Screenwriting Life After the Black List

Many people dream about their ‘big break’ in the entertainment industry. For Screenwriter Kevin Koehler, that break came with making it onto the Hollywood Black List in 2008 with his script, “Phantom Limb.” Many believe from there, you’re rich and famous. But the reality is, Kevin’s secured his place as a working writer. You may have never heard of Kevin, because none of the scripts he’s written have made it to the screen yet, but he keeps pluggin’ away, writing great scripts.

Kevin joined us to talk about life as a screenwriter.

I also note that Kevin’s big script, “Phantom Limb” is still one of the scripts in development. That script got him in the door, and now he can write for a living. As he mentions, most of his paid work is, pitched, aka ‘work for hire’, that is, he writes what other parties want him to write. He does spec new ideas on occasion, but that’s ‘work without pay’ until he and his team find it a home.

Here’s another video where Kevin talks about how to become a better screenwriter.

I love how Kevin describes a script as, “an invitation to make a movie.” Not only does the script have to tell a story, but it has to be a story so compelling that someone who can get a movie made will make it into a movie.

Kevin Koehler talks about how to become a screenwriter, how the Hollywood system of development works and where the writer fits into it all.

The Indie world is a whole different game. In Hollywood, this is pretty much how it works. Many screenwriters like Frank Darabont, Paul Haggis, Joss Whedon, and Charlie Kaufman have crossed the line to become directors but most, just tell a story that inspires a movie. Maybe that’s why you shouldn’t put camera angles in your spec script.

You can follow Kevin at @kevrockcity on twitter.

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4 Responses to “Screenwriting Life After the Black List”

  1. Derek says:

    Cool interview. What book did he adapt for Wim Wenders?

  2. Rose Haverlack says:

    HI Kevin,
    Congratulations! I’m proud to know the PARENTS of a screenwriter. Willa has a great future ahead of her ~ Kim says she LOVES books and loves having them read to her.
    Gret job.
    Rose Haverlack

  3. Joan Lasky says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I enjoyed viewing the interviews very much. Good job in explaining your work; it was very enlightning. I have a new respect for how movies are made and congratulate you on your efforts. Best of luck in becoming a great screen-writer. We’ll take special interest in reading the credits of your first huge success and finding your name prominently displayed. Your Mom and Dad will be sure to make an early announcement to the neighborhood so we can watch the movie again and again.

    Joan and Larry

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