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Screenwriting in Today’s Hollywood

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With screenwriter Andrew Findlay

Andrew Findlay with son Leo


It’s an old joke that if you ask anyone in L.A. how their screenplay is coming along, they’ll tell you without batting an eyelash. It’s obvious that few of them will ever make it, but in today’s Hollywood, even seasoned pros are having a hard time getting projects off the ground. What’s going on in the American film industry, and how does it affect your chances of success? Screenwriter Andrew Findlay, who’s written for TV and movies all over the world, offers some hard-won insights.

Andrew Findlay has worked in film, TV, and theater in Europe and the U.S. In Europe he consistently earns the highest audience ratings for TV movies like “Delayed Exposure,” “Ultimate Trespass,” “Twisted Company,” and “Oh God! How I’d Love To Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Have Sex with the Missus Again.” His theatrical screenplays in France and the UK include “Blue Moon,” “Riders to the Sea,” “Big Bang,” “Legacy,” “Viva Acapulco,” “The Badger,” “Angkor,” and “Stop Light.” He is working on his second four-picture deal for Bertelsmann-owned R.T.L. He also directs for British television, drawing on his background in photography and the London fringe theater.

After spending years working in Hollywood, Andrew has formed some strong opinions about the place. Hear what he has to say about:

  • How screen and television writing differs in the UK, France, Germany, and the U.S.
  • What Hollywood is looking for in movie scripts today
  • How Hollywood’s requirements are affecting screenwriters, producers, and directors
  • Why American movie studios are so cautious these days
  • Why it’s so difficult to advise screenwriters how to succeed today
  • Why watching today’s films won’t help screenwriters gauge the market
  • What the film project decision-making process is like
  • Why screenwriters need to look upon their work as a job as well as a passion
  • How screenplays differ from plays and novels
  • Why it’s so difficult to get an agent.

Andrew also discusses some of his scripts and the issue of “life rights,” reads a short treatment for us, and explains where he gets his ideas.

Interviewee: Andrew Findlay
Host: Paula B
Date: August 21, 2006
Running time: 53:50
File size: 39 megabytes
Rating: G