How to Sell a Script to A24: Step by Step Guide

How to Sell a Script to A24

A24, the renowned film production and distribution company, has garnered immense success since its inception in 2012. What sets A24 apart is its penchant for producing films with a distinct edginess that Hollywood often shies away from, making it a prime destination for screenwriters who want to tell unique and powerful stories. But how does one go about selling a script to A24? In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of cracking the code and getting your screenplay noticed by this independent film juggernaut.

A24: A Unique Opportunity

A24’s track record of producing small yet impactful films is nothing short of remarkable. Their ability to create cinematic gems that resonate with audiences has earned them a reputation as a trailblazing company. If you aspire to join their ranks, it’s crucial to understand their preferences and requirements.

The Challenge: Selling to A24

While selling your script to A24 may seem like a daunting task, there are specific steps you can take to increase your chances of success. Contrary to popular belief, there’s no magical “drop box” where you can submit your script directly to A24. However, there are other avenues you can explore, which we will discuss later in this guide.

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The Key Ingredients

To sell a script to A24, you must adhere to several critical prerequisites:

1. Cost-Effective Production: A24 primarily focuses on films with budgets under 10 million dollars. Keeping production costs low is essential for the company’s risk mitigation strategy. In case a film doesn’t perform as expected, it won’t severely impact the company’s financial stability.

2. Established Talent: A surefire way to grab A24’s attention is by having a mainstream actor and an experienced director attached to your script. Established talent brings credibility and marketability to a project, making it more appealing to the company.

3. Intellectual Property (IP): Many successful A24 films are based on existing books or intellectual property. Having a compelling source material can significantly enhance your script’s appeal and increase its chances of getting picked up.

4. Awards Potential: A24 gravitates towards scripts that have the potential to win or be nominated for awards, including prestigious accolades like the Oscars and recognition at major film festivals like Tribeca, Sundance, and TIFF. Winning awards can generate positive publicity and bolster a film’s reputation.

The A24 Approach

A24’s decision-making process revolves around three key factors:

1. Financial Viability: The company carefully evaluates the financial prospects of a script, assessing its potential to yield profits.

2. Star Power: A24 values the fame and recognition that established actors and directors bring to a project. This factor contributes to a film’s marketability.

3. Artistic Potential: A24 looks for scripts that have the potential to become cinematic masterpieces, reflecting their commitment to producing high-quality, thought-provoking films.

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The Complete Package

It’s important to realize that A24 isn’t merely looking for scripts; they’re seeking the complete package. Aspiring screenwriters must understand that to sell their script to A24, they need to embrace the role of a producer, not just a screenwriter.

Case Study: The Safdie Brothers

A prime example of how the film industry operates on relationships is the journey of the Safdie Brothers. These filmmakers built their reputation over time and solidified their standing with the hit film “Good Time,” starring Robert Pattinson. Their film’s success at the Cannes Film Festival and its distribution by A24 paved the way for a fruitful collaboration.

Years later, armed with a working relationship with A24 and the star power of Adam Sandler and NBA star Kevin Garnett, the Safdie Brothers pitched “Uncut Gems.” Given their past success and established connections, A24 readily embraced the project. This case study underscores the importance of building relationships in the industry.

Selling your script to A24 is not an impossible feat, but it demands more than just a well-written screenplay. To succeed, you must think like a producer, considering factors such as budget, talent, source material, and awards potential. While the road to A24 may be challenging, it offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with a company known for its groundbreaking films.

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