Breaking into Hollywood can be tough, especially in today’s competitive market. What do you need to succeed? Advice from an industry player that gives you insight on how to make your dreams a reality in the most difficult business in town.
Script turns to someone who knows more about Hollywood than others dare to speak. He’s forthright, strident and maybe even a little bitter at times, but he tells it to his clients straight. He’s Munchie the Agent. With more than 4,000 fans on Facebook, he’s becoming the new voice of Hollywood. Script curled up with Munchie in a candid interview about how to break into Hollywood.
SCRIPT: How can a new screenwriter get his or her script read?
MUNCHIE THE AGENT: First, you need a good script meow. That’s half the battle. A well-written screenplay with solid ideas will usually propel itself. That said, in today's market, it's better if you base your script on a toy from the 1980s. Or a TV show from the 1980s. Or a graphic novel from the 1990s. Of course, this requires acquiring the rights to these, which is very expensive and you could never afford to do anyway meow. But go ahead and write your script just keep in mind that it will never, ever get made meow.
SCRIPT: What's your advice on breaking into the business?
MUNCHIE: Right now it’s unusually tough. Writing jobs are scarce. As a television writer, there are literally three open jobs total meow. And there are literally hundreds of people trying to get those jobs. And many of them have personal relationships with the people doing the hiring. That's TV. As a screenwriter, you’d have better luck as a television writer meow meow meow.
SCRIPT: How do you define great writing?
MUNCHIE: What are the attachments? Is it in 3D? How many pages is it meow? Is Michael Bay interested? Are there are least fourteen set pieces? Did you already line up a director and financing meow? Those are the kind of questions that you need to ask yourself before you begin writing meow.
SCRIPT: What's this year's hottest spec script and why?
MUNCHIE:American Idol. Hands down. Just look at the ratings meow.
SCRIPT: What's the best way to get a job writing for TV? Is writing a spec still the way to go?
MUNCHIE: The current wisdom is that one is better off writing a pilot than a spec of an existing show. But from my point of view, if you don’t have a direct connection to someone actually working in television, you'll have a better chance of actually trying to be a pilot meow.
SCRIPT: How many lives does an agent have in Hollywood?
MUNCHIE: As long as they have a cell phone, stolen wi-fi and some dirt on Ron Howard - infinite meow!
SCRIPT: How did you get into the business?
MUNCHIE: After graduating from Cornell, I got a job in the mailroom at ICM. I did that for almost two years, until one night I was working late and happened across a naked and shivering Dick Van Dyke crying behind the copier machine. He told me he had done a 'bad thing' and if I helped him fix it, he'd let me do his deal for the pilot of Diagnosis: Murder. That was that meow!
SCRIPT: What are your criteria for taking on a new client, or even just going out for drinks with a perspective one?
MUNCHIE: I'll have drinks with anyone who is interested in working with me, just to hear her story and what she wants from her career. So if that person is out there, all she needs to get my attention is her dreams. I don’t even care if she’s written anything.
If she has any inkling at all about the business, she should really call me for drinks meow. Seriously, meow.