Spec Sale Key: Write an Iconic Character

Consider me Miles Davis.

Any screenwriter who lives in L.A. knows you have a better chance of crashing your car into a truckload of bees than you do of ever selling a spec. Any screenwriter who does not live in L.A. and does not know this should honestly just accept your fate as the host/hostess at Rock Dockery’s. Trust me, I should’ve done that very thing 6 years ago, but now I’m so deep into this nightmare that the only way I’m going to get out is to either succeed [hahaha, that’s funny] or go out like Dorothy Stratten [hahaha, she’s dead].

But if you insist on ‘going for the gold’, then one thing I can say to you is to write a character that every actor/actress would want to play. You need to write something that is going to either A) garner awards, or B) something you would see on a T-shirt at the Boardwalk. Examples: Tony Montana, Mad Max, Daniel Plainview, Maggie Fitzgerald, the groundhog from Caddyshack, etc. By doing this, your agent will be able to reach out to other agents and attach stars, which will attract directors, which will attract studios. You need to write a role that is once in a lifetime. Something that would have Leonard Capricio or Reese Winterspoon begging the producers to star in your film.

A little known, but terrific, British nuclear holocaust movie called THREADS has the very role that every actress – from their time as a little girl – dreams of playing. It’s basically the Hamlet equivalent for dramatic actresses. However, unlike Hamlet, which has been taken on by God knows how many different actors, only one person has ever attempted it. That woman is the great Anne Sellors. You write a character like this, and you have yourself at least a mid-6 figure deal.

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One thought on “Spec Sale Key: Write an Iconic Character

  1. Would anyone like to read my new screenplay, Colostomy Camp? After they’ve had embarrassing, life-altering surgery, four boys bond and heal at a special, almost magical summer camp. It’s like Bill Murray’s Meatballs but with heart — and a sack. If you would like to read Colostomy Camp, please email me at Mspellman@scriptshadow.com

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