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Thread: Now What

  1. #1
    Last of a Dying Breed popmuze's Avatar
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    Now What

    I've recently completed three screenplays. What should my next steps be?

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW
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    Rewrite them, rewrite them, then rewrite them again. Get feedback from people you know and trust will be honest - or pay for professional feedback, then you'll rewrite some more based on the feedback. While you're writing read scripts, lots of scripts. Here's a link to scripts you can read. https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/7...s-19b94b315b51

  3. #3
    Last of a Dying Breed popmuze's Avatar
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    Thanks for the links. At least a few of these are similar to my work. But let's say I've done everything you recommend and these scripts are as ready as they'll ever be.

  4. #4
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    I dunt know much, just what I see on message boards.

    When I started looking at querying, yeeeaars ago, you'd buy something like the Hollywood Creative Directory and look up production company contact info so you could send them your logline. These days the info is online, you'd buy a subscription from Done Deal Pro or similar movie news/info sites which lists production companies.

    The alternative to querying is putting your script up on sites like The Blcklst and InkTip. Monthly fees required. Recently I've seen Script Revolution announced which is another upload-your-script venue, as yet free, and filling up quickly with scripts.

    -Derek
    The Sunday night Flash Fiction Challenge - write a story in 90 minutes!
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    The challenge is open all week! If you dare.

    My web page! Stories, webcomics, omg screenplays too

    [06/22/2017][10:49] <Cernex> I basically agree with everything Derek said

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Quote Originally Posted by popmuze View Post
    I've recently completed three screenplays. What should my next steps be?
    This was added to the misc.writing.screenplay.moderated FAQ by Neal Marshall Stevens (13 Ghosts and a few other movies) in 2005. I can no longer find the FAQ, but this was the original article. It's a little dated -- the book he refers to is no longer published, but Done Deal Pro would probably take its place -- but this is how I would have tried to sell a script, had I ever written one worth trying to sell.

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...ed/2toeiPni-h4

    It's a pretty long article but it has a lot of practical advice.
    Last edited by Centos; 04-29-2017 at 07:19 AM.
    STANDARD DISCLAIMER: I'm a wannabe, take whatever I write with a huge grain of salt.

  6. #6
    practical experience, FTW
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    I've written two screenplays. Neither optioned let alone sold. Though I did sell a treatment for a third story I had. Lately, I haven't tried to do anything with the completed screenplays, but right after I'd written them I tried to contact producers and even agents of big name actors. One time I hit up a director directly. Got pretty far with one actor's agent and one big budget producer, and there was one small indie producer who just happened to pick up the phone when his secretary was literally out to lunch. "So, what's your log line," he asks me. Luckily I had it memorized. "Okay, good, that sounds interesting. But we don't do period pieces."

    I should have asked if I could contact him directlywhen I had another one, which I did in a few month's time, but I didn't.

    I think my advice would be, if you have something that you think might be right for an actor, a director or a producer then just contact them directly. You may have to sign a release form, you may need an attorney submit on your behalf, but at least to the ICM agent I submitted to, no need to have an actual entertainment attorney (at least at the submission stage). The attorney I used handles criminal and civil cases and isn't even in the same state as the agency or myself.

    If you're intent on trying to find an agent for these, I recall some advising that you have more than one screenplay when you do. So it's good that you do. Best of luck with it, popmuze.

  7. #7
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Not speaking from success but what I've heard.

    - Start querying prodcos, etc. You can get contact info through IMDBPro.
    - Maybe subscribe to Inktip for a few months to get that lead info.
    - Enter some reputable/valid screenplay competitions.
    - Network with people (like you do here) and pray a friend of a friend of a friend actually has some connections.

    Keep writing more screenplays or look at Inktip for a request for one you might be interested in writing and reply to it with a pitch and write that script like mad!

  8. #8
    What happened?
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    Quote Originally Posted by popmuze View Post
    I've recently completed three screenplays. What should my next steps be?
    I'm the one who wrote that long prickly article about selling your screenplay but the real deal comes down to this.

    The business of professional TV and Screenwriting has always been intensely competitive. Today it is, if anything, for more competitive than it has ever been. Think about the world of professional sports. How well do you play baseball? Now, think about playing on a professional baseball team. The very worst professional players on those teams, the guys that you call bums when you shout from the bleachers or when you're watching on TV -- those guys are probably around a thousands better at playing baseball than you.

    That is the relationship between amateurs and professionals screenwriters -- the vast majority of amateur screenwriters. I know this because in addition to working as a writer I also teach screenwriting and I routinely read the work of beginning and amateur screenwriters and I know the level at which they are writing.

    I don't say this to discourage you any more than I am aiming to discourage the students that I teach -- any more than, were I coaching a team of beginning ball players than it would be "discouraging" them to suggest that none of them are ready to try out for the freaking Yankees.

    If you are committed to going down this road, then your focus has to be on developing your writing skills, not on finding agents, not on connecting with development companies, not -- at this stage -- on selling your work.

    When I was at NYU Grad Film, which is where I studied, my camera teacher said that any student who graduated should expect to take something on the order of ten years before he was actually earning a living in the business. And that was after getting a graduate degree in one of the top schools in the industry.

    And that was just about as long as it took me before I was working full time as a writer and a story editor at New York company. Before that, I worked as a security guard, I delivered TV off the back of a truck, I operated teleprompters, I went back and ran NYU's equipment room for something like six years -- and managed to sell a treatment get a couple features optioned along the way. But none of that paid the bills.

    So if you're serious about this, then you've got to make that commitment to write, to read, to take courses, to get into a writing group, and to write some more, and to not expect this process to be an easy one.

    And if it is discouraging to mention to the would-be mountain-climbers out there that Mount Everest is a very tall mountain that can't be scaled in an afternoon with a pair of good boots and a lunch basket and that more people who have tried it have failed than succeeded and that if you want to climb it, it's going to take a lot of preparation, a lot of hard work and a substantial amount of natural climbing talent and even then you might fail -- don't be angry at the messenger.

    I didn't create the mountain and I didn't create the current market for spec screenplays which is as challenging for professional writers these days as it has ever been and is, if anything, even more challenging today for writers trying to break in with new spec screenplays.

    Doesn't mean it can't happen. It does happen. It can happen. There are things that you can do and ways that you can about it but first and foremost you need to create something that is exceptional and memorable and marketable as Hollywood understands those terms.

    And that has never been easy and still isn't easy.

    I hope that that answers your question.

    NMS

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