Screenwriting Agents Do Not Have Time To Read Your Script

Somewhere in the world someone has just finished the first draft of her first screenplay – ever.

Full of enthusiasm, the unknown screenwriter breaks out a hammer and puts the final touches on the two brass brads that hold the 90-120 pages together. It is at this point when this writer asks himself the obvious question:

“How do I get my movie script produced?”

This is the point when things get confusing. Should the unknown screenwriter send his screenplay to contests, to screenwriting agents, to the family friend attorney who is willing to pose as the “entertainment attorney” and hopefully shepherd the script through the guarded gates of Hollywood?

Or should the first time screenwriter decide instead to send the work to producers? And what if somebody steals the idea? And why don’t producers accept unsolicited screenplays? UGH!

Screenwriting Agents

Screenwriting agents

One of the reasons I am excited you’re reading these words is because I can help you avoid my early mistakes. What I just described was me a decade ago.

I was still living in Pennsylvania. I had just finished the first draft of my first screenplay.  And frankly, I thought I was brilliant. I thought my story was awesome. And I actually thought Hollywood would just knock down my door. Of course it didn’t happen like that.

After I wrote my script, email was the new thing. So I started sending email query letters to various production companies and screenwriting agents. And surprisingly, a few folks did respond to me. But after I sent out my script, it wasn’t long until I either got a rejection letter or heard nothing.

Back then, I still had a lot to learn. . .

“Would you like me to tell you the secrets of getting your work produced?”

I don’t have all the secrets.

The truth is, if you have an amazing script that is totally polished, marketed towards your intended audience of producer types (or screenwriting agents) who have a history of producing your type of work – and you have a way of accessing them and getting your brilliant work read, then your success is (a little more) probable.

But for the rest of us, taking that route is an eroded path and (in my humble opinion) requires that you ask too many people for permission. I mean, doesn’t it make you feel a little whorish to ask so many people for validation?

“Please read my screenplay, it’s great!”

UGH. I hate asking for permission.

And screenwriting agents? Forget that route. At least right now. Yes, you can send out query letters and market the heck out of yourself. But if you’re an unknown screenwriter living outside of LA, the odds of getting your work read by legitimate screenwriting agents are slim to none.

Remember, screenwriting agents make a living getting material sold. And chances are, those folks already have a dozen clients. They don’t have time to take notice of your material unless your work already has buzz.

So how do you break through?

Here are some screenwriting tips… But I don’t think you’ll like them.

  1. Quit asking permission. Production is less expensive. Start producing.
  2. Start with genres that sell. Horror. Women in peril. Girl with a horse story.
  3. Relationships are everything. Not in LA? Then attend major film festivals.
  4. There are contests. Most suck. Some are good. At lease you get read.
  5. Cold call filmmakers. You will be surprised how accessible they are.

If you start thinking and acting like an entrepreneurial screenwriter, you will be amazed how many people will start to take you seriously. Of course, a large majority of screenwriters will think these ideas are bonkers. And if you think I’m bonkers, then please ignore me and keep writing query letters to screenwriting agents.

But if you’re willing to go the distance, then do whatever it takes to get your work on the screen. If this means you grab a camera and make a dozen, 2 minute movies for YouTube – At least you’re doing something. And in my very humble opinion, it is far more valuable to get small projects produced than to put your work in a dark drawer, only to never be seen.

If you’d like more information on getting your screenplay finished, check out the Indie Producer’s Guide To Writing Movie Scrips that Sell.


  1. Don P. says

    I recently found a college grad in movie media to convert my SP book to a screenplay on the cheap
    he is or was a reader of scripts . My true life story should garner even national news attention ,for who it is about ( a infamous vintage serial killer -think S FCal. 1969) who is still alive and killing .in the midwest. This would be a movie about someone a major MP has already been made and slightly bombed .in 07
    This seems to be the best way to pursue my endeavor to get it to the screen or the book noticed .

