Writers Wanted! MovieBytes is looking for articles. Call for Submissions
I took Honorable Mention in this in 1997. I didn't go but I know someone who went LAST year. He said the 'meetings' were actually groups of winnners and attendees who sat around and talked about different topics -intimate gatherings where you could form some relationships withother writers and some wannabe filmmakers. He had a good time but said it's not like Cinestory or SellingTo Hollywood. So I guess it depends on what you're looking for.
Do you have a PERSONAL attorney? You can always try calling ICON and asking them if they'd accept your script through an attorney. You don't have to mention he's not an entertainment attorney and if you don't live in LA, even better.
I did this for over a year. Cost me $45 each time but when one has no other choice...
Just so you know - the reason agents often say no is because they don't have time to read your script NOW - and you want it sent NOW. You might write an great query letter and your script *might* not live up to it. They're not about to put their name and reputation out there sending bad scripts to MAJOR players in the production realm.
(forgive me if you've seen this before, I THOUGHT I posted this last week but...guess not)
I need to know what one does when writing a screenplay that involves music (lyrics and tune). I have two projects I am working out -both for which I will be (attempting) writing the songs, or at least the main lyrics and base tune.
Do I copyright each individual song? So I copyright all the songs toegther but still separately from the script?
And what about the script? Do I write out all the lyrics on the page where the character starts to sing, or include them in the back like reference materials and just refer to them as: Susan starts to sing "Song Name"?
I'd really appreciate any feedback from those who know about this sort of thing.
To BM Cox and Tracy:
Thanks so much for your help. What I want to do is write ONE main song for each screenplay that hopefully will become the theme song. It will be played as part of a performance during the screenplay in its entirety. The other songs would be played perhaps as background music.
I agree with Tracy that the main focus should be the story, not the music. But trying to break into the mainstream movie business seems doomed, so I was thinking the indie route might be better for one, if not both these projects. I was hoping that having music already available for a screenplay that involves music might give it an advantage.
THANKS again for your help!
Let me play devil's advocate here for a second....
Does anyone know any real details of this competition? In what appears to be an almost weekly onslaught of people asking for scripts accompanied by checks for anywhere from $35-$75 these contests are becoming more and more prevelant and their 'worth' less and less.
Of course the main ones like Disney, Nicholl's, Chesterfield and Cinestory are still legit, but I'm beginning to wonder about some of these 'new ones'.
This newest contest states that for $40 you MIGHT get selected as a winner for which these people will show your work to a few industry executives. These "industry professionals" are unnamed and could be anyone. Let's say they get 300 scripts which translates into TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS! For that money you could easily select three winners, and PAY to have their work submitted to any one of the industry professionals listed in the back of every screenwriting magazine out there. Who would know?
yeah, yeah, there's those 'costs' in running a contest, but any creative exec, agent, or development person will tell you that if the script doesn't grab them in the first 20-30 pages it's doubtful they read on.
Maybe I'm just having a bad day but it infuriates me when I see contest after contest trying to take money from writers and giving them almost nothing in return.
Four months sounds like a long time for them to not at least ackowledge your emails.
If you have a phone number for them try calling them. Perhaps someone has a HCD and can help with a number if you don't.
I submitted a script to Apostle last year in early spring and got a 'pass' letter - but I did get a reply.
Well! That was quite a story!
Doesn't it seem a little odd that you're hiding yourself and your fmaily but you allow access through email which I'm such some hacker could easily track this guy back to..?
Mr. Schulte, if you're reading this, my suggestion would be to go to the newspapers with your story. IF everything you said on your post (which I think us screenwriters are confused as to its purpose) I'm sure a crime reporter might be interested. If not in Nevada there's always the LA Times and the NY Times.
Please don't attach anything to this site. It's a screenwriters' site, for advice and help. Don't take this wrong, but I, personally, have so little time to scan boards for the 'useful' information I certainly don't want to read your life story in between.
If you want to 'pitch' your idea for a "True Crime Drama" there's other sites on this board as well as other internet sites to do so.
Has anyone ever used/pitched a project to the Access Hollywood site at: www.accesstohollywood.com site? Or dealth with its princiapls, Lynda Johnson and Murray Cohen?
I, for one, tank you for posting your success story. regardless of whether you make it all the way to a slae and production, it's nice to hear that someone who posted a script search connected with one of us writers.
While I understand you not wanting to share specifics with respect to money, I do think it's helpful to other writers to know whether there was or wasn't option money, how long your option is, and the 'general' terms of the option (whether you have to do a rewrite for free, etc.) Posts like that help the rest of us determine how REAL deals are made and kept and educate us on what one can expect. Also, 'perks' are nice.
I'd be interested in how long it took from when you submitted to them until you learned they wanted an option; if you did this on your own or with your agent's assistance (helpful info to those with or without agents).
Also, the script itself - I'm sure other writers would be interested in how many rewrites it took to get to its current version (for those who don't believe writing is rewriting); had it placed in any competitions, how long had you been trying to garnish interest in it.
And since I do NOT live in LA, I'd be inetrested in knowing if you do... is there hope for those far and away?! ;)
So PLEASE DON'T stop posting and letting us know about your successes - we're all struggling in the same maze and it's always wonderful to hear when someone 'takes a step forward'.
CONGRATULATIONS!!! MUCH MUCH SUCCESS!
Doe anyone have the hyperlink for the Zoetrope site? I might be interested in doing this.
I'd be willing to read and critique four scripts in order to get at least that many reviews of my script.
Also, can you download the scripts to read at your own leisure or do you have to read and critique them while on line?
Thanks for help and info.
I have AOL and want to investigate and participate the Zoetrope site.
What have other AOL users done to access and download scripts to review and critique? Can you download Acrobat Reader and will it work with AOL?
Can you share some background - was it your first script, how many rewrites did it take you to get inot the version that won, etc.?
There's another site that takes email submissions - Jeff Schechter (I probably have it spelled wrong).
With him you actually get a response which INCLUDES your pitch to him so it's nice and neat and printable. Every once in awhile he adds a P.S. and notes something. I wuld recommend him becuase he's quick and he's honest in his feedback.
