Hello everybody. You've probably been wondering where I have been the past few weeks. Wringing your hands, gnashing your teeth, drinking heavily. Constantly hitting "refresh," waiting for an update. Even if you haven't, just play along for me. I'm a needy man. Thank you.
When I started this column -- your #1 source for writing tips, advice, interviews, strike coverage, and life lessons -- I hoped the nice little hook would be that I am a writer trying to make it big myself. Well friends, after a year and a half of short-term gigs, false starts, near-misses, and one big ol' crushing strike -- my writing partner and I have finally crossed over. We just got staffed as writers on the FX comedy "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." It's a genuinely hilarious show, and one of my favorites on television. I couldn't be more excited.
And so "The Write Stuff" takes an interesting turn. I'm not going to have as much free time now, so it won't be a weekly thing anymore. But I would love to keep the column afloat with semi-regular interviews and Q&A. Please keep on leaving your questions in the comments or at my personal site. I'll get to each one eventually. As for your previous questions, I believe I've addressed every one you guys have submitted over the past several months, except this one (Nothing personal, Scott, just slipped through the cracks!):
Can you give some advice to a writer outside of the US? I live in Australia, just started writing screenplays. What are the chances of me getting a break while not living in the US? I cant afford to move there at the moment, unfortunately. Is it worthwhile submitting scripts to US companies from Australia? Or would they just toss them out because they don't want to go to the hassle of arranging meetings and such?
I don't know a great deal about Australian film production, but it certainly seems like it would be less competitive than Hollywood. (What isn't less competitive than Hollywood?) Since you've got the home field advantage, have you thought about trying to get a screenplay produced Down Under? You can probably even get help with financing, a grant, or at least some nice tax breaks from the Australian Film Commission. (Check out their website here.)
If you're insistent on getting your work looked at in America, I do know that most screenplay competitions accept submissions from outside of the U.S. As for submitting your screenplay to U.S. production companies, I imagine it's roughly the same procedure as if you lived here. You'd want to have an agent or manager representing you to call on your behalf. If your screenplay is excellent, they're not going to care if you live in Australia or Narnia. Good luck!
That should bring us up to date. Next up for the site is an interview with Michael Ian Black. Black offers hilarious commentary on VH1; he worked on both The State (brilliant but tragically short-lived MTV show) and Stella (brilliant but tragically short-lived Comedy Central show), and wrote the upcoming romantic comedy Run Fatboy Run. If you have any questions for him, please leave them in the comments and they will be asked. I'll be posting that interview the week of the film's release.
And thanks for all the encouragement you loyal readers have given me since "The Write Stuff" began. I hope the column helps you aspiring writers as much as your feedback helps me. Take my recent success as proof that anybody can make it...and get to work!