  2. Charlotte Lottier says

    I was trying to find an agent to pitch several scenes for an upcoming TV series with Ed Decter. I can use the scenarios in a book of my own, but they really belong to the characters who will be in that series.

    Unfortunately this is not something I can produce myself as it belongs to Constantin Films, but I have no idea how to get my scenes to the right people. The only agents I have spoken to say that it is not their expertise as they are literary agents. Any advice on that one?


  3. kenkenyana Roberts says

    Super creative I’m looking for that assistance to get me there. On My Block( like Friday ) urban comedy How The Game Got Started urban drama . A movie about change

  4. Rudolf says

    Hi Jason,

    that all works, except I have one problem: my screenplay is set in space (more specifically the ISS), and therefore is nearly impossible to self-produce on my own small budget.

    I think in my case, there really is no other way than to endlessly bug screenplay agents, and to play it smart from time to time. Unfortunately, I’m based in Belgium – far far away from LA.

    Any thoughts?

  5. BIJAN ZAHEDI says

    I am a new writer too and I amazed myself by writing two screenplay one is amazingly funny and another one is Drama about a guy who finds lots of money and with it come a hell of trouble, no luck to find an agent someone gave me an idea to just sell my screenplay on line to someone who has an agent, i don’t know.

  6. says

    Mike. You’re thinking the correct way. Also contests can be helpful if you win.

    The bottom line, there is a lot of crap floating around. If you’re any good, you’ll need to keep on pushing forward.

    Originally I took a job as a reader, just so I could put my own work in the stack.

  7. says


    I keep getting letters from agencies worded similarly… “It is corporate policy not to accept, read, listen to and/or review unsolicited material of any kind.” Or today a letter signed by Legal Department: “It is the strict policy… not to accept any submission (script, treatment, or any other material) that has not been submitted by a licensed talent agent… to avoid any implication that we have borrowed from another person’s work…”

    Even though I start my query “My properly registered script…”

    Also I keep getting many queries returned unopened that it was USPS yellow labeled, “ATTEMPTED – NOT KNOWN- UNABLE TO FORWARD” from a lot of addresses from a major film world directory I subscribed to.

    Many agencies or producers are the same about an unknown writer with no referral or no agent. I looked it up and for $250 I can become an agent. Can’t I then just pay the US Labor Office or Commissioner fee and then submit my own screenplays anywhere I want and be my own “licensed agent?”

    I can’t afford the $250 right now; but have you ever heard of that?

    Thanks for any response and taking time to read this.



  8. Connie Gaban says

    I have what I think is a pretty good idea for a Sci-Fi but the problem is I don’t write. How can I find a screenwriter that would be interested in using my idea and working with me to flesh out a whole script?

  9. Andrei Torres says

    I am a mexican writer and I love writing, it’s what I do… but I can’t rest until I see my scripts on the screen. I don’t know how the “system” works but I guess that we have to remember that even they started out as unknow writers/ actors/ producers/ etc. I try to send my query letters every 6 months just in case they didn’t read them the first time. I don’t know if I can produce my own film because here I make 15, 000 a year so you get the idea. Remember that “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”

  10. says

    Me? Writes all genres deftly except ROMCOM and SLASHERS.

    Anyone who can hire is welcome to ask. I deliver fast because I type way too fast, without many typos. And, I am a violinist / composer

  11. Julie says

    Good advice, Jason. I used to be one of those “gatekeepers” in development and distribution who kept people out. Now I would give them the same advice as you… do it yourself! Keep the lion’s share of the money. Be powerful instead of asking permission.

    We used to have a list we used for casting, directors, etc. The first names on the list were the artists who were out working. One way to work constantly is to hire yourself. It’s so much easier now than it’s ever been.

  12. Riley says

    Hey Birmbaum! It’s Riley, writer of the Serah Falls project. Just saying hi! As for the advice, it is more than sound.

