|1. I just finished my first
screenplay. What do I do with it now?
The first thing you
should have done is purchased
Bible a "must have" for every
screenwriter. This is the book that shows you how to format and structure your
script. If you haven't read it, now is the time to buy it. You will not be
disappointed! This book insures you
will write your screenplay properly and it will meet industry standards. It's a
mistake not to read the book!
The next step is marketing. Screenwriting is all about marketing!
You need to sell the script! Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets is
the book to "package" your script professionally and get it to the production
companies, producers and agents. Click links below to order Screen & Stage
Marketing Secrets book from Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. Or click here to order from the publisher.
Amazon.com Click here.
Barnes & Noble Click here.
2. Where do I go to get my script evaluated?
There are many services and most are expensive. The best low-cost, though
a bit slow, is to submit your script to the Readers Digest Screenplay Contest, or
other respectable contests. But don't go overboard with these contests as you can
spend a small fortune trying to rank with them high placements. The contest do serve
a purpose to see how your script ranks with others, but even low-ranking scripts have
found big money sales. Contests are not an absolute, as the opinion given on the
script evaluation to merit its rank is subjective. The evaluator may hate the
script, but you could still sell it to somebody else at a huge sum. Screen &
Stage Marketing Secrets has a listing of Script Doctors and many give deep discounts to
readers of the book.
3. I keep getting rejection letters. What can
I do to stop this?
The odds are the query letter is defective if it is failing to obtain the
desired results -- the script being requested by the agent or producer. Never try
to "sell" the script in a query letter, as it's a huge mistake. The
purpose is to "entice" the agent, so they will request the script. Try
changing your query letter, shorten it. Less information about yourself and more on
the story. Most query letters are way too long and are simply looked at and tossed
into the trash as appearing unprofessional. Screen &
Stage Marketing Secrets shows you how to create query letters for the film
industry. It's different for the book industry and this is where a lot of
book writers fail trying to use the same approach. It does not work. If the
script is requested and you still receive rejections? Try editing the script.
Have the script evaluated by a professional so it will be marketable. Send the
script only to agents and prodcos who specialize in the genre you have written.
There's more to it here, but this should help.
4. Why send a spec script of another show to a
Boredom is the prime reason. Imagine yourself, day in and out, reading and
writing a specific show and dozens of spec scripts are arriving in the mail to read.
It can burn you out! So, this is why many show producers want to see
"another show" as a writing sample. Of course, stick with the same genre.
If the producer is airing a comedy then send a comedy script, not a soap opera.
The writer/producer can tell from your writing style and form if they wish to
contact you to write an episode for them. Some producers do require spec scripts
based on their show, but the general rule is to send a sample script of another show.
This may appear to be a waste of time writing a show you don't care about, but it's
your calling card and resume, so it does have great value to reveal your writing talent.
In fact, everyone knows everyone, so your script may end up being passed on to the
other show's producer and they may buy the spec script.
5. Is it always best to have an agent?
Generally, yes. However, scripts are sold without agents all of the time,
too. Having an agent will open doors to opportunity, but you still have to knock on
the doors marketing your product. Unless you are established, marketing will always
be your prime focus, as you try to sell your scripts. If your script is good, it's
going to make waves and sell. Agents help gain access to the buyers, but in the
book, "Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets"
it explains how to present and sell your script without agents. Once the deal is
made? You'll have your pick of any agent you want to represent you.
6. Do producers want to see a completed script or
will an outline suffice?
If they have a policy of seeing outlines, then an outline treatment is fine.
Most everyone who is not established in the industry must have a finished
product to present, and many agents, movie stars and producers and directors want to see a
completed script ready to go. Every screen and television writer has completed spec
scripts and so should you. I don't bother with treatments, focus on writing good
query letters to market the finished product. No time wasted with
treatments that are extremely difficult to sell anyway, it's like trying to sell
ideas. There are many ideas, many promises and dreams in this business and few quality
scripts to be sold. Do not try to take shortcuts. Sit down and write a
completed script, then start on your second, third, fourth. Usually, by the time you
have finished between four to six scripts, your writing has matured to the point it is
marketable. Many believe you can write one script and make it in this business, but
it is very rare to do so.
7. I want to adapt a book into a screenplay.
How do I do this?
It's not a good idea to work on other writers copyrighted material. Many
novice writers fall into this trap, wanting to write other peoples material, and fail
miserably. This is not to say it can't be done, but it's complex business here!
Best advice is to write your own story. Even if the author and agent
give the rights to do so, the publisher may not, and your time is wasted. If the
publisher gives the green light, in writing, your script still may stall in the
negotiation phase with the buyers, as too many hands are in the pie, each wanting big cuts
for profits. Save yourself grief and write your own material.
Anyway, it's the agent's job to make these deals, not the writer and the studio that buys
the script or idea usually hire their own writers and that will cut you out of the deal,
too. It's just not worth playing around with such things; falling in love with other
peoples dreams. If you really want to do it, you can. It's not impossible, but
be prepared for a lot of legal haggling. Adaptations by unknown writers are terribly
hard to sell! If you do this, you should be paid to write the script by the
publisher or studio. Doing it without pay is very risky, as you may never earn a
dime for your efforts. Generally performing your own adaptation of a book can be
done. First contact the book publisher, not the author, as the publisher
traditionally owns subsidiary film rights. Negotiate from there. You could ask
for an option, but it likely will be refused. They want big money to purchase story
rights! How much? Tens of thousands of dollars. Do you have that sort of
cash and still risk no studio will film the screenplay? Basically, the major studios
build these adaptation deals, not individual authors. Best advice is to get your
heart away from any adaptations and simply write your own story. It's much too
difficult to obtain success.
8. Why must I have completed scripts? Can't
my ideas sell?
Ideas sell in Hollywood by industry pros who are known to produce a finished and
marketable product. Most all writers must have completed scripts. This
industry is based on promises and dreams, yet few can deliver the goods. There is
only one way to prove you can deliver and that is to present a finished script ready for
production/sale. Outlines, treatments, synopsis, sample scenes and queries mean
nothing without a finished product. If you want to sell something, you have
to have something to sell -- a tangible product.
9. How do I market my script? I don't know
where to begin.
Marketing is an involved process, secondary to good writing but primary to
success. Many screenwriting books explain how to write a screenplay, but the
marketing function is left out. There is good reason for this, as marketing is a
separate process and quite an involved subject matter. "Screen
& Stage Marketing Secrets" focuses tightly on the marketing
process. You will need this book, one day or today. When your scripts are
constantly being rejected, buy the book and get your marketing done properly and eliminate
the errors in your scripts other screenwriting books do not cover.
