In the pantheon of all-American dreams, selling the big spec script in Hollywood ranks up there with winning the lottery or having Steven Spielberg’s home phone number on your speed dial. Perhaps that’s why many stories about screenwriters zero in on the sales figures and financial details of their deals.
What is often lost in those stories are accounts of how the writers toiled away in regular jobs while they polished their words and exercised their imagination in their free time.
The screenwriters Daily Variety is highlighting this year gravitated to the profession because they wanted to tell stories that moved and inspired audiences. Of course, the promise of making obscene amounts of money in the Hollywood dream factory never loses its golden appeal. Yet these men and women were able to offer new perspectives, surprising storylines and original characters that explored unchartered territories.
The subject matter of the scripts runs the gamut: From a poignant parable about a blacklisted Hollywood writer to a surreal tale of a woman who believes she’s a dog, to a social satire disguised as an English murder mystery, these scenarios are as diverse and different in tone and content as their creators. The common factor among them is that they go beyond the usual trappings of genre and demands of the market to offer stories that touch the heart and inspire the mind.
In the months ahead, as awards season kicks into high gear, some of these scribes may be basking in brighter limelights. In that case, they can think of Daily Variety‘s kudos as a sneak peak at glories to come; a gentle pat on the back as they embark on a fruitful and fulfilling career.