  13. Antoinette says

    I like the article… unfortunately, it’s something I’ve read and heard before. I have no problem producing my own films. I’m currently writing and preparing to enter another 48 Hour contest. My real question is about these query letters. I know what they are… but like cover letters, I honestly have no idea what goes in them. Can someone please tell me?

    Also… this comment is for the 14 year old young man: There is nothing more important in this industry than security. Register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. You can do it online for $35.

  14. Alicia says

    Great advice. After wasting time for years trying to get my work sold and getting a few hits and ton of misses, my hubby sat me down and told me to learn how to animate. Several thousand o’ dollars of investment later I am doing just that and I love it.

  15. James says

    A friend of mine in Cincinnati (I am based in the UK) has written a book about gay vampire murders in England in the late 19th century. It is exceptionally well-written and certainly fits the controversial criteria. He has the dream (like Martin Luther King!) Of it being made into a movie. He would dearly love to join up with a scriptwriter to do a joint-venture if anyone is interested in using his story.
    If anyone is reading this please post up.
    I apologise if this is the wrong place to post this but I was just idly browsing the web and just thought to pen a few words. Kind regards.

  16. Grace Fischer says

    I am an amateur screenwriter, and I just finished my first original script about a group of teens in New Mexico who are the sole witnesses of a murder, and their lives being followed by the police, and the involved drug cartels. I am only fourteen, and I worry about entering my script in a contest, like “Pipeline” or my ideas being stolen and reworked after I send it to an agent or publishing company. How do I know if my ideas and script are not being bought out unfairly, or my ideas taken after I send my work out? Would you recommend any reputable agents/contests that would purchase the rights to my script fairly?

  17. Crazy Cat says

    I am an Indepenant Film Producer and Writer as of today! and I am going to produce my Screen Play
    A Chilling Romance Comedy “Mr. Umnutfrankenstein” takes place in the late 1890″s in Salem Massachusetts, I wrote a low budget but very compelling and entertaining story.

  18. Mike Esposito says

    I have what I think is a great idea for a movie (don’t we all?). But this idea is really unique. It defies genre categorization, and it’s animated. Many of the animated characters represent famous people and I can’t say much more without giving up the idea. So if I were to follow Mr. Brubaker’s advice I would have to buy animation software, learn to use it, and create a scene from the movie. And hopefully I could accomplish this before I depart this world. And then what? Why would an agent be more inclined to view my video than read my script? Also, because the video would contain the animated avatars of famous people, wouldn’t I get in trouble even if I just released it on YouTube?

  19. Deb says

    I am not a screenwriter but a historian of a place in northeastern PA. I have written alot about it and have put together some intriguing historical occurrences that could very well tie in to a thriller alot like Amytiville horror but with Nazi’s,concentration camp researchers coming to America,and biblical legends and kidnapped children brainwashed to be split personalities, and intrigue all in a quiet small town with a strange sacrificial mound that a strange family lives in and has kept people from coming near it for years…. I would like to know who can pitch an idea to write a screenplay while keeping some sort of oversight of the overall direction of the finished product?

  20. Kevin S. Birnbaum says

    Jason’s comments are exactly what I tell other writers. You just have to do the damned thing yourself. I tell people to find a great affordable location, write something with nothing more than 7 people, get to know the local acting pool and write towards their strengths. No one knows what you really want to make anyway. I am not a horror guy, but I found an affordable ghost town in AZ and shot a supernatural western in 3 weekends. Took a while, but it got a deal. Second flick just the sidewalks of Vegas – 4 day shoot. Those flicks got the attention of an investor for a six figure budget and now I have a fairly decent sci-fi flick with a known performer just hitting the market. You gotta’ produce. You’re even more respected because now you’re a “filmmaker” instead of just another “writer” which I think is insane, but us writers never get respect. I’d still rather just write but what can I say.