10. Where can I buy books on screenplays and plays?
Click here for books. Click here for film/TV scripts and plays. It's okay to read
every book you can get your hands on about writing, but there is danger to this
madness. You may be reading and not writing! Yes, read the books to gain
knowledge, but do not stop writing your scripts and plays! Also, be aware many of
the older books are totally outdated and have not been revised to reflect the new
standards in the industry regarding formats and submission requirements.
11. I'm leery of sending my scripts out due to
possible theft. What do I do?
Every writer fears theft of material. We are all in the same boat. Yes,
ideas are stolen and taken, but you can not copyright an idea! Incredibly, though
you may want to believe otherwise, theft of material is very, very rare. The
liability is too high for the thief, so it just does not happen as much as people think it
does. All you can do is copyright your script with the Library of Congress and
register it with the WGA (Writer's Guild of America). After this is done, you can
decide to shove your script in a closet to never see the light of day again or you can get
it into the mail and into buyers hands. Stop worrying about theft! Just get
your scripts out there. If theft happens, it happens, but you can't make a sale
without exposure of your material. Odds are, theft is not going to occur,
especially from WGA signatory agents and studios. Novice writers are often paralyzed
by fear of theft and just can't seem to let go of their scripts. Don't even think
twice about it. Copyright and register the script and mail it with confidence it
will not be stolen.
12. I plan to quit my job next month and write
screenplays for a living. Any advice?
Don't quit your job! It takes years of writing to get into this business
for most writers. You could quit your job and move to Los Angeles, get another
similar job and try to break in from that angle. A better alternative is to become a
freelance magazine or newspaper article writer. The odds of making sales are much in
your favor. As you write to earn a living, you can be writing spec scripts on the
sideline until you make sales in feature or television. It's a process.
13. I don't have a college education. Can I
make it in this screenwriting business?
Yes. Many agents and studio executives have never been to college, and
those that have, don't apply advanced logic anyway. All that matters is a good
story. If you can write a marketable story, you can sell scripts. You can
learn screenwriting by reading books and by doing. You can take college-level
classes in theatre and film, but it is not necessary. Many established screenwriters
advise to not attend a film school. Why? It can ruin your natural creative talents
to conform with what is taught. It's a two-edged sword. Film school can teach
great things, too. Life holds a secret; pure determination and the ability to not
quit until the goal is met makes one successful.
14. Should I write a script like a novel?
This is my first script.
No. Screenwriting is a visual medium with a limited number of pages (110
to 120) and the type is set ultra wide. You couldn't even get the first five
chapters of a novel into a 120 page screenplay script! Even experienced novelists
often hire screenwriters to condense their novels. It is quite difficult to learn
both forms of writing, but not impossible. Point is, to have your script go
anywhere, it must conform to Hollywood acceptable standards. Read books on screenwriting and read scripts
before you begin to write your screenplay. If you don't, you'll be wasting your
15. What makes your Screen & Stage book
different from other screenwriting books?
First, the book does not compete with other screenwriting books. It
complements them! There are many fine books describing structure, formatting,
dialog, theory, etc. The purpose of these books is to help you write a powerful
story. The purpose of Screen & Stage Marketing
Secrets is to help you sell the screenplay! It teaches you all the right
things to do. Your script is written and presented professionally to drastically
reduce rejections. Once you have been in this business for awhile and have collected
your fair share of rejections, you'll eventually realize you are failing the marketing
process. A screenwriter who does not have Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets
book as a guide will certainly obtain constant rejection and will be forced to quit
screenwriting as a career. Many writers fail the marketing process miserably.
After you write the script you have to sell it. You can't market scripts if you
don't know the procedures. The book focuses strongly on getting your script into the
key buyers hands and receiving good coverage reports so it can be purchased.
16. What can I do to get agents and producers to
read my scripts?
Stop doing what everybody else is doing! Everyone is reading the same
magazines, the same books, the same advice on the internet, writing to the same agents and
producers at the same time, etc. What happens is a pattern develops; as thousands of
writers follow each other. All the query letters begin to look the same and the
scripts now read just like everyone else's scripts. Hollywood is flooded and they
develop a new firewall to quickly identify these query letters and scripts.
Automatic rejections is the end result for the writer. Screen & Stage
Marketing Secrets helps you develop unique and powerful query letters and tightly
written scripts exploding with visual action on each page, and much more! Every
agent and producer will tell you, "I'm looking for something different, something
to catch my interest." You must do something different than all the
thousands of other writers knocking on the same doors. You can't continue to compete
with others like this and expect to have your scripts be noticed. You'll just become
another number. Perhaps, number 110,001 who wants to sell a script.
17. The book eliminates competition?
It certainly does! Competition always exists, but the book allows you to
cut through the masses of submissions and end up right where you should be, the script on
the buyers desk! Knowledge is the key. Knowing how to write and format the
script to create visually exiting movement. Having query letters that simply kicks
the agent or producer into action to request your script is what the book will do for you.
The author is a screenwriter and a marketer of consumer products. Marketing
is a unique talent and every screenwriter must learn how to market their product or face
eternal rejection. The great masses of screenwriters flooding the market with their
scripts simply causes trouble for the better writers to get their scripts read. The
book will teach you how to eliminate the competition. And you don't have to move to
Los Angeles to do it! A well-designed query letter will generate the request for
your script. The well written script will be ranked highly on coverage reports and
18. Agents keeps rejecting my query letters.
Many reasons. They may not be accepting new submissions or you are writing
them at the wrong time of the year. They may find your query letter unprofessionally
written, dull or laden with numerous other errors unprofessional writers often make.
Rejection is part of this business, get used to it! But don't keep
sending that same query letter out, change it, make it better. Distill it down to
one four-line paragraph! Marketing is futile for the writer who does not know the
rules of the game.
19. How long should I wait to contact the
Agent/producer after sending my script?
A long time. Some writers will advise you contact the agent/producer in
two or four weeks by phone. Never call! Just write a brief note, and this
means one-paragraph. Include a S.A.S.E. Do not e-mail! Send the letter
within the postal service. Better yet, don't bother the agent or producer, period.
If they like your script they will contact you. Just move on to the next
assignment on your mailing list. Once you are labeled a "pest" your query
letters and scripts will be rejected. They do have a blacklist file. Keep your
name out of it!
20. How do I get to know writers who can help me
get an agent referral?
First, you need at least six scripts under your belt before any screenwriter
will take you seriously. Don't even consider this option until you have proven
yourself. You should also have had at least one of your scripts ranked high in a
screenplay contest. This gives enhanced credibility. Obtaining the referral is
one of the last stages in the marketing process. Screen & Stage Marketing
Secrets explains the procedures.
