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goldilocks

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I wrote a movie script, entered it in a contest, and was told it is "Oscar bait" and "should at least win best cinematography".
It was in the top 10% of over 7,000 worldwide entries.
Producers refuse to read it saying "no solicitations", and "have your agent call us".
The problem is finding an agent.
There are very few agents that represent non-fictional scripts, which is what I wrote.
Then there are agents who agree to read the script, but then don't even correspond after the script was sent to them.
So, the problem is, where do I find a legitimate, good agent?
 

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I wrote a movie script, entered it in a contest, and was told it is "Oscar bait" and "should at least win best cinematography".
It was in the top 10% of over 7,000 worldwide entries.
Producers refuse to read it saying "no solicitations", and "have your agent call us".
The problem is finding an agent.
There are very few agents that represent non-fictional scripts, which is what I wrote.
Then there are agents who agree to read the script, but then don't even correspond after the script was sent to them.
So, the problem is, where do I find a legitimate, good agent?
First of all, the top 10 percent in a contest is not going to attract a lot of interest. In the contest you describe, there's A LOT of 10 percenters. These days, even being a quarterfinalist or even a semifinalist is all that impressive from an industry standpoint -- finalists tend to be the only ones industry folks take notice of, if at all.

A movie script is referred to as a screenplay. Screenplay is to novel as script is to manuscript. Nomenclature matters.

Did the contest readers tell you that A SCRIPT should win best cinematography? That would be impossible. Don't quote that to anyone -- it makes you sound like you don't understand what a script is/does.

In "Hollywood" there is no such thing as "nonfiction". The minute an actor portrays a real person, no matter how accurate the dialogue and setting, the story becomes "based on true events" or even "a true story" but not nonfiction. The absolute hottest genre in both features and television are scripts based on true events and real people, so you have that going for you... provided you have secured the rights to the story.

You don't need an agent; Hollywood agents represent established screenwriters who can be sent out on writing assignment calls, newbies not so much.

A manager is probably the best bet. You can query your contest-placing script and, if your query and logline are good, you might get a read.

Good luck.
 

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(sorry, posted on wrong thread)
 
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ChaseJxyz

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Yeah I was going to say "how can a screenplay be a contender for best cinematography? Unless you included some really good storyboards?"

What do you mean by "nonfictional" ? Did you write a "script" for a documentary? Is this a "BASED ON A TRUE STORY" story?
 

mccardey

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I wrote a movie script, entered it in a contest, and was told it is "Oscar bait" and "should at least win best cinematography".
It was in the top 10% of over 7,000 worldwide entries.
Producers refuse to read it saying "no solicitations", and "have your agent call us".
The problem is finding an agent.
There are very few agents that represent non-fictional scripts, which is what I wrote.
Then there are agents who agree to read the script, but then don't even correspond after the script was sent to them.
So, the problem is, where do I find a legitimate, good agent?
I'm also a bit unconvinced by these people. Without having seen your screenplay, it's wildly unlikely that a work by a novice is guaranteed Oscar-bait. Films are a collaborative effort - the screenplay is only a part of it, and only a very small part of what makes films into Oscar contenders. And - who is the cinematographer who is brilliant enough to be assured of an award on an unproduced film-script and why are they working on this film?

I'm going to add - if this contest offers to find you an agent for a small fee - walk quickly away... Having said which - congratulations on finishing a screenplay! That is quite an achievement all on its own and you should be proud. :)
 

goldilocks

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I'm also a bit unconvinced by these people. Without having seen your screenplay, it's wildly unlikely that a work by a novice is guaranteed Oscar-bait. Films are a collaborative effort - the screenplay is only a part of it, and only a very small part of what makes films into Oscar contenders. And - who is the cinematographer who is brilliant enough to be assured of an award on an unproduced film-script and why are they working on this film?

I'm going to add - if this contest offers to find you an agent for a small fee - walk quickly away... Having said which - congratulations on finishing a screenplay! That is quite an achievement all on its own and you should be proud. :)
Thank you for your response. Of all my screenplays, one script outshines the others, according to the Page Awards. The Page Awards do not help find an agent. It's just a worldwide contest. So now I'm trying to find an agent to help pitch. Do you know of someone that likes dramas based on reality? Thanks again, Goldilocks
 

goldilocks

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Yeah I was going to say "how can a screenplay be a contender for best cinematography? Unless you included some really good storyboards?"

What do you mean by "nonfictional" ? Did you write a "script" for a documentary? Is this a "BASED ON A TRUE STORY" story?
My non-fictional drama is based on my Grandmother's life living with the Romanovs and fleeing the Bolsheviks. Apparently, my scenic descriptions were worthy of the Page Award judge to comment that "it should win best cinematography".
 

goldilocks

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First of all, the top 10 percent in a contest is not going to attract a lot of interest. In the contest you describe, there's A LOT of 10 percenters. These days, even being a quarterfinalist or even a semifinalist is all that impressive from an industry standpoint -- finalists tend to be the only ones industry folks take notice of, if at all.