    Agents really do not read scripts. They know the structure. They look at page five for the hook or the inciting incident, then on to page thirty or there about for the turning point. If those pages are intriguing, they then, jump to page forty-five and so on to look at the beats. If a script is missing those, forget it. It is kicked aside. If you are a writer who writes organically, forget it. You are simply wasting your time to submit.

    Jason is correct. If you have a script and you think that it is screen worthy, then, produce it yourself.

    Something many writers should consider is this: Find the genre or subject that you are comfortable with and explore that. For example, if you are good at writing about childhood, then pursue that. Stop pursuing horror because of what you consider might bring immediate success. If you are insightful about old age, then, writer about it. The thing that you have the most enjoyment writing about is the area in which you will find success. Once you do that, you will not need to look for an agent or producer. They will be in search for you.

    Never give up!!!

  22. wz blym says

    Have someone who can write well write you a good(marketable/salable)script, at your direction, then set out like a demon and sell it for as much as you are able. Do it that way till you have a million dollars. Once you have the greenbacks in your pocket you can then write, produce, and direct at your leisure. It’s funner that way.

  23. Karen says

    I wrote a novel and it seemed very lucky for me I knew someone in L.A who worked for a small boutique firm. They loved the mystery and had me sign options one yr. ago. A lot of talk about the characters and who they would like to play in either a movie or mini series. Then I feel like nothing has happen and they are doing other things and shooting me a line of bull. They say the novel is now with CAA and another co. Since the yr. is up and they are suppose to pay me more to keep it but I haven’t heard, do I even have a choice. To be honest I don’t want to sign with them again and would love just to own my novel myself. I am thinking they are more interested in making themselves famous somehow instead of projects and that my time is being wasted. Do you think my chances are better since I had or have options with a Hollywood Co.> like how do I contact another Co.? Life is too short and my pride is too high. Thanks Karen

  24. Autumn Federici says

    I’m an indie producer (made and sold 3 in the last year and a half) and I’m looking for a writer who’s specialty is psychological thriller. Message me through my website ( with your info and let’s chat. Turn around time is key.

  25. Collin says

    I’m an actor and amateur screenwriter and as opposed as I am to the idea of just giving up and stepping away from the industry, the reason I began to write as well as act was simply because they were enjoyable. I was the star on a Disney channel original series for a few years and I have to say I love acting and writing, but it may be time to stop chasing at least for me. I encourage everyone who wishes to run after the dream to keep on pressing forward, but I have lived my fifteen minutes and some and I have to say there is never enough. For those of us that live to dream and dream to live, we don’t possess the ability to find a stopping point. We shall forever suffer in our never ending quest to mesh our inner fantasies with a much more real reality. Just know that there is nothing wrong with being a regular person with absolutely no known identity or notoriety to the outside world that we so desperately seek approval from. I choose to leave my dreams trapped in my mind or on paper for very few to see.

  26. WriteOn! says

    I read this, and almost all responses, and I am laughing at how many LESS writers I will need to compete with due to the fact that many believe that you don’t have to work your fingers to the bone to make your script more than just a bunch of papers sitting there.

    First of all, I find it very hilarious that many say “Agents don’t have time to read your script” and “Agents/producers/etc. don’t read your script”.

    If you are sending your script to anyone without first querying them to see if they DO have time or are interested in your script, you deserve to have your script passed up.

    It’d be like me walking into a place of business and sitting down for an interview without filling out an application or submitting a resume and being called for an interview.

    Get how that would throw someone off?

    Second, think about applying for a job and not knowing the industry and this showing.

    Well, if you are sending your script to agents or producers without that initial query letter, then that shows loudly that you don’t know the industry. Why on earth would any one in the industry, knowing industry standards hire someone who hasn’t taken the time to do their research and learn the industry they are trying to break into?

    You’re setting yourselves up for failure if you believe it’s going to be easy or if you defeat yourselves by taking on the attitude above.

    I am actually glad this post exists. It’s a boost for me to work even harder.

    Like someone else has already said, “If you want to be a writer, you write.” So simple.

