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Eric Edson Interviewed by Film Courage: Typical Career For A Working Screenwriter In Hollywood

Eric Edson’s Screenwriting Book Now Available in Chinese

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Los Angeles:  Eric Edson, author of The Story Solution, a how-to book on screenwriting and storytelling, was recently interviewed by Film Courage.

In his recent interview with Film Courage, Professor Eric Edson recalls the early days of his career and offers sage words of advice to new and aspiring screenwriters.  Eric recounts the sale of his first screenplay and how the reality of being a working screenwriter does not always meet lofty expectations.

Edson, Professor of Screenwriting and Director Emeritus of the MFA Program in Screenwriting at California State University, Northridge, describes how the sale of his first screenplay at the age of 24 changed his direction in life, and led him to enroll in the MFA program at the American Film Institute.

When asked by Film Courage whether he had expected to “capture lightning in a bottle” again in the years immediately following that first sale, he explained that his optimism was definitely tempered with realism. It would be another eight years before Edson sold his next screenplay. He warns that a career as a professional writer is not for the faint of heart, explaining that “you are going to get kicked in the teeth.” His advice is to “toughen your skin,” persevere, and above all else, “learn from everything.” He credits his own eventual success to making himself inevitable by “continuing to crank out original material.” By writing and rewriting and reading many books on screenwriting, he perfected his craft and created a drawer full of good scripts.

Edson cautions those entering the field to have realistic expectations. Much of the work screenwriters sell might not actually be filmed.  In order to achieve even a small amount of success you must be prepared to pay your dues. Overnight sensations are not what the industry is comprised of.  It takes hard work, dedication, the ability to accept defeat without being defeated, and a willingness to “buckle down for the long haul” to make a name and a living for yourself in screenwriting.

Eric Edson’s The Story Solution provides screenwriting tips for those interested in screenplay writing. Seen as one of the best books on screenwriting and currently #1 in its category on China Amazon, Edson outlines 23 actions used to create three dimensional heroes. Visit the website at http://www.thestorysolution.com to learn about writing a movie script. “Like” the Facebook page to receive tips on scriptwriting.

follow this link for the 2nd interview

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What Is A Typical Career For A Working Screenwriter In Hollywood? by Eric Edson

Hello Writers All,

I wanted to share with you my recent interview with Film Courage. In the interview I discuss the importance of realistic expectations and perseverance to new as well as seasoned writers. I draw on my early career experiences to illustrate the reality of a typical screenwriter’s career arc and what one can expect if they choose to work as a writer in the film and TV industries.

Here are few key takeaways from the interview:

  1. Be prepared to manage your expectations: When you are first driven from within to sit down and write, it is very likely that you will have visions of yourself creating an Oscar winning screenplay, or the Next Great American Novel. Enjoy the fantasy!  Yes, it is important to have dreams and goals!  But if you choose writing as a profession, you must be prepared to take the good with the bad. Before you achieve career success it is very likely that you will be faced with criticism and rejection… a lot of criticism and rejection. Don’t despair. This is all par for the course. Embrace these experiences, draw from them in your work and be sure to learn from them.
  2. Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance: If your first attempt at a screenplay is met with a lukewarm reception, just keep writing! When you feel as though you don’t have what it takes –   keep writing! When you hear for the tenth or twentieth time that it’s just not what they are looking for? Keep writing! Perseverance is crucial for a writer, you need to focus on the big picture and look at setbacks as an opportunity to hone your craft. The more you write and re-write, the more you will develop and grow as a screenwriter or novelist. It can take many incarnations to find your true voice; so write, rewrite and write again.
  3. The nature of the beast: The life of a working writer is unique in that you can ultimately earn a living, sometimes a very comfortable living, off of scripts that might never get made. Sometimes even beautifully written works are sold only to never see the green light of production. There are many factors that can contribute to this, among them: timing, funding and artistic differences. As a writer you need to develop a tough skin; the failure of your project to come to fruition is not YOUR failure. The trick here is to accept it, move on, and welcome the challenge of new and exciting projects.

We all have to start somewhere and for most of us that is not going to be at the top. This is not an industry of instant gratification; dedication, humility and perseverance are the best weapons for you to keep in your arsenal. Remember to have faith in yourself and in your writing, keep an open mind and look at criticism as an invitation to grow.

Happy writing!

p.s. follow this link for the 2nd interview

About The Story Solution: Eric Edson’s The Story Solution provides screenwriting tips for those interested in screenplay writing. Seen as one of the best books on screenwriting and currently #1 in its category on China Amazon, Edson outlines 23 actions used to create three dimensional heroes. Visit the website at  http://www.thestorysolution.com to learn about writing a movie script. “Like” the Facebook page to receive tips on scriptwriting.