I think these pitching sites are good when you're not sure you want to invest 4-8 months of research and time writing 120 pages only to find out there's already a script like yours in development somewhere or that those in 'the know' don't care too much for it. [Once at a seminar I attended this guy had his first ten pages critiqued - it was about the unraveling stressful day in the airplne towers - only to be told the movie Pushing Tin (which comes out this year) was in development. Poor guy looked like he was going to cry! Especially since his first ten pages were wonderful!]
Personally, I would be more concerned with being ripped off by someone trolling the 'screenplay post' sites. Think about it - an entire idea sitting there begging to be stolen. An unscrupulous person could easily find his/her next idea there.
Couple of ideas spring to mind:
It used to be the Disney Fellowship program allowed submissions as long as they were at least 32 pages long. You might try that - if you win you would be winning a job for a year which might open a lot of other doors for you.
I'm not sure if you have an agent, but if so, you might have him/her submit the script to the X-Files, or the new Strange World as an episode idea (if doing so would apply).
A lot of shorts are also produced for festival entries. You could try seaqrching the interent for indie film sites (www.indie.com I believe is the biggest one) that might connect you to producers and directors in need of material.
Or, if you live in a major city, see if the college offers filmmaking. Send a letter to the instructor offering to allow one or two of the students to produce your short. Then you'd have two mediums of your work - written and visual.
Lisa Santos said if you have an agent your submissions should come through your agent and NO, there is no need for release form for agent aubmissions.
I always thought dialogue was no longer than 3" in width. Recently, however, I read a script in which the dialogue was 4" wide. When I mentioned this she said she uses a screenwriting software and that's how the dialogue comes out.
I use Word97 and styles to write my scripts.
My question: for those who use screnwriting software -
what do you use and how wide does your dialogue format itself?
I have a semi-heavy script (129 pages) and if I thought I could widen my dialogue to 3.75-4" I'm sure I'd save a few pages, especially if it meant I could somehow get under that magical "max 120 page"!!
oh my... my "process" is nothing like that at all!
First - I have to have the spark of an idea - I see somehting or dream something, etc.
I like t have a working title and I'm lucky in that I almost always can come up with a title right away (even though once in awhile it changes)
I decide whether it's a stage play or screenplay (I write both)
I write down all those rushes of thoughts that come to me, in some sort of order. See, sometimes it's the middle or the end that comes to me so I have to figure out how it begins. It's these 'rushes' that almost always end up in the script.
Then I figure out what to name all the important characters. Naming is a big thing to me. I want the name and 'character' to fit.
After I mull around with it in my head (a sort of mental outline) for a few days, 'writing' my best scenes in my head while driving to work (isn't that always how it goes?!) I write down all the scenes I want to include.
And all those 'scenes' stay on the last page of my screen until they are either used or discarded. As they are used they get deleted. That way I don't forget - so I guess in some ways that might be equal to your 3x5 card process.
For drama, which usually requires some research, I have to go do that research. This can often change some of what I planned to write, often giving me other options.
For romantic comedy I just plow through until I have a first draft. Doesn't mean I don't go back and change something as I'm going, but not to the extent that I'd call it a rewrite.
my two cents:
I have an agent, a WGA signatory. They DO read my work and they DO critique and they DO give me feedback. My first script, which got them to agent me, needed only a few tweaks. Since then I've written scripts they aren't happy with and won't 'push' until they are. It's THEIR reputation on the line, too. As frustrating as this can be sometimes, in the long run it's really the most beneficial way, since they push to have you write better and you know they will be behind your work 110% when they do go out to sell it.
Personally, reading this thread, I would stay away form this agency. If they won't give you any idea what their accomplishments have been in 50 YEARS then you can pretty well imagine whatever success they've had can be counted on one hand.
There ARE other agencies out there, and yes it is a VERY hard thing to get an agent (sort of like that first job syndrome) but it isn't worth having a cloud over your head wondering about your agent with all the other stresses writers have to worry about.
My advice: look elsewhere until you find someone who is honest, forthcoming and willing to work with you and for you and, even if they don't have any successes yet, have a plan of attack.
I believe the article you're referring to is on this site - listed under news articles. Probably about two weeks back.
Jeffrey Foy is an entertainment attorney who also reps scripts to the studios.
He was looking to add two writers to his stable and was soliciting work (loglines via email) about 2-3 weeks ago.
The deadline fast approaches for the Disney Fellowship..
Just interested - has anyone who visits this board ever come close to winning? Or known a writer who did?
Does anyone know of any articles or publicity about those that HAVE become winners in the past?
Can you clarify what exactly that means? They chose ten people to work at Disney... for a year.
Does that mean you were chosen?
Are there divisions people win in?
Perhaps the answer lies between the two things -
Personally, I have always found advice from other writers to be extremely helpful. I realize none of these people are 'professional' readers but they ARE movie goers and know what they like in a story. They've been around struggling long enough, and pushing themselves to be better writers, too.
I've found that other writers often see things that are obvious but I missed it because I was too close to the work; or they find something missing that I 'knew" but didn't make clear to the reader/audience.
All very positive things to have BEFORE sending on to a reader, analyst, contest, and/or production comany for review.
And I try to be just as helpful in my critiques of other writers' work. I try and imagine I AM a professional reader and it's my job to determine whether the script at hand would be production worthy-and if not, why not.
So, while analysts and readers might have their place, and while I'm not adverse to someone using them (I don't use them, by the way) I thnk they should seek out help and advice from their own circle of writing friends before spending their money for advice.
I "spoke" with Mr. Cody via email. He is looking for a script based on a stage play because it will be more dialogue intensive and already have somewhat of a track record.
Also, a stage play, by its nature, tends to have limited sets which can help to reduce the budget and focus more on the characters and dialogue.
Has anyone out there placed as a finalist or won one of the top prizes in one of the competitions and actually been SIGNED with a WGA agency, or had their script optioned for $$ with a production company?
