#screenwriting #film #business
“As I mention in an article I wrote for the March 2011 issue of Script Magazine, you can have the best script in the world – but unless you can get people to read it, it might as well be a paper weight.
Now, if you’ve already got your action lines perfect and your dialogue crisp, then it’s time to embark on The Voyage To Getting It Read.
There are basically four main ways for an unknown to get their script read, and I’m going to put them in order of effectiveness. The four ways are: Contacts, Coverage services, Competitions, and Email/Query Letter Campaigns.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go:
As we all know, being best friends with Steven Spielberg or Judd Apatow has its perks. And we’re all buddies with them, right? Yeah, right. I wish.
So the first aspect of contacts is already having your own. Unfortunately, 95% of aspiring writers aren’t related to hollywood hot shots and don’t have a friend of a friend of Steven. But don’t despair, because it’s important to understand that you don’t HAVE to be best friends with Will Smith or get jiggy with Jada on Tuesday nights.
Let me start by saying this: you dont need FAMOUS or HIGH POWERED contacts in Hollywood. Don’t get me wrong, it helps tremendously, but that’s not your goal when it comes to networking and accumulating your group of contacts. Your goal is simple: have as many contacts as possible, but especially contacts that are at the kind of companies or who come in contact with the kind of high powered people who would like your particular material. For instance, if you wrote a stoner comedy, you would have contacts in the Judd Apatow clan, or the James Franco and Danny McBride circle of friends (I’m looking at you Your Highness).
Here’s the great news: notice how I said “clan” and “circle of friends.” You don’t have to be best friends with Apatow or Franco, you just need to know their interns or assistants or other people they trust. Because the name of the game is getting champions of your writing. If an intern for a high powered producer reads and loves your script, and believes wholeheartedly that This Is The Next Big Thing, he’ll lobby hard to get his boss to read it. He or she will fight for you, and for the script. Why? Well, frankly it makes them look good to their bosses that they found the material, and they can parlay that into more opportunities for themselves. Many an assistant at an agent’s desk got promoted for being able to find talent – and many an intern has gotten associate producer credits from bringing in a script. So as long as you have a champion – at any level in the company – in your corner, you’re ahead of the game.
As a side note, this can even include personal assistants (or hair dressers, etc. – I’m looking at you Jon Peters). One of my favorite examples is how producer Matt Alvarez got his start in the business – as a personal assistant. And now he’s a well-known producer with tons of credits under his belt and an eye for good scripts. So the good news is, basically anybody who knows somebody can be your champion…..”