The Many Positive Benefits of Workplace Gratitude

Workplace gratitude is growing in prominence as a motivational tool.  A culture of gratitude that pervades an organization can boost morale, improve customer service, and support the effort to achieve continuous improvement. A solid performance improvement plan, along with employee motivation programs can be used to work towards organizational and productivity goals.

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Workplace gratitude and its many positive benefits might be a difficult concept for some business owners and managers.  Offering a job with a competitive salary in a safe working environment is no longer enough to keep employees happy and motivated.  Employees have more choices today, and smart employers get creative with their expressions of gratitude.

Gratitude plays an important role in nurturing employee satisfaction and employee pride.  Employees seek more value in happiness and recognition over monetary rewards.  Here are some of the many positive benefits of workplace gratitude:

  • Employee Engagement: A Harvard Medical School mental health letter published in 2011 found that a group of employees who receive a gratitude-laden pep talk prior to making calls to solicit donations made 50% more calls than a control group which did not receive the motivational boost.

  • Employee Satisfaction: Positive Psychology asserts that gratitude is a hot topic in positive emotion research. Respondents who participate in gratitude exercises are found to be more pro-social, and interested in promoting the well-being of others. This contributes to the effectiveness of a team building program, boosts the ability to meet project deadlines, and creates a stronger workplace environment.

  • Improved Health: Increased gratitude contributes to a lowering of stress levels in the workplace. Harvard Business Review reports that high levels of stress are associated with high health care and turnover costs. Reducing stress through gratitude and workplace recognition awards can lead to healthier employees who show up at work, perform at high levels, and stay with the organization.

  • Increased Problem-Solving Capabilities: Employees who feel valued and who value each other are more likely to put in the effort to solve problems, because they unconsciously associate accomplishing a difficult task with receiving more gratitude.

  • Smoother Supervisor Relationships: Employees often fear or mistrust a supervisor who only knows how to punish or reprimand. A supervisor who knows how to show appreciation for a job well done, on the other hand, is more likely to build positive working relationships with subordinates. They are more likely to work together to solve problems and achieve corporate goals.

  • Boost Pride: Too often we go through life not knowing if our efforts are really appreciated. We all like being told that we are doing a good job, and that what we do has meaning. A workforce program from Strategic Incentives can be used to acknowledge positive achievements. This can be combined with something as simple as a supervisor or manager saying thanks, or a video from an end customer where employees can see the final product in action. Employees might feel they are just making one part over and over, but knowing that part ends up in every home can instill more pride in a job well done.

  • Training and Education: Don’t assume that employees just “know” what the company does, or that supervisors “know” how to motivate. A team building program that goes beyond day-to-day operational expectations results in a well-rounded workforce. Employees who understand where they fit in the organization and how their work impacts other departments are more likely to go the extra mile to complete their part of the task properly.

  • Applauding the Everyday Successes: Employers often focus on the “big theme” items such as days without an accident, quotas met, or orders completed. But what about the hundreds of ordinary tasks that have to be completed properly as a subset of those goals? What about the bookkeeper who properly recorded accounts payable and receivable to keep the cash flow in line, or the supplies manager who made sure everything needed for a job was there exactly on time? Recognition awards can be developed and implemented for all levels of the organization, to make sure everybody knows they are appreciated.

Strategic Incentives can help your organization show gratitude through one of our incentive programs or rewards programs. Contact us today for ideas on using gratitude to increase motivation and loyalty.

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Helping employees feel like they are doing ‘meaningful work’, will lead to higher levels of productivity and a better employee experience.  Gratitude is one of the most effective ways to infuse a sense of meaning and purpose in your workforce culture.

Do you have a plan for expressing gratitude to your workforce this year?  Strategic Incentives can help your organization increase workplace gratitude in a sincere way, through one of our premiere recognition or rewards programs.  The strong organization is the one that has a corporate performance improvement plan which includes incentive programs and employee motivation programs.

How is your company incorporating gratitude into the everyday workplace environment? Share your thoughts in the box below.

Strategic Incentives is Grateful for Your Support!

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About Strategic Incentives: Strategic Incentives is a leading nationwide provider of employee motivation programs. The company works with HR managers to implement sales incentive programs and safety incentives to retain employees, and loyalty programs to build customer relationships.  Visit the website at http://www.strategicincentives.com to download a complimentary PDF of “35 Ways to Use Incentive Programs.” “Like” the Facebook page to receive regular updates on sales incentives and promotional ideas. Call 888-686-8116 for more information on creating an in-depth performance improvement plan.

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