're on the right track. You're writing scripts about the right sort of things. Personally, I wrote a Pretty Boy Floyd movie, and then Larry McMurtry wrote a Pretty Boy Floyd movie, and which do you think got into development? And I wrote a hacker movie and then that Sandra Bullock thing came out. I had an idea for a movie inspired by Paul Reubens, and then Paul Reubens put a biopic of himself into development. It tells me I'm in the right territory.
Two, the odds of any movie getting made are low. I've written 36 feature scripts. About two dozen of them I was either paid to write, or I optioned to someone after writing. I have three feature credits, and a few uncredited rewrites. Most people consider me a fairly successful screenwriter. Most screenwriters' careers resemble icebergs: 9/10 of their work is unseen. Maybe you just need to get more material out there, and be patient.
Three, are you sure your hooks are sharp enough? Are you mining territory that is too obvious, that other writers are bound to get to as well? Someone will probably beat you to the screen. Simon Beaufoy, who wrote THE FULL MONTY, was not on obvious territory. Maybe you should be thinking up the next JUNO or LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE or BEING JOHN MALKOVICH or ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND.
Four, are you sending your scripts out before they're as good as you can make them? Do they fall apart in the third act, or are they just goddamn brilliant all the way through. Maybe you need to raise your standards on your own work.
I wouldn't say "don't give up," because if you're a real writer you won't give up regardless what I say. But without reading your stuff, my bet is one of these apply.
Labels: perserverence makes honour bright