Friday, March 5, 2010

How to Sell your Script

How to sell your script – the Holy Grail of screenwriters. A lot of people have an opinion on this and there is no end of advice available on the internet. By way of editing through a lot of crud, I thought I’d make a list of all the ways I’ve ever heard to flog your script, and then some.

1. The legendary query letter. Whether you do this in the form of an email or a hard copy letter, the principle is the same. You write a letter to a production company (or an agent if you’re trying to get one) and send them the best logline you have in the hope that they’ll request a copy of your script. Even armed with a copy of the Hollywood Directory, this is not a targeted method, as you have no way of knowing which production company will want your script (if any) and many of the directory entries end with the immortal words, “do not accept unsolicited entries”. Oh, and I’ve heard of things like 2% success rates. On the plus side, if you have a spare afternoon, it doesn’t take too long and if you have email addresses for any of the companies, it’s even faster.
2. You go to an event like a pitchfest or film festival and try and track down a producer who might be interested in optioning your script. This is a fine, targeted approach as long as you have some cajones and can actually get to the event in person.
3. Go to a lot of film parties. This works the same as number two except there’s more drinking and schmoozing involved.
4. Enter a prestigious screenwriting contest and place or win. You might get a script optioned simply on the back of this, but either way you can add the laurels to your film CV. You have one, right?
5. A new one that I hadn’t thought of until Bill Grundfest mentioned it in Logline (which I highly recommend) – you carry your scripts with you everywhere and as soon as you track down a likely candidate who asks “What do you do”, you respond with, “I’m a writer” and give them a copy of your script. Hmm. Bill claims this works 20% of the time but I have my doubts….
6. Last but not least, Joe Eszterhas advised trying this one: go to Hollywood, find an agent and give them the best blowjob of their lives. Folks, I think Joe’s been reading too many of his own scripts.

Any other brilliant ways of selling a script/getting it to the people who matter that I’ve missed? Let me know!

Also a reminder that if you’ve ever wanted to see your name on the credits of a movie, the film I’m producing can provide you with just that. For as little as 25 dollars, sit back and watch your name in large white type! See here….

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