Since breaking into Hollywood as a screenwriter can be a long journey, it’s not uncommon to see people post about their breaking-in story after they’ve finally got their shot. They usually have a quasi-inspirational tone to them, urging others not to give up or feel bad that they haven’t achieved success yet.
Unfortunately, most of them sound something like this:
“The movie I wrote comes out this week. People are calling me an overnight success, but let me tell you a little bit about my ‘overnight’ success, because my 15 year journey has been anything but.
15 years ago I moved to Los Angeles and got the only job I could. An office assistant at a real estate company.
14 years ago I finished writing my first script and got my agent.
12 years ago I quit my office assistant job because I was making a living off screenwriting, rewriting studio films and making a solid living.
10 years ago I was EPing my first TV show while a script I wrote got produced in Germany.
3 years ago I wrote a spec script with my good friend and we were lucky enough to get Chris Evans attached to the lead role.
1 year ago that movie was greenlit.
Next week it comes out in theaters. Don’t let anyone tell you that success happens overnight. It took me 15 years.”
It’s like those old Hollywood writers whose stories are always like, “I moved to Hollywood in 1932. My first day there I went into a grocery store to buy a ham sandwich for a nickel, and a producer started talking to me and asked ‘do you want to write pictures?’ I said OK and the rest was history.”