Screenwriters Speak Confidently to Investors in 7 Easy Steps

Many screenwriters would like to see their work produced. However, they may not have the funds and require an investor to back them. This can be tricky because most screenwriters are not business people and don’t understand how investors think and work. It’s best to know what you’re up against before you ask for $50,000 or $500,000 to make your screenplay a reality on the big or little screen.

As a screenwriter, you may be under the assumption that it’s all about you and your film. Unfortunately, it’s ALL ABOUT the investor! You may be passionate about your screenplay, but an investor wants to know what’s in it for them. An investor will ask about the ROI (return on investment). If you aren’t familiar with ROI and other business terms, enroll in a business courses to learn the lingo and how business works.

Tip: Make sure you have a business plan when you speak with investors. This does not mean you have to give them a 30-60 page business plan (standard), but have an outline or proposal prepared about the project.

Investors want to back a good deal. Screenwriters must prove themselves to investors. What makes your screenplay unique versus another? How do you know your screenplay will make money? Asking yourself these and other questions will assist you when you approach investors.

Screenwriters Speak Confidently to Investors in 7 Easy Steps

  • What is your budget for your screenwriting project? This is the most important piece of information you can have!
  • Give investors a brief description of your project. What exactly is your screenplay about? What is the title? Do you have a treatment, logline and synopsis to give to investors?
  • Scout out the filming location of your project. Be open to changing the location if necessary.
  • What’s your time frame for your project? When does filming begin and end? What happens if you go over the scheduled deadline? What’s your plan?
  • What is the ROI (return on investment)? The bottom line is what matters to most investors. They want to know they’ll earn a decent ROI if they invest in you and your screenplay.
  • Prepare a ‘short’ business plan and give it to investors. The business plan will include financial projections, marketing, etc.
  • Exude confidence when you speak with an investor. Most prefer to work with people who believe in themselves and their screenplays.

Screenwriters focus on the creative aspect of the “entertainment business” instead of the BIG picture. You’re in a business of marketing and making films which solves the problem for the general public of what to do on a Friday or Saturday night. The sooner you understand that Hollywood is a business, the better off you’ll be.

Tip #2: Avoid being rude or arrogant when approaching investors. Screenwriters who lack non-verbal and verbal communication skills will benefit from classes on these subjects. Professionalism is a must! This may not sound glamorous but it is part of the business.

Developing and building relationships is part of the entertainment business. If you’re not relationship savvy, network with people who are and learn from them. Taking a few classes or workshops on relationship building will not hurt you — it will only help you. If you’re serious about seeing your screenplay produced, do what it takes to make your dream a reality. Remember, whether or not you make it as a screenwriter depends solely on you and how well you communicate with people. Good luck!

Amandah

Have you approached investors about funding your screenplay? What appraoch did you use? Share your thoughts.

Enhanced by Zemanta

What’s the Word: Creating a Theme For the New Year

This post is from Katy Tafoya, a teacher and a coach who finds joy in helping women claim their passion and expertise. She guides solopreneurs to make their lives and their businesses juicier, more fulfilling and more successful. She also leads the Val Gal quarterly networking dinners which are always open to the public and in the greater San Fernando Valley. If you’re ready to identify, claim and leverage your expertise and live your passion you can sign up for a a F.R.E.E. subscription to her weekly ezine at SuccessForSolpreneurs.com.

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE? See Katy’s blog at SuccessforSolopreneurs.com/blog

“I’m a woman of very few words, but lots of action.” ~ Mae West

Happy New Year!

No, really, my wish for you is that this year you will discover and experience your HAPPY new year. So now that we’re a couple days in, how are things shaping up for you?

Have you made those resolutions? I’m not one for making resolutions myself. Like many folks out there, I found that I made these promises and within days, I’ve broken then. And then I feel crappy, like a failure for not being able to follow through.

So instead, I like to focus on setting an intention or a theme for the year. Following my mentor, Christine Kane’s advice, I choose a word (any word or short phrase) that can become the theme for my year. For example, in the past I’ve used, “let go,” “create,” and one year, “giggle.” I know others have used joy, love, peace, strength, bold, etc. The word can be anything that resonates with you, inspires you, makes you smile or motivates you.

I’ve noticed that for me, the word that I start the year with and the word that I end the year with, are not always the very same word. Take last year for an example…I started the year with “create.” My intention was to spend the year not only creating new products, new services and new business, but I also wanted to remind myself to BE more creative. I wanted to get out there and embrace my inner artist.

Well, about mid-way through the year, my word changed to “imperfection” (which I’ve no doubt you noticed as I wrote about it all the time). I realized that I couldn’t be very creative if I was always striving for perfection.

So to allow more creativity and moments of actual creation, I had to learn to allow imperfection. I had to just do it, and not stress how perfect it turned out. In my mind, it was better to have something out there imperfectly, than to have nothing out there at all because I was still stuck on making sure everything was perfect. This opened the world up for me. In fact, it brought me to this year’s word…expand.

