Okay, the deed is finally done. FADE OUT. Your first screenplay is ready for the next step, and there is a little tug at the corner of your lips as the sense of achievement washes over you. It may not be your first complete work as a budding screenwriter (usually there are others in a folder somewhere). This is the first one that is worth showing.
I apologize. Of course they are all worth showing, but there is that warm feeling of assured value connected to this new writeup. After all, the hook is awesome and the plot is sure to interest a producer, or a studio director, or a film marketer, or anyone affiliated to movie making and interested in your kind of script…
Oh dear! Alright I’ll give you the rest of the weekend to gloat. After all, writing is no easy feat. Feel free to return to this post by Monday because YOU NEED TO.
I haven’t been consistent on social media quite recently due to a few deadlines. I felt a bit sucked in today and decided to surf a few favorite forums. I got involved in a conversation so interesting, that I decided to share some resourceful tidbits. How do you make your first business contacts as a wanna-be professional screenwriter? How do you get them to know you?
Here are a few ideas on how you might want to “get to know” a producer- or for that matter, anyone- in the business. Most of these are “common sense”, but we know how “common” that sense is sometimes
* Research; find out about their prodco; check their website and IMdb; review their LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, etc. You know that you’re on these all day long, at least put some of that wasteful time to work for you!
* “Like” or “follow” them, their projects. Send a short note (“short” the operative word here): “Saw your website today. Nice. Love the title of your current project. Take care!” Trust me, they’ll remember your name next time you write them.
* Be sincere! You can spot a fake from miles away.
* Play it forward. If they are currently searching for a particular script- which does not fit what you are marketing- reach out to your network. Nothing is more rewarding than introducing a fellow writer with a great script to that producer looking for that script.
* Share! If they post or tweet something on social media that you can support, share it.
* Ask for their advice. Most people LOVE to give advice, if they can be helpful in any way. Keep it brief, and don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a response.
* Do NOT send a horror producer your rom/com script. Don’t send them a manuscript if they produce movies. Don’t send them a short if they produce features.
* If they are a small prodco, and they are filming in and around your area, offer to volunteer at the shoot. Do anything- drive people, run errands, make coffee, grip, security, make-up, etc. Do NOT ask to rewrite the script or to direct!
* Don’t rush it. Water finds its own level. If you come off as too needy, too helpful, too “stalker”, the relationship will never develop.
* Don’t whine. Everybody has their own problems; we don’t need to hear yours.
* Be kind. Thank them when done. Be someone that someone else would want to work with.
The comment box is available for more on this. What can amateur screenwriters do if he/she must sell a first screenplay?
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