An Open Letter to Ambitious Screenwriters…
Hi, I’m Marvin, it’s a pleasure to meet you.
I shake you warmly by the hand.
Welcome to The Business Of Show Institute website.
Come in, come in, Hollywood is a cold, dark, and scary place.
Take a load off here for a moment.
Now, if you’ve found yourself here, it’s probably because you are an ambitious, determined screenwriter with big talent to match your big dreams.
If this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place.
Trying to achieve success on your own in Hollywood can be lonely, frustrating, and discouraging…
And chances are, you may be feeling that way right now.
However, I’ve got great news for you, which I’ll share in just a moment.
But first, do you see that picture at the top of this letter?
That’s me and my first Hollywood mentor, Roger Corman.
If you don’t know who Roger is, he’s an Academy Award winning producer, director, and actor, who has worked mostly on low budget “B” level movies.
You know, the cheesy ones you see late at night on Sci-Fi, like “Sharktopus,” “Mansquito,” and “Dinocroc vs. Supergator.”
But Corman is a legend in the industry, having mentored young film directors including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Demme, James Cameron, Curtis Hanson, John Sayles, and many others.
He has also helped launch the careers of actors including Jack Nicholson, William Shatner, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Talia Shire and Robert De Niro.
Even as a brand spankin’ newbie in Hollywood 20 years ago, I knew Roger’s track record for mentoring successful Hollywood Professionals (I did my research), and so I hounded Roger and his office for 6 weeks until he finally hired me.
While that’s a lesson in and of itself, by far the biggest lesson that Roger ever taught me was the art of salesmanship.
And not just how to sell movie ideas and scripts, the single most important thing he taught me how to sell was…
Marvin Friggin’ Acuna!
You see, if you understand how to position yourself and your material as a prize that’s worthy to be chased, then you’ve already won half the battle.
But most screenwriters don’t understand this concept, which is why they spend so much time feeling frustrated and discouraged.
Roger revealed this secret to me (and broke it down), nonchalantly, many years ago.
One particularly hectic day, I remember him turning to me and saying casually:
“You know Marv, Hollywood’s just a widget-making business with glamor attached to it. That’s why I make purchase-order productions that I KNOW I can sell.”
I must have looked confused, because he elaborated.
“For example, I’ll never make a pair of red shoes on a whim, hoping and praying that someone out there wants red shoes.
No, I’ll make a pair of shoes that already has a demand, which in essence, already has a purchase order. You understand? I make movies that satisfy a demand.”
I nodded calmly, but in reality, I felt as if he had just thrown a handful of smelling salts in my face.
Because that brief encapsulation of Hollywood woke me up, and changed EVERYTHING for me.
The secret to success in Hollywood?
Yup, that was definitely my “Matrix” moment.
Because it changed my romantic view of Hollywood, which I had previously thought of strictly as a community where talented artists gathered to create incredible works of art.
- It made me realize the mindset I needed if I wanted to become a successful Hollywood Professional, whether I became a representative, producer, or studio executive.
- It gave me the mindset I needed to impart to my clients and talent that I worked with (actors, screenwriters, and directors) if THEY wanted to achieve success in Hollywood.
- In short, it made me realize that Hollywood is a BUSINESS, and must be treated as such if you want to succeed.
And nothing would ever be the same again.
That’s the secret that Roger imparted to me, and it’s this same secret that I’m now passing along to you.
Which also leads me back to how The BOSI can help you in your screenwriting career.
You see, the reason it’s worth your while to hang out with us is because…
The BOSI is the ONLY place that shows you exactly what to do AFTER you’ve written an amazing screenplay…
As in, we teach the “business” of show business.
And that’s ALL we do.
So it’s no wonder we’re the best at it.
But don’t take my word for it.
Take a look at this page made up of screenwriters just like you who have implemented BOSI principles with success.
These are screenwriters from all over the world who used to think that the bright lights of show business were beyond their reach.
We taught them otherwise, and we can teach you too.
But what I ALSO want you to take a look at are the testimonials from my fellow Hollywood Professionals in the industry.
Why is this important?
Great question, I’m glad you asked!
It’s important because it shows you that I’m a working, in-the-trenches Hollywood Professional!
And this is an important point, depending on what you’re looking for.
So first of all, just so we’re clear, I don’t teach the craft of screenwriting.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your dialogue on page 34 of your script, then you’ve got the wrong guy.
