I wrote an article for Shepherd on the top five books I think all screenwriters should read to elevate their career. My …
There are three books, the first of which – CREATIVE STRATEGIES – is available now on Amazon, both in print and Kindle formats. This volume is focussed on the creative strategies writers can adopt to increase their chances of selecting ideas and approaching the execution in a way to make it accessible to a wide market. It includes an understanding of the audience, of the streamers, writing treatments and bibles as well as the tricks to write successful adaptations. The subsequent books deal with writers as business people: how do you actually make a living from your writing, and finally, to the negotiating of deals and contracts. Negotiating a deal is not the same as negotiating a contract.
Each of the books can be read on its own, but each does take the process to the next steps.
Vol. 2 will be available soon.
Volume 1 focusses on the creative aspects of being a more successful writer, looking at ways of grabbing the attention of the audience and giving them a powerful emotional experience, to the new streaming platforms and what they mean for writers, as well as the importance of prose documents before the script is written.
2: How to Grab Your Audience
3: The Physiology and Emotion of being the Audience
4: Cinema or Television
5: SVODs, the Streamers and The New World Order
6: Writing Treatments and Step Outlines
7: Bibles: How TV Shows are Pitched
8: Adaptation: Pros and Cons and more Pros
9: Writing Prose, another string, another bow.
Volume 2 looks at how writers should run a home-based business: whether dealing with producers, directors, script-editors or agents, writers need to be able to manipulate the politics of those relationships. Having established themselves as professional, they need to up their game by pitching ideas: this is a crucial skill that affects almost every aspect of an professional writer’s career.
They also need to understand the different markets for their work; explore the many benefits of co-writing, and understand how producers and broadcasters see audiences. As the majority of film and TV productions are co-productions, a subject writers are usually excluded from discussing, there is a chapter on co-productions as they affect writers. Finally there is an chapter on agents: how to get one, use one, fire one or do without one.
2: The Politics of being a writer
3: The Writer as a Business Person
4: Life’s a Pitch: learning pitching skills
5: Markets for writers to aim at
6: Collaboration and Writing Partnerships
7: Ratings and Audience Research
8: Co-Productions – the way of the future
9: Agents – how to get, use, fire or do without one.
10: Financial Survival
Volume 3 looks at the essential skill of negotiating. Even if you have an agent, it is important to understand negotiating tricks: every script meeting involves negotiation. Being good at it can stop you from being fired from a project. Understanding negotiating skills can also make you writer better as your characters argue with each other (some characters having greater negotiating skills than others). Handling meetings is part of your negotiating ability.
Making money as a writer means deals and contracts: two writers offered the same deals can end up with widely varying amounts of money, depending on their understanding of writers’ contracts.
Finally, writers are bound by laws as is everyone else. So this Volume has sections on deals, contracts and law as it applies to writers. There is also an introduction to the Writers Guild of Great Britain, where you can see template contracts and what the minimum terms are.
2: Negotiating savvy
3: Handling Meetings to get your own way
4: Contracts – a Basic Agreement and other contractual tricks.
5: Protecting Your Work
6: Examples of negotiations with producers
7: Sample Deal memos
8: An A-Z of Law and Contracts for Writers
9: WGGB/PACT Minimum Terms Agreements
Reviews for MAKE MONEY SCREENWRITING VOL. 1:
‘For serious writers who want to build their careers. Julian Friedmann is a powerhouse, a literary agent of more than forty years’ standing, this book contains a wealth of his knowledge that will be useful and applicable to screenwriters.’
Lucy V Hay / Bang2Write
‘An excellent text that’s a must read for all screenwriters. A thoughtful, engaging and hugely informative read for all screenwriters who want to better understand how to turn their dreams into a career.’
KAP – Amazon Review
‘Practical & Inspiring: a must for anyone serious about a career as a screenwriter.
As an aspiring writer I feel this book acts as the perfect guide and mentor. Practical and straight-talking, it teaches you to think about the business of writing, the technique of writing, the creativity and motivation.’
Amazon Customer – Amazon Review
‘A No-Nonsense Guide To Screenwriting Success.
