Producing : Do I really need an agent? by Anneke Koremans

Anneke Koremans

Do I really need an agent?

Hi everyone! I have a question. I have written a book which has been read by thousands of people worldwide, but it's not on the best-seller list. Most of my readers asked me if it would be turned into a movie. So I have been trying to realize that for 2 years now. However, everytime I would reach out to a producer, director or a film studio, I get a nervous letter back from their legal department, saying that my letter was not solicited and they made it clear to never contact them again. Some studios are rude, others sweet, but the message is still the same. So that means I need an agent. I then reached out to as many agents and agencies I could find, but still got the reply that they could not read unsolicited mail. As you may understand, my frustration grew. I have even found a potentially interested investor for 70% of the estimated 50 million Dollar budget. I have a synopsis of a possible screenplay, which still needs to be written, but I cannot move forward until I have found financial backing to hire a professional to write the script. For it is a trade much underestimated and undervalued. Then people from the film biz, who cannot help me, but do advise me on certain matters, said that I don't need an agent at all, but an interested director with the right contacts in the business. Still, how do I reach out to directors without getting the boot before even reaching one? I am not giving up. I am a YES girl. But I have been punished for my perseverance with rudeness and by many people turning their backs towards me without even looking. The big guys are all too high and mighty so I'm no longer coming near them. They seem to be paranoid. I am a sober, down to earth, realistic and ready-for-action 47 years old woman, not a dreamer. I have reached out to the entire top in movie making with no results other than becoming the most famous unknown person in certain Hollywood circles... Oh, I know Hollywood is changing. I saw it all happen before my eyes... so I am looking for synergy, innovation, new media and a team who wants to work with their hearts, because this project will be an adventure with a depth. We all want to work with the big guys, the big studios, for that makes worldwide distribution easier. But what about joining forces enabling new talents to work with big giants? A learning stage for people who come fresh from the academy and film schools, mixing internship with real movie making in an international co-production? Which big giant would be brave enough to step down a little and work with newbies to help them up? I believe in my project. I continue where the Da Vinci Code stopped and the star of my show is the real Indiana Jones, a Nazi relic hunter called Otto Rahn. The story is based on true facts and takes people on quite a ride. Check it all out on www.jeannedaout.com. I am already writing out the important storylines for the screenplay and have done location scouting for the French scenes. I have a few ideas for the casting and am full of inspiration to become the creative director and creative producer of this movie. My train is already in motion. So... do I really need an agent to do this? How do I make noise for this project without getting the boot while still in the parking lot? Thanks so much for your time everyone and in advance for any advice! xox

Official website of author Jeanne D'Aout
Official website of author Jeanne D'Aout
Author of 'White Lie, the Quest for The Forbidden Relic' and 'The Eye of Ra'
Jay Pulk

Hello Anneke, An agent is more helpful after you have demonstrated your talent in the film world. For an ambitious project like this, well-established studios are understandably nervous dealing with a relative newcomer to the business. If you have financial backing for the movie, it's much easier to find and work with directors, producers, and distributors directly. Without a major backer, you might consider approaching the project by first either producing a lower budget short film, or a scene from your feature, using mid-level talent to showcase your abilities. A successful short film earns you credibility, and will help to attract upper-level directors, producers, distributors and studios.

Anneke Koremans

Wow, long way around... I guess I'm gonna go for the major backers. I know I have to start somewhere, but it's difficult for me to do a short first. No cash, no team. But it's something I will certainly keep in mind when an opportunity arises. I'm keen to create a doc about the mysteries of Occitania and actually had a producer to help me with the production and distribution. But then he suddenly had a lot of success and I was no longer in focus.Ah well... Keeping eyes and ears open for new opportunities. ;) Thanks for taking the time to comment on my post, Jay. I really appreciate it! :) xox