(But I’ve got plenty of recommendations for where to go to improve your screenwriting ability, and you can ask by writing me at: Marvin@TheBusinessOfShowInstitute.com)
That being said, here’s what else I’m not.
- I’m not a script consultant…
- I don’t have a site where you can put up your script in hopes that Hollywood Professionals will find it and want to acquire it…
- I’m not a literary representative (anymore) so I won’t take unsolicited query letters or script submissions…
What I AM is a working, established Hollywood producer with 2 decades in the business, and no intention of stopping anytime soon.
(Check out my IMDB page)
So everything I tell you in my daily emails and weekly newsletter is real-time, “insider” info that only “in-the-know” Hollywood Professionals know and are talking about.
You can think of me as…
Your “secret weapon” in Hollywood…
Because the information that I give you comes straight from my 20 years of experience as a literary manager and TV & feature film producer, and is then dispensed to you specifically with the goal of showing you how to apply this information successfully in your screenwriting career.
And it gets even better…
With 2 decades of tirelessly building my Rolodex, the Hollywood Professionals that I give you access to aren’t “up-and-comers.”
Nope, The BOSI gives you access to legitimate industry “heavy hitters” that you only read about in the trades.
More about that in a moment.
But to finish my point, it’s my decades of experience and status as a successful TV and film producer, as well as the unique level of access that I can offer screenwriters, that makes The BOSI completely different than any other “how to succeed in Hollywood” type of company out there.
Because to my knowledge, there are no other Hollywood Professionals with as much experience and success as I’ve had, taking the time to break down the industry and help aspiring screenwriters.
And that’s what we’re talking about here: quality of information and influence.
Not all screenwriting companies are created equal…
Sure, there are some great companies out there that can benefit your career.
Script consultants, pitch fests, screenwriting competitions, screenplay sharing sites, and screenwriting workshops are all resources you should invest in.
And getting your script out to as many Hollywood Professionals as possible is definitely more beneficial than doing nothing.
But consider this…
Given the choice, would you rather, recklessly and wildly, machine gun spray your material all over Hollywood, in hopes that someone MIGHT want it?
Or would you rather use a sniper rifle, and with laser precision, get your script into the right hands at the right time, every time?
That’s the difference between using ordinary screenwriting resources and working with The BOSI.
So if you’ve ever wanted a successful and knowledgeable Hollywood Professional to take you by the hand and guide you through the labyrinth of Hollywood, to take out all the confusion and guess work in your screenwriting career, and to give you a clear road map to screenwriting success, then read on…
Because here’s how The BOSI can help YOU…
So now that you understand the unique foothold that The BOSI has in Hollywood, here’s how you can benefit from us.
You see, we’ve only got 2 extraordinary resources to offer you, and both are absolutely necessary for your screenwriting success.
So check this out.
The first resource is called…
Screenwriting Success Now!
I’ve put together the foolproof system for getting your screenplay read by top Hollywood Professionals… even if you don’t live in Los Angeles!
That may sound like a bold statement to make, but after years of fine tuning and testing The “Screenwriting Success Now” system, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it will completely transform your career.
Because contained in this program is exactly what I’d tell you, week-to-week, if you were my client, and working nose-to-nose with me.
But even if you don’t have your first script finished yet, this course will ensure that you write and position it so that it has the best chances of success in Hollywood.
Because we go, in-depth, through the 6 biggest challenges that all screenwriters face (no exceptions), and how you can overcome them.
You can get all the details HERE.
Now whether you’ve been a screenwriter for 30 years or you just started yesterday, this program is a must.
For novices, the “Screenwriting Success Now” system will cut through all the myths and misconceptions that the majority of screenwriters get stuck in.
Think of it like putting a sturdy bridge over an alligator infested moat that most screenwriters fall into.
For veterans, even if you know some of this stuff from your own experiences, I guarantee there is a ton of NEW information that “Screenwriting Success Now” will teach you.
Besides, repetition is the mother of learning.
And cocooning yourself in legitimately useful screenwriting information is one of the quickest ways to screenwriting success.
So that’s our first resource.
Want me to read your script?
Okay, I’ll read your script.
No, this isn’t a joke.
I get asked all the time why someone in my position would continue to read scripts.
And to be quite honest, there isn’t just one, burning reason why I’m pouring out my heart in daily emails and offering to read scripts from The BOSI Community.
