13 SCREENWRITING SECRETS (#1, 7 & 8 Are Imperative)


SCREENWRITING (No-Bull): Hollywood, according to it’s writer’s  union (wga.org) minimum rules, pays approx. $100,000 (see below) or a little more for a Treatment and 2 Drafts (1st Draft & Final Draft) to hire a writer to write a script based off an idea they have or a book or real life story they optioned.


QUESTION: So what do you think they’ll offer you when you come to them with the finished script that, for whatever reason, is absolutely perfect and they love?

ANSWER: $100,000… or a little more… Duh.

For specific amounts go to the website for the screenwriters union, called Writers Guild of America (www.WGA.org) and view (http://www.wga.org/uploadedFiles/writers_resources/contracts/min2014.pdf) what you will discover is that the exact pay ranges from $67,804 to $127,295… This is nice.

The $67,804 is for a Low-Budget movie (film under $1,200,000) and High-Budget is (film over $5,000,000) assumed as any movie costing more-than $5,000,000 but marketed as “just-under” $7-10 Million, or $10-12 Million, or $12-15 Million. Yep, all those budgets they market are “just-under“…

Back to facts.

If Low-Budget (under $1.2 Million) writer gets paid…

  • TREATMENT… $30,721
  • 1st DRAFT… $26,700
  • 2nd DRAFT… $10,383

If High-Budget (over $5 Million) writer gets paid…

  • TREATMENT… $50,874
  • 1st DRAFT…. $50,874
  • 2nd DRAFT… $25,547

The one and only secret to obtaining the $100,000 SALE ($67,804-$127,295) is to write the great script.


Obvious and simple to say, yet extremely difficult to do.

But doable if you follow these steps.

And remember; Anyone can have an idea and use free formatting shareware (www.Celtx.com) or purchase formatting software (Final Draft 9.0, www.FinalDraft.com) and knock out 90-140 pages in 1-2 months. Not a big deal.


Writing-2 (Remember… “Nothing is written… It’s re-written.)

The big deal is to knock out 90-140 pages in 1-2 months, of course typed in the write format, that…

  • (1) Grabs the Reader on Line 4-6 of Page-1 (grabs readers attention)
  • (2) Grabs the Reader on Bottom Line of Page-1 (holds readers attention)
  • (3) First 8-12 Pages captivate the reader. (makes reader turn pages)
  • (4) Characters introduced have personality & uniqueness. (reader enjoys this)
  • (5) 2nd ACT starts around Page 12, after an “UH-OH” & “OH-SHIT”. (reader is grabbed & double-grabbed)
  • (6) Reader is now grabbed, hooked and reads entire script. (reader is satisfied)
  • (7) 2nd ACT is a great roller-coaster ride. (reader is still hooked)
  • (8) 2nd ACT establishes the 3 Sub-Plots. (reader is fascinated)
  • (9) All Characters are not 1-dimensional and have a sub-story. (readers is enthralled)
  • (10) 3rd ACT starts page 70 (90 Page Script) or page 110 (140 Page Script) (reader is excited)
  • (11) 3rd ACT brings 3 Sub-Plots and Primary Plot all together. (reader is kvelling)
  • (12) 3rd ACT resolves itself. (reader is more than 100% satisfied)
  • (13) EPILOGUE, 1 page might be a bonus

Now… Get Real.

DSC_8144  (I’m Dov Simens and I hope you entail yourself of my 3 ground breaking film programs… The “DVD Film School”, The “2-Day Film School” and the “Streaming Film School”… all facts. No theory. No Bull… www.WebFilmSchool.com))

You keeping hearing Hollywood, all those celebrities and dudes, sitting on those $1,000 “Variety Entertainment Financing Summits” stating “We’re looking for great ideas” and you instantly get excited about your-idea-is-great.


Don’t get excited. Hollywood is not looking for great ideas… it is looking for Great Scripts. And if your script handles “A-M” above then you likely have the Great Script.

You grabbed the reader right away on page-1, you make him/her turn the page and read 9 more pages. The 10 pages are great he/she is now engrossed and then reads the entire script. Plus, you have dimensional characters, with unique dialogue, and 3 sub-plots which each resolve themselves and are all intertwined into the primary story that also resolves itself… You got a Fr*ckin’ Great Script.

Let’s assume the reader gives “good coverage” (two page book report to his/her superior), states “Must Read” and the superior reads the script and agrees “This is a Fr*ckin’ Great Script” you will now likely get an offer for Writers Guild minimum (Low-Budget) of $67,804. What the f*ck round-it-up to $75,000, with a paragraph in the offer that if the budget ever goes over $5 Million you will receive $127,295 or whatever writers guild minimum is at that date.

Voilla…You sold your script for about $100,000… give or take a little.

Hold on, Stop-The-Engines, I’d be remiss if, however, if I did not say that you “ain’t gonna get a check at one-time for that $100,000 or $67,804-$127,295″, at this moment from the slick Hollywood Buyer (aka: Development Executive), for he/she is not really buying your script he/she is really optioning it (first refusal right) for 2-4 years with likely only 10% down.


Don’t be bummed!

Stay tuned for in another NO-BULL BLOG I will show you how to negotiate a bigger Purchase Price for your Option Agreement then if you really took that first $100K offer with $10K down.

Happy Filmmaking,

Dov Simens



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6 comments on “13 SCREENWRITING SECRETS (#1, 7 & 8 Are Imperative)”

  1. Gerrod

    Why isn’t this publicized more?

  2. Hello

    UH&OH and OH-SHIT sounds amazing! But what is it

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    3. You don’t need to keep reinforcing how evil a character is by constantly showing him committing acts of outrageous and senseless violence. But this is all we know about Uday; it is all that we are shown. This is proof of bad writing and of a director who is cannot delve deeper into this possibly fascinating character. Just look at Idi Amin’s portrayal in Last King of Scotland or Ralph Fiennes’ character in Schindler’s List.

  3. Mehdi GHENNAM

    I’m just interested in writing scripts.

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