Posted by: steveonfilm | February 25, 2012

Watching A Career Skyrocket In Real Time

There’s been a buzz the last two weeks around a script called ‘The Disciple Program.’ Written by amateur Tyler Marceca, it was a consulted read (i.e. paid for) by “Carson Reeves,” of ScriptShadow fame, and he just went ape shit about it. Convinced of the writer’s talent and the overall excellence of the script, ‘Carson’ decided he was going to do whatever he could to help launch Tyler’s career. And he did. And it was incredibly cool to watch play out in near real time.

You can read “Carson’s” review of the script here.

Also, you can read Scott Meyer’s Business of Screenwriting article ‘Flavor-of-the-Week,’ which offers some perspective on what Scott thinks Tyler has in store over the next couple of weeks.

I don’t know much about Tyler other than that he lives in Brooklyn. But from reading the script myself I can tell this is a guy who loves words. LOVES them. The vocabulary he uses is simply astounding. You just don’t see some of the words he uses in screenplays, or even novels for that matter, and it was refreshing. My guess is he reads a lot, and I don’t just mean scripts, I mean just in general. I’d also guess he’s probably pretty tech savvy and enjoys researching. The way he presented technical details in the script isn’t possible to just ‘wing,’ he knew what he was talking about, at least to the level needed to explain it on the page.

I didn’t flip out over the script when I read it, but I CERTAINLY enjoyed it. There were some parts that were a little overwritten, I think it was a bit long (likely the result of my previous point), but really this is me just nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking. Tyler wrote a rock solid script. Some people will enjoy it more than other’s just due to what subject matter they find interesting, but there aren’t a lot of weak areas. Character, structure, pacing, drama, tension, it’s all there and all used really well. Fellow amateurs can learn a lot from studying how Tyler put his script together, and then using that as a base plate to contrast and compare to their own works. I know I have been.

Regardless of the script, who broke it into the business, or what agency Tyler signed with (it was WME), this is what happens if you write a great script. Like Xander Bennet said on Twitter:

This Disciple Program thing proves what everybody says but nobody wants to hear: write a bulletproof script, the rest takes care of itself.

Best of luck to Tyler. I hope he continues hitting it out of the park and has a long and successful career.

Keep writing,



  1. Hey Steve

    Just stumbled upon your site. I think the response to this script is deserved, but I want to know how you guys in the US go about getting information about technical stuff like Tyler did. I’m from South Africa, and for me it’s difficult to call people up and ask them to tell you about the “covert lingo” because that’s stuff they may not want to share with the public.

    Even if you’re dealing with a script about cracking a safe like in The Italian Job. Those guys needed to know intimate information about safes, so how exactly am I supposed to call up a safe company and ask them explain to them the secrets of how a safe works so I can break into it, but I really don’t want to break into it, it’s just this script I’m writing, and I really won’t give away any secrets?

    Anyway, great blog and continue chipping away at the dream 🙂

    • There’s no simple answer to your question Brandon.

      It’s all about research.

      If you’re looking for authentic military speak, your best bet is to find people in the military and simply ask. If that doesn’t work, non-fiction books, the internet, forums… really a plethora of places. Tactical fiction books like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six. Wikipedia is a great resource as well. It’s just a matter of putting in the time. Hell, the movie Act of Valor is came out this weekend and that uses real US Navy Seals (a special forces branch) and live fire exercises. You’d pick up a ton of lingo doing watching that alone. You can even play games like Battlefield and Modern Warfare and get some pretty authentic lingo such as “firing for effect,” “frag out,” and “watch my six.”

      Say you wanted to write a script about some members of the Police SWAT (secret weapons and tactics) team. There are TONS of documentaries about SWAT teams from various cities in America. The television show COPS includes many clips that include SWAT encounters. There are dozens of books about SWAT. And, there are message boards for police where you can simply ask. Most police really enjoy talking about their jobs and can likely point you to additional resources.

      I’m fortunate that I know literally DOZENS of people in the military and several police. So if I wanted to write about that, I’d have first hand resources. But, we glorify the military here, and fighting and warfare in general, so we’ve got resources with that kind of information pretty much at our fingertips at all times.

      I know that doesn’t provide too much help, but hopefully it offered at least some insight.

      Best of luck with your writing!

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