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Dan asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 2 months ago

Where are the best places for a beginning screenwriter to send their scripts to?

3 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Copyright your stuff before sending anything.

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    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Start with this: If you wrote an original work of creative authorship anywhere in the USA, it was already copyrighted from the moment you wrote the first paragraph. Registration is completely optional, in the USA, unless you're a US author and want to sue for infringement in a US court.

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  • 2 months ago

    Sorry, Dan, but you're WAY off. That's not how these things work. No one is interested in a beginner's screenplay - periord. It's a waste of time.

    You don't just write a screenplay and find a producer to spend TONS of money on an unknown's material, if that's what you have in mind. That doesn't happen. In short, you'd need to pursue a screenwriting career first. Then MAYBE something like that will happen. If it were that easy, every other person would do it. The long answer (aka the reality check):First, the simple fact is "just" getting a screenplay sold is rare in today's market, let alone getting it made, and ESPECIALLY getting it all the way through to theaters. And it’s only getting harder. It's even difficult for experienced professional writers. You're an unknown, unrepped, inexperienced random person. And so, there's no reason for a big studio (which is what you're basically asking about) to risk millions of dollars, hundreds of jobs, and months or years of their time for you. Would you? This is a BUSINESS, not a service.With that established, you'd need to earn that opportunity. One screenplay written out is far from enough. For starters, first screenplays suck. That's just how it almost always is. You'd need to write a few more and master the craft AND the business side of it (which you clearly haven't done, otherwise you would know all of that). It takes a few screenplays to write and dozens of screenplays to read, and a lot of feedback and rewriting to develop the skills, instincts, and knowledge.This is the first step – and it can take 4 years (if you work so very hard, every single day), or it can take 20 years. However, the vast majority never complete this step. That’s the sad truth. This is a tough craft.Secondly, potential managers/agents and producers are going to want to see what else you’ve written, a)to know you’re not a 1-trick pony, b)to see that you’re serious and professional, c)in case a producer likes your voice but the material you showed them is not quite for them for whatever reason, but another one is, or they might wanna hire you for an assignment (I’ll get to that in a few) so they need to make sure they're hiring the right person for the job. If you happen to get lucky and land a rep off of 1 professional screenplay, you will not know what to do when a writing gig comes along... which means you'll lose this opportunity to get ahead and make connections. So going out there with 1 screenplay under your belt is a waste of time, even if it is professional. All it does is burn bridges - you only have one chance to impress.Say you’ve completed the first step, with at least 3-5 strong and professional specs in your portfolio (excluding your first ones – those were just practice!) you’d need to land representation. Because serious places do not accept unsolicited submissions, so managers and agents are the gatekeepers. They open doors for you, doors you can't open yourself at the moment. But that’s the tricky part... Because agencies and many management companies do not accept unsolicited submissions either... Therefore, just getting your material read is not easy, and landing representation may take years, if it happens at all. During this time you'll need to continue writing more and more screenplays.Once you really are ready, the best way to get representation is using referrals, from connections (in order to get read and considered). Actually, you can’t do anything in this business without connections. You'll NEED them. So network, network, network. If you live in L.A. it should be easier. If you don't, it’s going to be 10 times harder to do anything with your material – assuming you can at least make it to meetings in L.A. If you can’t, your chances are close to 0. People need to meet with you and know you and your work before they invest their money and time.If you don’t have connections or don’t live in L.A., try winning or placing high in a major competition (there are only 3-4 of those out there). If you do well in those, reps and producers might come to you (to read your stuff and consider it and you). You could also try cold-querying, but that rarely works. Because if you’re not a proven writer or have someone to recommend on you to someone they know, you’re considered a waste of time, as 99% of the submissions those places get - and their writers - are far from ready. That's actually the number 1 mistake aspiring writers make - they go out there way too soon.Point is, you need to find a way in. You