Selling a Script — The Importance of Living in Hollywood and LA?

In terms of selling a script, it’s no big secret to you, dear reader, that the film industry is based out of Los Angeles, and if you read a lot of screenwriting books, one of the things they will tell you is that it is absolutely necessary to move there if you want to seek a career in screenwriting and better understand selling a script. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and say that it won’t help your career, because it certainly will – you would greatly increase your chances of meeting industry people, people that you simply can’t meet if you live in places like Nome, Alaska. Although I actually did meet a writer from there once when I was in Denali National Park.

As most of us also know, living in California is considerably more expensive than living in most of the rest of the country, which means that, for the vast majority of us, moving out there is simply not in the cards right now. The good news here is that, if you’re smart about it, you don’t have to actually move out there – at least not at the beginning. Your main concern should be giving the appearance that you live out there, which will help with selling a script, and, thanks to the wonderful invention that is the Internet, there are a number of ways to go about doing that, some of which I’ll share with you now:

Have a California Phone Number
Industry people like to work with, well, other industry people, so giving the appearance that you are more connected than you actually are (remember, it’s only for the moment) is crucial to selling a script. After that, you can live wherever you want, and literally no one will care – you’re a writer, you get the luxury of working from home (and in your Superman pajamas with a bowl of Honey Comb in front of you, if you so choose.)

The easiest thing that you can do to help with selling a script, and I swear that as hard as this might sound to believe, it’s a little detail that goes a long way, is to get yourself a California phone number. And right now, you might be saying to yourself “But I don’t live in California – how am I supposed to get myself a California phone number if I don’t already live there?” And to you, my friend, I would say “Have you heard of Google Voice?”

For those of you who don’t already know what that is (for shame, by the way), Google Voice is a service that Google has set up which allows you to have a personalized phone number from anywhere in the world, with any area code you so choose on it. In addition to that, it will transcribe your phone calls for you, and you can have the calls sent straight to your primary phone number, and you want to know the best part about all of this – it’s FREE!! As if it couldn’t get any better, Google Voice also works as a pretty handy dictation tool – you can leave a message to yourself and it will transcribe what you just said. Now do you see why I said for shame about not knowing about it before (and how it can help with selling a script)?

The best part is, if someone calls you thinking you live in LA and wants to set up a meeting about selling a script but you’re not actually out there, you can just tell them that you’re back at home visiting family at the moment, and that you’ll be back in town for a few days. That’ll give you more than enough time to plan your trip out, go to the meeting, and then slip out without anyone being the wiser.