21. What is the proper format and structure of an
Forget the outline, as they are just about useless for the feature film spec
script writer. You can't beat a good query and cover letter. A one page synopsis is
predominately used when submitting the script, or included with your query letter, if
required. There's really no absolute format for the outline, except the outline is
often a much longer document, describing just about every major scene in the script.
Generally, each scene equals one paragraph. It can be up to 30-pages long, typed
single-spaced. There are books on screenwriting that explains the process, fact,
most screenwriting books cover the subject of using outlines. However, for new
writers, they are a total waste of time for feature film submissions. Some agents
still like to use them, but rarely they are deemed an absolute requirement. Television
leans more to an outline, when submitting a proposal to write a script for the production
company. To clarify, professional and established writers often use outlines to
generate a green light to write the script. They can do this because the principles know
the writer can deliver on the promise. New writers normally need to write and
complete the script, so the outline process is by-passed since you have a completed
script, an outline is not needed. For most writers, it would be better to write the
entire script than waste time with writing an outline. There are many people with
ideas, but they have no script. Hollywood needs completed scripts, not dreams
latched to promises. Blockbuster software by Truby Studios will print the
outline nicely with no extra effort required, if you used the program to generate your
story structure. It's a good software program.
22. It is said that to get someone to even look at
your screenplay you must at least already have two under your belt. My question is
how can we get agents to look at our material?
Agents will evaluate a single screenplay, though they prefer the writer have not
just two, but three to six screenplays! The more scripts a writer has, the more serious it
reveals the writer is. If you click on our links
page, you will find many screenwriting sources that list agencies open to new writers. The
key to getting agents to request your script boils down to one critical element: a good
query letter! There is nothing that works better. This question is not easy to
answer in this forum, as it enters the involved process of screenplay marketing.
This is why we publish a book on the marketing process, as performing professional
submissions is a fairly complex procedure and full of firewalls to keep amateurs out of
the loop. When you know how to penetrate these firewalls, marketing opportunities
increase and agents will take you seriously. Once an agent or production company
reads your query and requests your script, the script and the submission package must be
presented professionally or it will likely receive another rejection.
23. I have been offered representation by an agent
that I was referred by the "Writer's Guild of America" web-site, and I was told
that the cost to send out each script was twenty dollars. I'm not certain if this is money
that I have to put up front or if it's money that the agency recoups upon sale of the
script. Basically my question is this: Is it standard that the writer pays for the postage
Yes, it is true the new writer will pay for the postage, making photocopies and
other expenses incurred by the agent. Here are some ideas to cut that cost down.
A. Take the agency deal. If they sell your script for $100,000 or much
more, $20 or $300 will be nickels and dimes.
B. Ask the agent if you can make photocopies of the script, so they don't
have to spend time, labor and material costs printing and assembling the scripts. If you
ask print shops for a discount to three cents per page you will likely get it, if you are
at least printing five to ten or more scripts. You can buy shipping envelopes
cheaper at shipping supply distributor warehouses (see phone book Yellow Pages). You
can save a lot here, but this assumes the agency wants to deal with all this hassle you
may cause them. It won't hurt to ask, but if they object, do not try to convince them
otherwise. Just go with their program.
C. Postage? You're stuck with that expense. No way to bargain out of it,
but you can obtain a written agreement, the money will be returned to you if the script
sells. Most agencies do this. Yes, it is expected at some agencies for the new writer to
pay when scripts are shipped, pay a specified sum in advance, or billed to you monthly.
D. These "pay as you go" fees to the writer are usually charged
to "new writers." Once you sell a script, they don't charge these fees. Why
should they take on a new writer, foot the bills and go broke? Why should you have to pay
when the agency will make a commission on the sale? Well, the agency is already paying the
bills with employee wages and rent. All they want you to pay is postage, shipping
envelopes, copy fees, phone calls, courier fees, etc. It's a fair trade, as long as
expenses incurred by the agency are limited, so they can't hit you with a $1,000 bill. You
don't want those sort of surprises. Get an estimate from the agent. Ask them
to work within your budget.
E. You can save your budget by requesting they not "shotgun"
the market by sending out 30-scripts or more and then send you an obscene bill. Ask
them to just circulate 4 or 8 scripts,whatever number you feel you can afford to keep in
F. There is no way to tell if the agency is legitimate or just making
money processing scripts for a fee. I tend to doubt they are laundering scripts, but one
never knows. Script mills do exist. Just because a link is found on a
prestigious web site does not mean the firm will deal fair and square. You could surf the
Web screenwriting sites to see if negative statements are mentioned about the firm.
Then again, a lot of negatives are posted on web site discussion boards, so take posted
advice with caution, especially if the commentator uses a fake name and e-mail address.
Some writers are vindictive.
G. Ultimately, it is a good deal. You have an agent that wants to take
you on! If they do their job well, you'll be laughing all the way to the bank.
If not, they will be a stepping stone in the learning process. I suggest you
take on the risk, as they are taking you on as a risk, too! It's catch-22.
H. You could just say no and retain the situation you are in now, or say
yes and foot the bill and give yourself and your screenplays a chance. Agents can open
doors for you to get the scripts read at major studios.
I. Obviously, the agency is charging you for time and labor, but not too
much. When you add up the cost of copies, covers, brads, labor of assembling the scripts,
writing cover letters, buying shipping boxes, S.A.S.E. envelopes, affixing postage, etc.,
twenty dollars is reasonable. Well, it's an investment in yourself and your script. That's
the positive point of view... and it gets you the exposure you need to sell the
script. Consider the fee a payment for the agent for taking you on and a fee for
using their Hollywood contacts.
I hope this answers your concerns. In my opinion, with the limited information you
have given me, and in regards to how the industry functions, you should take the offer.
Just because you now have an agent does not mean you can sit back and relax,
you need to get moving, and fast! You still must contact production companies,
directors, stars, studios and producers. If not? The agent may drop you!
Our Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets book
explains the marketing process in great detail.
24. How come we can't get coverage reports so we
can fix our scripts?
