Screenwriting : What To Do With My Completed Script by Cleveland O. McLeish

Cleveland O. McLeish

What To Do With My Completed Script

I am at a lost. I live in the Caribbean and I have completed a feature length script, and have no idea how to proceed from here. It seems the old way of sending out query letters to producers and agents is no longer valid. I could use some advice.

Kenya Branch

You can email queries to agents who are accepting new writers.

Leah Waller

1) Make sure your script is tight! send it to readers (not your friends). 2) Do some pitches here on Stage 32! Seriously, I was a skeptic at first but I've done 4 pitches and LOVE them!! At the very least, you find out what real producers/film makers/ execs are looking for. (P.S. - I have no affiliation with Stage 32 or the pitchfests other then being a participant but they have won me over into an avid supporter.)

Ted Gurich

Leah is right. You need to get a "recommend" from an established script analyst (check the net). Then enter well known screenwriting contests....Don't bother with lesser known contests. Good luck, Cleveland.

Ken Glover

Yup, send it to script analysts, get notes, make sure it is tight.....then sign up for DONE DEAL or IMDB, get agents/managers/production companies names/numbers/emails, submit submit submit again.....but make sure it's tight! @Leah Walker - How does one go about getting feedback here on this site?

Danny Manus

Hey Cleveland (and all), I agree with some of this. Yes, if you've finished and rewritten your script, it's time to get some real professional feedback to make sure it's ready. If you're interested, I would be more than happy to help. You can check out my site and service and see if they might be right for you. It's also a great time to enter a handful of prestigious contests (deadlines are in the next couple weeks for most). You can still do the queries and cold calls (imdbpro is a great resource to find out their contact info and Scoggins Report is great resource to find out who you should be looking up) but I agree, you're probably better off doing some pitch sessions on here or query thru Virtual Pitchfest. And network. Get out there. Connect thru social media. But first, you need to make sure it's ready.. Again, I'd be happy to help and have a number of diff services that might work for you. Thanks, good luck!

Ivan Alexei Dominguez

Cleveland you can use and also there is a lot of International Screenplay Contest all around the world. The Contest will be the ease way to show your work! The best for you. Regards Ivan

Brian Wareham

Donedealpro. It's a website that lists agents, mangers and production companies accepting query letters and screenplay submissions.

Cherie Grant


Diane Hanks

Agents and managers are more likely to read your script if it's done well in competition. But before I send a screenplay out to competition, I always get feedback by several trusted readers (no relatives;). If you don't have a screenwriting group, there are several good screenplay coverage services out there. Some comps also provide script feedback, though usually for an additional fee. Most of the time, well worth it.

Leah Waller

Alle - you make excellent points!! Any recommendations for someone who's been writing a long time?

Ken Glover

@Brian - Do you have to do the paid subscription at Done Deal to get that info?

Ken Glover

@Leah and Alle - Yes, what does one do who has written over seven scripts. I never start my query as "I'm a new writer". Maybe it all boils down to networking, who you know in the business. Guess that is why I am here! Anyone interested in a contained action/thriller or a big budget YA Sci-Fi romp through the galaxy? :)

Brian Wareham

It's required.


Great comment Alle! Yes! Do a table read, where you hire some actors (many of them will do it for lunch and gas money) to get together and just sit around a table and read it aloud. I would also film it on a video recorder that is set up on a tripod. Just let the camera (iphone) roll and let the actors do their stuff. I guarantee that you will find things that you will want to improve. : )

Lee Gabel

No one will ever read my first screenplay. I consider it a right of passage. Start another one.

Kevin Fukunaga

Hi Cleveland, My best advice to get read, assuming you have no industry contacts, is to 1) enter top screenwriting competitions - like the Nicholl Fellowship or Austin and 2) query managers, not agents. Managers have fewer clients and are more inclined to read queries and submissions than agents. If you win or place highly (finalist, maybe semi-finalist) in a top screenplay competition like the Nicholl, you WILL get contacted by reps. If you enter your script in a few competitions and do not win or place highly, then you might consider getting your script read and evaluated by an industry associate or, if you don't have that, a good paid reader or service, as your screenplay might simply not be ready to be submitted professionally yet. Querying does absolutely work though, assuming your query and more specifically your logline are strong. If you are querying managers and getting no responses, your query is either too long, poorly written or your logline isn't interesting enough to attract any attention. I know some managers like to skip straight to the logline and if it interests them, then they might read the query. If you include all kinds of personal details and a long sales pitch, they will probably just hit delete. I can't emphasize this enough. Keep your query short and sweet. It's probably not worth querying major producers, prodcos or studios as almost none of them will accept unsolicited material - for legal reasons and because they simply are not set-up to review the literally thousands of screenplays they'd get if they did accept submissions. Get a manager and THEY will send out your script and get you read. My advice comes from my own experiences securing representation and from interviewing lots of agents and managers for my website/podcast. Good luck!

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