A New Hope
There is still hope left in the world. Especially the
entertainment world. While we may be running out of binge worthy shows (not really, since Disney+ launched season 2 of The Mandalorian [see how I worked that Star
Wars reference in there?], Netflix just released The Queens Gambit, CBS All Access has new episodes of Star Trek Discovery, and HBO MAX delivered Raised by Wolves and of course, Amazon has a few), the streamers and the networks are going to need new content to fill the gaps. I think that's going to happen very soon. After all, we can save The Expanse hoping it will get a 7th season and move to Netflix and there's no telling what the Peacock will need nor Paramount. Since Conan is moving to HBO MAX, TBS will need something to fill that slot.
There's still hope. So I keep writing. I encourage my fellow screenwriters to keep writing.
I was invited to guest lecture to a media class at the University of Cincinnati. Here's the bullet points of what I told the students:
Everything is Changing
Glenn Gers, writer of Fracture starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling - Studios are changing to meet the Netflix/Amazon types and new ways of distribution.
“The content has to make money.”
New metrics: subscriptions, views and clicks, buzz = cultural currency, proprietary numbers (mass-produced items - Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter) libraries (Disney+, CBS All Access, Peacock)
Jeff Willis, Director of Credits and Administration at Marvel Studios, is also a screenwriter, “No one knows whether it's next week, next month, or next year before we can create safe conditions to shoot (meaning limited cast, crew, and locations) and theatrically exhibit movies. It actually dovetails with the advice people have been giving for years—if you want the best chance of making something, write a super low-budget script. More people can fund a $250,000 budget movie than a $250 million budget movie.
Obviously, if you're trying to get into the studio system as a writer, or you want to write those big-budget films, that's something that I think is going to be “TBD” for a really long time.
There is hope. If you don't believe me, an out-of-work writer, then believe Jeff Willis. Here's the full article from Script website that I referenced above: https://bit.ly/3mjWZtz
We can't lose hope. It's just a new hope.