A few reasons. 1) Agents and prodcos are not
screenwriting schools, so they don't take on the advisory role to those they do not
represent. 2) Liability is another reason. 3)
Coverage reports often upset the writer so much they fire off nasty letters of
rebuttal. The industry does not need this sort of abuse. If you receive a
rejection, it will not hurt to write and ask for the coverage report. Explain that
you will not rebut it, to only use the report to improve the script. Some agents
will send it to you, others will not. Don't forget the S.A.S.E.. You may lose
a few dollars in postage from agents that will not respond, but from those that do
respond, it will be well worth the price to have those coverage reports. Don't get
angry when you read it, the report will be pretty harsh and may even be insulting, in many
cases. 4) That's the 4th reason coverage is not sent to the
writer. Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets has
a query letter you can use that will generate coverage reports from agents and prodcos
that traditionally are not given to writers. Knowing why your script is rejected is
important so you can fix the errors.
25. How do I protect my work before submitting to
Easy. Write to the Library of Congress, Copyright Office, Washington DC
and ask for form PA with instructional guide. It costs $30 per script. Next,
register with the Writer's Guild, ask them to send you instructions o how to register
screenplays. See our screenwriting links page for the
WGA link. Never send your scripts to anyone until you have performed both
registrations. You normally don't need to wait until you receive a registration
number from the copyright office, as it can take months to arrive. Simply mail the
application and then proceed to get your script registered with the WGA. The WGA
will only take a couple weeks to process. When you receive your WGA registration
number, then you are ready to make submissions and your work is protected.
26. Where can I obtain free advice?
Visit our Links Page for writers, as you will
find guidance and advice on these Websites. Have a question related to marketing
your script? Write us! E-mail.
27. I am new to screenwriting and I don't know where to
begin. Please help!
Visit our general writing links and books page. You should read books on how to write
screenplays and subscribe to the screenwriting magazines. You can attend schools,
but you'll still need the books and magazines. Essentially, this is how it all
begins. Now, write your first script, starting today. You'll need a
professional script formatting program such as Final Draft, Movie Magic or
Scriptware. They may be expensive; but, are well worth the price as they are your
primary business tools.
28. Must I have majored in English to write a good
Certainly not! Many writers with High School diplomas are making a great
living and some even without any diploma! Scripts are written in the 12th grade
level as a industry standard. Screenwriters are imaginative storytellers, not
novelists. Basic spelling and grammar is essential, but even these rules are often
bent in the writing of the script.
29. Is it true writers are earning money and never
had their movie produced?
Yes, it happens all of the time. Many writers scripts are optioned and
never produced. The income they obtain is simply incredible. Very few scripts
are actually made into movies, but the optioned scripts outnumber them hundreds to one.
You can make an excellent living with option income and never see your movie on the
big screen. There are many unknown screenwriters making tremendous incomes with
option sales and you will never know who they are.
30. What is the difference between the Writer's
Guild of America West and East?
Nothing. They are the same organization (screenwriters labor
union). Just that if you reside east of the Mississippi River you belong east.
You can still work out west. That's about it.
31. Please explain using the ellipsis and the
double-dash in dialog.
The ellipsis (...) is used as a pause... a slight change of thought. The
double-dash (--) is used as a serious and abrupt interruption of thought. The less
-- you use -- of either... the better! This rule is not chiseled in stone, but it's
a good style.
32. How many times must I rewrite my script before
sending it out?
Until it shines! It will likely never be ready, really. Writers are
never satisfied with the finished product because it can always be improved. You
just have to come to a point where you feel somewhat comfortable to submit it. If
you are not sure, best bet is to use a script doctor to fill in the holes or hash it over
with another pro writer.
33. I read your script marketing book and it was
great. Exactly what I needed! Why didn't anyone else think of writing a
screenplay marketing book? I'm curious.
I don't know. Some screenwriting books touch on the subject of marketing,
but none were totally dedicated to selling scripts. There's a ton of books on how to
write a screenplay. When I first started out in the business I kept searching for
that book on how to market and sell a script. As years rolled on I just decided it
was time to write Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets. If I didn't?
The book likely would never have been written. A lot of screenwriters know how to
write, but they need to know how to sell what they have written or the script goes
nowhere, fast! Too many writers have quit due to failing the marketing process.
It's just my way of helping out. That's all, really. I'm sure writers
have tried to write a marketing book and found it a daunting task. I found that
writing this book wasn't easy to piece it all together. At times I felt like giving
up myself, but I knew writers would benefit in a big way if I finished the book.
34. When will the next edition of your book be
It's available now! The first printing was a small prepress version.
You can read about the first edition here.
35. Can I submit scripts to state film commissions?
1) No. Your state's film commission is an entity to
attract production companies to film in the state's location. They don't read
scripts. 2) Some film commissions do offer screenplay contests.
The rules, of course, is a major proportion of the script's locations must related
to their state. This is the only time you can submit a script to a film commission.
They usually advertise for scripts in screenwriting magazines.
36. Why is it agents do not want writers to call
them on the phone?
They are terribly busy people. They work so hard it will make your head
spin just to watch them in action! It's a real hustle of a lifestyle to be an agent.
If they had to answer hundreds of phone calls each day they would not have any time
to pitch scripts. Never call an agent unless they ask you to call.
37. I have never heard the term
"firewall" by anyone. Where did this term originate?
There are many secrets to marketing a screenplay you will never read in
magazines. They do a great job, but the magazine can't possibly delve into deep
subject matter. Articles are very short, and many diverse articles appear in each
issue, so it is impossible to cover marketing scripts in that medium. It would
require a year's worth, or more, of the entire size of the magazine to equal a book!
Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets is the first and only book in print
totally dedicated to marketing and selling scripts, so you will certainly learn
terminology you have never been exposed to before.
38. Is it true a query letter can be rejected just
because the wrong postage stamp is used?
It happens more than you realize. A smart agent, and most all are very,
very smart, will look for those postage stamps with Elvis, Santa Clause, etc and toss
those envelopes aside for a rejection. It may seem incredibly trivial to the writer,
but when marketing your script, you have to be businesslike in every manner possible.
There are a thousands of unstable and unprofessional writers trying to break into
Hollywood to sell scripts. Agents know, from experience, who is professional and who
is not the moment they look at a letter. They are not going to waste any time
dealing with unprofessional people! The postage stamp you use can mean the
difference of your query letter being read or tossed aside. It's a very real
firewall filtering system being used on a daily basis in the industry. In fact, you
do the same thing when filtering your own mail looking at the postage stamps. If you
find first-class postage you save it. If you see bulk-rate, you know it's junk mail
and quickly set it aside. The postage stamp you are using on your query letter may
be screaming to the agent or production company, "Junk Mail Is Here, Throw Me
Away!" and they do just that, send you a rejection while others who know how to
submit professionally get their letters read and responded to with great satisfaction.
