Producing for Screenwriters

I’m a screenwriter. I love movies and words and popcorn.

But let’s say, just hypothetically, that producers have yet to bang down my door begging for screenplays. Do I just keep on writing and hope that someday those words will get moving?

I think you know the answer to that.

With my team at the screening of our 48 hour film, Dead End Job.

With my team at the screening of our 48 hour film, Dead End Job.

Producing is no easy job, but if we’re eager to spin our ideas into a living, breathing experience, I say go for it. Short films and web series can be done in our spare time with a limited budget, and it gets us in the mode of making stuff.

We are no longer dreamers and wishers. We are filmmakers.

Filmmakers are allowed to say things like, “I have multiple projects in various stages of development,” which works even if you are still trying to corral friends and family members into helping you shoot your first video.

Of course, filmmakers have a lot more responsibility than screenwriters. And chances are, there’s a reason we’ve been so focused on writing all this time… because writing is fun and producing might… not be? Or maybe we don’t know where to begin.

If you happen to be best friends with award-winning actors and a hidden gem of a director, I would suggest you give them a call. If not, it’s still highly possible to put together a team of really good people who can help you tell your story. Asking friends for recommendations, posting in craigslist, contacting the communications department at your local university, can all generate leads for your budding production team.

This approach always works for me, and it’s so much easier to work with a few folks who are pretty good at what they do, then to try and do everything yourself. It can be done, but why?


If you could use a little kick in the pants to get started, go to and sign up for the project in your city. Between now and the start date, make it your goal to recruit as many people as you can for your team. Then you all get to write, shoot, and edit your entire 4-7 minute film in 2 days.

And it will be finished, whether you like it or not.

Take a look at the trailer for the Dark Comedy I just produced and co-wrote. Go get ’em.

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Sleepless in Saint Louis


Dear STL:

I was so excited yesterday I woke up at 4:30am. I didn’t need to get up that early to drive to Washington, DC, then fly to Saint Louis, MO. I had a wonderful time gallavanting around the MetroLink system, with learning the ticket validation system and people watching and refusing to speak to strangers who approached and asked if they could talk to me. Although I felt a little badly about that last one. And I really enjoyed spending time with my dear Saint Louis friend, Lina, and her adorable 1-year-old son, who showed me all his cow toys and played peek-a-boo with me to no end. But it is 5am now and I’m tired, and I haven’t worked on my screenplay at all. What should I do?

-Sleepless in Saint Louis


Dear Sleepless:

Do you know you can ride to the top of the stainless steel Arch for a spectacular view of The Gateway City? Too bad you weren’t here for the thunderstorm the other night – the Arch was struck by lightning! It was pretty incredible. Or why not explore Forest Park, home of the 1904 World’s Fair? There you will find the art museum, golf courses, the zoo, not to mention walking and biking trails. And as long as you’re not sleeping anyway, check out our nightlife! Laclede’s Landing features some of our hottest bars and dance clubs, most of which are smoke free and open until 3am. Then there’s always the theater, the casino, the botanical garden… you will never run out of things to do in Saint Louis!


Dear STL:

Thank you for the recommendations. I wish I were going to be here for another week, but it’s just today, so… I’ll let you know how it goes.