11-28-2011, 05:10 PM
I am finishing up my screenplay in the next few weeks. I am very driven and excited to start the process of trying to pitch and sell my script. For those of you who have been through this process, I am hoping you can give me some advice. What would be some of the valuable do's and don'ts of this process that you have learned? I am a rookie here trying to make as few mistakes as possible! I realize that I will make mistakes along the way, but I hope you guys can offer some tips from what you've been through!
Thanks in advance,
11-28-2011, 07:40 PM
This is your first screenplay, right? Do not send that one out.
Not yet. Write four more then take your best three and begin the
Okay, I know better, you will not take that advice. So...
Write a killer logline. Write a killer three sentence synopsis.
Write a killer three paragraph synopsis. And I mean “killer”.
It must leap off the page so anyone reading the log line
simply MUST read that script.
Do your research. Do not send it blindly to producers or
prodCo’s but focus your submission to people and companies
you know are open to new writers and that specific type of
material. Do not approach agents with only one script. You
are going to have to make and use your connections to people
- directors, producers and actors with their own prodCo’s.
Go to one of those pitch fests. They are pretty useless for
making an actual sale, but they can be valuable to learn about
I know the following will fall into the “no shit” category, but
you’d be surprised. Make sure it’s spell checked and edited for
grammar and format. A first script by an unknown writer has
a different set of rules than any other script.
11-28-2011, 09:33 PM
What directorik said.
I never ignore it when a writer pitches me their project for production, but I'm small time. One thing that I notice frequently when being pitched by a writer is that they're constantly talking about shit that isn't important. I don't care about some amazing little scene which blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I want to know what's important. I want to be excited within the first few sentences of your pitch.
11-28-2011, 09:48 PM
There's also the contest route. Place in a few contests and it'll grease the tracks a bit.
And As Rik intimated, most writers, if they ever reach the craft level needed to get an agent, need a few scripts of due paying before they're ready.
11-28-2011, 10:51 PM
I'm a relative newbie to making films, but do think all the responders are on point, and wish I would've had their advice years ago AND listened...
-- Also recommend entering screenwriting contests that give you feedback.
-- If you can afford it, find a good reader with industry experience and high recommendations. It can be most humbling, but worth it.
-- Practice your pitch over and over with friends, acquaintances, anybody. And watch their reactions.
-- While you're waiting for feedback on a script, start another one.
Best of luck!
11-29-2011, 07:57 AM
I've been in the process of transitioning from writing just for myself to writing scripts for other people to read. It's been an eye opener for me. When writing for myself I could leave a lot out(unknowingly) of the script because the whole movie was in my head. So the scripts ended up to be reminder scripts for the stories in my head. The biggest thing I've learned writing for others to read is they don't have the movie in their head and the script needs to communicate what is needed for them to have what is in my head. Which leads me to the big question that everyone asks, "What's it about?". I need to know the answer and most importantly I need to know the answer before I start writing the script.
I had about a dozen people read the script I'm currently working on. Most of them echoed back the story that I was in my head. I've since completed a cleanup rewrite and on to round two of the reading.
11-29-2011, 11:10 AM
Does anyone have any stories of selling a script from a pitch? I believe everyone would love to hear how it happened. I admit I have no script sales myself so I'm impressed with even a very small sale.
11-30-2011, 09:57 AM
Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. I have learned a lot from my short time on this site. I think I will mostly go the route of contests. I will definitely have a few people that have more experience read it for me before I start pushing it.