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Why The Audience is More Important Than You

Updated: Apr 19

Tim Schildberger - Script Magazine - June 22, 2023

I saw a video clip recently, where a very earnest actor/writer insisted creators should ignore the audience, and write what pleases themselves. Because if you don’t satisfy yourself with your work, you won’t satisfy anyone else.

So basically – if you are really good at self-pleasuring, you will obviously and naturally be really good at pleasing others. Right?

This article originally appeared in Script Magazine. It is reprinted here with permission. To read the original article head to

This line of thinking – shut out all the other voices and just focus on your own - is not entirely wrong. But it’s woefully simplistic, and easily misinterpreted, which leads to some truly awful, wildly self-indulgent scripts.

The self-pleasure advice is a response to the concept of writing what you think will sell, or what you think the ‘industry’ wants right now. It’s aimed at the writer who is trying to figure out how to stuff their science fiction rom-com idea into a vampire movie, because a trade magazine says Hollywood loves vampires right now. That’s entirely understandable, given the sheer volume of horrible advice floating around.

But that’s not the definition of ‘audience’ you ever need to worry about. That’s seeing ‘audience’ as the market for your work, and trying to deliver to that market something you think they want.

To read the full article head to

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