Other than Disney and Nicholl, which were NOT reviewed in the Creative Screenwriting Magazine article (March/April issue) I'm beginning to think the majority of these competitions goal is to make the operators' bank accounts bigger but in the end, even the 'winners' aren't actually winning anything.
Her production company is called
FLOWER FILMS 9220 Sunset Blvd #309 Los Angeles, CA 90069
*I spoke with the company the other day because I had read they were looking for projects Drew could not only star in but also produce. I can tell you that unless you have agency representation they will not take ANY unsolicited material. And even if you DO have an agent they are so behind in scripts they are only taking agent-submitted synopses.
Does ayone belong to either of these organizations? Memberships are about $60-$65 a year -was wondering if they really give you information you can't find for free elsewhere.
Along with the thread previously about moving to LA, has anyone out there done it?
On a temporary basis or permenant basis?
I'd be interested in hearing tales of those who have attempted this; whether successfully or unsuccesssfully.
Did anyone respond to their ad and send in their work?
Was wondering what the responses were like?
Paul - did you move because you already had commitments made for your work; a job already waiting, or on hope and a prayer?
I wish you GREAT luck and hope all your dreams come true.
Send me an email every now and then and let me know ow it's going: DMVBlondie@aol.com
Has anyone had any dealings or answerd their post for script on Hollywood Lit Sales Board?
I need to get some information on the probation process for a script I'm writing - is anyone out there a probabtion officer as their 'day job' or know someone who is?
Can post here or email directly: DMVBlondie@aol.com
Has anyone read of or seen a review of this new book? Written by Tom McLaughlin.
Re: Destination Films
If you are an AOL member, as I am, and list "screenwriter" in your profile you would also have been contacted directly by this company.
This was the info I got from my questions:
Alexis Hanawalt is an intern looking for scripts he can pass along to those above him at the company. Destination is looking for EXCELLENT stories in almost any genre that can be produced from $1M- $4M budget. Will also accept family films.
Interested writers should submit their script's name, genre and logline and a VERY BRIEF synopsis via email. If they areinterested they will let you know. He is very swamped now so response may take a few days. I received a positive reply to send my script; I don't know if Alexis will reply is he dos NOT like your proposed script.
Alexis Hannawalt: Cinewalt@aol.com
Hope this helps. Good luck!
Does anyone know what the minimums currently are for TV MOW's, Cable movies and theatrical features?
I do believe you ARE being a bitparanoid. If Gary made suggestions that your story required formatting and grammer corrections, I am certain he was trying to HELP you.
Why would he offeryoua deal on a script that wasn't even fomratted correctly - if he pursued it with a studio or prodco HE would look foolish.
I submitted a script to Mr. Rubin and received back some very interesting comments. While I did not agree with some of them, others made sense and made me reconsider some things in my script. This makes my writing better - to me, regardless of whether he takes the script on, I consider him one more person who HELPED me.
If you feel the way you do, perhaps you should simply not try to do business with the man.
These companies are all on the "Producers" listing.
I figure they received a LOT of queries from people on this site.
Most of these listings have been on at least several months.
So..... does anyone have any good news to share? Or bad news?
It might be helpful to 'new' people visiting the site to know.
Credits per the recent HCD:
Kingpin Beverly Hills Ninja Dumb and Dumber
They produce motion pictures as well as direct-to-video movies.
I agree with Bonnie - send out your info in a letter. Faxing might be okay but I might suggest you CALL on the phone first and see if they would be adverse to receiving a fax. A letter might be better, but in the interest of time and seeing as you're located in Canada, the lost time in the mail service might be detrimental if your partner is coming to the USA soon.
I also think you shuld have an attachment which lists just the loglines of your scripts. I would NOT indicate your sitcom idea but mention you have one.
Agents and Managers are very busy - but those loglines must just entice them enough to not toss your fax/letter and instead email you back or call you and invite you to submit.
One other thing - when I query I often suggest that I can send them "A full page synopsis, first ten pages, or the entire script" - this way they choose what they're willing to give their time to.
Hope it helps!
Well, I hope everyone is happy they got all their ranting and raving out of the way. Does it make you all feel better to SLAM someone else?
Gary is just trying to HELP - did he EVER promise any one of you that he would read your script and pass it on to someone. Doubtful, but he did say he would read it and give you some feedback - feedback, that like everything else in life, is subject to interpertation.
I think some of you are mean-spirited. Everyone wants the easy raod. This guy offers his help and you SLAM him. Over 16,000 scripts are rgistered a YEAR and how many movies are made -about 80. And how many do you think are by first time wannabe writers? Less than five I would presume.
No one said you had to contact him, send him anything or even make him a friend or contact. What is wrong with you people? These boards are supposed to be about HELPING each other - and being wary of people and agencies that are truly scamming us writers. Gary never promised anyone anythng and yet here you all are putting out all these inuendos about the guy.
Furthermore, since I'm on a roll... how do you think OTHER potential producers or readers looking for work will feel after seeing the treatment you've thrown at this guy - think they'll post a request to see scripts only to have all of you who think you have the next Oscar-winning blockbuster smear them when you send it and instead of getting a six-figure option you get some (probably well-deserved) notes and suggestions.
Give this guy a break - he was trying to HELP you and I don't think anyone should be slammed like he has been when he did NOTHING to harm any of you.
And no, he's not a relative, I've never met him, we're not even friends. But fair is fair.
According to my notes from a seminar a few years back:
22 pages for 1/2 hour shows 45 pages for hour dramas 80-90 for a 2-hour MOW
As an AOL user, I rec'd the following message this AM:
>> Walker Hawk and Associates would like to offer you a discount on our screenplay analysis service. For a limited time you can receive feedback on your work from entertainment industry professionals, for only $80. Walker Hawk and Associates will provide you with a synopsis, in-depth critique, and contribute other individualized information to strengthen your materials and skills. <<
Anyone ever hear of them or use their services?
Susan or Christian~
(or anyone else who attended)
Were you able to get synopses or make short pitches to the panelists? How "accessable" were they REALLY?
Good luck at Warner, Christian!
Is this one new?
If not, have others submitted in the past and what was your 'take' on the contest?
