I had the unique opportunity to speak with Eric Kripke, Toledo native and creator of the popular CW horror/adventure series Supernatural. Eric was in his car on his way to lunch, and I was sitting in my car sweating (the air conditioner is busted; maybe one of the Winchester brothers could fix it for me?).
Eric was incredibly kind and very generous (though I couldn’t get him to spill any Supernatural spoilers … sorry folks!). His is a great story of determination – something he calls “dangerously obsessed.” His is a journey any aspiring filmmaker from the Midwest can follow, though he does have some sobering advice:
“My advice isn't necessarily comforting, or hell, even correct,” Eric says. “Cause who knows anything? So take it with a wheelbarrow of salt. But if you really want to break into the film industry, you probably have to move to where the film industry is. New York or Los Angeles. That's where the producers, production companies, agents, managers, and studios are, and if you want to get your foot in the door, you need to be where you can meet all of these people. It ain't easy, and it ain't fun – I miss the Midwest terribly – but its probably a necessary evil.”
He admits that he doesn’t know much about the Midwest’s independent film scene – a thriving and growing scene – so he encourages filmmakers to pursue that as well. “It’s a solid option,” he says.
And he has some great advice on getting started, especially for screenwriters.
“Write, and write often,” he says. “Directing, producing, shooting – It all takes money and therefore permission. But writing is free. You don't need permission to write a script. So keep at it. It’s a craft, and it takes practice. Most writers I know burn through multiple scripts – a dozen or more – before they get the hang of it. But if you're good, and if you write a truly great script, and if you're persistent, eventually it will get into the right hands."Want more? Check out Eric Kripke: A Filmmaking (Super)Natural.