Richard William Todd

As a writer myself and having self published five books on my own through three different self publishing agencies. I've been writing screen plays for a while, I may not have an agent however quite a number of distributors have contacted me and want to help me succeed. No, I don't have anything for them but talking and connecting is part of the game. I know it's not a game, it's really getting to know people and how they deal with new up coming actors, directors and such. Create something smaller in scale, we have to prove to them "bigger studios' that we mean as much to the industry as well. So in general have more than just one pitch, have at least three different story lines and pitches. They are interested though there are also pitch sites of which I belong to as well. Inktip for upcoming writers, here they have connections for either writers and directors. http://www.greenlightmymovie.com/ http://www.inktip.com

Anneke Koremans

Thank you so much, Liam, for your feedback! I will take a look at the websites. :) xox

Padma Narayanaswamy

I am also sailing in the same boat no funds, no contacts . But still persisting . Best of luck

Anneke Koremans

Thank you so much! You too! xox :)

Sergey Ushakov

Every artist need an agent!

Anneke Koremans

I'd love an agent, but have tried to get one for a year now ... Feel like I'm going in circles...

Richard William Todd

I've approached a few agents but they turned away from me. It's not easy finding the right one and when I do get an agent I sure hope it's more than one.

Brock Riebe

Honestly, if you seriously have a potential investor for 70 percent of a $50 million dollar budget then that's a lot more important than finding an agent. Maybe you should produce it yourself. Write the screenplay yourself. Be inventive. No one said it would be easy or should be. Do what you need to do. Period!

Brock Riebe

I never understand when people approach filmmaking from and standpoint of waiting for others to do something. If you can't get someone else to do it DO IT YOURSELF! If you don't have that conviction; good luck.

Anneke Koremans

Thanks guys! Wow... xoxox

Anneke Koremans

Isabella, good luck!!! xoxoxox

Anneke Koremans

Thanks Manda! It's a huge project. It involves at least a 50+ crew, several sets in a studio, location shots in 6 different locations in different countries, big scenes, a large cast, it involves multiple vehicles among which a private jet and preferably one or more a-list actors. It involves ancient languages, many props and decors that may need to be made especially for this movie and specific clothing, specific sound techniques, skilled montage, fab music compostion and a good distribution. I cannot possibly do this on my own, so I need to find partners & more investors and this is exacty what I have been trying to do now for 2 years. It's exciting, but it may be too big to pull off. I'm a realist. Nevertheless I will try. ;) xox

Lookman Film And TV

Producers may have a slate of projects at anyone time some hang around like the King's Speech before being made, most never see the light of day. Funding is the main problem for independent producers. I have known persons who have spent anything up to 100k in development and that could be a loss. All the money is in the Studios and actors pockets. There are people called scouts who are on the look out for books, games etcetera on the chance they might earn a commission. To be honest a screenplay might cost 10k to 120k to write. Then you have to find investors who are looking for safe investments, then you need distribution and so on, this is a daunting task. One solution may be to try amazon, a new writer, director and producer team and make it really cheap, hoping one of the big guys will want to make a remake. By making it in France you can get 45% tax incentive.

Anneke Koremans

Thanks! That's good to know! xox

David Taylor

You will find someone willing to write it for you, for deferred payment, if you advertise.

Cliff Zed

Hi Anneke, If you sold thousands from your website, expand on that audience. When writing to publishers, lead with "I've sold X copies already. With the resources behind publisher Y, ten times the exposure will lead to at least ten times the sales." or something like that. As for the movie business, try the documentary Tales from the Script (on Netflix). It's an eye opener to the film industry. Might give you some help.

Angelina Carkic

Have you tried to write the script yourself? A first draft that a more experienced author can work on perhaps for deferred payment as suggested above. Get Final Draft 8, it makes the formatting a cinch. You just create the story. Good luck. Let me know how it goes.