Anyone have any idea how many entries they receive?
I am writing a series of scenes where I want to show the days passing, one by one, by using calendar pages.
This is the way I have it but I'm not sure if it's correct, especially since it refers (sort of) to camera angles.
ON SCREEN: A calendar page for December 23rd tears off and flies away.
ON SCREEN: A calendar page for December 24th tears off and flies away
Anyone have a better idea on how to do this?
thanks to those trying to help.
the dates 'whipping by' was to indicate a quick way to show the days counting down to Christmas as someone is waiting for a phone call each night. In between each 'night' scene, where the character is doing something else, I need to show they are DIFFERENT nights.
any other suggestions?
Just got a letter from a contest (Austin, I think) where they, too, will give you coverage for $85. BUT the script can NOT be entered into their contest next year (a little unfair, don't you think? If you went ELSEWHERE you'd be able to enter it)
There's also a Santa Fe Script contest - you send the first 30 pages, a synopsis which indicates the balance of the script and $45. There are cash prizes for winners as well as posting the winners' first 10 pages.
BUT... for the $45 you are guaranteed at least a one-page critique of your script and notes, made on your script by the reader, if applicable.
Some people have a problem with it being only 30 pages, but I think it's safe to assume if a reader is having extreme difficulty with your first 30 pages, chances are the wouldn't read the rest, anyway, right?
I might consider trying this - cheaper for one thing. Plus you get a critique and still are in the contest.
Also, it might be an interesting way to see if you're on track with a new script - a way to test out if your idea is working and get some feedback before you get a backache pounding out an additional 90 pages!
My son overheard something on a cable station about a movie called NOW AND AGAIN being made with John Goodman. The premise is very close to a script of mine, a drama with some medical experimentation, in it. In John Goodman's case a man is hit by a train and has a brain from someone else transplanted in him.
I'm in the process of rewriting my script, CHEATING DEATH, about the same thing happening, except between two women. After getting lots of great notes and feedback I'm really looking forward to shaping it into something great - BUT - now I'm wondering if someone is already developing a movie along the same theme then what's the use?
I already tried to check under John Goodman and the film's title in imdb. and edweb and inhollywood. No luck.
Anyone out there know anything about this project???
A recent article in Entertainment magazine tends to indicate the movie-making business is truly cutting back.
For instance, instead of paying Brad Pitt $12 million to star in the movie, he was replaced with another actor who 'only' will cost $1 million.
These studio cutbacks will have a 'trickle' effect of hitting everyone on the way down- actors, directors, producers, AND writers. The studios want more for less, quicker and faster. Also, major studios like Sony and Warner and Disney have already stated they will be reducing the number of movies they produce by 40-60%.
The good news, sort of, is there may be an opportunity for writers to have their work looked at as alternatives to paying established writers $250-$1mil for scripts. So, paychecks would be quite a bit smaller but the chances to get your work looked at might increase. (let's all hope!)
Work on those scripts, fellow scribes, and try every opportunity to get people to look at your work. The future may be studios like Miramax, who PURCHASE completed projects by smaller producers as often as they produce/greenlight their own projects. The 'small guy/gal producer/director' of today might have a better opportunity than a major star or production company in getting your script set up now!!!
Wow, I'm impressed!
You make $120,000 a year or more staying home and writing screenplays?
Me, I'd like to kn0w where that job paying 40K to write 'babble' exists - I make less and have to put up with 'babble' -and worse.
And then try to write nights weekends and (very) early mornings.
Congrats on even getting those meetings! Sounds like you're on the way.
Let us know what happens and what you decide to do.
Just curious - what genre is your 'hot' script in?
THANKS!! everyone for the encouragement.
I think I'm going to write it. If nothing else, it could always work as a writing example. When BLACK & BLU looked at it they said even though they were passing they could see I was very talented and hoped I found a home for it. (hopefully someday I will!)
Another thing that mnight help your writing would be the TV scripts on Drew's Script-o-rama. Some are transccripts, some are actual scripts and there are old as well as curent shows listed. May even be some sci-fi.
Actually, I did read half a script from the Zoetrope site several months ago when I thought I might try that route. Problem is I got busy and when I returned to the site the 'judging' area for that script was gone.
The script wasn't bad but it did have problems. As a writer struggling I think I would offer constructive criticisms.
By I sort of agree with PJ - how reliable are the readers and the readers' comments? And how much manipulation can occur?
Let's say I pointed out some flaws in this guy's script. Then I post mine. Who's to say he's the type that thinks he wrote the all-American Oscar-winning script and is p.o'd at me for my comments - so he and his friends SLAM my work just for revenge.
Yeah, perhaps a 'bit' paranoid. But still possible.
The flip side to this is - hey, I post my script and have all MY FRIENDS rave about how wonderful it is!!! If it really ISN'T wonderful think that agency will EVER look at my work again?
I think a lot of agencies and prodcos are so overwhelmed they're looking for the easy way out. Perhaps this method will manage to weed out the really terrible writers and scripts that are 'sludge' to readers and agents.
BUT... if my mini-paranoid scenerio from before occurs, and I get bad feedback, and IF that interconnected, underworld rating system really exists, that ONE agency could put the word out on my script and kill it's ability to be looked at all over town.
My advice would be to only put up a script you think is absolutely perfect -that has already been looked at by other readers/writers you TRUST and KNOW - or possibly only put up 20-50 pages so the quality of your storytelling and story line shows through without giving the whole thing away.
I would scour through a recent issue of the Hollywood Creative Directory and also check the Celuloid Jungle site for those companies who produce the type of work you write (dramas, historical, crime, comedy, fantasy, family fare, etc.)
If you have time, put together a top-notch query letter and mail them out. Entice that person to want to meet with you when you're there. Mention you're coming out to LA, but don't say for a vacation - tell them to promote your script and your writing career and to establish some contacts.
One week before you leave, call them on the phone and ask if they received the letter and might you get five minutes of their time.