There are several.
But one of the strongest reasons can be summed up by my favorite (paraphrased) Mahatma Gandhi quote:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
Well, my world is Hollywood, and the change I wish to see is better material (and films), and more talented screenwriters getting the opportunities they deserve.
Right now, there is no official screenwriting “license” or “training program” in Hollywood.
So I made one.
(Check out “The Screenwriting Success Now 2.0” system HERE)
And right now, screenwriters want real, Hollywood Professionals to read their scripts in order to move their careers forward.
So I’m doing that.
(Go HERE to see the details about the Read My Script program)
It’s really that simple.
I’m standing in the gap where you need me, and where other top Hollywood Professionals refuse to tread.
And I want to help you achieve the screenwriting success that you desire and deserve… if you’ll let me…
“Screenwriting Success Now” will teach you how to navigate Hollywood on your own.
“Read My Script” shortcuts that process and gets me personally involved.
Both are necessary when you feel the timing is right for you.
Which is why if you’re a member of “Screenwriting Success Now,” you get a special discount on the “Read My Script” program.
Not ready to make a move yet?
In the meantime, be sure to sign up for my daily free emails.
I’ve been told frequently that our free emails and weekly Screenwriter’s Success Newsletter are better than most paid screenwriting products out there.
But anyhow, that’s it, that’s what I wanted to share with you today.
I just wanted to let you know that you don’t have to take this journey alone any longer.
The BOSI is here to stand by you and help you achieve your dreams of success in Hollywood.
Once again, thanks for coming by.
And if you want to talk, shoot me a question or comment at.
Talk to you soon.
May Your Life Be Extraordinary,
Marvin V. Acuna
P.S. – I wasn’t kidding about how good my free daily screenwriting tips are.
Check it out:
My name is Michael Canon and I’m one of the (probably many) screenwriters that you send your BOSI newsletters to.
I have subscribed to receive many newsletters every week, from many different people…but the emails YOU send are absolutely great! (and definitely better then all the other ones I subscribed too). I see the tremendous value in each email and I am excited to read your stories and notes every time I see a not-yet-opened email from you.
So here I am saying thank you…for what you send us.
Enjoy writing them!
Like any writer, I had collected quite a slew of regular email subscriptions over the years: digests, newsletters and announcements from all sorts of movie-related companies and consultants. They used to make me feel connected, part of a larger community. But now, they just felt depressing. I figured, enough.
I began to opt out of these mail lists one by one: The Writers’ Store, Final Draft, Creative Screenwriting, Robert McKee, John Rainey and others. It seemed I spent days just clicking “Unsubscribe.”
Their regular messages stopped appearing in my In-Box. And that’s what I wanted. After all, they never helped me, may as well save the bandwidth.
And though I opted out of countless lists, I never unsubscribed from yours. There was something different about you and your Business of Show philosophy. I couldn’t put my finger on it. At some level, you felt like a guardian spirit, a fairy godfather who really did have my best interests in mind.
But most of all, you were RELENTLESS. That’s what really stayed with me.
You rarely tried to sell me anything. You simply offered endless encouragement, totally free of charge. I in spite of my despair, I couldn’t toss this away. And I knew I needed to take a page from your book.
So I stayed on your mail list. And I kept writing. And guess what… it paid off.
Right now, I’m sitting on the best screenplay of my career. I’ve received great notes on it, and on August 3rd, this script will have its third table read with a local group of fine writers and actors.
“When I first came across Marvin offering to read my script, my first thought was — is this too good to be? After deliberating for several days whether to take up the offer or not, I decided I would. As promised, Marvin read it and we discussed it over a phone call and although it did not cut the mustard with him for representation, his feedback on ways to improve it, eventually lifted it to new heights. I then took the opportunity to resubmit to him again and to my sheer delight he has recommended it to be read by a Hollywood executive. I, for one, am grateful of the opportunity to have had Marvin read my script twice and would not hesitate to recommend others with projects to do the same.”
I read and LOVE every word that you send. :)
Thank you! Digesting well.
Hi, Marvin —
Over the last several years you have been laying good advice on us, the unwashed. However, these last several weeks you have been bleeping smoking!
And, yes, you have put some fire in my veins. Due to your persistence I have been adjusting my attitude.
My most sincere thanks to you and your team!