What Makes a Script Commercial 

Everybody wants to sell their script, but how are you supposed to know what makes a movie commercial? And how can you sell your screenplay without selling your soul? In this video, I discuss the question of why producers choose some scripts and not others, and an organic approach to writing a script that sells, by following your own creative impulses.


  1. Steve Hovland 11 years ago

    Making a script commercial is a topic worthy of a lot more work. The numbers on IMDB tell it all. Many movies don’t make their budget. NLP is a branch of psychology dedicated to identifying and copying successful behavior. Success depends on knowing what works and doing it all the time.

  2. Pam 11 years ago

    I see a parallel between the movie industry numbers and the job market numbers. fewer people receiving unemployment benefits doesn’t necessarily mean that those people have found jobs. many have just stopped looking. same with the movies – i haven’t gone in months. i used to go every week. my husband and i – and many friends – peruse the movie lists with sheer disgust. the same old ridiculous action movies. they can’t even come up with anything original. how many batman movies can there be? or any of the other sequels. sequel being the operative word. STOP!!! there is a massive untapped demographic of people who don’t bother looking anymore. whose fault is it that movies aren’t making their budgets? scale down the silliness and see what happens. they pander to teenagers who, i understand buy tickets, but they buy tickets not to see the movie, but to be seen AT the movies. have you ever been in a theater on a weekend night? dozens of expensively clad teens running in between theaters. even they’re bored! entertain the rest of us once in a while. it doesn’t have to been seen simultaneously in 5 of the 10 showing rooms. one would suffice. i have written a movie “I” would like to see. good luck to me

    • Steve Hovland 11 years ago

      @Pam: Have you copyrighted your screenplay? I’d be interested in looking at it. Mine is copyrights and submitted to the Nicholl fellowship; willing to show it to you. My list for commercial success includes: A protagonist we can love, an antagonist we can hate, something worth fighting for, emotional roller coaster. What do you think makes a difference?

      • Pam 11 years ago

        the real differences are made when i can relate to a story. which means 99% are unwatchable. i have never seen the thriller series halloween, elm street, saw etc. no adventure series, raiders, pirates of caribbean, james bond, men in black, etc. no space stuff, alien, star trek, star wars, etc. absolutely no violence godfather, good guys and just about everything in between. soooooo… see my dilemma? i want real life stories about people, not machines not violent tales that are so far fetched they should be considered sci fi. here’s my take on violence – in all movies – there should be actual violence. if you think it’s entertainment then you should see the real thing. real bullets, real death. nobody will have 14 bullets in the chest and run after the bad guy and WIN. no one will have all foot bones broken with a hammer and get up and run after the bad guy and WIN. PUH LEEZ. real violence in just one movie should put an end to that kind of ENTERTAINMENT.
        apologies if your movie falls into any of these categories. 🙁

  3. Pam Inglese 11 years ago

    sorry steve i didn’t see this reply. am not at home just now, will check in again tomorrow!

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