“Everything Will Take Longer Than It Should, But It Will Be Worth It.” Manager Lee Stobby’s Advice To Screenwriters
Creative Screenwriting Magazine interviewed literary manager Lee Stobby. He is a literary manager, producer, and principal of Lee Stobby Entertainment and has worked with some of the most exciting screenwriters and production companies in the film and TV business. He knows his stuff and is a fountain of knowledge for screenwriters of all levels.
Tastes in screenplays and films can be largely subjective. Similarly, Stobby has his personal views on what attracts him to a screenwriter. Simply put, “it’s really about the boldness of the idea. Does it excite me and push boundaries and execute beyond its premise?” he said.
When asked about a fast track for screenwriters to break in and sustain a career, Stobby is quick to dispel any myths of shortcuts. Screenwriters must keep writing. “There is no selling anything or anyone quickly. It’s all development, no matter the level. That takes time.” He is in for the long haul with screenwriter clients. Since it takes so long to develop writers and projects to industry level, he prefers to work with writers for the life of their careers.
Not only does Stobby read large numbers of screenplays and produce projects, but he also spends a good deal of time watching film and TV. Something screenwriters should be doing too. When questioned about he’s watching, he replied, “I love anything that succeeds in creating something new, bold while remaining fun, engaging and produced at a very high filmmaking level.” His recent personal favorites include Border, Bojack Horseman, Barry, Eighth Grade, and The Rider, to name a few.
He also has some views on some of the misconceptions both emerging and established screenwriters have on having a screenwriting career. Many writers try to guess or second-guess the marketplace. Derivate writing is bad advice. Many screenwriters think they can be successful by “writing what they think others want to read versus focusing on what they find most compelling and personal.” An authentic and unique voice will always make a screenwriter stand out.
“Don’t stop, always push harder, want more, be better.“
“Everything will take longer than it should, but it will be worth it when it does. The wait will make you appreciate it more. That’s why you have to keep going.”
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