It's very difficult to get a lit agent to read a script for representation without a personal introduction by a repped client of theirs. If you know a screenwriter or other industry member with an agent who actually is getting scripts read by real studios and funders, and you have TWO solid scripts more on that later , ask for an introduction. Give your contact a substantial gift whether you are signed or not! Of course, it's not necessary to have a lit agent to shop a script. Make getting an agent only one part of a broader shopping strategy. If you're not already, make sure you join professional writers' groups like ScreenplayLab and Scriptwriters' Network, and attend every possible event to make those contacts.
There's a list of organization links to get you started at Movie in a Box. Again, the way to shop a script in our industry is to know someone. It's tough to open a new professional relationship by asking for the considerable favor of an agent referral, so try a strategy where you're offering something they could use in exchange for the introduction.
And expect them to request to read your script first - and listen to their notes without argument. Another credible outlet for getting your script noticed is via some of the online sites. If you're not already, make sure you're active at Inktip, for example. And be sure to explore the hundreds of screenplay competitions, like Scriptapalooza - but check first to see what success stories you can verify from their sites. This is neither a judgment, an assumption, an insult or a joke. It truly is a requirement. Please trust me on this. There are no second chances for first impressions in our industry.
Selling Your Screenplay to Hollywood
And it's not just your rep on the line, but also the rep of whoever opens that door for your submission. Ought to be in the same genre as the job the writer is trying to get. Common for director pitches, rare for writer pitches. Execs like this because it means the movie will be easy to sell. If they get it in one sentence, so will the public. Most low concept ideas are execution dependent.
A lot easier to create for a high concept movie. Often used on Tracking Boards and in Coverage. You want at least a couple of these in your pitches and you better have several in your screenplay. Studios like these. Used to be customary to do a single pass that involved a day or two of work. Nowadays has been abused to mean multiple major rewrites from writers who know how hard the market is right now. Agencies get a fee from the studio for doing this.
Usually only the biggest agencies can package a movie or television series. I hope that helps clear up some questions for you, intrepid screenwriter. Useful info.
Scripts can also be used for a variety of other media, like plays, radio broadcasts, or computer programs. You can take a look at his entire resume of movies spanning over 30 films here. In fact when he tries to do anything else it flops. In short, if you were going to pitch Blume house productions a film, it would need to be a small budget horror or thriller with immense market capabilities.
1. Don’t quit your day job — until you have to.
Nothing else will stand a chance in the meeting room. You can do this type of research for any studio or producer or production company out there. They all have different interests in films and things they do better than anything else. Take the Asylum film distribution company. You would take them a comedy or a well-written knock-off of an already popularized movie. Anything mockumentary would work. The best way to do that in the 21 century is via online platforms. Below are all the most popular online platforms with brief descriptions of the benefits of each.
Agents, managers ,, and producers have accounts here and you can pitch them directly or send out your script. The Blacklist is the most popular of all the screenplay submission sites because they seem to have the most executives trolling the site for great undiscovered talent. The Blacklist rates your script and gives notes. The higher rated scripts are normally downloaded by producers and are bought. The scripts on this platform are also known to be for higher budget films in the 50 to million dollar range.
Think lower budget productions under 5 million sometimes a couple hundred thousand. This newsletter has info on certain producers and what types of scripts there looking for currently. This association is a development platform that rates your script and sends it out to producers like the blacklist but they do way more. They test the marketability of said script as well as offer mentorships for you as a writer.
This does come at a heftier price than just posting your script like the other platforms mentioned above. But if you feel like you need a management approach to selling your script this site is best. In my opinion, there is almost no difference from spec scout and the above review platforms.
And How You Can Join Them
So enter at your own risk. This is more of a hub for industry professionals not just screenwriters to meet and greet and share projects and great ideas. The magic comes in the one on one producer pitches. Yes, you can pay for a skype based pitch meetings. These executives post films and TV shows they produced and let you know straight up what they want to hear — Romcom, thriller, etc.
This website is more interested in getting you signed to work with studios than the rest. Virtual pitchfest. How this works is you pick through their long list of industry professionals you would like to pitch. You write a pitch they read it within five days and give you a yes or no on sending them the script. The pitch fest is probably the most nerve-racking place to pitch.
Good job to everyone who pitched movies like this. This is more of an old school way but it still works. Recently a lot of people have come out on certain pitchfests that seem to be scams. The contest is a great place to sell screenplays. Winning the right contest not only sells the screenplay but starts your career in terms of industry contacts. I wrote a great post on the 19 screenplay contests that actually matter. You can read that with the link below.
List of the contest that matter. The power of contest comes in the winning of one of them. If you win they contest organizers need you to sell a script get a job etc. Because the more their winners win career wise the better they have for the marketing of there script contest. Th ey will brag about you from the day you won to the day you write the next Marvel movie. When winning they introduce you to producers that would be interested in your script.
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Tv show excess that could use a writer like you on their staff anything they can do to win long term. Your success is their success. So were the Duff brothers before S tranger Things now they do a little bit of everything. For the projects, you believe in making a short film and submit it to a couple of festivals or more importantly short film sites like Thunder shorts or moviesonspeck.
These platforms are normally trolled by sales agents. They look for great stories to turn into full-length movies. Which my question back would do you really believe in your script? Do what you have too to get where you want to be.
- Two Pathways to Becoming a Successful Screenwriter in Hollywood.
- The Cordwainer.
- No Film School.
David Samberg creator of Kung furry got zero interest for his film Kung Furry so he made a 30 minute short after that went viral he now will be working on a feature with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Fassbender. Now you might not have this story but there are a lot of stories similar where a writer creates a short that catches the interest of someone. All you need is one. You have to be different.
Related Screenwriting: How to Write a Professional Screenplay and Sell it to Hollywood!
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