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How To Get Past ‘No Unsolicited Material’

No Unsolicited Material? So Get It Solicited …

I’m always hearing from Bang2writers bemoaning the number of prodcos and agents that tell them they’re not accepting new clients, or that they won’t consider unsolicited material.

My answer? Get them to SOLICIT YOUR WORK. Le duh.

After all, ‘no unsolicited material’ simply means ‘don’t send us still didn’t ask for’!

Get them to ask for your work

You CAN do this. Anyone can, if they know the right approach.

But first there’s a couple of things you need to understand about the industry to really get your best chance of getting work solicited. These are:

Producers and agents won’t read stuff if they don’t have to (‘cos they’re busy with existing projects and clients) …

But–But–But …

… They’re ALL afraid of missing out on The Next Big Thing.

So you need to persuade those agents and producers you’re the Next Big Thing!

How To Do This:

Getting people to think you’re the next big thing and to actually ASK for your writing is easier than you think. Try this 7 step method for size …

  1. Get online (a good online persona is a must)
  2. Meet agents and producers whenever you can in “real life” (like at London Screenwriters Festival)
  3. Make sure you can deliver your logline (not tagline!) conversationally. Know who your audience is and why they would be interested in your story.
  4. Ask agents and producers if they’d be interested in reading a One Pager, rather than a script. (After all, who’s afraid of one page? No one)
  5. But if an agent or producer declines, ask them if you may get back in touch in say, 3 months? If they say yes, you may ask again in 3 months (perhaps with another One Pager), put it in the diary … and make sure you write back!
  6. If they say yes to the One Pager, send it – and don’t hassle them. Remember to follow up on your submission.
  7. If they write back and say they are interested in reading the script, send it. If they say it’s not for them, thank them … And ask if you may send another One Page Pitch, either then or in 3 months?

Rinse And Repeat

Keep on with the above, building up your contacts and reads … and thus, your name.

It’s a simple strategy, but you’re playing the long game! It’s not a case of meeting the right person and/or sending off your script and being magically picked out of obscurity. Sure it *can* happen, but only to about 1% of us (if that).

Just remember: no one ever makes it “overnight”! Even those who appear to have come out of nowhere have still been slogging it behind the scenes.

Good luck!

B2W’s book, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays will be TEN YEARS OLD in 2023!

To commemorate this occasion, I have revisited book and updated it for its anniversary.

I’ve added a whopping extra 100 pages!! This includes new case studies, plus information on television pilots as well as movie screenplays. Here’s the blurb:

Writing and Selling Thriller Screenplays has the lowdown on how to get your thriller feature script on to the page, and how to get it in front of producers and investors.

“First published in 2013, this new edition offers an all-new resources section and a host of new case studies that map the considerable changes of the past decade.

With marketplace disruptors such as Netflix and the first phases of The Marvel Cinematic Universe leaving their mark, new opportunities have been created for screenwriters and filmmakers who are keen to get their stories in front of industry professionals.

This time around, Lucy V Hay doesn’t just guide you through the writing of movies, but spec TV pilots too. Putting iconic, mixed-genre projects under the microscope – such as Stranger Things (horror thriller), Brooklyn 99 (comedy thriller) and Lost (sci fi thriller) – she considers what writers can learn from these shows.

She also argues that the lone protagonist in a thriller has had its day and looks at how the genre is moving into a space beyond ‘The Hero’s Journey’. Case studies to support this include The Hunger Games, Captain Marvel, Iron Man and many more.

Finally, the book considers how the screenplay might be sold to investors, exploring high concept ideas, pitching, packaging and the realities of film finance – all updated for the 2020s – and lays out alternative routes to sales and production, including transmedia such as novels and adaptation, and immersive storytelling online.” BUY IT HERE.

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10 thoughts on “How To Get Past ‘No Unsolicited Material’”

  1. Writing is sooo easy compared to networking.

    I know my story, I know its strengths and (somewhere deep inside) its weakenesses. But I know nothing about producers, agents, film, Hollywood and all that.

    So thanks for your advice. And generally for cutting up the bull into cookable steaks (pun intended).

  2. In my screenwriting class they also mentioned creating a short film or animated film on the story on a shoestring budget, and making it go viral. If it does, you can get attention to your script this way

  3. Pingback: 3 Tips To Get Your Work Solicited Via Email – And Not Blow It In The Very Next Email | Bang2Write

  4. I came to know that all large film production company required Solicited submission so what is this mean ? through legal source or through their authorized agent’s source ? so please explain the meaning of solicited ?

    1. Hi, if your submission is “solicited”, it just means that prodco or whatever has ASKED for it (from you; your agent etc); an “unsolicited” submission is like “cold calling” – you send it in without them asking for it.

  5. This may sound like a silly question, but could any of this work for a simple cast list as well? The reason I ask is I heard about one of Disney’s potential upcoming live-action films that is still in the discussion phase and a while ago I assembled a cast list and have since been revising and “polishing” it. I know Disney has the same “no unsolicited material” policy, so I just need to know if these same rules could possibly help in sending in cast lists as well.

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