need to earn it - somehow.But understand that being a good writer and mastering the craft is not enough. You need to be part businessperson and learn the business side of it, as the two go hand-in-hand. Otherwise it will show in your screenplays. And also when (if, actually) you get the opportunity to pitch. Because you don’t just pitch either. Pitching is a whole craft by itself, a tough one. You need to know what you’re doing.To make this harder, reps today want to see more than a few screenplays. They want people who can DO more and have more to offer. After all, they make money when you make money. So produce your own indies, write and produce stage plays, write for a magazine, publish a book... Anything along those lines should increase your chances of landing representation and therefore pitch and sell.Next. Say you’ve landed a (manager, hopefully, as a newcomer), now the REAL hard work begins. Because so far you’ve been writing for yourself and in your own time and pace. Now you need to continue writing your own material but you also need to do writing assignments, which are done under deadlines and are followed by notes from the producers. What are assignments? Well, here’s the thing… Unless you're extremely lucky your screenplays will serve as writing samples - and nothing else. As opposed to the common misconception, most of the time their job is to sell YOU, the writer, not themselves. They're your calling cards. They showcase your talent, (professional) skills, knowledge of the craft and of the biz, and your personal style and voice (the last one is extremely important! That's what gets you hired!) in order to land writing gigs, as well as representation. The harsh truth is, screenwriters don't usually sell and make their stuff made, but do assignments (for example: rewriting someone else's script for a producer, or writing a screenplay for them from scratch, or even punching up lines) while writing more of their own material to try and sell, or they get staffed on TV shows. This is done so the writer can gain experience, and therefore trust. It also helps making more connections.There's also this thing called "option." An option is an agreement between a potential buyer (producer) and the writer. Basically, the writer sells the rights to their material temporarily. This gives the producer time to either find funding or decide whether or not they're going to buy the script by the end of it. During this time, the writer cannot shop the script elsewhere. The agreement "saves" the script so it's not available to others to buy or option. Most of the time, the option ends with no purchase. So it's more likely you will end up optioning one of your future screenplays but not sell. Again, selling is far from easy.The more experience (and connections! And prior success!) you have, the better your chances to pitch and sell at some point. I’m not even talking about getting your movie made or taken to theaters, because that’s a whole other level of hard… But that’s why I said you’d need to pursue a screenwriting career – NOT to see your ideas made into movies but because you love and need to write screenplays.IF you're lucky enough to get as far as selling your screenplay, understand that most likely you will get fired from this point and new writer or writers will be hired to rewrite "your" screenplay. As a result, "your" screenplay may be rewritten beyond recognition. In fact, you're barely in the picture from the moment you sell; you don't make any decisions, let alone visit the set, etc. It's NOT *your* movie and nobody's doing it for you. Also understand that if you sell your screenplay and you stay around, you will need to work along with the producer and take their notes for more rewrites. This is a very frustrating place to be in and much more complex than I'm painting it here... There's much more to it, but I'll leave it at that. Just know that making a movie, especially from a spec, is nothing like you're picturing it.Ask yourself if you’re willing and capable of working your *** off every day for the next 10-20 years (or less if you’re EXTREMELY lucky) just for this little chance. If you are, you need to get serious. That's in a nutshell. It's the same answer I copy-pasted from my own answer to similar questions, just so maybe you would grasp what you're dealing with here. I'm a professional screenwriter, Dan, I know this stuff. If you don't believe me, do your own research... Not that you will. We both know you're not cut out for this type of goal. If you won't research this yourself and choose to ignore this reality check, reality itself will slap you in the face. Oh, and by the way, as usual the best answer you (already) chose is bullshit. Good luck wasting your time! 

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      tl;dr  someone needs a hobby

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  • 2 months ago

    Not sure but be careful that you don't give away your work and have it stolen

    • Something Blue
      Lv 6
      2 months agoReport

      No serious company accepts unsolicited submissions to begin with. They legally can't even open his to read. Dan, for more info on this, research. That's just the gist of it. 

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