  27. brad says

    There is no right or wrong way to succeed in Hollywood. If you look at 10 successful writers, they will have ten different stories about how they made it.

    The most important thing is to persevere.

    And while I agree with much of what the article says about agents — most of whom won’t even open your query email, let alone read a script from an unknown –I don’t think you have to resort to producing a cheap “horror comedy” if that’s not what you’re interested in.

    One of the main reasons there’s so little creativity in Hollywood right now is that so many people have sold out.

    If Hollywood first gets to know you as the writer of a cheap horror comedy, they will want you to write more cheap horror comedies, and then you are stuck in that mode.

    Believe in yourself and your talent and think outside the box. Write what you love, not what you think will sell. Make a short film on your own that showcases your unique voice.

    Talent has a way of making itself known as long as you keep putting your work out there.

  28. John Provo says

    Screenwriting agents don’t have time to read scripts? Then why are they in the biz? I need an agent who will read my material, my ORIGINAL material, get in an office and fight for me.

  29. Krystol Diggs says

    Here is my thing. NOTHING and I do mean nothing comes easy in life especially as a writer.

    There are times when writers get desperate and just ask for anyone to read their work. It happens, we’ve all done it including the writer of this post! Stop it, you had to start from the bottom like everyone else did and if you didn’t than you are one of the lucky ones.

    I don’t live in LA nor do I have an agent but I network my behind off and use what I have until I get to where I want to be. As a screenwriter, like most of you we want producers, directors, even actors to love our work. Now I will agree with the writer of this post and say doing your own film can work but you still go through the same routine, getting a budget, marketing, entering festivals and contests, etc.

    My point is that every screenwriter will have a different experience based on how well they network, and talk to the people they are trying to work with.

    Find a niche that gets you the most for what you are trying to do. Make people see what you are doing and not having them just hear about it. Be on your grind and hustle hard. Sean Diddy Combs did it and look where it got him! Never be afraid to leap you just may land on your big opportunity.

  30. brendan shapiro says

    Being negative has never proven to be an advantage for me, and this is a negative discussion here, but having said that, the Blacklist pretty much epitomizes the problem.

    The scripts on Blacklist are, if I understand correctly, VOTED on by those in the business who do read and do buy and do produce movies from scripts. And these scripts are those considered the very BEST scripts that nobody has yet produced — So what does that tell us?

    Also, the Nicholl Fellowship, sponsored by the people who bring us the Oscars, has produced 125 winners in the last 25 years, yet only one of these screenplays — Finding Forrester — has ever resulted in a hit movie. The vast majority of winners in this very prestigious screenwriting competition, have NEVER been produced, so again, what does that say?

    To me, it’s a crap shoot, just like life in general. All we can do is get in the game, and the rest is pretty much luck.

  31. jason says

    I believe I have god on my side. Ideas sell not fine writing. “without love, all I hear are mimicking sounds” –“love surpasses knowledge” —“Love builds on itself where knowledge puffs up”. Without faith, your entire outlook on life is bleak and non-universal. To inspire happiness you have to believe it yourself. If you don’t believe it, you’re not convincing anyone else. The same stories are being told over and over, find a way to use the current to channel yo shit! I send my greetings to you.

  32. Steve says

    RIDICULOUS! How do you think screenwriters and filmmakers get started? Every screenwriter was a newbie at one point.

    At one point in their career they were on the “outside” they didn’t know anything and their screenplays were the worst ever. What do you think happened? They made their own movies for every script they wrote?! Haha. God. This is not complicated.

    You want to be a writer – write.

    There was many, many agencies and management companies that seek unsolicited material. I got my first agent just sending out letters. They just want a great story well told. No big secret there.

    They make their living reading screenplays and getting feedback from readers and assistants.

    So send out your scripts to agents cause they have TONS OF TIME to read your scripts. I know over a dozen working screenwriters that started this way. They went from a terrible 30k/year job to making high 6 figure salaries just by working hard and following their dream. And so can you.

