How to Get Your Screenplay Read (Producers, Agents, and Actors)

How to Get Your Screenplay Read (Producers, Agents, and Actors)

So, you’ve toiled away, poured your creativity onto the pages, and now you’re sitting on what you believe is the next blockbuster screenplay. The next big question is, how do you get your screenplay into the hands of the right people? Fear not, aspiring screenwriter, for we’ve got the lowdown on the most effective ways to make it happen.

Craft a Killer Script

Let’s be real — everybody can write, but not everyone can write exceptionally well. Your script isn’t just a good one; it has to be a stellar piece of art. Understand that being good is not enough; your script has to be great. It’s not merely about following the structural norms; it’s about a fusion of originality and a high-concept storyline that will make industry professionals sit up and take notice. Need some guidance on what makes a script great?

Networking Your Script

The Challenge and the Payoff

Networking is the holy grail of the film industry. It’s not a straight path; there’s no blueprint to success. Yet, it’s also the most rewarding method. Why? Because meeting the right people can fast-track your journey to success. Yes, it’s challenging. Yes, it requires stepping out of your comfort zone. But the dividends it pays are worth the effort.

Attend More Events

As a screenwriter, it’s easy to succumb to the solitary nature of your craft. However, to crack into the industry, you need to break out of that shell. Attend events, film festivals, and networking gatherings. Mingle with producers, agents, and other writers. Expanding your network is your golden ticket to garnering attention.

Script Competitions

Entering the Arena of Competitions

Screenplay competitions are like the battle arenas for aspiring writers. Many reputable competitions attract the attention of industry professionals. Winning or even placing high in one of these can be your ticket to the big leagues.

Where to Compete?

There are numerous competitions out there, such as the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship, the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards, and the Austin Film Festival’s Screenplay Competition. Do your research, submit your script, and who knows? You might just catch the eye of someone influential.

Online Script Submission Platforms

The Digital Highway to Recognition

In the age of technology, the internet is your ally. Several online platforms allow you to submit your screenplay directly to industry professionals. Websites like The Black List, InkTip, and Coverfly are great places to start.

Navigating the Online Landscape

Ensure your script is polished, create an enticing logline, and submit away. The beauty of these platforms is that they provide a direct channel to those who matter, without the need for an intermediary.

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The Quintin Tarantino Approach

Quentin Tarantino’s journey began with networking. He passed his script through a series of connections until it landed in the hands of Harvey Keitel. The lesson here: your writing must be dynamite. Ensure your script is thoroughly reviewed by script readers to iron out any kinks. Amateurish mistakes can cost you in the competitive world of scriptwriting.

Places to Network: Beyond Screenwriter Events

Avoid Screenwriter Network Events

Surprisingly, screenwriter-specific events might not be your best bet. Most agents and investors tend to avoid these gatherings after their initial foray. Instead, venture into events attended by directors, actors, and producers. Google is your friend here; find events where you won’t be in direct competition with other writers.

Film Festivals: A Networking Goldmine

Consider attending major film festivals such as Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, and Tribeca. These festivals are not just showcases for films; they are bustling hubs of networking opportunities. Don’t be shy — your screenplay deserves attention, and these festivals are where the industry comes to discover new talent.

The Digital Advantage

Submitting your script online is the 2019 way of making waves in the industry. It’s convenient, requiring a simple sign-up, payment, and then you’re in the game. However, with simplicity comes intense competition. Many opt for this route, making it crucial to stand out.

Pro Tip: Before listing your script, register with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) for an extra layer of protection.

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Four Legit Online Screenwriting Platforms

  1. Inktip: Where Scripts Turn into MoviesInktip allows producers to connect with screenwriters by posting scripts in a database for industry professionals. Notably, 375 scripts from this platform have been transformed into movies. A subscription of $60.00 for four months is a reasonable investment. Be cautious; only submit if your script aligns with industry trends.
  2. The Black List: Where Talent Shines BrightAgents, managers, and producers converge on The Black List to find the best talent. Scripts are scored, and an eight is considered good. If your script gets attention, you’ll be notified, and making the end-of-year list is a significant achievement. Getting an agent increases your chances on this platform. Evaluation costs $75.00, and the monthly fee is $30.00.
  3. Spec Scout: Sleek and Sophisticated AttentionSpec Scout is a standout platform for garnering attention. For $297.00, you receive a comprehensive review from three industry professionals. If your script scores 75 or above, you get a scouted rating and permanent listing in their database. It’s an investment but could be worthwhile for serious writers.
  4. Stage 32: More than NetworkingStage 32 is an educational and collaborative platform akin to LinkedIn for filmmakers. While success stories are not guaranteed, it’s an excellent space for networking. If you prefer online interactions over in-person networking, Stage 32 is your go-to platform.

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