"Like many people I’m fascinated by research into success and regularly attend seminars presented by experts ranging from psychologists to Olympians. I’ve been inspired by the survivors of disasters and awed by the accomplishments of human rights workers. But what did I learn? Is there a formula for success, and if so how can writers use it?
One definition of success listed in the Oxford dictionary is - ”accomplishment of what was aimed at”. Yet with all the change and uncertainty circulating about the film and TV industry many of you will be thinking. “In order to aim I need a target. What am I supposed to be aiming at?”
Well it’s no wonder you are confused. Long running TV shows, often the first break and nursery pool for new writers are being “rested” left right and centre. Budgets are being squeezed and broadcasters and film investors have never seemed so risk averse. So, where should you be spending time and effort trying to get noticed? Who should you be lining up in your sights as a source of funding and work? How hard should you be working?
You are dead right to believe that pursuing the strategies that worked in the past are now redundant. The once standard approach you used even three months ago is pointless. Everything has changed. You need to do the same or get left behind. However fear not, I have been having fun figuring out the answers for you.
Take for example the age old question of which makes the greatest difference to your likelihood of succeeding - talent or effort? Scientific research has concluded that it takes eight-to-twelve years of training and practice for a talented individual to reach elite levels. This is called the ten-year or 10,000 hour rule, which translates to slightly more than three hours of practice daily for ten years (Ericsson, et al., 1993; Ericsson and Charness, 1994, Bloom, 1985; Salmela et al., 1998
"It takes 10 years of extensive training to excel in anything"
Herbert Simon - Nobel Laureate
Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, Outliers: The Story of Success does a fun job of examining this theory. Gladwell cites numerous examples ranging from The Beatles and their mammoth 8 hour stage sessions in Hamburg to Bill Gates and his obsessive childhood programming as proof of the 10,000 hour rule. Talent and effort are inextricably linked in the pursuit of success. It breaks down into a simple formula -
TALENT + EFFORT + STRATEGY = SUCCESS
So, how much effort are you willing to put in to building your career?
If you’ve had an email from me in the past or attended any of the classes I occasionally teach you will know how I bang on about how so many people try and achieve – yet are unwilling to put in the effort required to get to the top of one of the world’s most competitive industries. Make certain that you are passionately committed to becoming a screenwriter...anything less and you will fall short. If you’d like to know exactly what it takes to get your break and what you should be doing to maximize your chances of success join me at THE SCREENWRITER'S CAREER GUIDE on Sat 4th July.
THE SCREENWRITER'S CAREER GUIDE will be presented by Adrian Mead. If you have attended one of Adrian’s classes before you know to expect the most up to date information from a working professional. This event is sure to sell out early so don't miss out. Here’s what participants of Adrian’s previous classes have said -
"I found the course absolutely invaluable. Adrian avoided the well trodden ground of screenwriting theory and instead concentrated on how to actually get finished manuscripts into the hands of producers and agents." - Stuart
"Adrian delivered the lab in a charismatic and professional manner. Giving clarity and focus to the sometime daunting task of making it as a writer." - Monica
"The course was amazing. I gained a real insight into the industry and now feel enthused to pursue my goals with vigour and boldness!" - Megan
When and Where
The next course will be held on 4 July 2009 at a central London location.
The course fee is £70 + VAT (EARLY BIRD UNTIL 2nd June). The fee includes all materials and light refreshments.
To book go to www.initialize-films.co.uk.
You can view testimonials for Adrian's sell out classes and acclaimed e-book MAKING IT AS A SCREENWRITER at www.meadkerr.com