Screenwriting : Agents by Scott Whenman

Scott Whenman


Is it important to have an Agent? I'm a self published author of two books, and I'm giving scriptwriting a go. So far, all I've got back from Agents is that they're not taking on any new clients. Most companies will not except any unsolicited work from people. I am desperately trying to turn my passion for writing into a career.

Michael DeLorta

I was told it wasn't necessary to have an agent by one person, and another told me it was. Who to believe? I'm still pushing my screenwriting career, and you're right, it is hard to get your work looked at without an agent. Just keep pushing until you get through the door. You'll get there.

D Marcus

Both are right. All studios and most prodCo's will not look at scripts unless submitted by an agent. So a writer needs and agent to submit to the major studios and many prodCo's. There are many independent prodCo's and producers, directors and actors looking for good scripts and they don't require an agent to submit. So a writer does not need an agent. Agents who are not taking on new clients suddenly take notice if a small, independently produced movie gets noticed. It's also a numbers game; finding an agent looking at previously unproduced writers and having a good body of work that interests agents. So a writer needs to not only query hundreds of agents but that need to have several well written, marketable scripts written.

Jeffrey Stackhouse

My opinion, although I find no issue with what's been said, before: If you want access to A-level actors or Companies, with a greater chance that your content will be opened, you should have an Agent. On your own, you can get physical mailings opened by clever packaging, you can (sometimes? often?) get cold e-mails opened by clever/informative/exciting subject lines (if they haven't dropped into the spam folder). Targeting Development Companies is a route, but then, what you essentially have is an Agent who is taking their bite from the Third Party. An Agency essentially does the work that you could do yourself (and more focused) with the big caveat that they hopefully have actual access (and you will certainly want someone to look over deal contracts, in any case -- tho you can go with Entertainment Lawyers). -- Of course, you have many possible stumbling blocks once you're associated (small fish / big pond, do they actually have access to venues you want, a myriad). If you're willing to go an almost-certain-to-be-long-route, do it yourself. I like the process, and have had some small success, that path (not a brag; an illustration). But, depending on what you have and who you want to get attached, perhaps you want to put those same efforts (also) into getting an Agent. At a certain point you will have to have someone,. -- At which juncture I'll still be doing some marketing, because that's mah job, (which my Agent will appreciate). All, my opinion. Best.

Danny Manus

I agree with both those answers. I will throw in that agents are Always looking for new clients!! its their job. If they tell you they aren't, its because the work isn't strong enough or they don't want You as a client for some reason.

C. D-Broughton

Get your work in front of as many people as you can, behave how any decent, respectful human being should and eventually, someone will set you up. Or you can keep knocking on doors hoping for an answer... but either way, your break-through could come tomorrow or it may never come at all, so don't quit you job just yet.

Mary Gulivindala

Hi everyone. Danny, the person posting said he can't get anyone TO LOOK AT HIS work. You said agents are always looking for new talent and it depends on the quality of content. BUT AGENTS WONT LOOK. It's a big conundrum of perseverance, excellent work and who do you know. Once you've been rejected to the point of hopelessness, you'll get work. REMEMBER WRITERS -Work from a position of power. Agents need us. We make them money. Submit to festivals and contest. Go to conventions and learn the business of show business. With great respect. 1Real Girl Writer.

Darrell Laurant

This is straying a bit from the focus of this thread, but I couldn't find another place to ask the question. Say you're a writer who has what you believe is a very viable idea for a screenplay, but you have no experience in screenwriting and would love to find a screenwriter with whom to collaborate. Although you plan to work this idea into the second book of a series (the first has already been published), you haven't started writing it yet. Is there any way to protect yourself if you float the idea to the general mass of screenwriters? Can you copyright a specific plot, and if so, how could you prove copyright infringement? Or should I just wait until the book gets written? I'm not being paranoid, just careful.

Darrell Laurant

Thanks so much, Dan. I was thinking along those lines. My only thought was that if I had someone develop a screenplay as I was writing the book, we could hit the ground running on the off-chance that it ever sold. I was also thinking more in terms of an indy film than a Hollywood blockbuster.

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