by Craig Kellem
Getting read is the $64,000 question. It's a question that doesn't have an easy answer. Producers, agents and studios receive so much material that they can't possibly read it all.
They're also very scared of lawsuits. Thus so-called "unsolicited material" is usually sent back unopened. So where does that leave you and how do writers' break through?
Lots of ways is the answer. Sometimes a writer knows someone who knows someone. Who do you know? Rack your brains. Sometimes the writer takes a course or a seminar and the teacher is "connected." Getting this instructor to read your script is the first step. Another method is to send a query letter to agents and producers.
Also you can call the various agencies (and studios) and try to get the names of the newer agents/recently promoted young turks--people starting out who may be "hungry" for new blood. Schmooze with receptionists for a name. Scan the "trades" for announcements of these kinds of promotions. There are also contests one can enter. Hollywood is always impressed with contest recognition.
Check out various screenwriting websites concerning these contests. Pick up some writing magazines as well for this info. In these same magazines there are often articles where Hollywood pros are interviewed. You can find out what's on their mind. Then you can write to them personally and refer to what they said in the article. Get back issues of these magazines as well.
Here's another method that could produce interesting results: write to the director and/or star who you'd like to participate in your movie. Make it like a fan letter. Make a convincing creative argument as to why your script is right for them. Draw analogies with work they've done. Often these artists have offices on the various "lots." You might be able to find their studio addresses through the various guilds (DGA, SAG, WGA). Consider the whole effort like good detective work. Pursue the hell out of it!
Someone will read your script. But the script's gotta be "cherry." That's where I come in.
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