Script brings you behind the scenes to get to know our family of contributors on a more personal level. Meet Ashley Scott Meyers, host of Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.
Ashley Scott Meyers is a screenwriter and blogger / podcaster. Since beginning his career as a screenwriter in the late 1990’s he’s optioned more than two dozen feature screenplays and sold a half dozen. And he’s done it all without an agent or manager, instead opting to use his pragmatic screenplay marketing guide which he teaches at SellingYourScreenplay.com.
What was the first movie you ever remember seeing or the one that made the most impact on you as a child?
I think the first movie I saw was The Rescuers. I ate some popcorn, feel asleep, and then started throwing up. I couldn't eat movie popcorn for years!
What’s your favorite movie of all time?
Star Wars. As a kid who grew up in the 80's, the impact of Star Wars really was massive. I saw the movie 17 times in the theatre and had all the toys. I'm now rediscovering the films with my own young daughters, and I still think the original Star Wars is the best and really holds.
What word or scenario do you never want to see in a screenplay again?
I hate films with those big emotional moments that don't really make us actually feel anything. You know the ones, when it's clear the screenwriter has seen The Shawshank Redemption and is trying to have that awesome moment at the end but they haven't actually put in the time to develop the story or characters enough to make us feel actual genuine emotion. I just saw Jurassic World. Enough said.
What profession did your parents want you to have?
My parents were pretty open-minded and supportive of whatever I did. I'm mindful of that and thankful. I think they were a little skeptical when I decided to move out to Los Angeles to be a screenwriter, but they hid it well. My brother told me years later that they all thought I'd come home in a year or two, three at the most. That was twenty years ago.
What profession, other than your current one, would you like to try if you could have a do-over?
I think if I were starting out in the film business today, I would make a real big effort to work for a distribution company so that I could see which movies made money and how. I would be aggressive in trying to get an internship and work my way up from there. Even just a year or two working there would probably be super valuable.
What drew you to the entertainment industry and specifically, why did you want to help writers?
As mentioned above, films like Star Wars deeply impacted my childhood and really fostered a love of movies in me. I really learned how much I love going to the movies, just recently through my oldest daughter, who just turned five. Against my wife's better judgment, I took her to all the summer blockbusters (except Mad Max - I would have done it but my wife put her foot down!). My daughter loves going to the movies, and it really reminds me how much I love it, too.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
My first car was a beat up 1969 Lotus Europa. A tree had fallen on it and cracked the windshield and put a hole in the roof. We bought it for $2,000, dragged it home, and slowly put it back together. I sold it a few years later to buy a Lotus Espirt with a blown engine!
What do you wish you knew about the industry before you jumped in?
I think this goes back to my earlier comment about working for a distribution company. Since I've spent my screenwriting career working outside of the studios, writing mainly independent genre films, working for a distribution company and understanding their business model better would really help me today in trying to write movies for them.
If you could impart only one piece of knowledge onto writers, what would it be?
Man, it's a lot of work without any guarantee of success.
If you could go back in time and talk to your 18-year-old self, what advice would you give?
Buy as much Apple stock as you can afford. Maybe even sell the Lotus to do it!
- Watch Ashley's Selling Your Screenplay Podcast
- Get more resources on Ashley's website: Selling Your Screenplay
- Follow Ashley on Twitter: @ashleymeyers
- Like Selling Your Screenplay on Facebook
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