Julian gets directly to the meat of the matter: How to do more than write. How to BECOME A WRITER. Peppering his own encyclopedic knowledge and experience with citations from worldwide sources, this is an indispensable resource for anybody looking to break into the business side of the show.’
B. Robert Schultz – Amazon Review
‘Julian’s Volume 1 sheds light, connects the dots and adds the missing pieces in the professional screenwriting puzzle revealing the big picture. Looking forward to Volumes 2 and 3!’
Niki Lambropoulos – Facebook Review
Reviews for HOW TO MAKE MONEY SCRIPTWRITING (the earlier version of the three new books I am publishing):
‘This wonderful and accessible book fills in all the gaps. It’s full of insights that help writers in the business of screenwriting – a great help to actually get a script sold.’ Linda Seger (author of MAKING A GOOD SCRIPT GREAT).
‘If you want to be a scriptwriter but aren’t really sure what to do about it, then you could do a lot worse than reading Julian Friedmann’s HOW TO MAKE MONEY SCRIPTWRITING. Friedmann knows what he’s talking about, which he does in a witty and entertaining way, informing without patronising. Go and buy it.’ Film Review
SCRIPTWRITER MAGAZINE: Below are some quotes about this magazine:
“Excellent articles, very thought-provoking, really good to have in the office to read in the breaks – or to read all morning when the work’s not going well.” Andrew Davies, writer (Bleak House, Daniel Deronda, Zhivago , Bridget Jones’ Diary, A Rather English Marriage, Pride and Prejudice, Game On, Middlemarch, House of Cards, A Very Peculiar Practice)
“Finally a magazine that addresses scriptwriting and scriptwriting issues from a British perspective. Intelligent, witty and argumentative, it makes a significant contribution to understanding and illuminating the role of the creative process within the film and television industry.” Ashley Pharoah, writer and creator (Wild at Heart, Ashes to Ashes, Life on Mars)
“It’s ‘the knowledge’ for British scriptwriters” Jack Rosenthal, writer (Lucky Jim, Wide Eyed and Legless, London’s Burning, The Evacuees, Bar Mitzvah Boy, P’tang, Yang, Kipperbang, Ready When You are Mr McGill, The Evacuees (Emmy award), Spend, Spend, Spend (Prix Italia), The Knowledge)
“At long, long last Britain has joined the other major film-making countries in gaining a serious, worthwhile magazine for screenwriters. To my mind it is a positive duty of every professional writer, and every emerging professional, to support this initiative. Scriptwriter is brilliantly informative, deliciously opinionated, and admirably open to all perspectives and points of view. From the in-depth analysis to the penetrating interview to the beady-eyed news coverage, Scriptwriter is a pleasure as well as an obligation.” Bernie Corbett, ex-General Secretary, Writers’ Guild of Great Britain
“It is a valuable resource for students keen to learn the basics of writing and about the business of writing, as well as providing a constantly changing perspective on all the issues that matter to working writers.” Christopher Walker, Course Leader MA TV Scriptwriting at De Montfort University.
“The wealth of articles available, from writing genre to writing emotion, working with actors to working with script editors, has enabled some very insightful debates to take place…. For students and professionals alike, the highly comprehensive yet easily accessible writing means that new and existing ideas are able to be shared and embraced.” Craig Batty, then Senior Lecturer in Media Writing, University of Portsmouth.
“Every scriptwriter should have a copy on his or her desk.” Jurgen Wolff, teacher / writer (Benson, Family Ties, Relic Hunter; script doctor Mannequin, Pluto Nash)
“Very useful for writers and it has great informative articles.” Nicola Shindler, Executive Producer, Red Productions (Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, Clocking Off, Linda Green)
“ScriptWriter provides clear and fascinating articles about the world of film and television writing. It should be on the desk of every television commissioner.” David Docherty, ex-MD Broadband Content, Telewest; formerly Deputy Director of TV BBC (author The Spirit Death, The Killing Jar, The Fifth Season)
“I have been really impressed with ScriptWriter. It patently wants to help writers come up with better scripts and that has to be good for television and film in general.” Ray Marshall, producer/writer, Festival Film and TV (Catherine Cookson series)
RECENT BLOG POSTS
Check out these really good Screen International talks: register for them here. “Screen International and Documentary Campus have once again teamed up …