Writers Wanted! MovieBytes is looking for articles. Call for Submissions
I am freelancing for the promo department at NBC, and my latest promos are airing during their Olympic coverage. I feel like I should be able to get an agent via this, but so far I haven't thought of any brilliant ideas to get one other than the old query letter. I also have a finished screenplay and a produced short version of it. Suggestions anyone?
Most writers end up promoting and marketing their own specs. If they start getting a little buzz and some company requests, then the agents decide they have enough time to invest in considering you.
I'd say to get your brief, one-page query/synopsis zazzed up. Make it snappy. Send it with a cover letter that lets the company know about your experience in the business. Let them know you're not a slouch. Tell them about your NBC gig -- and mention any kind of awards or placement you've rec'd in the competition circuit. This will help your query get a second look.
If you have the right query, you'll get an invite to submit. I tried Zide/Perry three times over the course of 2 years before I changed it. They bit on the 4th try. Same spec -- different logline. Anyone on this board will tell you that as soon as you start getting this kind of buzz, you're going to get an agent -- but you have to let the agents know about your works, too. Let them know you have company interest -- and if you're offered an option, let the agent(s) know you'll sign it without them unless you hear back in a few days. That's about how long it takes to go over an option agreement anyway.
Also, have more than one spec to present to a company or agency. If they pass on one and ask what else you have, you can whip it right out and lay it on the chopping block.
Best of luck. Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to network outside this board.
I forgot to comment on your short production of your script...
Everyone I've worked with, my agent, my manager, the companies I've signed with, really do throw unsolicited items item in the recycle bin -- unless the proper SASE is included (and then they'll send it back to you, unread or not viewed).
You always need that query letter asking if you can submit your material. And because hundreds of people ask, you need to make your query sparkle.
There are 3 other ways I can think of to consider getting your short looked at.
1) enter the competition circuit (Crested Butte Short Reel and Telluride -- both in Colorado, are good.) You will definitely make contacts -- if you work the crowd.
2) ask an agent or producer of any panel on a conference you might attend to look at it. That way you get personal experience and can establish a relationship with them. Most guest speakers (agents, producers, development people, etc.) are pretty laid back at conferences. Then when you submit your package, write on the envelope "Requested material enclosed" -- and make sure you put it to the attention of the person you networked with.
3)Put out a notice on this board (or similar boards) that you want to network with writer/producers. There are a number of us who have bargained to receive credit as an associate producer on our scripts. This means we have daily contact with the optioning/producing company. We pitch to agencies and distributors right along with them.
I've said this before, but no one will work harder than you to promote and market your scripts. You will be your own best agent -- even after you sign with one. (Expect to spend a big wad on postage!! Save your receipts and write it off on your taxes. This is your business.)
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.