How Do I Get My Screenplay Made? (15 word answer at end)

18 November 2022| Tags: screenwriting, television, things I've learned, TV

My brother and I wrote for a new Disney+ TV show. It’s being filmed right now. Alan got to go visit the set, but I did everything via Zoom because of my immune system.

Six years ago, I was about to turn 40: an aspiring writer with nothing published, nothing produced.

“If I were meant to be a writer, wouldn’t it have happened by now?”

I turned 40.

I decided to move on. Appreciate the life I had.

Then it happened.

Just weeks later, a producer called, asking if I wanted to “have a coffee”.

The last few years have been crazy.

I’m in writers’ rooms, working with incredible people. A novelist I grew up reading. A guy who wrote for Thor and Taika. I’m writing scripts for an actual Nobel Laureate.

Here’s one question everyone asks me.

It’s the question I was asking, just six years ago.

Imagine if I could go back in time and answer:

YOUNG ME: Hey, Jeremy from the Future, I’ve written a script. How can I get it made?

ME NOW: Hey, 39-year-old Jeremy, can you lend me a million dollars?

YOUNG ME: Uh, what?

ME NOW: If you’re someone with a script, asking to get it made, you’re asking for MILLIONS of dollars.

If a stranger came up and asked you for a million bucks, what would you do?

You’d be like: dude, no offence, but I’d rather buy a house, or invest in ETFs, or I dunno send Mum and Dad Uber Eats every single time they’re too tired to cook, with like some of that Beyond Meat type stuff for Mum–

YOUNG ME: Okay, okay… So write for a lower budget? So I’m not asking for a million?

ME NOW: Hey, can you lend me a hundred bucks?

YOUNG ME: Aw, Jeremy, are 40-somethings really grumpy? You’re no fun, man…

ME NOW: How do you feel when people ask you for money? Why would you do that to other people?

YOUNG ME: Great pep talk, Future Me…

ME NOW: It’s actually one of the best times in history to break into the screenwriting industry.


ME NOW: We’ll be telling our grandchildren that we were there when the streaming TV boom happened and Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Paramount, etc all needed so much content…

YOUNG ME: Yeah, but how do I get my script made?

ME NOW: Let me ask you, which of these two sounds more likely to get a yes:

“Hey man, can you lend me millions of dollars?”


“I heard you’re moving house. Do you want some help moving stuff?”

YOUNG ME: Move house?!

ME NOW: C’mon, it’s a metaphor! I’m saying: help people do something that’s really hard, and requires a lot of work.

TV shows are really hard! You need storylines, character arcs, scenes and jokes. Showrunners and producers need help. They need writers to write like 10 episodes…

YOUNG ME: You really think I should try to write for someone else’s show?

ME NOW: If a show has 10 writers and 1 showrunner, that’s a ratio of 10 people helping 1 person getting their show made. There’s TEN TIMES more opportunity if you help someone!

YOUNG ME: Well how do I work on someone else’s show?

ME NOW: You have to bring two things to the table:

(1) a lived experience or expertise that other screenwriters don’t have. Otherwise they’d just hire a screenwriter with more experience, right? There’s historic demand for authenticity and also for seeing other people’s worlds and subcultures right now.

So you don’t need to write another script about a hitman—write something that you’ve lived that isn’t currently shown on TV. Give them a peek into your world: a hobby, a subculture, a point of view.

YOUNG ME: You said two things?

ME NOW: Yep, you also need:

(2) some sort of writing credit to show that you’re a safe pair of hands.

YOUNG ME: Okay, what can I do right now? Something actionable?

ME NOW: Get a small win with a script that showcases your lived experience. It’s like one red paperclip. Just get a small win, then trade up, and up and up.

I don’t want to give you spoilers on your life… ah what the hell, let’s break the space-time continuum if that’s how it works. Write something for stage, and if it does well, maybe a producer will hear about it.

But there’s so many ways to get a quick win: my friend Millie created a scripted podcast, that blew the hell up.

Again, it’s instead of being like, “yo, lend me a million”, it’s like, “Hey, with only a shoestring budget, look what Millie could do. Now imagine if you gave her a decent budget”.

YOUNG ME: Hey, Future Jeremy, I gotta be honest…

ME NOW: Okay…


ME NOW: Yeah, okay, jeez, here it is in 15 words:

  Gimme a                      
  million             Help!    
  bucks!            Security!  
\O                \O/          
 |-                |           
/\                /\           


   You want                           **           
   some help                        ****           
  moving that                      ********        
   mountain?          Maybe...  ************       
\O                \O/*       ******************    
 |-         **     |       *********************** 
/\         ****   /\      *************************

I’m going to try to publish one of these a month.

If you’ve got questions, hit reply and I’ll do my best to answer in coming coming weeks.

Till next time,


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