Screenwriters need to learn how to become polished businesspersons to get a script
39. How come they don't teach script marketing in
They are now beginning to use our book as a teacher's guide for classroom
instruction. Years ago, marketing was simple. Just write a good script, submit
it and results happen. Today, with the hundreds of thousands of query letters
circulating in the mail competing with each other, many good scripts simply do not get
read! Most all queries are filtered so quickly they don't even get past opening the
envelope to be taken seriously. See answer # 38 for one reason alone! That
firewall blocks you from even submitting your script to be read. Then there are
other problems. Assume you are asked to submit, but when the reader sees the script
it is tossed away for instant rejection without even turning to page three! They
know an unprofessional script when they see one! There are so many firewall filters
in the industry today that only the pros know about. For good reason, too! The
industry does not want your script! They only want professional writers who have the
knowledge and skills to present them selves properly and can get the job done. Our
marketing book teaches you all about these firewalls and how to perform professional
submissions and a well written script... the way they want to see it. Film schools
that do not teach marketing of the script are performing a disservice to their students.
It's no picnic getting constant rejections after rejections when you know you have
the talent and a good script and nobody will give you a chance.
40. Can I trust my agent and producers to do me
In this business, which is essentially built on trust, you can not trust anyone!
The writer is at the bottom of the pecking order and you will be wronged. If
you don't like that idea, then consider not writing for a living! All writers are
burned here and there in many diverse ways too numerous to list here. Your material
will likely never be stolen as that is tangible, but your agent can pull some real nasty
tricks on you and we do cover this in the book since it is related to marketing of
scripts. Don't worry about these things, as things happen when they do and there is
no use trying to build up defense strategies or lose sleep over it. Just keep
submitting your scripts and get the thing sold, that's what it's all about anyway.
Everything else like royal treatment, fame and honor are about as long lasting as a wisp
of smoke in a Santa Ana wind. There are laws, lawyers and the WGA labor union to
protect your rights. What more do you want?
41. I was told many screenwriters could not pass a
high school English test. Is this true?
It is true. Unlike writing a book, a screenplay allows for grammar rule
bending and twisting and turning. One must not get carried away with this though.
Many writers are selling scripts that would be instantly trashed by a book editor.
Improper grammar usage is one reason why scripts just don't make the honors lists
when it comes to literary art.
42. When do I use Voice Over and Off Screen?
VOICE OVER (V.O.) is used in the character que and OFF SCREEN (O.S.) is used in
description. The rule is easy; V. O. is used when a "voice" of a character
is heard, but the character is not seen on the the screen. O.S is used in
description where "no character voice" is used, but rather an explosion, phone
or doorbell ringing that is not visually portrayed on the screen. Be aware, you
should use very few of these directions and use them only when absolutely necessary to ad
"dramatic impact." Use too many and the reader will know for sure an
amateur is submitting the script and you'll receive a bombardment of rejections.
43. What is an author script?
It is what the author/screenwriter writes, not a production shooting
script. A shooting script has scene numbers, a lot of directions, camera
orientation, etc. A spec script must be an author script. Our book explains
all this. Scripts you buy are shooting scripts, so don't try to follow that format
when submitting a script. Why? Rejections galore!
44. Can I hire a screenwriter to write my script
Yes, you can. It is better that you write it yourself because the hired
writer will want credit for your screenplay and according to WGA rules will likely prevail
in favor of the hired-gun if you challenge the credit entitlement. It's also going
to be very expensive to hire a pro screenwriter! Better bet? Find a writer (with
credits if possible) who will co-write the script with you and share the risk and rewards.
It's called a collaboration arrangement.
45. Will you evaluate or co-write my screenplay?
No. We are not in the script doctor or collaboration business.
46. I called a few agents and found them to be
rude. Are most all like that?
They are upset you called them. Never call an agent unless they call you
first. You are breaking a major rule of business protocol; effectively destroying
your career before it has even begun.
47. A producer called me and wants to read my
script. Should I send it to him not knowing who he is?
You can fret about who and what this character may be and worry that he will
steal your ideas. That is what is going through your mind, right? As long as
you copyright and register your script with the WGA you have protected yourself to the
maximum. What more do you want? You may want to insist on not sending the
script to a post office box, but that is no protection anyway. You could send the
producer an author release form, have him sign and return it then send the script, but
don't count on any producer to sign it. You just have to shovel your fear into the
furnace and mail the thing. We all face these fears. Ideas are not
copyrightable. You may believe your story is incredibly unique, but it really isn't
as unique as you believe it is. Some scene elements may be and those will be covered
48. How long should description be?
Preferably two lines, no more than four. Remember the rule; more white
space on the page.
49. I have read very heavy blockbuster movie
scripts, but screenwriters say not to write like this. Why?
The script you read is a shooting script, or was adapted for print publication,
or was a "work for hire" and that means it is not a spec author script.
New writers must write and submit an author script. If you don't adhere to this rule
you will never obtain excellent coverage reports from readers. That means rejections
will just be a way of life for you. The script is not a book, it must be very easy
to read with a lot of action-oriented visual imaging.
50. No matter how much I try, I keep finding
spelling errors. Why?
If you are writing your script with a word processor, you will find that the
corrections are sometimes made on the screen, but when printed they still have not been
changed! It is maddening and it happens more than a writer would like to believe.
This is just one reason why it is critical to use dedicated professional screenplay
formatting programs. The programs are expensive, but essential. Don't rely on
a spell-checker as they will not identify misplaced words; there, their, they're are all
spelled correctly, but may be gramatically wrong. Print your screenplay on paper
then read it. The eye can easily miss spelling errors on a computer screen.
The word gramatically in this paragraph is spelled wrong, it should be;
grammatically. By the way, a screenplay can get by with three spelling errors.
Any more than this and you are asking for a rejection. Every writer, every
editor and every proofreader misspells a word here and there. Humans are not
machines, we all make mistakes! Ninety-eight percent of all books published have
misspelled words and improper grammar.
51. Any good advice for a screenwriter trying to
sell the first script?
When you write, focus entirely on the main character. I mean focus like
mad! Every emotion at every moment in time must be felt and inserted into the script
without actually saying how the actor feels. Just keep putting the main character in
a box that is sinking fast with little chance of escape, then when he escapes put him in
another box with greater danger than the last. This is a character generated
screenplay and that is what actors are looking for... challenging roles to display
powerful acting skills with great action and suspense.
52. I am having a terrible time getting my script
read. What is the secret?