Just so you know, while everything LOOKS close on a map of the LA and areas aurrounding, it takes a while to get places so allow yourslef sufficient time to get places. Nothing ruins a first impression like being late. I found this out last year when I went to a conference and hung around a few days afterwards to do what you're doing.
Good luck and let us know how you make out!!
Does anyone know an addres or other contact information to contact Jeffrey Sagansky, the TV Executive? Supposedly he is now involved with PAX TV, a new cable station. Here in my area the station won't be available on cable until after September or next year.
Thanks in advance!
This is what I use as my rule for capitalazation:
1) Characters when they are first introduced 2) Secondary characters, even if introduced as occupation (ex: NURSE, POLICE OFFICER, DOCTOR) and animals, such as DOG, CAT, HORSE, 3) Sounds, such as SLAM, RINGS, SIZZLES, and sounds meant to emphasize a scene (GROANS, GASPS IN FRIGHT, -do not overuse, though) 4) Camera directions, such as CLOSE-UP, but again, use "very very" sparingly. 5) Conversation when the dialogue is screaming, etc. (YIPPEE!, NO!!!, YES!,) 6) Special effects, usually shown as S/F or SX: followed by a 'brief' explanation of the necessary effect.
Hope it helps. As a playwright I can tell you that Capitalizing sounds is done to assist sound managers.
I sent him an email asking for additional details, such as whether or not he had connections in LA, or was brand-spanking new to the industry.
That was a week ago. No reponse yet.
again, thanks for the info. I'm not sure of the source of your info, but just so you know (and others who read this) the fax numbers are actually voice mails, not fax #'s.
I did manage to get one fax sent by pressing SEND after the voice mail ended. Hopefully it actually went through.
For those curious as to the reason behind the post in the first place: PaxTV is a new cable station, available in certain areas now, that will be promoting family-friendly fare. NO violence or sex or 'cable-like' programming.
Anyone have any dealings with an agent or the company in general?
Have they responsed to your query letters, read your script...
ANyone here ever been their client?
Do yourself a favor and spend the time and money to have an ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY look over your option.
They know how the business works- and often know who to avoid working with.
Can anyone tell me what the proper and accepted sequence is for crediting the people involved in a film?
I'm in the process of making a short video and want to get the opening and ending credits and titles correct.
The Moondance Women's Int'l Film Festival is looking for interns to help with a variety of tasks. Marketing, computer work, phone calls, fund-raising, - if you have spare time, we can find a way to utilize it. If you can commit one or more evenings a week, PLEASE let us know!
The Festival will be held in January 2000 (one of the first film festivals of the Millenium!!) in Boulder. Linda Seger, renowned author and script analyst, will be in attendence for the festival.
For information, please email Mermaid7cs@aol.com
Thank you, Elizabeth Moondance Int'l Film Festival
I, too, had an experience with Mr. Ellis but mine was positive and I think I should post it just to balance the scales of what has been said previously.
I sent the first 10 pages and a summary from two scripts to Mr. Ellis via email. (What he does is put the info on a CD and goes through them as he can, and one CD is a lot less cumbersome than a ton of paper).
About a week letter I received some feedback - and some really good suggestions for changes. DEFINATELY worth the time to download those 20 pages. PLUS, he told me he would look at anything else I have in the future.
I am NOT a produced screenwriter, yet I want to be and think I have the talent and story telling ability to some day accomplish that goal. I expect (hope) that others will open their doors to reading my work, even though I do not had any credits yet.
Since I am looking for people to take chances on ME, I have to be willing to take chances on them.
Besides, what could I lose? Will he rip off my idea with just ten pages? Doubtful. Besides, if those first 10 pages were wonderful, he'd be better off to work WITH you to get it somewhere before someone else you queried beat him to it.
If any of you think Stephen Speilberg or Aaron Spelling will post here looking to read your work, then I have a bridge in London to sell you! The people who post here are not huge successes yet - but want to be - JUST LIKE YOU DO.
I, too, am tired of spending my precious time (usually procrastinating from writing) having to read those posts about the script EONS.
Allowing others to know you've had an accomplishment (reading by a big agent or producer, option, production, etc.) is one thing - and as fellow screenwriters we should support each other and be happy that one of us has taken another step forward. It proves success COULD be out there.
This site, I presumed, was for HELPING each other with script problems, agent and producer problems, etc. Not for self promotion. Certainly not the type the EONS guy keeps posting. I find them offensive and childish. If his 'subject' appeared on my incoming email list it would be deleted without ever being opened.
Has anyone heard of or done business with this company? The want to see a script. Can't find any info or credits on them anywhere.
Anyone ever hear of them or have dealings with them? They are WGA affiliated and have no complaints filed but I don't see where the agency has listed as having ANY sales in two years on the Done Deal site.
ANyone know anything about this gentleman or his company?
Has anyone had any experience with this company?
Has anyone had any experience with this company?
Got an email indicating that for $20 plus $4 for each script after that I could get my loglines and scripts in their publication which they are mailing to 2000 prducers, agents and companies.
Sounds too good to be true... so I guess the question is: IS IT too good to be true?
Anyone out there participate in this already and if so, what was the feedback, if any?
I have heard good things about this organization but personally, I would not enter it ever again.
Last year they said ALL submisssions would receive a one-page critique/coverage. NUmerous emails were sent by both myself and otehr asking about when such coverage would be forthcoming. After two months I just gave up. No one ever got an answer. Bt the check I sent did get cashed.
Also, last year they didn't finalize their decisions or post anything for quite some time past their stated deadline, so with respect to that, it's probably the norm.
My apologies to the winners if they are on this list, but I know several women writers who entered this contest whose scripts I read, and can tell you that ANY of them were better than a moive about some guy too stupid to notice his wife-to-be was attached to her cats (pl..ea..see...) and another one about a woman who decides to leave her mob husband and is 'pursued' by three wonderful bachelors. (is there a connection here, would you not think she was being chased by mobsters..?)
Maybe D.G. is right, maybe the majority of these contests are simply about making $$ and not about really helping anyone else.
In fact, every time you look, the list just on this site, of contests gets longer and longer and longer.
You could spend $1000 EASILY entering them all.
