If want to know what it’s like to be a screen writer in Hollywood, I strongly recommend you watch the excellent documentary Tales from the Script.
In the documentary you’ll see interviews with some of the greatest screen writers we’ve had in the past 40 years as well as new, hot screen writers, like those who wrote The Bucket List, Watchmen and Iron Man.
Note to Parents: There is some strong language occasionally used in the film, so use appropriate caution.
Screen writers are both the most critical and most replaceable component in the film process. Without the screen writer, you have nothing to shoot. However, once a company picks up your script, you become a tenuous employee, at best.
Everyone THINKS they can write screenplays. Very few actually DO write screenplays. And even fewer of those are actually any GOOD.
It’s the perception that, because films are so familiar that they are easily created which has perpetuated the notion that the words of a screen writer are so easily changed.
Compared to screen writers, novelists are far more respected. Playwrights worshiped, by comparison. But, screen writers are industry hacks, whether its deserved or not.
When you get done watching the film you’ll wonder why anyone writes screen plays in the first place. The short answer is because they have to… they are driven to write. Even for an industry which treats them so badly.
If you want honest, and sometimes brutal, insight into the real world of a Hollywood screen writer, check out Tales from the Script. It’s available on both DVD and via Netflix streaming.