Marketing! Writing the script and selling a script are two separate
functions. There are many books to teach you how to write and format a script, but
there is only one book in print "solely dedicated" to marketing a script, Screen
& Stage Marketing Secrets. And yes, there are secrets to getting
your script sold. Writing a screenplay is a complex endeavor to get it right, but
who is going to teach you how to sell your screenplay? You can read magazine and Web
site articles, but they can't possibly delve into all of the fine details related to
selling a script. If your screenplay is not being accepted by your query letter,
then your query letter is at fault. A query has but one purpose, to get your script
accepted for a review by the assigned reader. The book has many query letter
examples you can use. Do they work? They certainly do! But your cover
letter can blow it, too! The book also has sample cover letters you may use.
If your script is constantly being rejected it can be many things wrong. The book
covers the errors and omissions with a checklist coverage report you can use before you
submit your script. They say good writing gets a script sold, but in the real world
it's good marketing that gets a script sold! Both methods are required. There
are thousands of writers with great scripts that can't get past the firewalls.
53. Will your book guarantee I will sell my script?
No book can guarantee you will sell your script, not one book ever published can
promise you that, not even from star screenwriters! But we absolutely guarantee
you will see an immediate positive response rate from your script submissions and save
more money than you paid for the book or we refund the purchase price of the book. We are
the only publisher offering a screenwriting book with a money-back guarantee!
How many books have you purchased with not one element of a guarantee? We
know the book is powerful and effective and will deliver on the promise, so we are not
worried you will be returning the book asking for a refund. Screen & Stage
Marketing Secrets is a technical textbook specifically dedicated to selling your
script with step-by-step instructions, illustrated with sample query and cover letters and
much more! The book does not explain boring marketing theory, it tells you what to
do right now, today, with the script you have in your hands to get it sold. That's
the power of the book! Trying to sell a script without sound advice and instruction
is futile. When you are tired of the rejections, read this book! There has
been a dire need for a book like this and now it is available.
54. How can I get the camera on my character or an
item without giving camera directions?
Easy, just say "Karen's eyes water" or "Clock reads 4:30" or
"Finger stirs hot tea." You get the idea. This tells the director to
shoot tightly without you giving formal camera shot directions. When you do these
things, make sure it is absolutely essential to the story. New writers tend to
unfocus from the story and concentrate on camera directions. You are visualizing
what you want to see on the screen, but this distracts from the most important element of
a screenplay, "the story." Tell a good story and let the director and
other creative talent do their job. Scripts are rejected for this one mistake alone!
You need to realize the industry has incredible talent at its disposal who have
great ideas to make your "story" come alive in a powerful way; artists,
directors, special effects, set design, casting, you name it. Don't intrude into
these fields where other professionals reside. Why? It labels you as an
55. I was told agents do not read query letters
anymore. If so, how does one break into the business?
It is true some (not all) of the major agents are too busy and not interested in
reading the tens of thousands of query letters arriving in the mail from new writers, but
a good query in the right hands can get you recommended to the major agents! Agents
that are not top-level, but still signatory to the WGA, are still reading query letters
and they have power to get scripts sold. Just because a few elite agents use a query
firewall system does not mean the query is absolutely dead. There are many avenues
to marketing screenplays and the query letter is only one method. Don't forget,
production companies and managers are seeking scripts and they will certainly read your
query letters. The query will always be an important marketing tool for new and
established writers. If it were absolutely 100% correct queries are not being read,
then high-level agents would not be authorizing their annual listings requesting writers
to submit query letters. Publishers submit to agents each year authorization forms
for an agent to be listed in books and magazine listings. The top agents are still
participating! Every writer will tell you a different way how they obtained entry
into the business. That is because there are different ways to get in.
There is no set formula or procedure that works for everyone. This is why you
must explore all of the entry points.
56. What screenplay are you writing now?
Never tell anyone what you are writing! It will drive the fire out of the
story and you'll never finish the script. I am not avoiding your question, it's just
that it is true if you tell, you lose. Keep your project hushed until you finish it,
even then, just get it into the marketplace and get on with your next project.
57. How many pages in a sitcom script? Movie?
Movie of the Week?
Screenplays are timed at one page per minute of filming. For a two hour
movie this will calculate to 120 pages. Of course, you should reduce your script
between 110 to 115 pages. Why the reduction from 120 to 115 pages? To save
money in production cost. A sitcom is 1 1/2 pages per minute. For a thirty
minute sitcom 45 pages in the norm, but you can go up to 60 pages if you keep your
descriptions to only a single line in length. Best advice? Do not exceed 45
pages. Sitcom scripts have more white space on the page, due to formatting and the
employment of mostly dialog. A movie of the week (MOW) times out the same as a
screenplay in relation to page count, but commercial breaks inserted as scene acts creates
more white space. The script may be 115 pages long, but have only 110 pages of
actual dialog and description. Professional screenwriting software will format the
film, sitcom, MOW or stage play script for you automatically.
58. I plan to quit my job and write for a living.
How do I proceed?
Don't! To make a living writing requires years of practice, just like
learning to play a musical instrument. Take your lessons and as time evolves your
writing begins to sell, then it becomes evident you can quit your day job because you have
so much work offered to you. This may not be the advice you wanted to hear, but you
should consider the writing bug is like getting bit with gold fever where reason leaves
and only desire remains. In the mean time the bills will pile up and drive you back
to a full-time job, then the writing spirit dies and your dream never comes into reality.
Keep working your day job, keep writing and enjoy your life. Don't forget you
can write magazine and newspaper articles and books, too. Screenwriting is not
everything, so don't limit your avenues to success.
59. I would like to write for a career. What
options are available to me?
See answer # 58. It is not easy to break into the screenwriting business.
It will require a tremendous amount of time, energy and perseverance to break in.
In the mean time while pursuing your screenwriting goals, you should consider
writing a book. Getting a book published is hard, too, but there are thousands of
publishers to submit your manuscript. And, there is big money to be made with
royalties in books equal to and beyond what you could earn selling screenplays over the
long term. You also call the shots and retain a lot more control over the content.
When you sell a script, you lose all control as to what happens to the script.
The movie you wrote will be revised so you may not even recognize it as being
yours! Plus, the book subsidiary rights can be sold to the movie industry. Now
you have the book's royalty income along with selling the subsidiary rights, which you
receive royalties on those sold rights, too! You should explore writing for
magazines and newspapers as a staff writer or freelance. See our page, Advice for Book Authors if you wish to explore writing a
60. Name the major reasons scripts are rejected?
The answer would be too long to give here, so let's just sum it up to one major
reason for script rejection. The reader can tell in the first five seconds just by
looking at a script if it is written by a seasoned professional or a new writer.
