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How to sell my screenplay?

I was wondering how to come about on selling my screenplays!? I have at least seven of them & all they are doing is collecting dust. Few people have read my work and thought it was very good, but I don't know how to market or get my work out there. ANY suggestions/advice/thoughts/ would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

In addition- what are the changes of my screenplay becoming a movie? How much say do I get in the production? Food for thought..

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  • 8 years ago
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    Okay, how about an answer from somebody who has actually optioned a script and had a few things made.

    What are your chances? Well somewhere between 100% and zero. As the saying goes, many are called, few are chosen. The reason for that is most people can't write for beans. This doesn't mean that you can't get produced if you can't write but it does make it harder.

    However there are things you can do to improve your chances.

    1.) Go to film festivals.

    Film is an industry of personal contacts. People like to put a face to a name. They want to know you're part of the community, so to speak. A faceless email or fax query will not gain you that sort of attention. you need to get out there and meet with film makers. They tend to hang around film festivals. See a few films, hang around for the Q&A sessions and then head over to the bar afterwards to schmooze. Buy a couple of rounds and talk film. Don't mention that you're a screenwriter until asked, what you do. If they go so far as to ask you what you write, be precise and be short about it. Have those loglines on the tip of your brain and practice saying them until they roll off of your tongue like butter. They may even ask to see a script, be cool about it, like it's no big deal.

    2.) Make a short film.

    The even better way of getting noticed is to make a short film and enter it into the film festival you're going to be attending. This will get you a presenter badge, which sends a subtle, "I'm one of you," message to the other more successful film makers in attendance. Also, any agent, manager or producer will watch a short over reading a script. This gives you a pole vault over the reader's pile.

    3.) Know a guy who knows a guy who owes you a favor.

    Remember, personal contacts. I won't read anything that doesn't come to me through somebody I know. I won't work with anybody who isn't vouched for by someone I know. This might sound harsh but life is short and you don't need those levels of stress in it.

    4.) Writing is rewriting.

    Be open and not precious with your words. A script is a collaboration and you are the furthest point from production. I can tell you that if something does get produced, you will not recognize it by the time it gets to screen. It will literally feel like it was written by somebody else.

    As far as production goes.

    You get some input as to the finished product but it really depends on your relationship with the director and what the producer wants in the end. It also depends on if your Director is good or just an idiot with no original ideas in his head. A crazy producer can also sink a film as can terrible acting.

    My advise is grit your teeth, cash the check and write something else. It's not like you're curing Cancer.

    Source(s): I'm a produced screenwriter with feature film and TV credits. I also produce.
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