Want to be a screenwriter but you’re not 22? Don’t panic. Smart showrunners and decision makers are often looking for grownups and will open the door for someone with talent, enthusiasm, and great personal stories. Your work needs to be contemporary, but your life experience can make your writing richer and lend authenticity in meetings and pitches.
Want some inspiration? Check out these famous writers who broke in after age 40.
The creator of DOWNTON ABBEY didn’t have his big writing break until he was 52 with his screenplay for the film GOSFORD PARK. He broke in after an acting career of twenty years in British dramas.
After a career as a journalist, SILKWOOD, Ephron’s first produced screenplay, wasn’t made until 1983 when she was 42. This earned her an Oscar nomination, and she went on to write the beloved films WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE, YOU’VE GOT MAIL, JULIE & JULIA, and more.
Ron Bass was an entertainment lawyer for 17 years before he broke in with his screenplay CODE NAME: EMERALD at age 43. He then went on to pen multiple hits like RAIN MAN, SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY, ENTRAPMENT, MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING, and STEP MOM.
David Seidler rose to prominence with his screenplay MALICE IN WONDERLAND in 1985, at the age of 48. He went on to write many feature films, but did not win his first Oscar until he was 74 for THE KING’S SPEECH.
As long as you have blazing hot material, a great attitude anda strong Hollywood Game Plan, you have a real shot. Happy writing!
Did you break into the business late? I want to hear from you! Tweet me @CaroleKirsch!