https://youtu.be/g_Et5R2oKVs

Hi, my name is Michael Jamin and I’m a professional television writer. And the question I hear more often than any other question is, how do I get my script into the right hands? I hate that question. It’s the wrong question to ask because it takes all the responsibility off of you and it places the responsibility on the person with the hands. They have the wrong hands, right? You need the right hands. It’s their fault. It’s their fault that they have the wrong hands. The question you need to ask yourself, and no one asks themselves this question, is how do I make my script so damn good that it doesn’t matter whose hands it falls into?

When I first started studying writing years ago I had a writing teacher and I asked him that question. How do I get my script into the right hands? And he was mad about this question. Made him even madder than it made me. And he said, “take the script, drive down to Hollywood, roll down the window, and throw it out the window. That’s how you do it.” But he was right because that’s how you get the script to someone who’s only adjacent to the entertainment industry. Maybe a lawyer, an entertainment lawyer, or someone who knows a friend who’s a friend of a friend of someone in the industry. If your script is so damn good that when they read it they’re like, oh my God, what happens next? I can’t believe how good this script is, they are going to put it into the right hands. They’re going to give it to somebody who can help you. Why? Because it’s in their own best interest. Because that makes them look good. If they were to give them that script and it’s really that good, that friend is going to owe them a favor because it’s like, man, look what I gave you, huh? Am I connected or what? I gave you this precious gem. That’s how good I look. And the person who is going to get the script is now going to read it and they’re going to be like, oh my God, this is really good.

But let’s say it’s not the right hands, right? They’re going to read it and they go, okay. I can’t use this script, but it’s so damn good I want to figure out a way to work with you on something else. Maybe not this project, but something else. And now the whole power dynamic has shifted. Now instead of you begging them, they’re begging you because you’re so damn talented they want to work with you. Okay?

But no one ever asks that question, how do I make my script so damn good that it doesn’t matter whose hands it falls into? Why? Because that’s hard. Because that requires studying the craft of screenwriting. It requires taking a class. There are millions of classes. I don’t know why people don’t sign up for them. I have a class, sign up for that one. If you don’t want to sign up for mine, sign up for somebody else’s. Make sure they’re good. Make sure they know what you’re talking about. But that requires an investment of time and energy and that’s too hard, right? You’ve already written your script. I want to sell this one. I want to walk through the door. Well, guess what? It’s not easy and it’s not supposed to be easy. So work on your craft. Work on your craft. Work on making your scripts so damn good that no matter whose hands it falls into it’s the right hands.

For more tips on how to do that you can follow me anywhere on social media. I’m on Instagram. I keep that account private but go ahead and follow me there. Just ask nicely and I’ll let you in. I do that to cut down the riff-raff. @MichaelJaminWriter.

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Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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