A movie script is referred to as a screenplay. Screenplay is to novel as script is to manuscript. Nomenclature matters.

Did the contest readers tell you that A SCRIPT should win best cinematography? That would be impossible. Don't quote that to anyone -- it makes you sound like you don't understand what a script is/does.

In "Hollywood" there is no such thing as "nonfiction". The minute an actor portrays a real person, no matter how accurate the dialogue and setting, the story becomes "based on true events" or even "a true story" but not nonfiction. The absolute hottest genre in both features and television are scripts based on true events and real people, so you have that going for you... provided you have secured the rights to the story.

You don't need an agent; Hollywood agents represent established screenwriters who can be sent out on writing assignment calls, newbies not so much.

A manager is probably the best bet. You can query your contest-placing script and, if your query and logline are good, you might get a read.

Good luck.
Thank you for the clarification. As you can tell, I'm a newbie. Do you happen to know of a manager that is interested in a drama based on a true story? It's about my Grandmother living with the Romanovs and fleeing from the Bolsheviks. Thank you again, Golilocks.
 

goldilocks

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Yeah I was going to say "how can a screenplay be a contender for best cinematography? Unless you included some really good storyboards?"

What do you mean by "nonfictional" ? Did you write a "script" for a documentary? Is this a "BASED ON A TRUE STORY" story?
Sorry, I'm a newbie at this. I wrote a screenplay based on true events. Apparently, my scenic descriptions were so good, the contest judge was prompted to state that "it should win best cinematography".
 

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The WGAW has a list of (presumably) reputable agents, but you'd need to research each one individually to see what in particular they are interested in.

Never, ever, ever pay anyone to be your agent, manager, representative, or anything else. They should only get paid when you get paid, by getting a percentage of the sales price.
 
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Helix

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My non-fictional drama is based on my Grandmother's life living with the Romanovs and fleeing the Bolsheviks.

This sounds interesting. Good luck with it!

Apparently, my scenic descriptions were worthy of the Page Award judge to comment that "it should win best cinematography".

It sounds as if the judge doesn't understand cinematography. A good cinematographer can make the mundane look glorious through the application of art and technology. Awards are based on aesthetics and technical skill.

ETA: I hope you find an agent. Could I suggest that when you approach an agent for representation, you omit the judge's comments and the stats from the contest. Let your work speak for itself. That is the most important thing.
 
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mccardey

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My non-fictional drama is based on my Grandmother's life living with the Romanovs and fleeing the Bolsheviks. Apparently, my scenic descriptions were worthy of the Page Award judge to comment that "it should win best cinematography".
It sounds like a really interesting premise. I wish I could help you with a rec, but I don't work in film.

It's lovely that the judge spoke so highly of your locations, and I hope you find a cinematographer worthy of them.
 

mccardey

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Do you know what you might want to do? Go back to the judge, remind them of your work, and ask if they have any recommendations. It can't hurt.

(At least - if it can hurt, someone more knowledgeable than Little I will pop in and tell you it's not a good idea. In which case, listen to them.)


ETA: Also - since you clearly wrote the location so well that the judge commented, had you thought about reworking this as a novel first? And then selling the novel?

You probably had already thought of that, but I've got my Helpful Hat on. 🎩
 
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goldilocks

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It sounds like a really interesting premise. I wish I could help you with a rec, but I don't work in film.

It's lovely that the judge spoke so highly of your locations, and I hope you find a cinematographer worthy of them.
Thank you.
 

goldilocks

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Do you know what you might want to do? Go back to the judge, remind them of your work, and ask if they have any recommendations. It can't hurt.

(At least - if it can hurt, someone more knowledgeable than Little I will pop in and tell you it's not a good idea. In which case, listen to them.)


ETA: Also - since you clearly wrote the location so well that the judge commented, had you thought about reworking this as a novel first? And then selling the novel?

You probably had already thought of that, but I've got my Helpful Hat on. 🎩
As a matter of fact, yes, I did write a corresponding manuscript. An agent is reading it as we speak. As for "going back to the judge", I can't because only the judge's initials are given to protect their identity. Thanks for your advice.
 
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Davy The First

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As a matter of fact, yes, I did write a corresponding manuscript. An agent is reading it as we speak. As for "going back to the judge", I can't because only the judge's initials are given to protect their identity. Thanks for your advice.
Well that's good news.

"My non-fictional drama is based on my Grandmother's life living with the Romanovs and fleeing the Bolsheviks." is pretty darned eye-catching opening sentence in a query to an agent.

If your second sentence is "I have all/ most/ of her correspondence/ diary entries/ first hand accounts / photos/ passed down from my Mother/ Father Uncle/ other, then you've got an agent reading the rest of your query, very carefully indeed...

Best of luck with it
 
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