  33. Josh says

    I think this is ill information. I got an agent in NYC, while I wrote my ass off in Canada. Now I have three scripts out to market that will (hopefully) get the budgets they deserve – 2 of which are period pieces. So, yes, agents DO have time to read your scripts. That’s how they make a living. I send out well over 250 query letters and got back a 10% read request. It just takes 1. And it did. And now I’m a repped writer. So if you want to be a paid writer, write. If you want to spend a decade scraping together money to shoot it, that’s fine too – but agents are out there to sell great screenplays. I wouldn’t give up that option to new comers.

  34. Kevin says

    He is correct!

    I’m in the process of producing a film called a A FEAR WITHIN. I have producers on board who have great credits with an award winning director. Look at production companies, they are out there.

    This movie is no zombie movie it is more like JAWS 1.

    Once investors read my script they were in.

    So I recommend doing your script your way and keep your budget as low as you can without cutting quality. After you get a few miles under your belt your next movie will be even better.

    KEEP IN MIND, if you can write a decent script you can make the movies and a lot more money than trying to sell scripts.

  35. Ben says

    I don’t know if this will help anyone… but move to Los Angeles figure out how to make money to survive and then intern for free at a production company. Tell them you will do anything to help out on your free time. You may get lucky. I was on unemployment from my last job. I got laid off. So I started working on a few films. Next thing I knew I was getting paid and getting more offers to work then I knew what to do with. I responded to an internship. It was just one guy. I started working with him. Next thing I knew we were coming up with all sorts of ideas under the sun and basically got to a point where we could pitch anything to nearly anyone. And even though you can get stuff to people, doesn’t mean they are interested. Through family I got a meeting with two separates agents at CAA. They were very courteous because of who got me the interview… but they basically said it flat out. If you don’t have something already made or is making it… we can’t help you. Needless to say. I haven’t called them back and they aren’t knocking my door down. But… do not be discouraged. Look back at how your life/career was five years ago. A lot changes. Give it time. You really need to be in the LA area or NY if you wish to make it in the business. Not much happening in Omaha if you know what I mean. BTW. One of the guys I worked with on a film just called me out of the blue and said I’m producing my next film… you wanna co-produce. I was like yes. And I will be quitting my fulltime job to do it. Gotta follow your heart.

  36. gedron Lacy says

    I am a screenwriter and producer working on a number of projects at this time and I will be the first also to tell you that Hollywood is too busy to read your scripts. Hands down…

    There are so many professional artists and businessmen there that have projects lined up for the next 5 years. So if you started right now in say, 5 years you might have a chance. I agree with the article.

    I started off in cinematography and videos and helped one young girl’s videos go viral and she was on Dr. Phil, Jimmy Kimmel, etc…No lies. You can look her name up on youtube. Alyssa Kramer. It was a good start now I am in pre-production on my first film… And I am currently hiring industry professionals. If you want opportunity…CREATE IT YOURSELF. No one else much cares.

    “You have come this far now I am asking you to go a bit further…”
    Andy Dufresne The Shawshank Redemption

  37. Adolph Mondry MD says

    I would like you to review “Highly Connected (to a Zombie Too)”, a screenplay answering the question – what would you do if you discovered that you controlled subconsciously, then esoterically, a universe where zombies roamed free? It was once represented by Jack Scagnetti.

    I published two editorials on high level esoteric scams. I wrote a hundred and fourteen page textbook on esoteric medical rip-offs, a two hundred and thirty page poem and fictional account of life from an esoteric point of view, and a five hundred page novel examining esoteric power and control along with its consequences throughout history (especially in the Middle East). I used all of this experience to craft this masterpiece along with our kids’ obsession with zombies.

    I am a physician and a self-taught mathematician, physicist, and engineer. I own a software company. I am an energy and medical advisor to the White House.

