Reading the trades is one of the most important but also forgotten aspects of becoming a professional screenwriter. If you don’t know the ins and outs of the industry you’re trying to be successful in, you’ll be lost when you get the chance to sit in a meeting with one of the top dogs in Hollywood. So, let's take a look at what the trades are and why they are important.
What are the trades?
The trades are entertainment industry news sources that provide you with insider information like the buying and selling of projects, reviews, interviews, coverage of festivals and events, box office reports, and more.
Why read them?
It's vital for writers to keep up with the business side of Hollywood in order to understand the marketplace that you're trying to fit into. For you to be successful, you need to know the studios, the executives, the producers and the talent, who's selling, who’s buying, what's getting made, what's hot, what's flopping, and when projects are coming out. By knowing the trades, you’ll be able to market yourself and understand your marketplace. So if you’re a feature horror writer, follow the happenings of writers, production companies and studios who are buying and selling in that genre and format. Similarly, if you’re a TV comedy writer, you need to add networks to your list because they house the purchased projects.
Below are the top websites to check out
A lot of writers forget that their careers reach far wider than what they do on the page. If you get the life changing meeting with an exec you want to be able to sit down with them and be able to have a conversation based on current industry trends. So, make sure you read up because you never know when that life changing phone call will come!
Shannan E. Johnson, CEO