My advice-save your $$ and travel to a conference or seminar instead. At least you meet actual people and other writers face to face.
Anyone heard whether Nick chose the interns for NY and CA yet? Supposed to be chosen March/April. Voice mail number on fellowship only lists info about applications, not results.
Anyone else enter this and heard anything yet?
Ah, yes, perhaps I was too quick to judge that which I had not read.
I apologize; I was wrong to say what I did and maybe the cat-husband thing is a wonderful hilarious comedy!
I guess these contests that promise things and do not deliver simply get me angry- and you're right, they do PREY on the hopes and dreams and checking accounts of writers.
Awhile back there was a contest being slammed (I think on this site) - where if there were no winners the contest operators could keep the money- and later it was found the contest was a cover to raise $$ for their own movie!!! I, too, limit myself, mostly Disney, Nicholls, America's Best, etc. For a $35 (and some now are heading past the $60 mark!) entry fee I can buy a roll of stamps and send out 50 letters with SASE, and for what TWO entry fees would cost I can purchase the Spec Screen Sales book and get some really useful info in order to send those letters out!!
Or... save the $$ and attend an actual conference, seminar, pitch weekend and hope to make real-live contacts instead.
Well, I called twice and tried to send an email. Including last Friday 4/14.
All I ever get is a voice mail for someone else; the women listed on the website, Michelle Reid, is no longer the person associated with the internships.
My two cents/take on this:
I was contacted by Mic Murphy to send ONE script in March. Sent it in early April.
Last week I received the email it seems the world of writers got. Thought it was odd they would broadcast their need for scripts eveyrwhere and encourage others to pass it along.
My thinking is - with two recent sales, the doors of opportuity are opening for them. Like we do as writers, they want to strike while they're considered hot.
My thinking is: they're reading the first few pages of the scripts sent in; if it's good, if they know a company or producer looking for that material, maybe they're reading more.
They're looking for their next SALE, not their next client.
Personally, I only sent in loglines and synopses, thinking they'd be overwhelemed by noon following their email. I was right - I think they tied up the "310" exchange all by themselves in CA!! I tried for 3 hours and kept getting the "all curcuits are currently busy" recording!!
I say, give them a chance. You might just have the right script at the right time. Until someone proves them wrong, let's give them a chance to prove themselves - and maybe even sell one of our scripts!
I am a client of Mr. Gruenberg. I have found him to be a warm, friendly, honest and helpful individual who is sincere in his search to manage screenplays.
If his request to you is as it was to me, he is asking only to represent your work in Europe and possible with Canadian companies; not necessarily the USA. I already have WGA representation here in the states.
So far NEITHER has sold a script, though I will say Mr. Gruenberg tries much, much harder than my USA agents.
My point is that in this world of internet, streaming video, instant access and email, Hollywood may not be the center of filmdome much longer. I would rather have someone who believes in my work rep me, regardless of where they live.
After all, the bottom line is to get your script sold and a movie made, right? And Europe has a great population, Germany has over 83 million people, 1/3 the population of the states. Not a bad audience, huh? :)
Am thinking of attending this year since it is the last big conference of the yuear before things start winding down. (mid-October)
Have been asking for experiences from writers I know who have attended in the past and have gotten conflicting advice from too expensive and too large to wonderful and a way to make a ton of contacts.
I'm looking primarily for something along the lines of Selling to Hollywood; meeting writers and HONESTLY getting an opportunity to meet people who are doers and movers, not wannabe development execs in start-up companies who might now be there two months later.
Also, since I'm also interested in filmmaking, Austin seemed like a good choice; my bank account can only afford one event every other year.
So, folks, honest points of view would be helpful - post here or send them to me confidentially- DMVBlondie@aol.com
Hang on a second here, folks...
This yar is NOT ANgelCiti's first screenwriting festival, there was one last year. I submitted a script and it was accepted so before you all go ballistic, here was my experience:
IF..IF you get accepted you get the following for your screenplay: a table set up where you can bring whatever you want to the festival to promote your script(s) and yourself. Two All-Day, full festival passes; 20 additional 1-day passes to hand out to those whom you'd like to have come hear your 30-minutes of fame. They select the portion of your script for the 30-minute reading BUT you can, if you know any, suggest that actors/actresses you know go to the auditions.
I live in Buffalo, NY so I could not afford the trip out to LA. They were genuinely very disappointed. HOWEVER because of friends and contacts, and because it was being 'read' live at a festival, and I knew the date and time, I mailed out 100 "HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE" announcements to production companies, etc. as well as my agents who told the people they knew and worked with. I gave away my tickets to friends in the LA area, some whom I never met except through email.
A friend of mine who was making a film herself and is an actress auditioned for the main character, and nailed it, but sadly became ill and could not perform. BUT had she not, she would have set up that table to promote not only my work but her film-in-progress, so there was potential there to really push your work.
I had a close friend act in my place and attend the reading and she said the main actress told her she loved the script and would be interested in working on it if I ever got someone interested in it. The buzz in the audience was good. I had EIGHT production companies ask for the script. No options or purchases, but still, eight more people in LA who are familiar with my writing.
Is all that worth $275? You bet! It's all about what you do with the opportunities given you.
And yes, they really DO refund your money if they don't accept your work.
I am seriously thinking of attending the Austin Film Festival this October but the hotel prices are a bit steep for me.
I would like to know if there are any female, non-smokers out there who are looking to go and save a little money by sharing a room? This way we can stay at the first or second choice hotels and be where eveyrthing happens. I'm also willing to stay a few extra days past the writers conference to see the films and maybe chat with some indie filmmakers.
Email me directly at: DMVBlondie@aol.com if you're interested.
P.S. If you sign up for the conference by August 1st there is a $50 savings to be had as well!
I read with interest your recent post about Script Shark. Thanks for the tip on them. Hollywood is such a spider web for those of us, like me, who don't live there. So many industries feed on poeple's desires.
But this post is to find out if you'll share with us how you became successful. (for those of us for which $100 is still a VERY big deal to spend on a critique!)