Anneke Koremans

Thank you so much, Cliff and Angelina, for your feedback. Well, in my pitch I do mention the sales and try to inspire anyone who loves the art of filming something of this scale and still remain a certain quality. As I am now writing my sequel, I have no time to dive into screenwriting myself, also I have never written a screenplay before. I did co-write the synopsis with a famous filmmaker, who was very expensive and that blew all my money. Still, I think that synopsis gives a good feeling & atmosphere of what the film can be, although it only deals with a few threads of the multi layered story. Do you think I could add it to my profile perhaps? I'm always scared it inspires others to run away with the story, which is, however, registered, also in the States... xox

Anneke Koremans

Just watched the trailer for Tales from the Script (I love that title by the way) and it sort of underlines what I have already discovered. It's a real trade, underestimated, undervalued. And even when you come up with that fab screenplay of a fab story, it may still not get done, while really shitty movies come out all the time. I crawl underneath my blanket when I see one, quickly change channels and wonder how that movie got produced in the first place. The "Indie Producers Directory" started "Logliners" simply to avoid screenplays from being overlooked because of a bad logline. Coming up with a logline is one of the hardest things I had to do and I even had help from really sweet people who are pros and know how to create them. Even now I don't know if my logline works, I may do it all wrong. I know it's a learning process. But I'm keen to learn and so far I met some really nice people on this road that may one day lead towards White Lie the Movie. ;-) xox

Stephanie Palmer - Pitch Consultant

Hi Anneke, I love your enthusiasm and persistence. For a project like yours, it's terrific that it is based on a true story which is a great selling point and that you have potential financing. The main issue that I see based on what you have shared, is that you don't have a screenplay yet. When I was at MGM, we received over 4000 screenplays per year (which is way more than the six of us could read). When you are approaching a studio or producer without a screenplay it's a little like if you went to a restaurant and the chef came out and said, "Look at these wonderful ingredients," instead of doing the work of cooking the meal. I recommend focusing on getting a screenplay written. Of course, it's ideal if you suddenly get funding enough to pay a pro, but there are lots of talented writers who are willing to work on spec for the right project. I'm confident you could find someone great on Stage 32 or reading contest winning screenplays or through your personal network to help move your project forward.

Anneke Koremans

Thank you so much! Yes, I absolutely see it. Thank you so much for taking the time to write! Warm hugs from Occitania! xox

Lisette Norton

Every Writer needs an Agent, including me which is why I'm headed out to LA.

Stephanie Palmer - Pitch Consultant

There is a terrific new book out- How To Manager Your Agent: A Writer's Guide To Hollywood Representation by Chad Gervich. Highly recommended.

