Screenwriting : Finished Screenplay by Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Finished Screenplay

Good afternoon all-

Greetings from London!

Sorry if it's a previously answered question.

I've just finished writing my first screenplay, and begun work on my second, and I'm not sure what to do with the first one now that it's done?

Not looking for money necessarily but I'd like to see it get made...

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Brandon

Michael Elsey

Brandon - not sure where you are with the first screenplay. But when I have done a few drafts of a screenplay and feel it is ready for other eyes. I then send it to a few of my trusted readers for feedback to see if everything is working as it should.

If you feel that the screenplay is good to go then maybe time to perfect your pitch for it and try to pitch some execs here at Stage 32. Also, see if there are any screenplay contests that it might be a fit for.

Brandon Brown

Thanks Michael Elsey !

Paul Grammatico

Hey Brandon. Just to let you know, when you are looking at execs to pitch to, I would make sure to look at the works they have done previously just to make sure your script fits into the kind of genre they're looking for.

John Ellis

What to do with your first script: put it in a drawer and forget it.

2nd script: see above

3rd script: now you can start identifying people to pitch to as Paul Grammatico has said. And continue writing.

By the 6th finished screenplay, you will probably be good enough to have people get interested in it, and will have spent enough time learning how to query and pitch that you may get some positive responses.

Phil Clarke

Congratulations on finishing your first script. I take it this has been through a few drafts, or are we talking first draft status? Happy to talk in more detail about what you should do next. Feel free to message me anytime.

Penny Ray

I agree with John on this. I don’t know of anyone who has written a decent first script. If the story concept is something you’re passionate about, perhaps give it several rewrites. But if you don’t mind scrapping the idea altogether, which seems to be the case since you’re not interested in monetary profit, you should probably just move on to the next idea. Perhaps revisit that first script a few years from now after you have a dozen or more under your belt.

Brandon Brown

Thanks everyone for your input! I think the idea is much better than the execution- maybe I can give it to a professional to write properly..

Appreciate your help John Ellis Penny Ray Phil Clarke

Clint Hill

Register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office: https://www.copyright.gov/

Clint Hill

Before you begin to market your script in any way, shape, or form, register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office: https://www.copyright.gov/

Tabitha Baumander

let it sit till you finish the second one then go back and rewrite the first... Trust me you will find things to fix. Registering it with the Writers Guild is also a good idea.

Thom Reese

Script coverage here at Stage 32 is also a good option to get some feedback for your next draft.

Brandon Brown

Thanks all!

John Ellis

Sorry, I disagree, Tabitha Baumander - registering with the WGA is a waste of money. I affords you no extra legal protection over a LOC copyright, or even the simple reality of once you write it, you're protected (as explained to my by two entertainment attorneys).

John Ellis

Again, disagree with you, Clint Hill. LOC copyright isn't the waste of money that a WGA reg is, but, again, as explained to me by two different ent. attorneys (and at different times) - plagiarism cases almost always come down on the side of who has the biggest lawyers, not who's right or wrong (regardless of provable copyright).

You're as protected as you can be (without having an attorney on retainer) by the act of writing it.

Too, having an LOC copyright can be a disincentive to legit prodcos - they sometimes prefer not to do a copyright (together with you) until the script's been rewritten into final shape (and it WILL be rewritten) - it saves them time.

And, remember, unless you've gotten a really sweet, very unusual deal that gives you some additional rights, the FILM will be copyrighted solely under the prodco's name, anyway.

Dan MaxXx

It’s okay, even some professionals suggest, to write screenplays as writing samples- the same as actor reels. Show Employers you’re ready to work.

Dan Guardino

I agree with Clint because registering your screenplay creates a chain of title that is admissible in a court of law.

Dan Guardino

Registering it with the Writers Guild is admissible evidence that can be used in court, so it does offer some protection. However, if you win you might not be entitled to attorney fees or compensatory damages, so it is better to register it with the LOC. I register mine with both most of the time because my Agent asked me to.

Craig D Griffiths

Like others have said. Just put the first one in a cupboard. Once you have finished your second screenplay you will be in a better place to assess your first screenplay. After your second screenplay you will know if the world should see your first screenplay.

I have a few screenplays that I know the world shouldn’t see. They are complete and have fully rounded stories. They are not good enough for someone to buy (at this point in time).

Eric Sollars

The steps I go through after completion of the screenplay are 1. Title, 2. Log Line, 3. Register it with WGA 4. Send it out for coverage by a reader 5. Enter it into a contest.. Depending on the coverage and contest results I will do a second or third draft.

Clint Hill

Register your script with the U.S. Copyright Office (https://www.copyright.gov/registration/). Doing so with the U.S. Copyright Office DOES give you the legal protection mentioned in a previous post here.

You may register with the Writers Guild or not; it’s up to you. Registration with the Writers Guild DOES NOT afford you the legal protection alluded to in a previous post here. It only affords you a claim of authorship, which is not the same as the U.S. Copyright Office’s claim of legal ownership of rights to a written work. It even states this on the WGAW website (https://www.wgawregistry.org/).

You may use either registration in a court of law, but who wants to go to court? The U.S. Copyright registration carries far more weight and authority. It costs $65 per work registered, and if you end up revising your work, yes, you need to register it again with a new copyright claim. It’s worth it.

You’ll want to register your script with the U.S. Copyright Office (https://www.copyright.gov/registration/) BEFORE you do anything else with it—BEFORE you send it to a reader for coverage or notes, or BEFORE you enter it into a contest—so be sure your script’s edited and proofread as much as it will ever be before you register. Do not put your U.S. Copyright Registration Number on your script. The registration only sees the light of day when there is a legal claim to make.

Michael A Cantu

I never put anything in the cupboard, except pasta. Register your copyright and Writers Guild. You should also look on FilmFreeway for contests. Check to see what genre your screenplay falls in and enter a competition that gives feedback. You will see if your script has legs then or if you need to rewrite to make it stronger. Always try to build on what you have. Once you have done that, you should be in a better place to submit to agencies.

Brandon Brown

Stupid question for Clint Hill , does it matter if I live in the USA or not as to whether it can be registered with the Copyright office?

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