This year I want to expand — my life, my relationships, my products and services, my presence and my business as a whole. I want to be BIGGER and BOLDER. I want to be more audacious and more approachable. I want to be the me I know I was put here to be.

At the same time though, I want to it to be easy and effortless. I mean why make it difficult, right? Which then brought me to the phrase — effortless expansion. This year will be the year for effortless expansion.

Will I change it up mid-way again? Quite possibly. It really all depends how things go and expand. Either way, I’m open to whatever sort of “expansion” the new year brings my way.

I encourage you to find a word that empowers you, brings you joy, has you feeling focused and in charge. It can be a short phrase. It’s not carved in stone, so don’t stress over this.

Get silent and see what comes to you. Then put that word up somewhere where you can see it throughout the day. Let it inspire you. Let it BE you. Then remember to live your life….with intention. And if all else fails, there’s always the 2012 Resolution Generator.

I’d love to know what your word or short phrase is for this year. Feel free to respond back to this newsletter or send me an email.

ACTION PLAN: Pick a word for your year and try it on for size. When it feels right, embrace it! 

I invite you to share a little about who you are, what you do and your successes as solopreneur by joining the conversation at the Success for Solopreneurs community.

I hope you enjoyed Katy’s post!
Amandah

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday’s Creative Writing Prompt: Freelance Writers and Technology

Since I’ve been having nothing but issues with my laptop, I’d thought I’d post a creative writing prompt based on freelance writers and technology.

Wednesday’s Creative Writing Prompt: Freelance Writers and Technology

It’s 5 pm on a Friday and you decided to backup your website’s files. The FTP program from your hosting company isn’t working. Write the dialogue between you and the their lovely tech support.

You work on a laptop and dream about getting a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. Write the dialogue between you and an Apple customer service representative.

It’s 5 pm Friday and you’re almost finished with the five blog posts for your freelance writing client. Uh oh! Your lovely cable connection drops because of a power outage. How will you get the posts to your client? Write the dialogue between you and your client.

Amandah

Monday’s Creative Writing Prompt Based on 2012

Happy New Year! It’s 2012, and according to the Mayans, it should be one heck of a year. I’m kidding. Who knows what happened to the Mayans and why they couldn’t finish their calendars. Anyway … Here’s a writing prompt based on 2012 and all of the whacky and perhaps not-so-whacky predictions.

Monday’s Creative Writing Prompt Based on 2012

You’re given psychic powers and can see what will happen in 2012, write a story based on your vision.

A Mayan shaman appears before you and says he has important information to share with you, what is it?

You’re outside one night gazing at the stars. All of the sudden you see flashing lights in the sky and a whiling motion. Did you see a UFO? If so, what does it look like? Write about your experience.

What predictions would you write for 2012?

Amandah

Creative and Freelance Writers Beat the Winter and Solitary Blues in 7 Easy Steps

Have you heard of seasonal depression or the winter blues? Freelance writers, if you live in a cold, gray, snow, or rainy part of the U.S. or an area of your country of origin that’s not sunny and warm, you may suffer from seasonal depression. Also, you may get depressed or crabby from time-to-time because you work alone. This is normal and treatable.

Some freelance writers prefer the solitary life while others are very sociable creatures. If you fall into the latter category, you probably like to be surrounded by people and may become irritable if you constantly stay indoors. There’s no need to be blue about writing alone, you just require the knowledge and tools to free yourself from the grips of writer’s depression.

Creative and Freelance Writers Beat the Winter and Solitary Blues in 7 Easy Steps

1. Decorate your home office with colorful artwork or homemade art from your kids.

2. Hire a Feng Shui expert to design your home office.

3. Place fresh flowers in vases or put plants in your office.

4. Get a pet that you can easily manage.

5. Get out! Freelance writers; meet with clients face-to-face once or twice a month. Creative writers may want join a coffee group or visit your local library to see what classes they offer. Also, go to the beach, park, or walk around your neighborhood.

6. Become a volunteer at your favorite charitable organization.

7. Take up a hobby like painting, pottery, drawing, model airplanes, or whatever interests you.

It’s true that writing can be a lonely profession, but you can join writer’s groups or attend weekly or monthly book clubs. Let’s face it; staring at the same four walls every day could slowly drive you insane! Seriously, working by yourself could get to you if you let it.

Creative and freelance writing does not have to be a depressing career. You could listen to music while you write. Also, don’t allow the solitude of writing choke you. Make sure you’re involved in activities other than writing such as working art, painting, yoga, dance, etc. It’s good to branch out of your comfort zone and try something new.

You can overcome the winter and solitary blues. So … Before you do something drastic like quit writing, find something else that you’re passionate about and do it. Creative and freelance writing doesn’t have to be a gloomy profession. You don’t have to be the stereotypical depressed artist. There’s a bright side to your profession, you just have to find and appreciate it!

