Now I’ve finished my script where do I send it?

March 17th, 2011 by Ron
The Script Blogger  

Now I’ve finished my script where do I send it? 

 

A question repeatable asked by new writers, particularly when they finish their first script.

 

It is worth realizing, that anyone who has contacts is not going to give you theirs, in case your work is better than theirs or because it might be your work is complete rubbish and they will look a fool, with their own hard fought for industry connections.

 

You have to do the legwork yourself and build your own network of people to send your work to.

The first thing is to make sure the screenplay is ready, even though you may have read it and re-written it several times, almost certainly if you are a beginner, it is not ready and neither are you for the shock of the market place.

Most new writers think their scripts are unique and that their concepts are outstanding. They almost expect the industry to beat a path to their door.

They won’t and undoubtedly if it is you first script it is not that good. The average number scripts before an industry breakthrough for most professional writers was nine.

A Hollywood producer and writer with dozens of produced scripts to his name said, “No one is a good writer until they have written over a million words”.

Over 100,000 scripts were registered last year and Hollywood made less than 300 films and less than 10 of these were from spec scripts. Independent Producers made around 2800 movies and over half of these were written by the director or producer and less than 800 were released as a finished product.

Going from “I want-to-be a writer” to a published writer with a finished product showing at a cinema is a long eventful road.

Be prepared for the time it takes, the difficulties of finding someone to read your material and the hours you will have to spend perfecting the craft, not including the disappointments along the way.

First register the script with a recognized body. WGA on-line is $22 and most producers, directors or production companies will not read anything if it is not registered with a recognizable body.

Then you need to know if your script is good, and comments from friends and family are not good enough, you need reviews, loads of them, you can start with FREE sites like TriggerStreet and Zoetrope.

You may want to get a professional critique from one of the many offering such services on the web.

Critiques for $50; tell you everything you need to know about the provider. It takes at least two hours to thoroughly read a feature script, let alone make comments and suggestions, so remember you get what you pay for.

While you are waiting to find out if your script is any good, start writing the next one. When you get the free reviews from TriggerStreet and/or Zoetrope showing you some of the mistakes you made, and there will be mistakes start rewriting, but work on the new script at the same time.

If you want to be a professional writer, learn the skill of multi tasking.

Don’t think of Agents yet, they don’t want to know you unless you have achieved some success on your own and you have at least five or six quality scripts behind you. Because if you manage to get an agent interested in your work, undoubtedly they will ask, “What else have you written”?

That doesn’t mean, what are you going to write?

Sending your screenplay directly to an actor you fancy for a role in your script, is naïve, at least go to them with a package through their agent; normally sent by your agent. And if you don’t have a package or don’t know what one is, and you don’t have an agent, respect the actor and don’t insult them.

By the way, you don’t approach the good Agents they approach you, after you are recommended from somebody they trust within the industry.

When you have a script worthy of consideration you have to get it to someone who can see the potential, is prepared to invest time and money and their reputation in your work. That in itself is a mountain to climb, one when you first started you probably never considered.

Send query letters but never the script, just the logline, if they are interested they will request the script. You can try InkTip, personally I have had good results on that site, but mostly when I had five or six scripts on there of various genre and budgets.

Attend festivals, gatherings, anywhere you can, where you can network.

Market yourself, not you work, but you. Networking helps but don’t expect to sell your script, scripts are rarely purchased these days they are optioned. Often for a period of two to three years while a producer puts a package together.

When you find a producer who likes your work, be prepared for the delays in producing a film from your script. The compromises you may have to make in the numerous rewrites, the devaluation of your work and you, and the distance between what you initially visualized and the finished product.

The higher up the ladder you set your sights the more likelihood of failure and with large budgets expect longer delays.

As mentioned, be prepared to completely re-write your masterpiece in accordance with the producer and or directors requirements, if you are not willing to do so, they will get someone else to do it.

Remember, if you are lucky enough to sell a script, it is gone. From that point own the new owners own it and can do with it anything they like, including not making it.

Have no emotional hold on your work, it is just a property. Becoming a writer has to be a burning ambition in your heart, something you can’t give up on, a part of your life, your very existence.

You have to write for the love of it, not the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  You have to write well, your work has to be original, different, exciting, entertaining and have a style (a voice) that can be identified as yours.

All of this takes time. How long, well that is down to you and the effort you put into your dream.

The line between a dream and a nightmare is an invisible one, until you are in your dream or a self inflicted nightmare. With writing the choice of which it is, is yours.

 

 

15 responses to “Now I’ve finished my script where do I send it?”

  1. bee bop says:

    Great advice, great recommendations. Thanks for writing and publishing this.

  2. Daniel says:

    Hey guys, this may sound a little silly but what the heck, I’ll go for it. I’ve only just turned seventeen and I’ve a few scripts in my repertoire. Now, although they are not to a finished standard (well, the majority) I would just like to ask when I feel confident that a script is up to a professional standard what would any of you (I find asking you’s is the right idea) recommend being the best choice for me to do? I know you explained this on this article but try to understand where I’m coming from. I’m not very good with the business side of things, only the creative.

    Very few writers make it in their teens, regardless of their preferences being for novels or screenplays, simply because they haven’t lived enough.

    Place your screenplays on sites like TriggerStreet and Zoetrope and get feedback from other writers before you believe that your writings are of a professional standard.

    If you are not good at the business side of the industry give up now, because not being able to present yourself or your work with confidence and the savvy required at the level that will be expected by others in the industry gives you such a disadvantage that you may as well not bother.

    Currently you only have your own opinion and possibly that of friends and relatives that your work is any good, unfortunately that is not enough.

    Why do you think you are coming from a place any different to any other writer?

    Even the most successful writers were beginners and unknown once.

    Ron A.

  3. Parjkffco5 says:

    A thoughtful insight and ideas I will use on my blog. You’ve obviously spent some time on this. Congratulations!

  4. Marylin says:

    Jessus, the stuff the post at Done Deal about your post. So waste of our time. Whoopi-doo doo doo di. Nothing has changed, Done Deal Dealers are always insulting others and when the get isulted themselves, they feel bad like a sore loser and post something to rationalize or hide the fact they are suckers for these kind of things.

    Ron, keep at it. We like your attitude and blog. I read some of your articles, some good ideas and advice.

    Overall, you’re……………. WINNING!

    Marylin

  5. Steven says:

    Ron – liking your blog and your posts at Trigger.
    I was told to visit Done Deal and IMDBpro.com.
    I am semi-retired and have this urge to turn my two short Cop stories into screenplays. Actually went to Done Deal forum to browse, damn scary messed up place. Like people who post there are slackers and rotten to the core (very creepy). Never heard of their odd practice, people posting anonymously. So fake. Who are these people posting without their real names on Done Deal. Like Emily Blake at Bamboo Killer said, do not be a pussy, post using your real name.

    Maybe you can tell me some of the best script forums in town. Should I use Done Deal Pro or others…

    Thank you,
    Steven

    You have to find what is right for you. Research is an important part of becoming a writer. Ron