Ken Miyamoto Departs ScreenCraft to Embark on a Screenwriting Journey

by Ken Miyamoto on September 2, 2016

That's a dramatic headline, I know. What can I say? I'm a writer.

A year ago I embarked on a journey to partner with ScreenCraft to bring my own Hollywood experiences to the table with the goal of helping screenwriters learn the guidelines and expectations of the film and television industry.

It's been an amazing year. We've covered so many screenwriting topics, issues, and questions. I've worked with the two amazing co-founders of ScreenCraft — John and Cameron — and have had many great discussions with many of our loyal readers, either during events in Nashville, Los Angeles, or through email and phone conversations. I've been able to share my knowledge and learn even more about the craft and business of screenwriting myself.

But as the saying goes, "All good things must come to an end."

I'm fortunate enough to be in a situation where I've decided to step away from my duties as industry blogger and content manager for ScreenCraft and go on a two-year journey to focus solely on my own screenwriting.

I've seen some grand Hollywood experience as a studio liaison and then script reader for Sony Pictures. I've seen some success as a screenwriter — with representation leading to Hollywood meetings at Sony, Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers, and Dreamworks as well as a Lionsgate deal, a couple of studio assignments, and a produced miniseries with a name cast. And everything after those initial Hollywood meetings occurred after moving back to my home state of Wisconsin with my wife in 2006 to raise our son (now sons) close to family, despite everyone — including myself — believing that it couldn't be done outside of Los Angeles.

I mention all of that because as a kid — now 40 years-old — from Wisconsin with no ties to Hollywood, I managed to move out to Los Angeles, work my way into the studio system, learn what I needed to learn, hone my craft, fail and prevail, move back to Wisconsin believing that I had given up my dream only to see it come true 2000 miles away from Los Angeles by attaining my first paid gig, then assignments, and then was flown back to Los Angeles five years after moving away to tour the set of the miniseries that I had written.

Friends, I listened from behind the camera as the director yelled "Action!" and my very own written words and action came to life before my eyes. In the context of my career, nothing has ever matched that moment. Despite disappointing production rewrites and budgetary issues for the eventual miniseries, it truly was magic.

And I want to experience it again.

In life, we find ourselves being pulled towards something. Call it faith, call it God, call it the universe, chance, luck, or whatever you'd like or prefer. We're called to do or pursue something in life. And this calling is often not answered, to no fault of the individual most of the time. Sometimes you need to take care of yourself outside of that pull or dream. Sometimes you need to take care of family or friends and do what is right for them. I did that when we moved back to Wisconsin so our son really knew his grandparents and extended family beyond a couple visits a year.

But for some, that pull, that calling, can't be ignored.

If you're a writer — if you are truly meant to write — you'll know it because it will call to you. It's almost a curse at times because despite logic telling you that you should be taking care of this or that or them, you still feel that call pulling you towards something — the dream.

This final post of mine isn't to call attention to where I'm going or what I'm trying to do. It's to ask you, the screenwriter, if you feel that call and that pull.

Not everyone can up and leave their jobs, no. I'm blessed to be able to do so. But perhaps that call is strong enough to persuade you to find that extra time to tell your stories. It could be an hour a day, a day of the week, a few days of the month, or a handful of weeks per year.

If you feel that calling as a writer — write. Write in the morning, during your lunch breaks, late at night when the roommates or family are asleep down the hall, or escape for a day during the weekend. Write in your head whenever you can because as I've always said, writing isn't always about typing.

Just write.

If not for the sake of fulfilling that dream, do it for the sake of your future self knowing that if it wasn't in the cards for you in the end to be that great and successful screenwriter... at least you tried. At least you can lay back during your last moments with little to no regrets in that respect.

Not all screenplays or stories that you conjure will touch the big or small screen. Most, if not all, won't. But having realized that vision, that story, and those characters rattling around in your head as a screenplay, pilot episode, or novel, is a miracle. It truly is.

If you're an individual pursuing a dream, you're an uncommon breed in this world. Bravo to you. Your future self will thank you for it. But know that it's going to take hard work, hard study, and humbling realizations.

Don't just chase the dream — tackle it. Grab hold and don't let go until you realize whether it's meant for you, or meant to lead you somewhere even better.

Many thanks to ScreenCraft and their amazing organization. I used to scoff at contests and consulting services, until I came across John and Cameron. First as a winning screenwriter in their 2014 Action & Thriller contest — which I entered on a whim after a studio helped develop it only to turn it down — and then as I later joined their team.

They care. They genuinely want to help writers and they connect with some amazing talent within the industry to do so.

Thank you to ScreenCraft for taking a chance on my and to all of you for reading and following this blog.

So as I embark on my own personal screenwriting journey, expecting the highest of peaks and the lowest of valleys as I do, I hope to cross paths with you on that journey as well, if not just in spirit.

Keep writing.


Ken Miyamoto

Follow me on Twitter at @KenMovies to keep updated on my journey and to share yours as well!


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