What They Didn’t Teach You in Your Screenwriting Course
Screenwriters, listen up! Breakfast with Sharks is not a book about the craft of screenwriting. This is a book about the business of managing your screenwriting career, from advice on choosing an agent to tips on juggling three deal-making breakfasts a day. Prescriptive and useful, Breakfast with Sharks is a real guide to navigating the murky waters of the Hollywood system.
Unlike most of the screenwriting books available, here’s one that tells you what to do after you’ve finished your surefire-hit screenplay. Written from the perspective of Michael Lent, an in-the-trenches working screenwriter in Hollywood, this is a real-world look into the script-to-screen business as it is practiced today.
Breakfast with Sharks is filled with useful advice on everything from the ins and outs of moving to Los Angeles to understanding terms like “spec,” “option,” and “assignment.” Here you’ll learn what to expect from agents and managers and who does what in the studio hierarchy. And most important, Breakfast with Sharks will help you nail your pitch so the studio exec can’t say no.
Rounded out with a Q&A section and resource lists of script competitions, film festivals, trade associations, industry publications, and more, Breakfast with Sharks is chock-full of “take this and use it right now” information for screenwriters at any stage of their careers.
"Writing a script, or making a short film, or taking a dozen film theory courses in no way prepares you for what Hollywood is really like," declares Lent, a columnist for Creative Screenwriting Magazine who has worked on nine feature film projects. In this book of"loosely organized""academic courses," he purports to give novices the skinny on doing business in Tinseltown. Beginning, logically, with"Your Decision to Go Pro," Lent then moves on to"The Script-to-Screen Process" and"The Hollywood Game and Its Players." Lent's guide is above all realistic, and his straight-shooting, no-nonsense tone is often leavened with humor. He's thorough as well, discussing everything from relocating to L.A. and dealing with rejection to making pitches and negotiating contracts. He even tells would-be screenwriters where to rub elbows with their colleagues, listing Tinseltown bookstores, cafes and diners frequented by film folk. Though Lent's book contains little direction on actually writing a screenplay, it's an impressive, useful guide to the larger world of movie-making.