What ONE piece of screenwriting or filmmaking advice has been the most useful to you in your career and why?
Filmmaking is a business of collaboration and you need to build your reputation as a team player if you want longevity as a working screenwriter. If you’re a temperamental diva who bristles at notes or changes, you’ll be branded as “difficult” and you won’t stay on projects very long. Choose your script battles wisely and back them up with a solid defense while always seeing the bigger picture—you staying on as the writer and ultimately getting the film made. Producers and directors like to work with positive collaborators who leave their egos at the door and put the movie first. Every project is your chance to build new relationships and show the producers and executives they can trust and work with you. Your talent is equally as important as your professional work ethic and your attitude, so be the invaluable screenwriter who does everything to help get the film produced. When you embrace and follow these disciplines, you’ll build your reputation as a team player and it will help keep you in the screenwriting game over the long haul.
Mark Sanderson is a Los Angeles based screenwriter. His website is www.fiveoclockblue.net and he’s @scriptcat on Twitter.