When the presentation is unprofessional, the script is rejected without even being
read. This is one of the greatest firewall's in Hollywood, so your script must look
professional. But once the reader gets past your title page it has to deliver the
goods by remaining professional on each page. It's not just formatting that
gets your script rejected, it's your writing style and the story structure that will give
you grief. Those elements are considered by the reader as being professional or
unprofessional. You must learn how to submit your query, cover letter and your
script in a professional manner to have your script taken seriously. There is no
getting around this. If you fail to elevate your script to industry standards it
just won't sell. It will never be given an opportunity to reach the executive level.
61. I was told it is possible to earn a living in
screenwriting without ever selling a script. True?
Of course. Studios have hired many writers as staff writers to write or
rewrite other stories and the writer never sold his own scripts. Your screenplay
should not be marketed as a separate identity to yourself. Use your script as your
business card to obtain employment. So, by trying to sell your script, you may
obtain employment offers. It's routine in the industry.
62. How can I get an actor read my script?
This technique is not to be used by novice writers, no matter how good you think
your script is! There are certain things you must do to your script before you
submit, and the script must have ranked high in a screenplay contest, or be highly
recommended by a producer, director, agent, writer, etc., to get the attention of the
actor to even read it. If your script has ranked high in a contest, then you can
contact the Screen Actors Guild to inquire who the actor's manager is, then submit your
query to the manager, not the actor! SAG's phone: (323)-549-6737. If SAG won't
tell you who the manager is, then ask them who the actor's agent is, then ask the agent
who the manager is. Do not send your script. You must submit a query letter.
63. What form do I use to Copyright my screenplay?
62. Do you have more advice for screenwriters?
If you want to sell your screenplay or stageplay read books on how to perform
the marketing process. You may have an excellent script, but if you can't sell it?
This means you are failing the marketing process. Go to our Books for Writers page. Writers study like mad on how
to write, but they don't study sales technique and they fail to sell their scripts.
It's that simple. Read our book Screen & Stage Marketing
63. I can't seem to get an agent. Any
Yes. There are many alternative routes you can take. One
route is to use the services of a Talent Manager. They are not agents but they do
represent screenwriters for submission to actors, producers, directors, studios, etc.
If they like your script they can sell if fast and make arrangements for you in all
matters of getting the script sold. Our book Screen & Stage Marketing
Secrets covers this topic and lists managers willing to give readers of the book
64. Do those script writing programs really work
and are they worth the price?
Absolutely. I wouldn't dare attempt to write a script without one.
It is wonderful to have a computer program to perform all the pagination and formatting
for you and convert the script automatically from an author's script to a shooting script
with a click of the mouse. They do so much more than this, so they are certainly
worth every dollar spent.
65. Which page is the most important page in the
Page one. This is the first minute in your movie. It's about the
only page an agent, director, producer or movie executive will read, if you don't grab
attention. A script reader will consider the first ten to fifteen pages to be
important. Actors tend to like the last page, since this is the final impression
they will leave on the audience.
66. I want this one agent badly, but they keep
rejecting my queries. Any advice?
Find out what directors (or producers) they have worked with indirectly with
writers they do represent. Send the agent a query saying, "This script is for
director______." They will request the script. If the script is not good,
they will hate you for doing this. If the script is great, they will love you and
sign you up. Best to make certain the script is good by having it professionally
evaluated and enter it into a screenplay contest to see how it ranks. If all goes
well, then submit the query.
67. Are you accepting screenplays and plays for
publishing? If so, how do authors benefit?
We will consider produced and unproduced scripts for publication. See our
manuscript Manuscript Submissions Guidelines and Advice.
The published writer may benefit with increased exposure to the market to attract an agent
or production company and earn royalties on individual script sales. We first
publish the script electronically, and if sales justify, the script may enter the Print On
Demand system. Then, if sales increase, the script may be published in traditional
paper/brad script or perfect bound book format for wider distribution. The author
may convert the script into a stage play or book manuscript to increase sales, royalties
and heighten agency/prodco attraction to purchase the script for production.
68. If you published my script what rights would
We would own all the primary publishing and secondary subsidiary rights as all
book publishers require. This means, as publisher, we would own the rights to the
script/screenplay/play and be entitled to compensation from the buyer on the sale of the
script to the entertainment industry. The book contract explains the terms and
conditions. This is typical of any publisher who own the rights to a book and the
film/theatrical industry wishes to purchase the rights to produce an adaptation for live
performance or film. To learn more about book authorship go to our Advice for Book Authors page. Author retains the
69. Will publishing my script guarantee a sale?
A book is easier to sell to bookstores, libraries and the public in large
numbers. The public generally do not order scripts; however, this attitude is slowly
changing by exposing scripts to traditional book markets. There is no guarantee your
script will be successful in the market. The script may obtain bad reviews and
industry buyers may not like the script. No publisher can guarantee your book will
be a success. Publishing is a gamble. The only thing that can be done is
publish the book or script and hope the industry and public finds the book favorable and
the book sells. We would assign the book an ISBN number and list the book with
industry publications so bookstores and Web sites can list and order the book worldwide in
all publishing markets. We can't guarantee your script will be purchased for
theatrical or film production. No publisher can. There are many bestselling
books that have never been optioned for theatrical adaptation. One thing that is
certain, a book that is not published has no chance of ever earning sales and royalties.
70. How much royalties will I receive if you
publish my script?
Ten to fifteen percent based on net sales earned by publisher. See our Advice for Book Authors page.
71. Can I still market my script if you publish my
Yes. As publisher, it is not our prime directive to market your script to
the theatrical industry, but this does not limit us from doing so. Generally,
everything remains the same. You can still network and query the entertainment
industry to option and sell your script. When a sale is imminent, the publisher must
be contacted and included to consummate the sale. The plus side of mentioning your
script is published by a publisher in your query letters may generate heated interest in
the entertainment industry to consider optioning your script. There's no guarantee
this will happen with your script, but the theatrical and film industry do take serious
notice of published works by publishers.
72. What increases my odds of having my script
published by your publishing firm?
Send us your query letter and include a copy of the unproduced script's standing
in a screenplay contest. Also, send us a valid copy of a review or evaluation from a
script doctor or other notable source. We will only publish quality scripts, so make
sure your stage play, television or screenplay script has obtained a measure of
recognition by the industry. Your script should rank in the top 100 in a screenplay
contest. A positive magazine or newspaper review may substitute for the above.
If your script does not meet these minimum requirements, do not send
us a query for that script.
73. Do you accept unsolicited submissions?
Only query letters. Do not send us your script unless we specifically ask
you to do so. We will send you a release form when we need to review the script.
74. Must I write a treatment to sell a screenplay?
No. Only if you are selling a teleplay (television show script) is a
treatment desired. New writers need a completed sceenplay.