  38. Janet LynnCarey says

    I have written a few screenplays and I am working on a novel. I work in movies and television as a stand in and actress and still can not find one producer to even read my synopsis let alone my script. If you are not already in the system then you do not exist. If I could just get one real producer from a real company to read one of my scripts. And if they told me to not quit my day job I would just quit writing them. I just want the chance to find out! If I ever do get something out of my work, I will try to help other writers by starting a real script reading company.

  39. Jamie A. says

    Though I agree with Jason, I don’t think agents are that stupid to not even bother having their assistants read ten pages of your script, if that is what they ask for first which is reasonable. It’s bad business not to make an attempt to seek material outside represented writers. What if they find a script that’s extremely solid? It happens all the time, every year in fact. It doesn’t happen in spades, true, but that’s because there aren’t many great scripts to begin with. That’s why it’s so important for great scripts to have great queries. And more often than not if you can’t write a great query, chances are you can’t write a great script.

  40. Surya Bhardwaj says

    I am a professional script writer and screen play writer. Please: Bollywood directors and producers, contact me. Thanks!

  41. says

    I am working to create a video that outlines my manifesto and provides actionable tips on how to accomplish this. Including – How to set a budget and build a mini movie studio so you can get your screenplays produced, seen and sold. In the meantime, you might want to check out my book:

  42. says

    You mention making an income stream producing cheap films for alternative outlets. How does one make money doing that and what are the economics? Is there a maximum budget one should never exceed?

  43. james says

    I got a lot out of this. I believe in thinking outside the box and trying every possible option to reach your goal. Granted i am new to the world of screenwriting. I still venture into this world with my eyes open.

  44. says

    I’m a novelist and screenwriter. From what I learned, it’s the entry level college kids and unpaid interns who read the scripts. It was very difficult getting my novel published, but from what I’ve seen, it’s even harder to get a script sold because you have to be part of the club. Whereas in the publishing industry, they want new authors to sell books. I actually decided to go the indie route and submit my short films to film fests here in LA to make a name for myself before casting my precious scripts into the abyss where my only hope at getting picked up is some exhausted unpaid intern. It’s close to impossible to get in here. I say, try every route possible.

  45. Paul says

    This was completely unhelpful. I already knew I could film things, and I didn’t need to read your 5-paragraph essay to tell me I need to write a horror comedy. Rename this article or offer more than one route. There is never only one route.

  46. Renee says

    I am married into a family that have some pretty well known celebrity friends. My co-worker thinks I should tell them about a script he has written. I tried to explain that it doesn’t work that way. I cannot strike up a conversation and say “by the way a co-worker of mine has a script he would like you to read or past on to your agent. These celebrities are not my friends , I also explained that my husband father who are very close to these celebrities , they visit him all the time at his house, would have stacks of scripts on his counter from people. I think the scripts sat there because it may have inappropriate for even him to do give his friends scripts. And these guys are really his best friends.

  47. Doug says

    I have an MBA. I would like to think with a little logic. Scripts written for the screen are 120 pages. How many pages does it take an agent to realize he or she is reading a good script (25)…Maybe? To say a script goes unread is laughable and insulting to the craft. How long does it take a person to read One Act of a script? If what they say is true: **** A script is unprofessional, not polished, and does not grab the audience….a reader should no this within about twenty minutes?**** If agents or those seeking new talent do not have twenty minutes to spend, it may explain such movies as the new road movie of a family of drug runners in an RV. I have written 5 scripts, each in a different genre. I suggest this be a good start for a budding screen writer. It has allowed me to see scenes in ways I never thought possible when I started with a basic action movie(with albeit forgettable characters). I am currently on the second act of an animation script, and thoroughly enjoying the characters and the movie script. I have written novels, short stories, poetry–all for the love of writing. I have about 20 published newspaper editorials and 5 columns to my credit. I figure the worst I can be is my generations Poe, whose talent remains hidden until I die or a memorable political activist like Mark Twain.

