Getting your screenplay sold is a challenge. The film industry has been evolving and so it's easier to get your script read and sold than in previous years. The hardest part is getting a foot in the door. Selling your screenplay to a major film studio or TV company is the best and fastest path to big money, but it's much harder to do than selling it to a small studio. To sell your screenplay for big money, you'll need an agent. Without an agent or literary manager, no major production company will even look at your material.
- Skill level:
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Network with the film-producing crowd. Cultivating studio relationships can make the difference between getting ignored and getting someone to read your screenplay. Join a networking group and also mingle among independent producers and others in the industry.
Hire an agent. Without representation, doors will be closed in your face. Having an agent also lets producers see that you are serious about the process. An agent will help you sell your screenplay for big money by negotiating prices on your behalf.
Volunteer at local film festivals. This is one way to get your name out and meet people in the industry. Look for part-time jobs associated with film festivals.
Address query letters to assistants, rather than the agents themselves. This may require some phone calls and research on your part. As agents receive perhaps 50 or more query letters per week, they are not likely to view them all. Rather, assistants do not receive as many and are more likely to take a look and maybe even give you that big break.
Tips and warnings
- Be persistent but not pushy.
- When submitting a screenplay, ensure it's correctly formatted and printed in the style preferred by the production company. Many TV companies and film studios publish submission guidelines on their websites.
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