Start : how ? where to ? and especially by what ?

Commencer : comment ? par où ? et surtout par quoi ?

Where to start ?

So, to start this new section, we will consider that the last elements that I mentioned – learning the basics of writing and have the imagination – are acquired ! Small parenthesis, you know the adage “nothing for granted” ? And well this applies more to the profession of screenwriter ! Why ? For a variety of reasons and paradoxical, and as this is not the topic of this article, I’m not going to deepen now, I keep it hot for a next release…

The opportunities to achieve are fairly large depending on the format that we choose to write: short films, medium-length film, mini-series, web series, shorts, feature films… As the possibilities are many and varied, we will proceed in the following order: first, the Short Film.

The cm, a purgatory mandatory ?

There is an idea received persistent divides writers : beginners and other semi fans think that the journey to try to make known is the same as for a director ! For a developer, the passage in the purgatory of the CM is a mandatory stop ! A kind of hazing is necessary, and trainer ! However, this assumption immutable is it also valid for the writers who are beginners and who are seeking recognition ? Well, I am one of the people who think that NON ! Why ? First of all, here is a small overview of the different possibilities. We will consider that you just wrote a “good scenario CM” – as I repeat never enough, this is relative… and we will attack the following steps.

The arena of the cm

Today, with the nuclear explosion of the internet, the world of CM has changed, it has been turned down to its deepest foundations. Before this explosion, a CM is primarily reserved for film schools in the framework of their exercises to the end of the year. In parallel to this, a few directors motivated and ambitious rose teams to perform CM. The production was low and targeted to the extent where it was used especially in the feeding of the festival specialized.

Moreover, these festivals were also constraints: move with CM, you can stay a night, see two, the transport, the route, the meals…cool ! The advantage of this bygone era, it is that the teams that were made for projects to which they believed. Not quantity, just the quality…

From quality to quantity, there is the internet !

Now, the internet has exploded ! The broadcast became a distressing banality ! We can put everything online, no limit ! Suddenly, a lot of people who think that it is easy to have made the decision to start. Finished broadcasts to be discrete and targeted festivals. Place to other sites and forums where one has the same right to opinions of internet users – which is a very good thing !. The problem is that the CM has become a “no man’s land” where anything rubbed shoulders with the professional, and as this last part is very small, it is drowned out in the mass !

Difficult for a writer to make his weapons in this catch-all indescribable ! Especially at this level, “people who are true” – and yes, for the vast majority it is of novices deep but who do not know – do not attach any importance to the storyline ! They just want to have fun and make images to make images. They are a part of this school believe that the images do not need history. In some cases, yes, I admit it ! But this is an exercise in style meant to be worn by a very good director. Not a director of the Sunday !

Never better served than by yourself

Some writers do not hesitate to go behind the camera to start and make themselves known. It is a bold plan that may bear fruit. Now, let’s not do amalgam. In effect, writing and directing are two very different things. We should always keep in mind the notion of ” impartiality creative “. Indeed, we can imagine and write a story with ideas to plan and sequence specific – it should not hesitate to mention in the note of intent. By contrast, in the other direction, it is already more delicate. Has the realization, we will more easily distort the scenario to stick to the requirements. We tend to take the easy way out. Of course, the notion of constraints budget also exists at the stage of writing, but it is still different, and again, this is not the topic ! But I would go back… And then realize they can’t improvise like that ! It is necessary to invest time, money, and find a motivated team… in Short, a hell of a lot of constraints !

The union does not necessarily force

In the sequel’s never better served than by oneself, there is the opportunity to collaborate with a director. Here also, two cases of figure. First, there are often directors who ask for help to writers to assist them in writing their CM. By experience, I know that 95 % of this kind of ad lead to a vacuum. Why ? Simply by this that as soon as one has more need of you, it clears you ! The collaboration is a good school, but it must be on the producer with which it starts.

The court footage professional

Here, too, there are two cases. First, the canvassing, direct and spontaneous ! And yes, it still exists in our days ! We can very well send scripts to production companies – for having done so, I can tell you that it is far from being convincing as a strategy . It’s not the production companies that are missing ! – approximately 200 nothing on Paris ! – But hey, don’t expect great thing… But it can work, if the person who ends up with your mail is in a good mood and he reads until the end ! I know of writers who were managed by actively marketing itu membership directly.

Then, there are the calls of the offer, which represents a real opening ! Where to find them ? In several ways. The specialized sites of cinema, some forums, newsletters… But then also, sometimes it is necessary to be wary of certain companies. Even in this part, you can come across quacks that consist of 2 parts: the writers “pompeurs” who just want to find good ideas or even good scenarios that they refaçonneront at their leisure. Then, the companies that steal purely and simply of your scenario ! There is a lot of debate on this subject, and even if a lot of “legends” and other misconceptions, this is a practice that exists. Some companies are doing better ! She will tell you she is not interested, will pump out a few ideas, going to mill it all in their sauce, and package it is weighed, it turn ! Of course, there are the legal protections in the filing of copyright. And then there is also the trace of the mails… In the case of plagiarism proved to be, there is always a way to ensure the paternity of the project. The first thing you should do with a call of tender, it is seeking information about the company in question. If it seems fishy, do not hesitate to request additional information. Has this simple question, more than 50% of the companies did not deign to not even respond… But, well, relativize to the scale broke of the CM: A scenario CM is not worth that much, and if you realize one day, this will be just to see your name in the credits as a writer, which in itself will already be a very beautiful success !

The subvenctions

This is an interesting circuit that can open doors, but then again, it is a way very marked, which has its rules and its codes. There are several types of grants. The national – ex CNC, BEAUMARCHAIS, and the regional COUNCILS, REGIONAL AND GENERAL -. Each has its own constraints. The advantage of this is that it is open to all. The disadvantage is that projects have to be very formatted: drama, or dramatic comedy, with a topical subject, but not too many ” border-line “, classical writing… basically, for the young wolves who want to do projects in line with their taste, it will be necessary to sit a little on his deep convictions to enter the breakthrough !

And then, between us, we must not forget that the national grants, especially the kind CNC, this is like the Mafia… you will always say the opposite, but it is plagued pistons and the other goes right ! I know a professional screenwriter who has served on a board reading. He clearly told me that this is the contacts that count ! The advantage with the regional grants, is that it will prove to be more impartial.

The contest

And finally, the last and the most open ! It is the competition scenario in the framework of regional festivals, like Clermont, Lille, Orléans… These competitions are a great showcase for a young screenwriter, but also no sacred springboard ! In addition, the constraints are less marked, the panels are more open. And, most importantly, in the majority of the contest, you can submit multiple projects !

To conclude on the cm !

I recommend, therefore, it is not too found hope in the CM. Above all, it is a mid-cut ! And oh, I forgot, there’s also the CM who pass on the Public Service at 2 o’clock in the morning. Again, don’t expect anything of it ! These CM are from a catalog that is 10 years old, and in the light of the current restrictions, they are not ready to renew ! No, it must focus its efforts primarily on the grants, and regional contests. This is where are the opportunities ! Next article, the explosion of new media, web series to the mini series…

Jean Claude

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