    {I did care enough to polish this entry LOL)

  48. Doug says

    I have an MBA,. I would like to think with a little logic. Scripts written for the screen are 120 pages. How many pages does it take an agent to realize he or she is reading a good script (25)…Maybe? To say a script goes unread is laughable and insulting to the craft. How long does it take a person to read One Act of a script? If what they say is true: **** A script is unprofessional, not polished, and doesn’t grab the audience; shouldn’t a reader no this within twenty minutes?**** If agents or those seeking new talent do not have twenty minutes to spend, it may explain such movies as the new road movie of a family of drug runners in an RV. I have written 5 scripts, each in a different genres. I suggest this be a good start for a budding screen writer. It has allowed me to see scenes in ways I never thought possible when I started with a basic action movie(with forgettable characters). I am currently on the second act of an animation script, and thoroughly enjoying the characters and the movie script. I have written novels, short stories, poetry–all for the love of writing. I have about 20 published newspaper editorials, and 5 columns to my credit. I figure the worst I can be is my generations Poe, whose talent remains hidden until I die or a memorable political activist like Mark Twain.

  49. says

    Good points. I’d also mention that many filmmakers make a sold income stream by putting out cheaply produced movies online, via platforms like iTunes, Amazon and Hulu.

  50. says

    A few points. First, when was the last time you went to see a film that was made by some guy with a digital camera and his friends. 10 million dollars is considered a low budget. And that’s not including promoting/distributing it. You’re probably better off making a bunch of short YouTube videos and hope one goes viral and a production company gives you a job. At least you’ll be making money doing what you enjoy.
    Second thing, even if you know people in the industry, everything has to go through the system. Which means you will need an agent. Example: I know the head of one of the largest cable networks. He refuses to even listen to any of my ideas and won’t allow me to use his name when submitting material. If the network has anything even close to my idea in the works and he’s listened to my pitch, the lawsuits will probably cost him his job. As you can see by some of the junk that is being put out, Hollywood makes plenty of money recycling old shows, or over promoting bad ones from established writers.
    Also look at some other facts. If Spielberg’s child had some crappy script, and some kid from Iowa had an awesome script, which one do you think will end up a blockbuster film?
    If you enjoy writing, do it. And do it a lot . And get your lottery ticket every week. That way you’ll at least double your chances of getting rich!

  51. robert defrank says

    I have many good ideas; one finished script, and about 7 scripts i’m working on, Quite frankly much of the stuff Hollywood producs is drivel. But I know that for an unknown living in NJ it is very difficult to get a script sold, but I will continue to achieve this goal. What do you think about INKTIP?

  52. says

    I agree with Pat. I am also a published author but getting there was, I’d say, a bit ridiculous. I think the same should hold for publishing companies. If someone paid me a considerable amount to just ‘read’ a copy of an unknown script, I would have a new and enjoyable job. With screenplays, you can’t tell me that Hollywood can’t simply hire 1,000 students from the local college to read and critique each submission and get paid $100 per hour doing it!! If the script gets a high enough evaluation, then it could be passed around for a second look and eventually make its way to someone of importance. Hollywood would probably find scripts left and right and produce much better material then some of the crap that is produced today.

  53. says

    My understanding is that screenplays, from unknowns, seldom get read because time is money. That being the case, how about offering an agent a fair market rate to read the damn thing? Say, about $100 an hour? If the average screenplay is no more than 120 minutes, that’d come out to $200, or about $100 an hour, give or take. That should make any agent happy, especially if he or she is having an off day and needs lunch money to wine and dine a producer or a director. Sounds like a winning idea to me. But who the hell am I? I’ve only been writing for fifteen or twenty years and still can’t get an agent to respond to my query letters, let alone get a screenplay read. I would doubt my ability, except that I have published a novel and am generally considered a pretty good writer. If you hear of anybody who needs lunch money and has enough integrity for an honest exchange, let me know.

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