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Five Steps


Nancy Smith


Published October 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7326642-0-3

First Look Publishing

Buy Now

Short Description:

When you first meet people and tell them that you have written a screenplay, the next question from them is invariably the same – “Have I seen the movie?” There are five steps between the idea for a screenplay and its successful release as a movie to theaters. It’s five steps from blank page to movie release and each step can be very challenging, but each step can also be fun and exciting.


  1. Write the screenplay.

  2. Sell the screenplay.

  3. Fund for the movie.

  4. Make the movie.

  5. Distribute the movie.

Author Comment:  Writers in Austin, Texas are fortunate to have lots of opportunities to learn and network, including South by Southwest and the Austin Film Festival.  At these festivals, industry pros come and speak about many aspects of the film industry.  I’ve attended many of these annual events. And I take notes. Lots of notes. My thanks to all the experts who have shared their knowledge and experience with us – their audience.

Email the author: for more information about the book such as:

  • Tools described in the book 

  • To add your name to my mailing list

  • Availability for guest appearances

Reviewer Quote: "Nancy Smith has done a great job of preparing writers for the long creative journey ahead.  Her advice will help you identify what you want to write and how to go about writing it."


Tim Albaugh

Film, TV and Digital Media

University of California, Los Angeles

Reviewer Quote: "Reflecting on her extensive experience writing, evaluating screenplays, and making films, Nancy Smith has written a compact, yet comprehensive summary of the filmmaking process from story concept to distribution.  A worthy primer for anyone wanting to learn more about how movies get made."  


Sara Stiffler

International Media, Warner Bros.

Reviewer Quote: "Nancy is an active and respected member in the Austin film community and I got to know her when she worked on Natural Selection, the SXSW Film Festival 2011 winner. Since then Nancy has helped me with my projects, both as a script analysist and script editor. My writer/director and I have been very pleased with her work: the thoroughness and accuracy plus encouraging tone of her feedback, her suggestions for edits and the speed of delivery. I highly recommend Nancy for anyone who needs any kind of help with their film.”

Laura Laaksonen

Producer/Head of Industry

Helsinki International Film Festival: Finnish Film Affair 

Reviewer Quote: "Nancy Smith has crafted an invaluable blueprint for any writer unsure of how to navigate what can seem like a daunting process. A clear, concisely laid out guide by a true professional crafts person.

Brian Burrowes

Executive Director

AMC, Peeps TV


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