American Screenwriters Association discusses this hot topic. Are you a writer or a writer/producer? Have you got any interest in your script or are you waiting for validation?
Many screenwriters contemplate producing their their screenplay as a viable alternative to traditional selling/optioning. Self-production offers a quicker path to see your screenplay become a film. But should you? The answer is… it depends.
Producing a film requires many things: money, contacts, excellent organizational skills, marketing ability, and driving desire. So you need to be extremely clear and identify your reason for self-producing. Are you more interested in the writing side or the producing/development aspects? Do you really want to be a producer or are you simply trying to circumvent the script selling? Is your screenplay good enough to sell?
Many screenwriters produce their screenplays because they want total artistic control (sometimes called a “vanity” film). Others self-produce because their screenplay is too controversial or too personal for commercial viability. Others dislike the pandering and marketing required to sell their scripts, although at some point, even a self-produced movie requires selling.
One all-to-common reason, though not readily admitted, is that the screenplay isn’t “ready for primetime.” If your screenplay isn’t good enough to sell, it isn’t good enough to produce.
Self-Producing is a laborious, frustrating, wonderful, painstaking, glorious endeavor, but only if you do it for the right reasons.