“Break Even” Releases Dec 1st — Here’s Five Things I’ve Learned From Writing My First Feature Film

CJ Walley
8 min readNov 18, 2020

So, I’m in a weird but exciting place right now. A feature film I’ve written is set for release in North American very shortly. It’s going to be stocked in Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon to buy on DVD and available on multiple streaming platforms. It’s been an exhilarating couple of years from unknown amateur to working screenwriter so here’s the most important lessons I’ve learned along the way — CJ

My journey from first contact with Shane Stanley (a multiple Emmy award winning director and executive of producer of Gridiron Gang) in March of 2018 has been a bit of a blur. We’ve come a long way in what feels like a flash and our first collaboration together “Break Even”, a female-led low-budget action-thriller starring Tasya Teles , Steve Guttenberg, Ivan Sergei, Joanna Pacula, and James Callis is set for release on December 1st in North America. We have an official website, we have Instagram and Facebook feeds, we have press releases, and I blogged about my experience on set over on Stage 32 in my series “Breaking In with Break Even” Part 1, 2, 3, and 4.

My head’s still spinning from it all and, needless to say, a lot more has been going on in the background as a result of all this. As a take a breath and prepare to step into a new world of virtual red carpets, critic reviews, podcast interviews, and more, this is the perfect time to reflect on the key things I’ve learned.

You Must Do Everything You Can to Get Noticed and Break-In.

That sounds pissy and obvious but please don’t underestimate what I’m saying. Screenwriters who want to break-in really do need to do EVERYTHING they can which means covering every possible channel to success and doubling down on it. Most writers I see are only covering a fraction of the bases needed.

Networking is naturally chaotic and we can align with the right people in the strangest of ways. In fact, if we are to standout in this highly competitive environment, those strange ways may be our best opportunities. In my case…

CJ Walley

Screenwriter | Film Producer | Founder of Script Revolution & Rebelle Rouser | Author of Turn & Burn