Screenwriting : Getting an Agent to read your script by Amy Schwartz

Amy Schwartz

Getting an Agent to read your script

I have been hearing you will have better luck if you have an agent ask you for a script rather than you ask an agent to read your script. How do you get an agent to ask for your script without major connections? Is it good to send a query letter that does not ask for them to read the script but tells them about it? Let me know your thoughts or advice on this if anyone wants to discuss!

Tony Moore

The best way I've found to get people to read scripts is to send a really, really short email with a quick greeting and your logline. That tells them all they need to know to decide if they want to read the script or hear any more about it. They don't care about how you've done in contests, what you think the script's prospects are, or what other people have said about it. The log is the make-or-break element.

Dan Guardino

You want to send them a one page letter that includes your log line and a very brief synopsis and a real brief description about yourself that might include the number of scripts you have written if more than one and if any placed in a recognized contest. Also anything you have done in the film or entertainment industry that might set you apart. Personally I got my agent by calling different agencies on the phone but I imagine a good query letter might have gotten the same results. Good luck!

Tony Moore

we have the exact opposite advice! goes to show there's no one right way to do things...

Dan Guardino

Tony. You are right that there is no one right way to do things.

Josh Hughes

You could say its 10% talent and 90% luck. I mean who's to say they will even read your amazing query letter?

Dan Guardino

John. Script Agents are Literary Agents. When I got my Agent she asked me to send her two of my screenplays that I thought would be represent my writing so you never know what they will ask for but normally it would be an entire screenplay.

Dan Guardino

Dan M. A query letter is just something you use to convince someone to read your script so I think the odds of the query letter being successful is probably more like 5 or 10 percent.

Dan Guardino

John. A lot of literary agents work with screenwriters and some only work with screenwriters. My agent is also a movie producer and she reps me as both a screenwriter and as a producer.

William Martell

I wouldn't know....

Regina Lee

William Martell, did you steal that line from Leo on Oscar night?

Anne Pariseau

Lol, Regina, that's funny. And you too William if you meant it that way. Seriously cutest moment for that actor. Nice topic question, Amy. I agree that there are so many ways to get noticed and taken seriously. The more of them you try, the better. Following Leo's lead again, networking and relationships are important. Real ones, where you get to know each other and have something positive to offer each other.

Emi Sano

Are the standard query letter templates that are found online something to follow or what worked for you guys? I'm in the same boat as Amy. I've been drafting and redrafting query letters and to this day I haven't sent any out because I don't think it's the right format.

Amy Schwartz

Thank you all for your help! I will try and tinker and try again with the advice. @Emi , I think it can vary. Ive seen quick intro and logline. My mentor says 3 paragraphs (who are you, what do you want, what can you do for them). Check to see if they are industry referral only because if so you need to say who referred you. Ive tried a few now. Usually I feel they dont see it when I call to follow up but the more professional and unique the better.

Emi Sano

Thanks for the info Amy!

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