Amandah

Enhanced by Zemanta

Freelance Writers Use This Simple 5 Step Laptop Maintenance Plan

Freelance writers, do you work on a Mac or PC? What’s your backup plan? My laptop has been acting up lately. It gets stuck when it goes into sleep mode and sometimes Windows takes a long time to boot. My laptop is four years old, but I was expecting it to last a little longer than that! I’ve been trying to ‘diagnose’ the issue, but I can’t be certain if it’s the CPU, hard drive, motherboard, Windows Vista operating system, or RAM. Who knows? I’m a writer, not a computer technician!

Freelance Writers Use This Simple 5 Step Laptop Maintenance Plan

1. Always backup your files. Choose a day during the week or month and backup up your computer system. You can also purchase an online backup system or purchase an external hard drive and backup your files.

2. Clean your laptop. Keep your laptop clean by cleaning it. I know it’s a ‘no brainer’ but you’d be surprises how many people own laptops but don’t take care of them. Use non-abrasive cleaners on laptop and it will look good as new.

3. Delete old files. Clean your system by deleting old files. When in doubt, transfer files to a USB or external hard drive and then delete them from your computer’s system.

4. Use a good surge protector. It’s important to protect your laptop or MacBook Pro from power outages. Purchase a heavy duty surge protector and make sure your outlets are up to code.

5. Defrag and cleanup your disk. If you’re not a techie or that computer savvy, have someone else do this for you. Locate your ‘My Computer’ on your laptop and open it. Find ‘Properties’ and right click on it. This brings up a menu. Select ‘Disk Cleanup‘ and allow your laptop to work its magic. If you feel comfortable with ‘moving’ around your computer, check out Tools and check for errors, Defrag your system, and Backup your files.

Amandah

Enhanced by Zemanta

Freelance Writers Learn to Interview like Diane and Katie in 10 Easy Steps

Interview

Image by smiling_da_vinci via Flickr

Freelance writers, how many times have your clients asked you to interview sources for articles, blog posts, or books? By the way, you can find ‘sources’ at HARO or Reporter Connection. Anyway … Interviews can be conducted via phone, SKYPE, face-to-face, or through email. Remember, it’s important to research the background of whomever you’re interviewing in order to create a list of questions that are provocative, yet informative. Review websites, social media sites, and read any material written by your interviewee. Gathering information from these resources will help you create your list of questions.

Freelance Writers Learn to Interview like Diane and Katie in 10 Easy Steps

1. Be natural when you interview someone. If you think of an interview as having a conversation with a friend, you won’t get nervous or make the interviewee nervous.

2. Ask journalistic questions: Freelance writers, you know what questions I’m talking about: Who, what, when, where, why, and how. Prepare questions ahead of time; however, if you allow the interview to unfold, you’ll intuitively know what questions to ask.

3. Be professional. If a phone interview is scheduled for 2 pm EST and you live in another state or country, make sure you’re familiar with time zones. It’s embarrassing to have an interviewee call and ask you if you forgot about the interview.

4. Expect the unexpected. Freelance writers, if the interview gets off course, gently guide the interviewee back to the interview.

5. Phone interviews. Freelance writers, some interviewees prefer phone interviews. You may want to use a program called Audacity which is a FREE audio editor and recorder. It works great for phone interviews.

Tip: Avoid interrupting the interviewee when they’re speaking. Wait for pauses and then interject and ask questions. The interview will flow better if you do this.

6. Email interviews. Some interviewees prefer email interviews and want the questions sent within the email. Others require freelance writers to submit questions in either Notepad, Word (.docx, .doc, .rtf), or some other program. Always ask.

7. Face-to-face interviews. This provides you the opportunity to see your client and their facial expressions. Bring a recorder, notebook, and pen. You may want to bring an extra recorder and batteries to ensure the interview is recorded — sometimes technology malfunctions. Make notes as you conduct the interview because they could prompt you to ask additional questions and write down key points.

8. Listen. Learn when to interject with questions by listening to definitive pauses.

9. Forget about a set time limit. Avoid using a time limit unless your interviewee is under  a time constraint. Interviews are anywhere from 15 minutes to one hour. But if the interview is flowing ask the interviewee if they’d like to keep going.

10. Transcripts. Freelance writers, how fast do you type? Some interviewees will ask for a transcript of the interview. You can transcribe the interview yourself, use a transcription service, or hire a local transcriber. It’s up to you.

Tip: Freelance writers, remember that an interview may be posted on the interviewee’s website. Ask interesting questions that will engage the interviewee and readers. Boring questions are the fastest way to dash your hopes of a poignant interview. Ask open-ended questions that you can build upon if necessary. Stay away from questions that require a “yes or no” response because they don’t add anything to an interview.

Freelance writers have fun with interviews. Make sure an interviewee is relaxed because it will make the interviewing process easier. Be prepared for the interview with a list of questions, but don’t be afraid to ask questions that you think of as the interview progresses. This will show that you’re paying attention to what your interviewee is saying and guarantee you another interview. Good luck!

Amandah

Enhanced by Zemanta