Angelina Carkic

Hope this will help. Think my first attempt at posting went astray. This is from the ISA site. members@NetworkISA.org We are committed to bringing writers around the world quality resources and career opportunities. Date: December 10, 2013 Screenwriting Classes and Workshops Special Holiday Offer for ISA Members on Writers Boot Camp's January 9th LA Basic Training with Founder Jeffrey Gordon If you've got a movie or TV idea, we’ll help you write the first draft of your script in only seven weeks. Finally, you can put this past year of obstacles and unrealized projects behind you and get a fresh start on your creative goals, as well as write a script by the end of February! As we celebrate our 25th anniversary supporting writers and launching careers in the industry, let us help you develop your material and your writing and storytelling tool kit. Jeffrey Gordon, who started in 1989 with seven writers in his living room, will be teaching five Thursday nights starting January 9th. The script deadline, three weeks after the fifth class, is February 27th. In honor of 25 years, we're offering $250 of Creative Currency to the first five ISA members who enlist in Basic Training by Friday, December 13th. Whether for yourself or a loved one (that could be you as well), learning while writing a script is a great gift. For the first five ISA members who enlist this week, the price is 25% off or $745. To be eligible for the creative currency, please email Jeff at jg@writersbootcamp.com or call (310) 998-1199 Writers outside of LA, or who cannot make the January session, may apply the ISA $250 Creative Currency to get the same rate on One-on-One Basic Training if enlisted by Friday, December 20th. A Few Comments From Our Successful Alumni “Writers Boot Camp helped me attack a script and get my head around an idea. I used to just hack at stories and Writers Boot Camp allowed me to do a lot of that structural work earlier in the process.” --Matt Nix, creator-executive producer, Burn Notice “Writers Boot Camp gave me support in the crucial beginning stages of my first movie which landed me an overall studio deal.” --Shawn Schepps, screenwriter, ENCINO MAN and writer-producer, Weeds “Writers Boot Camp was really instrumental in starting my career and I'm forever grateful for the tools it provided (and still provides).” --Heather Hach, screenwriter, FREAKY FRIDAY “The most important thing I learned from Writers Boot Camp was to de-value the writing process, the anxiety over what goes onto the page in any given session. Writing is, of course, re-writing, and if you don't put down anything on the page, you won't have anything to change.” --Gary Marks, screenwriter, THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED “It was a great jump start for me. I had stalled a little bit - was having trouble coming up with ideas, etc. Writers Boot Camp got me into a writing routine, and gave me tools to get unstuck. Also, I was able to finish a script on deadline - even though it needed a lot of work, I started to feel like I had enough drive to keep at it.” --Marti Noxon, writer-producer, Mad Men, Brothers & Sisters, Buffy The Vampire Slayer A Bit of History Basic Training is more than basic. In keeping with the military motif and intensity of the experience, when our mission shifted to focus on extended Professional Membership coursework, the initial course became Basic Training. “Even without the coursework, the unique writing tools, the comprehensive fundamentals for movies and TV--and other formats, perspective on the business, instructor support in and outside of class, the complementary workbook and individualized script evaluation notes at the end of the course, it would be worth the investment just to write a complete and actual draft of your script!” --Jeffrey Gordon Screenplays wanted! Submit: http://www.networkisa.org/writing-gigs.php

Anneke Koremans

Thanks guys! :) xox

Peter Carr

It's unfort. but yes, you need representation to get your property into the right hands. Imagine how much crap they would have to read if it wasn't like that.

Michael J. Citak

Hi Anneke, Michael here, I'm a screenwriter/director/actor, and would be interested in reading your book. After reading it I can help you get it to where it needs to be. if you have a potential investor for 70% of the estimated budget, I can work with that. My production company partners with producers all over the USA , either in tv/ or film to get the project moving in the right direction.

Anneke Koremans

Hi Michael! That's very cool. Mail me at anneke@barinca.fr for details. :) xox

Kirby Mason

Anneke, I wish you the best of luck with finding a movie home for your book. It does sound like it has a lot of potential. I think, however, that you might do better NOT to mention Indiana Jones or the Knights Templar (Da Vinci Code) up front when you are shopping it around . No matter how different your work might be, those keywords are just going to keep turning people off. After glancing at your website, I'd say "wormhole to the 1st century," "Ark of the Covenant," and "Oshu" are better ideas to pitch especially if you can intrigue people with a glimpse of the character of Oshu without giving away so quickly that he is the "real Jesus." Hollywood loves a proven formula with new "plug-in content" but emphasizing "Indiana Jones" and "Knights Templar" gives that impression that you are probably repeating themes or doing a spin-off of those previous works. I'd like to get a copy of your book and find out more, but I am in China wrapping up the last bits of production on my first feature film. Perhaps I can get the kindle version. Would be happy to talk about your story sometime.

Anneke Koremans

Thank you SO much Kirby, this is very informative! :) You are right, the story is no spin off but a new intake on historical issues and has an original plot. I will work on my logline and info sheet. Let's keep in touch! anneke@barinca.fr xox

Anneke Koremans

Possible new loglne: "Wormholes into the past, a stolen diary with forbidden history and a Nazi relic hunter lead a team of mysterious researchers to the secret of WWII Pope Pius XII." Opinions greatly appreciated. xox :)

Michael J. Citak

while not a magic formula, this will point you in a direction towards the formulation of the sentence. http://thestorydepartment.com/drafts/logline-generator/

