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Old 01-29-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
ARBR
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Question Help with my next step

________________________________________
This must be strange but I’m not a writer and know almost nothing about movie industry. I’m no inside USA and still learning English using an L.A. Podcast.

I need some tips to decide my next step so I registered here.

The fact is, last October I decided to show one of my stories to an famous actor dreaming he could like my idea and decide to make an movie.

I gone to one site when you can find some celebrities contacts, chose a few names and sended my idea. I couldn’t find one of the celebrity’s agent so I sended the idea to his lawyer. No agent answered me but I received a very polite email from the lawyer

“Thank you for your letter. Unfortunately, we cannot accept unsolicited submissions on behalf of any client. For legal reasons, I cannot forward your letter or synopsis onto Mr. XXXXX or his agent. If you wish to submit through an agent or attorney, along with a waiver/release, that may be something we can consider”

So I began to look for an agent with not a single response. I wasn’t ready to quit so looking more on internet a saw an Talent agent commenting:

“To quote Alex Epstein, a development executive and author of “Crafty Screenwriting,” a hook is the concept in a nutshell. A fresh idea to a story that instantly makes not only us, but people in the industry interested in reading your script and then makes the audience interested in seeing your movie.”

Against the protocols I had learned that week I made a Pitch using the phrase that could make me go to see my movie on cinema and send it to a couple of production companies. One week and one response.

They liked the Idea and would like to see the story but I needed firs register it so, on the same day I sended my story to Writers Guild of America and sended my text to production company; on the next day they answered me telling my story was most like a treatment, interesting and original but my English was very poor, They also told me it would be very interesting to see an Draft to correct evaluate the idea and it would be an good idea to find an professional screenwriter to develop my ideas with correct English.

Today, after some contacts I’m already working with an professional screenwriter and we are preparing the screenplay to deliver as soon as possible.

I know how difficult is to have an agent or make some company interest on you idea; even more for a guy like me but when I see the story getting life in the professional writers hand I begin think again in try to find an agent to expand my options and expand my contacts. The problem is I’m the same guy without experience from beginning with a couple of stories I wrote to my sons

Sorry about my English and the long post but my intention was to describe what I’m feeling now.

What you guys would do in a situation like this?
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
thefilmgeek
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This is difficult as I'd never been in the situation.

The one piece of advice I could give you is to be persistent, and never give up. Don't get discouraged if people don't pick up on your screenplays right away. Odds are on a long enough time line, someone will take one of your screenplays, as long as you keep at it, and working hard.

Be polite to the people, and use the proper channels.

Also, make sure all your completed material you get registered with the copyright office, but I'm not sure how that works in Brasil, or if you'd have to go through US channels if you're pitching it here in the US. Make sure you're protected and nobody can take your work.

Never give up!
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:06 PM   #3
spinner
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Welcome to filmmaking! It's not easy to get into this field. The things you describe are not at all unusual. It's not going to matter if you are in the U.S. or in Brazil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ARBR View Post
I gone to one site when you can find some celebrities contacts, chose a few names and sended my idea. I couldn’t find one of the celebrity’s agent so I sended the idea to his lawyer. No agent answered me but I received a very polite email from the lawyer

“Thank you for your letter. Unfortunately, we cannot accept unsolicited submissions on behalf of any client. For legal reasons, I cannot forward your letter or synopsis onto Mr. XXXXX or his agent. If you wish to submit through an agent or attorney, along with a waiver/release, that may be something we can consider”
There will be MANY people on this site who can tell you the best way to get your ideas to where they need to go. However, sending it to the 'celebrity' isn't the way to do it.

Quote:
So I began to look for an agent with not a single response. I wasn’t ready to quit so looking more on internet a saw an Talent agent commenting:

“To quote Alex Epstein, a development executive and author of “Crafty Screenwriting,” a hook is the concept in a nutshell. A fresh idea to a story that instantly makes not only us, but people in the industry interested in reading your script and then makes the audience interested in seeing your movie.”
You get an agent when you have actually done something. If this is your first 'script', that is part of the reason why you didn't get any reactions. This is normal. You can't just say "Hi, I'm a screenwriter and I would like you to represent me." There are screenwriters who have had their work produced who don't have agents.

Quote:
Against the protocols I had learned that week I made a Pitch using the phrase that could make me go to see my movie on cinema and send it to a couple of production companies. One week and one response.

They liked the Idea and would like to see the story but I needed firsT register it so, on the same day I sended my story to Writers Guild of America and sended my text to production company; on the next day they answered me telling my story was most like a treatment, interesting and original but my English was very poor, They also told me it would be very interesting to see an Draft to correct evaluate the idea and it would be an good idea to find an professional screenwriter to develop my ideas with correct English.
ALWAYS get your work copywritten FIRST. Then send it out. Otherwise if someone comes up with a story that is strangely similar to yours, you don't have a leg to stand on. Also, if they say your english is poor the implication is that you tried to write it in english? Or did you get it translated? What happened there?

Quote:
Today, after some contacts I’m already working with an professional screenwriter and we are preparing the screenplay to deliver as soon as possible.

I know how difficult is to have an agent or make some company interest on you idea; even more for a guy like me but when I see the story getting life in the professional writers hand I begin think again in try to find an agent to expand my options and expand my contacts. The problem is I’m the same guy without experience from beginning with a couple of stories I wrote to my sons.
Just don't get discouraged if things don't happen overnight, it rarely does. I think, from observation, that getting an agent is still down the road for you. I think you are in the right place on this site because there are many screenwriters here who can give you advice. Keep trying and good luck.

-- spinner

Last edited by spinner; 01-30-2009 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 01-31-2009, 10:05 AM   #4
ARBR
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Quote:
Also, make sure all your completed material you get registered with the copyright office, but I'm not sure how that works in Brasil, or if you'd have to go through US channels if you're pitching it here in the US. Make sure you're protected and nobody can take your work.
Right :-) I already registered all my notes, synopsis and treatment on WGA in my name and after the screenwriter finish the scrip I will register again in our names; something like Story by Me and screenplay by me and the screenwriter.

Quote:
You get an agent when you have actually done something. If this is your first 'script', that is part of the reason why you didn't get any reactions. This is normal. You can't just say "Hi, I'm a screenwriter and I would like you to represent me." There are screenwriters who have had their work produced who don't have agents.
I understand but that means I need to sign with the only Production Company ho looked my story? It’s normal to sign directly with Production Company without an agent?
I’m telling this because I choose one of my stories that in my opinion would be easier to put on screen adapting almost to any budget and now, with an professional screenwriter working on it would be interesting present it to more companies.
Not a real representation but someone with contacts to show the script to the producers or directors.


Quote:
Also, if they say your english is poor the implication is that you tried to write it in english? Or did you get it translated? What happened there?
I tried to translate myself. I believe when some company don’t want t know more about somebody works they wouldn’t ask for more information or for a draft am I right? If they asked me to find an Screenwriter to help me produce and deliver the script I think they are really interested.

I think I more excited than discouraged :-).

Thank you for you time answering my post.

Sincerely

André
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