008 – Interview with Rzwan Cabani

 

In today’s episode I had the great fortune to interview Rzwan Cabani. He’s been repped by Zero Gravity Management and one of the big four agencies in LA for a couple years now, and still hasn’t had his big break. He graciously discusses his journey and what it’s been like to navigate these waters. Being on the fringe of his dream, but still not quite there yet.

If you have any questions for Rz, please post them in the comments section. He’s willing to check in when he has time this week to answer some of them.

I’m still currently on the road and took a couple extra days in order to do this episode proper. I actually had spent a few days hiking at Yosemite National Park. Which is an amazing place. If you ever go, you must hike Sentinel Dome and Taft Point. They are both rewarding and not bad hikes at all. I did them both the same day, which netted me about 5 miles overall.

 

Here’s a view from Taft Point:

Taft Point

 


 

EMAIL: eclipsethescript@gmail.com

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  • andyjaxfl

    Rz, have you pursued directing your own feature? Granted, getting money to produce a movie for even $50,000 is difficult, but after the interview, I’m curious if that is something you are producing.

    • Rzwan Cabani

      Hey, Andy – that is the dream – to get enough success with my writing and leverage that to the director’s chair. Having control of my vision is ultimately what I’m working towards – and I write a part for myself in every script I write – maybe pull off a Ben Affleck… Lol

  • Angie

    Wow! Astonishing interview. Rzwan Cobani is awesome. He makes me feel like a slacker. His work ethic, churning out a variety of projects, his constant upbeat attitude despite numerous disappointments over a period of years and his focused efforts to continually make each work better. This is what it really takes to make a go of it in a difficult field you love. So glad he has a support group of family and agents to tide him over until that first produced credit or big money deal comes at him. With his strenuous efforts, how can it not?

    • Rzwan Cabani

      Thank you, Angie for your kind words – every script is a new chance to make your dreams come true – every blank page is hope. That’s what’s kept me going… And the twin Porsches I promised my daughters 😊

  • Paul Clarke

    Inspiring stuff. Keep at it Rzwan!

    • Rzwan Cabani

      Thanks, Paul – really appreciate that, man.

  • Linkthis83

    Hey Rz…I’ve got a question for you when you get the time…

    What role has loglines played in your journey so far?

    • Rzwan Cabani

      Honestly… None. I would normally send a logline along with a synopsis when doing query submissions – but all my successes have been based on placing in contests. That’s the best vetting process for producers and managers – they know they’re dealing with the cream of the crop.

  • Edward

    Great to get an insight into the reality of being a repped writer, thanks Rzwan.

    If you could go back to before you got repped and give yourself a piece of advice, what would it be?

    • Rzwan Cabani

      Man, that’s a good question – I would tell myself to be open to every note, even the ones you despise – because you’ll find gems in the most unlikely roads that note will take you.

  • Scott Serradell

    I’ll echo Angie’s sentiments: Listening to the Rzwan’s grind and dedication and perseverance makes me feel like one lazy bastard…

    Anyway. Rzwan: Thank you for sharing your journey thus far. Even in the telling of some of your exploits your knack for storytelling was as captivating as it was frustrating; more than once, I think, I screamed at the computer something to the effect of GOOD CHRIST! JUST FILM THIS GUY’S SCRIPT ALREADY!! (I’m sure you understand…)

    If there’s anything I was curious about, I suppose it was WHERE your ideas spring from; there was a lot of discussion of the HOW but, when confronted with, say, the exorcism script, do you have a go-to for starting the wheels of inspiration and ideas?

    At the end of the day perhaps these things, when compared to the final product, aren’t as important. BUT, as this is a podcast for amateur screenwriters, maybe a few insights (if your inclined) would be appreciated.

    At any rate: Truly, the best of luck on your endeavors, and good fortunes to you and your family.

    And Mike, I have an interview suggestion: His name rhymes with “Arson Peeves”.

    • Rzwan Cabani

      Hey, Scott – thanks for sharing in my pain… lol
      The first thing I’d advise is try to stay in one genre if you can, your reps will want a clear idea of who you are and how to market you. It’s also strategic, when my manager asked me what else I’ve got – if I pitched him a rom-com we wouldn’t be having this conversation. I had another crime thriller ready and that set everything in motion.
      As far as ideas, a lot of mine have come from just sitting there and exploring my psyche – it’s hard work and not easy to come up with fresh ideas. But one thing I’ve done is change the setting, time period, gender of the main character and even changed the medium of the script to make it new.
      That’s what I did with BLACK BUTTERFLY – I set it in the future, gave my main character another flaw which was a physcial manifestation of his internal flaw, and turned it into a TV pilot/anthology – so look for ways to re-vamp the stories you already have – you’ll be suprised how that can give your story new life.
      I also write for myself, what excites – I’m my first audience. I have to be the first one that’s shocked, scared, laughing etc.- If I feel it, it will translate to the reader/audience.
      Another thing I do is read a lot of articles – THE CLIENTELE came from that – my WWII Nazi crime thriller came from that, and so did the novel I’m writing now. I wanted to do a bio-pic, but not the cradle to the grave version. I wanted to find a historic figure and learn about an unknow portion of their life and tell that story – what emerged was not only a cool bio-pic – but I got to write my Nazi script as well.
      Also, make sure your theme is a powerful one – something that resonates with you. This will be what your story is truly about, and the driving force that will keep you invested for the days, months and years it may take to get it to the big, or small screen.
      And never stop creating – it takes just one script to change it all.

  • Marcos Vaz

    i got a question to ask: He mentioned about doing a pitch against a writing partnership.. How can you find a good writing partner?
    I wrote a script last year that got some really good feedback.. however, the main criticism is the grammatical errors and misspelling issues. Since i am a EASL, i wanted to have someone to help me develop the dialogues and the overall writing. But is hard for me to find that person… It could be a theme in your podcast.
    best!

    • Linkthis83

      That’s a great question and a challenging one. Even for people he speak/write fluent English.

      I will give this some thought/research and see what I find.

      In the short term, try finding an English speaking writer and see if they’d be willing just to read the script and try to help you improve the language clarity. So you wouldn’t have to give up any credits for the writing and it would be free.

      If you have money to pay for a service, there might be one out there that will look over writing that’s EASL and may provide corrections.

      Otherwise, finding a GOOD writing partner in general is extremely hard.