So you’re a writer who has an excellent script for the next big TV show or movie. Not an idea but a worked out written piece of art. Now you’re ready for the next step, which is your screenplay read. Read by someone who can move the needle. That can advise you, on the pitfalls in your script and connecting you with financiers. This issue is more of a challenge than writing it. Trust me.
How do I get my Screenplay Read by producers and agents? You can get your screenplay read by these people in three ways networking, screenplay competitions, and Online script submission platforms.
Now you know the answer the next question is where and how to do this? We’ve got the answer for you below.
I’ve laid it out the most effective ways to get your script not only read but produced. With networking being the hardest to the idiot proof way
Quintin Tarantino, one of my favorite writer success stories, got his start through networking. He passed his script to someone who gave it to someone else who knew Harvey Keitel. One thing to note the text was Reservoir Dogs. In other words, your writing has to be dynamite for this to work. You should have already had a couple of script readers go through it and find all the kinks. If not you will look like an amateur.
Places to N
Don’t go to screenwriter network events. These places are full of screenwriters looking to pitch screenplays. I’ve heard a tale by a former agent that they stopped going to those things after his first six months as a new agent. Most investors look where no one else is watching — the most undervalued places. So you should go to events for directors, actors, and producers instead.
A quick google search will find you the right circles of these people.
Think by going to these events you will stand out from the crowd and you won’t be in direct competition with any other writers. People there will be interested in what you have to say seeing as there are always people looking for suitable material.
Go to Film Festivals
- Cannes film festival
- Toronto International Film Festival
- Sundance Film Festival
- Tribeca film festival
Film festivals are some of the most significant networking events in the world with thousands of companies promoting and selling their films. Don’t be shy just try.
Finding a literary agent is one of the best ways to get your script in the right hands. The great news is they are work like salespeople meaning you get paid if they do. 10% is the fee for them selling your work. The best ones just like casting agents have a Rolodex full of the right people meaning producers and directors.
The bad news is they are hard to get. You have to be one exceptional writer for an agent to contact you. They have to see dollar signs. The only way to do this is to have a killer script.
They tend to be more offhand leaving you to your own devices so it almost seems as if your partner with a ghost which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you prefer to work.
Submit to Screenplay Competitions
The contest is a great place to not only show off your work but to connect with the right people to get a sale. There are only three things that make a contest worth entering. I listed them below.
Remember I have a list of all the best competition you should consider entering in a previous blog post here.
By far the most popular place is the Nicholl Fellowship run by the academy themselves. Not just for any reason, it’s because of the networking potential associated with winning. Take a look at the committee, its filled with industry professionals who have all had there shine or continue to shine in Hollywood. All well-connected people that all agree your writing is worth reading.
Most if not all the writers who participated in the winning have gone on to make feature-length films, Novels, TV writers and directors.
This article is about getting your script in the right hands, but the prize money is one of the reasons to enter a competition and one of the qualifications of a good one. The Nicholl contest is a fellowship meaning they will pay you to write. $35,000 to be exact.
If you don’t win, you can still get feedback. Feedback will let you know why your script isn’t up to par. Giving you an insight on fixing your flaws as a writer. I’ve seen writers re-enter a screenplay to the same competition making it better and better as time goes one.
Use the script notes and make adjustments to perfect your writing. This way will make your script even more enticing to producers.
These are the top ways to get your script ready by producer actors and agents with the cheapest way being pay to play sites and the hardest method being networking events.
What I’ve noticed is all of the methods listed can give you the clout to get to the next stage which is getting signed by an agent. Agents though not necessary give you the confidence knowing that someone with connections to these producers believes in your work so much they are willing to work for free.