You don’t have to go far on the internet to find screenwriters bemoaning their lot. Whether it’s “No Unsolicited Material” getting them down, or the fact producers will want writers to get agents (and vice versa), the cry of “It’s a Catch 22!” is seemingly always round the (digital) corner.
But it’s not a Catch 22
Fact is, there has never been a better time to be a screenwriter. It’s easier than ever to get produced – and without the aid of an agent. Here’s how …
“I’ve Written A Screenplay. Now What?”
Too many writers believe it’s a question of “just” writing an awesome screenplay and waiting for others to recognise their genius.
But this is a fool’s game. Remember how it felt, being the LAST one to get picked for the ball team at school as the captain chose his or her mates first?? DON’T wait to get picked, make some of your own mates and go to the head of the queue! Doh!
Even better: DYK? The Writer Is King (Or Queen) … IF You’re In Ultra-Low-Budget Film. Why??? Think about it. If you’re writing and making a low budget film, what is the MOST important element?? Yep, you guessed right: THE SCREENPLAY.
So go and find a producer and director. Thanks to social media, this is easier than ever now. Find out what they like, too. Collaborate. Come up with something awesome. A short, a feature, whatever. Don’t wait to be picked. JUST DO IT!!
No Unsolicited Material
But okay, maybe other commitments or ties means you CAN’T get out there and collaborate as easily as you’d like to … Or perhaps you need to work on your own. I get that.
But what YOU need to get is “no unsolicited material” does NOT mean “we never look at new writers’ stuff EVAH”. It simply means that if they want to read *your* stuff? They will need to ask for it (aka “solicit it”).
So what do we do? GET THEM TO ASK FOR IT >> here’s how.
Remember, a writer’s strongest weapon in getting their stuff solicited and read is QUERYING. Most people do a terrible job of this, so get deleted instantly. This means, if *your* query is concise, to the point and (most importantly) NOT crazy, then you have a GREAT chance of getting your screenplay solicited!!
Here’s 3 Tips To Get Your Work Solicited Via Email – And Not Blow It In The Very Next Email, which also includes a model query. STUDY IT!
Still want an agent?
Then go for it … But know that you probably need some credits (and if applicable, some awards and/or kudos) as a screenwriter before they’ll take you on. That’s why the first two steps are so important. More tips:
You WILL get rejected
But don’t let that get you down. It happens to the best of us! And yes, unfortunately if you hear NOTHING? You’ve been rejected, too. HERE’S WHY.
Make it happen!
So, don’t think it’s out of your hands, or wait to picked. JUST KEEP GOING and make those submissions, whilst creating those relationships. What’s the worst that can happen??