How long did it take you to get to where you had a bidding war for a script, from where you had only the belief you were a good writer?
Were you raised in Hollywood? If not, when did you venture out there and at what point in your career?
Do you write features, TV, MOW's, ??
If you're uncomfortable posting on the board, you can email me directly at DMVBlondie@aol.com.
Where did you find their name and address to begin with?
Has anyone taken these classes and if so, thoughts on the value versus the cost?
Has anyone attended this event in the past and can offer their comments?
They are offering a great discount fro registering before 01/30.
Also, for those who have attended, can you advise where you stayed (if from out of town)
Anyone here of this company or know a producer named Gary Stamford? I got an email requesting a script he'd been wanting to look at several years ago (under option at the time). Just wondering.
If you only had the time and money to attend ONE event in 2003 in which you had good access to producers, with the ability to actually pitch your work, what event would it be?
I don't live in or near LA, so traveling to any of these events is costly. It doesn't matter if they're part of a conference or film festival, it's GOOD, GUARANTEED ACCESS I am looking for.
Why is my 'alert' button flashing?
I would caution ANYone who thinks they may be able to help and make some quick $$ in simply providing information but to do so means offering up the information requested, to be cautious. Why does anyone need your mother's maiden name??? Unless you're absolutely CERTAIN this is on the up-and-up. With a SS# this same information can also be used to obtain credit cards.
As for the original poster: The use of the internet, the purchase of a couple of issues of Hollywood Creative Directories, and downloading the FREE list of agents at the wga.org site are all good starting points for you to make some calls, send some emails and deterine what companies are best suited for your project. Also, go to your video store and look at similar genre movies and compile a list of companies who made them. Attending conferences and seminars are also godd starts, some you can even attend online, where you can meet other writers and make some contacts with professionals who may be able to assist you.
I have had some success with a script I placed on WSN, and now it's time to renew. I also found ScriptPIMP and it is similar. I can not afford both so was wondering if other writers who have used one or the other or both, have an opinion or experiences they'd like to share.
THANKS to everyone who wrote. (and a special 'hi' to Steve, and yeah, I know I owe ya an email!)
I renewed my script with WSN (Inktip) I checked and had over 50 'hits' on my logline, and several people came back a few times after that. My guess would be that prodcos on Script Pimp most likely also check WSN and I like the security of always knowing who looked at what.
And I agree, Jerrol and Mia have been great (and fast in their replies!) in the past.
Need some feedback- just won a national competition (DTA) for my rom/com script - got an email that there's an upcoming pitch session to Agents/Managers run by a S. Guitar. $75, limited to 20 people.
I also know there is a respected Pitch Fest Eva Peel runs where you pitch to Production Companies (I'm assuming development execs).
I want to make the trip out to LA in late September/early October and try to catch one of these while I'm there.
Could use some feedback on those who have attended one or both and what your thoughts are. (if you don't want to post here you can send me a private reply to: DMVBlondie@aol.com)
This guy is being crucified simply because he's honest about - being too busy to answer every INDIVIDUAL email he gets, and because he's offering a service for those people who might want/need it. On the other hand, he is also extending an invitation to writers to submit ideas and loglines, knowing he will be bombarded with 90% junk. Every article I read says the same thing- out a 100 scripts less than 10 are worth looking any further at. Believe me, I am a reader for a few contests and I have seen a fair share of scripts that needed lots of work! It's the rarity, not the everyday occurance, that a story/script shines! We are all busy- how many of us throw away junk mail we're not interested in? Do we write back to those people selling glass block windows, windshields, life insurance and mortgage refinancing? Nope, we hit delete/throw it in the garbage -because we, like Marc, are BUSY.
A bit off topic but helpful - before buying from HCD directly try Amazon.com. I just bought the July 2004 Creative Directory (producers) issue for $48 with FREE shipping and handling. Brand new for about $15 less!
When you say you can search do you have access to the agents and manager AND the production companies? Or is the free trial just for a particular book?
I am considering purchasing screenwriting software and spending this winter learning how to use it! I would appreciate comments from screenwriters who already use software- what did you buy/use/recommend and what are the drawbacks of the software? I currently create my scripts in Word.
I am trying so hard to finish my sitcom before the deadline which is tomorrow! (I just found out about it two days ago, and this is the price I pay for starting projects I never complete)
When I reread the rules, though - I found something interesting- it says they are looking for two new YOUNG writers. What is with this obsession with YOUTH?
It really dampened my eagerness to spend this ENTIRE day focused on this contest. After a cup of coffee and some more thoughts I wondered if what they're REALLY looking for are two 'cute' people to film 'wanting' to make it in Hollywood. It's the hunt they want to portray, not the kill.
I will probably submit. Even though I am 'old' by Hollywood's standards. :)
I would send a polite but firm letter VERIFYING what you sent and the money order number and amount by CERTIFIED return-receipt letter. Offer them a reasonable deadline to respond with either $$ return and or services rendered. Give them all the ways they can get ahold of you- phone, cell, fax and email.
If they do not respond, send a letter with copy of your returned receipt and a chronological list of what happened, including the source where you found this company, to the NYS Attorney General's office, which has local offices throughout the state.
they are the best source to start with, followed by the Better Business Bureau.
Just wondering if anyone else has used the Hollywood Creative Directory (or similar product), selected 100 or so 'development' contacts and sent out the same query letter to all?
I tried this once before and had a few requests and hardly anyone replied with the envelope provided. The cost is managable, about $100 overall, but I'm wondering if it's worth the effort. I'll have a new script by year end, so was considering it....
Comments? Any other stories, good or bad, or source material that works better than HCD? Do you think letters are still the route to take or try using email instead?
Any agents/managers and/or development execs at prodcos lurking on this site, your response(s) would be greatly appreciated!
I would like to know if someone could offer the email for the "Barb" whom everyone is talking about?
Thank you to EVERYONE for all your wonderful, detailed and helpful information. I was going to use the HCD and select the ones most apt to have already produced work similar to my newest work, and to verify the person listed was still the same person.
