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How To Succeed As A Screenwriter...On Your Very First Try!
by James L. Weaver

In 1980, after having received my MFA degree in Painting, from the San Francisco Art Institute, where I was also employed as a full time Maintenance worker, I was also writing screenplays, and keeping abreast with the goings on in H-wood. Even had a WGA agent, after she read my first action-comedy script, "How To Weigh The Earth." (She showed it to Mel Brooks, who said: "Sorry, but me or my staff write all my stuff.")

Colin Higgins, (1941-1988), was a great screenwriter, and I was very familiar with his 1971 outrageously funny script "Harold & Maude", so when I saw that he was to appear on some TV interview show, I definitely made a point of watching it.

After the moderator praised him again for his "H&M" script, he then asked Colin what advice he'd give to beginning screenwriters about getting their script produced. Colin said: "Well, for me, it was fairly easy...After I wrote it, I gave it  to my supervisor, who was a movie producer, and he liked it."

The next morning, when my supervisor, a very large-framed Irish, former SFPD officer, came in, I handed him my screenplay.

He said, "Thanks, but what the hell is this, Jim?" 

It's my screenplay." I said. 

"So, what th' hell am I supposed to do with it?" 

"Make it into a movie, of course...You're my supervisor, aren't you?"