Anneke Koremans

Hi Lisa, thanks! Yes, I've done that! Exactly 1 year ago I studied IMDb Pro thoroughly and made up a list. Of course, when things started to come back with "sorry, we don't accept unsolicited mail" I stopped. Then I tried LinkedIn and reached out to several people there, and now here on Stage32. There's lots of interest, but I am hoping to find someone who is actually willing to start working with me on this project, to make a plan of action. I don't care if it means I have to wait for a few years for a good producer/director and some a-list actors to become available. In the meantime someone fab could, e.g., write the screenplay (with me or with my assistance). I have so many ideas! Good luck with your projects, Lisa! And thanks for your feedback! xox :)

Anneke Koremans

Hi Michael, tried it, but it went to a url that didn't work. But thanks for the link! :) xox

Anneke Koremans

Guess what? A producer/director just finished reading my book and is interested! Fingers crossed on moving forward! ~ Happy Holidays! Wishing you much Joy and Love and let's make 2014 absolutely fabulous! Thanks for all your comments last week! They were a BIG help! xox

Angelina Carkic

Congratulations Anneke. Good luck, and have a joyous Christmas and Happy New Year.

Anneke Koremans

Thanks Angelina! U2! :) xox

Padma Narayanaswamy

Congrats Anneke

Anneke Koremans

Thanks Padma! Hopefully this producer wants to move forward! :) xox

Alan Abel

Dear Anneke, from my past experiences you only need one word for achieving your goals: IMAGINATION. For example, to defeat the fleabag lawyers who earn $150 an hour to tell you to take a long walk on a short pier, here is what you do. Word process a synopsis of your script; then reduce to postcard size and mail THAT to the producer/director. He or she will read it and one of these insecure devils will come up with an option and development plan. One more example and then I must get back to my year of sulking and only reading THE NEW YORK TIMES. A few decades ago I wanted to write a humorous newspaper column, encouraged by Art Buchwald, published in 1,200 papers who read my sample column ON A POSTCARD. But he didn't really help me, giving only encouragement in a personal letter he signed (worth something because he passed away). I sent out 100 POSTCARDS, oversized with 2 samples, costing 2 first class stamps. And there were 100 rejections. So, I dreamed up a faux newspaper, THE SAN FRANCISCO TIMES, and sent this press release to every radio and TV station in SF. Within days I had requests for personal interviews and I flew out to SF with my last $500 for expenses. When the Executive Editor of the S.F. CHRONICLE invited me to lunch, how could I refuse? The next day I signed a two-year contract for a weekly humorous column ("The Private World of Prof. Bunker C. Hill"), including a free Victorian house in Pacific Heights and a month's vacation in Europe with all expenses paid. So, Anneke, you can do it too. Just don't give up!!!

Anneke Koremans

Wow!!! Thanks Alan! Wow! Talking about never giving up and doing what you can do with the tools you've got! Kudos! Have a fab jolly Season Alan! xox

Alan Abel

Thanks and same to you. I'm writing a song, "I Got Pneumonia For Christmas" (Standing in line all night waiting for Best Buy to open). Another technique, Anneke," is slipping a flyer under hotel room doors at a book publishers' convention. I did this at the ABA Convention in Washington, DC during the 80's and my flyer impressed Eric Swenson, EIC of W.W.Norton. He paid $10,000 up front and published my "Don't Get Mad...Get Even" that sold 100,000 copies. The next book convention is in June at Javitts Center in NYC. The "suits" stay at all the best hotels, the Hilton and Sheraton has a lot of them.

Anneke Koremans

Ha that's a great idea!! :D Wow, you're amazing! xox

Michael J. Citak

i finished reading the book. really loved it. Hope your connection on here pans out for you, good luck.

Anneke Koremans

Thanks so much Michael! Big warm Holiday hug! May 2014 be the one in which your dreams come true! :) xox

Edwin Brochin

Where can I get a copy of the book? I would like to see the vision of a movie production based on the story but need to know the story

Anneke Koremans

Thanks! www.jeannedaout.com has all the links, hard copies and all formats of e-books. :) Warm hug from France! xox

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