I have also been recording the producers and directors of movies I have seen and liked and tried to track down info on them as well. At present I can not afford Variety and/or Hollywood Reporter but might do the 2-week trial once I am sitting on a finished script and a box of copies!
thanks for the advice about 'cooling period' after writing. I do that, usually have two projects going and so when one is done, or thought to be, it goes out for readings to friends and the like, then back for that final ripping apart and restitching! :)
I think I am headed in the right direction, thanks for your help!
Has anyone had any luck posting their TELEVISION sitcom ideas (not scripts for existing shows) on servies such as inktip.com and scriptpimp.com?
I use inktip.com for some of my motion pictures, get a lot of 'looks' and have been contacted twice by BIG companies who wanted to see the entire script (I only post 50%).
But I'm not sure about TV ideas... on the other hand, I cuold easily spend $300 (which I do not have) on contests that supposedly get you access IF you win. I'd rather spend $40 and hope they come looking for my work (Hey, I can hope, right?!)
Thanks for all the advice on screenwriting software. I believe I will look into Movie Magic software once I have the $$.
BTW, does anyone know if you can convert your word.doc screenplays into MM? I use 'styles' in Word - text, slugline, dialogue, etc. I remember the huge problem I had years ago moving from Wordperfect to Word- total nightmare! If anyone has done this, converted Word docs into their MM, let me know how it went and what issues I will need to think about.
I found this website but they want $3 a month to subscribe. has anyone used this and found their info to be better or more useful/up-to-date than say, Hollywood Creative Directories or simply internet searches?
Has anyone attended this and found it worth the money?
Looking for recommendations for GREAT books, seminars, websites, webgroups, etc. or even someone who worked his/her way into something successful when it comes to developing all that is necessary for a 1-hour TV series. I already know about tvwriter.com and am going to order Larry Brody's latest book. Also, if anyone knows a good site where you can get scripts from produced shows.
I have been following this thread for a while and want to add my .02.
There are 'bad apples' in every vocation, and while there are certainly amatuers in the 'readers' arena, there are also many readers who are helpful, and can accurately evaluate a script.
You are all assuming you have written THE BEST SCRIPT ever sent out to be read. Maybe. Maybe not.
I have been a reader for Carl Sautter and Producers Outreach (now called Hollywood Outreach) for several YEARS and let me tell you, 99.9% of what I read I "pass" on -because it deserves it. I would LOVE to find a script I can recommend. Every article you read tells you the same thing- agents, managers, producers, directors - they read a lot of "coal" to find the 'diamond'.
You would be amazed at what people submit- once a writer sent along a music CD (never mind the copyright infringements of downloaded music) you were suppose to play as indicated during the script! How about 16 pages devoted to someone leaving their house and getting in their car to go see their mother in the hospital! (YAWN). How about the kid who kills his neighbors dog but never tells you why-EVER- in the entire script? I've read bad writing of good stories, and good writing of stories (when there is one) that s*ck!
For the most part I try and provide very helpful critiques, point out problem areas and make suggestions. My critiques are usually quite lengthy as I know what it means to be the one reading it. Before you continue to condemn readers, volunteer to be one. Not only would you be helping but I guarantee you will learn a lot! :)
This entire business is subjective- a good reader can be having a bad day, their boss might be asking them to scour through the stacks for a teen-slasher script, and ONLY that, for right now, and you submitted a romance/western! And just like Regal Cinemas offers 18 choices of movies, readers also have preferences.
This is a tough tough TOUGH business. Personally, I have had scripts place in competitions, and be passed over completely in others. I won a contest once with a script that had been optioned by both Fox and Saban as well as three indies during its lifetime so far, and guess what?- it never even placed in some other contests and is still waiting to find a home.
The good news, hopefully for those who ARE good writers, is that you keep on writing and hope for the break you need.
The best way to get a good 'read' from an "official" reader, paid or not, is a) Have other WRITERS read your script and make comments. b) READ scripts of movies already made -two scripts I recommend reading are STEPMOM and EIGHT MILLIMETER (2 different genres).
Be absolutely certain it's the best it can be before you drive it to the post office.
Is this another scam preying on the desperation of screenwriters? Or has someone actually used this service and it worked?
I am trying to locate contact info for producers. For instance, would like to contact Stanton Kamens, and Jeffrey Shavick. The Guild will not provide that info OR forward any letters to their members and won't even confirm they're a member. "Searches" provide filmographies but not contact addresses. Any ideas? I belong to Variety.com and even they don't have address information!
Does anyone have contact info on this company? Not in HCD, not in variety.com and a search on the web finds only their most recent stories. The guy running the company is Craig Nicholls, and searches for him come up zip for an address as well.. HELP!
Does anyone have contact info on this company? Not in HCD, not in variety.com and a search on the web finds only their most recent stories. The guy running the company is Craig Nicholls, and searches for him come up zip for an address as well.. HELP!
According to a search of domain name ownership, the domain name is LOCKED, but the administration is through:
Administrative Contact: Private, Registration THESCREENPLAYAGENCY.COM@domainsbyproxy.com Domains by Proxy, Inc. DomainsByProxy.com 15111 N. Hayden Rd., Ste 160, PMB 353 Scottsdale, Arizona 85260 United States (480) 624-2599
Domains by Proxy provides security so no one can find out who actually owns and operates a website.
Thanks for the help, appreciate it. Nope, it was Jeffrey, not James. Contacting Regency might be a great idea.
Thing is, these 'producers' pop up for one movie or another that ends up being broadcast on different networks- so it's very difficult to figure out how to contact them. SOMEONE in Hollywood must have the key to this knowledge.... but it ain't me!
Has anyone writing for TV heard of these companies? They operate (from what I can tell) similar to Inktip.com and Script Pimp - they allow you to post your proposal for TV project and you can see who has loked at your work.
If anyone has had experiences, good or bad with these companies, or with other companies, please share. If you desire to reach me directly, email me at WrittenbyDMV at aol.
Register here to receive MovieBytes' FREE email newsletter featuring contest deadline reminders, news, articles, and much more. Choose a password to access the MovieBytes bulletin board and other great features.