75. How long does it take for readers to review a
There is no set time limit. Expect a month to three on average. Some
rejections or acceptances can take up to a year. Just because you have not heard
from the prodco or agent in a few months does not mean the script is rejected.
Having patience pays. Too many writers get on the phone or write too many follow-up
letters and they wonder why they can't get their script sold. The industry rewards
patient professional writers.
76. Should I write a screenplay or book first?
Write the one you feel most competent to write. If you can write both, fine.
Consider that it is easier to market a book than a script. Why? There
are more publishers than script buyers, so you have a larger market to sell your work.
There is a lot of money to be made in both industries.
77. How do I format a script?
Screenwriting software will format the script automatically for you. This
includes television, film, stage play, audio visual, etc. However, you still need to
know how to format a script without relying on the software, so you can tell when the
format is not right. Go to our Books for Writers
page and order "The Screenwriters Bible." You should read author
scripts, not production scripts, to learn how to format the script for the specific medium
you are writing.
78. How do I make a low budget movie?
Use locations near Los Angeles, California and stay away from water and
pyrotechnic effects. If the movie can take place in a single location like a ship,
office building, factory, airport, casino, etc., the film will fall into a lower budget.
Make the film current, no history piece where old cars or special sets must be
constructed to reproduce the historic era. Use less expensive props in the script;
use a old car instead of a Jaguar. Keep the number of characters below six.
Follow these brief tips and you'll have a low budget screenplay.
79. Will the Internet Address Book help
track agent submissions?
Yes. If you are contacting agents, production companies and script
submission Websites, you will find the book to be of great value in tracking your
contacts. Click here to read more about the book.
80. Must I obtain permission to use an established
character's name in my script?
Yes. But why you want to do this is a mystery. Hollywood frowns on
scripts using proprietary material of any sort. Chances are your script will be
doomed. Create your own characters as you stand a better chance of selling your
script. Plus, you may be surprised that you will not be granted permission to use a
character's name in your script. A big mistake new authors make? They are
compelled to adapt an established work instead of creating their own material.
Adaptations are reserved for professional writers with clout, experience and industry
connections. No place for a novice in this department.
81. What font should be used in query letters,
synopsis and treatments?
You can't go wrong with Times New Roman set at 12 points. Arial font is
fine. Sometimes you can use 11 point size to pack in more words on a page, but go no
smaller than 11 point.
82. I need a mentor, a professional scriptwriter to
help me. How do I find one?
Most screenwriters are too busy to spend time to help others, even for pay.
Read books, attend screenwriting classes and
seminars is your best bet. You can join a writer's group. Visit screenwriting
Web sites for additional tips and advice (see our links page).
Once your script is finished, you should than take it to a script doctor who will
clean it and bring it up to industry standards.
83. I constantly read on Websites and other sources
I must have an agent to sell a script. Why?
First of all it is not 100% true you must first have an agent to sell a script. If
you are soliciting your script to the major studios, yes you will need an agent. However,
not much appears to be known about getting your script into the backdoor where it can be
sold. These techniques are covered in the Screen & Stage Marketing Secrets book. For
example; many screenplays are sold not by agents, but by writers who have made a producer
interested in the script and the producer contacts the agent to represent the writer!
Another example; many production companies that agents rely upon do accept scripts from
unrepresented writers. When they like your query letter they will request the script. If
they like the script they will call an agent to represent you. Another example; Movie
Stars can read your script and if they like it, they will make all the arrangements for
you. There are secrets to this business many writers are unaware of. If you keep doing
what 100,000 other writers are doing you'll be lost in the shuffle. Learn everything you
can about how to write a script, then learn all you can how to sell a script.
84. Can I submit a script when I don't have a
copyright registration number?
You can, but it is not advised until you obtain the copyright registration.
However, that can take over five months to wait. This is one reason you
should consider using alternative registration services. Protect Rite is a
firm that registers books, stage plays, TV, movie scripts, treatments, outlines, query
letters, synopsis, art work, etc. The Writer's Guild only registers
television scripts, movie screenplays, treatments and outlines. When you register
your work with these alternative registries it allows you to market your material quickly.
If you ever have to prove you are the author of the work, the alternative registry
registration will stand up in court as evidence of authorship and ownership. In any
case, never mail your manuscript until it has been registered with a registration service
or wait until your copyright registration number arrives from the US Copyright Office
(you'll wait 5 to 6 months). Alternative registration services does not replace a US
Copyright registration. They allow you to get your product to market faster and add
another level of protection. Go to our Writing Links
page to contact these firms.
85. What is involved and the advantages to adapt a
screenplay to a stage play?
1. It's not too difficult to make the adaptations.
You'll need to examine each scene in your script for blocking of the actors, as they are
three dimensional. They can move left, right, back, forward, diagonally, up and
down. The Playwright gives stage directions in the script unlike the writer of a
screenplay author script. You'll need to learn the craft of stage play writing as it
is different then writing for motion pictures. 2. Read books and author stage play scripts
and copy the format. You'll need to follow the author script format, not the
condensed format you will see in published plays or you will never sell the script!
The script format is different than film, but is easy to learn, very easy!
Screenwriting software can convert your film script to play format. You'll need to
manually add act breaks in a three act play if the software will not comply with the
formatting, which is not a problem to do. 3. The benefits of
creating a stage play? The market is huge to sell your play. Every city has
more than two theaters, some as many as a dozen. You have thousands of theaters to
market your play in the USA alone and many more thousands in other countries. The
market is incredibly large compared to film and television. It is much easier to get
your stage play produced than a film. Many playwrights have progressed to make it
big in film once their plays were staged. The Dramatist Guild can help you
in many ways to becoming a playwright. Our book Screen
& Stage Marketing Secrets has a lot of advice on selling stage plays. 4.
Attend a live stage play, talk with the director and ask if you can sit in on some
rehearsals. Most all will allow you to attend and freely give you advice and
feedback on writing your play. Before you write your play, get to know a few
directors so you can quickly learn what they need and desire in a script. Don't be
shy. They love to meet playwrights!
86. I can't afford a expensive screenwriting
software program. Are there any less than $100?
Stage is an economical program. Price ranges from around $55 to $75.
87. Can you help me
get an agent?
I can help, but I can't guarantee anything for
you. What I can do is steer you to our
Sreenwriting Links page, scroll down the page to see a listing of
literary agents who are open and willing to let you submit a query letter.
I need a script consultant and a lot of good advice.
Where do I go?
Go to our Links page.
You may also want to contact David Trottier at:
firstname.lastname@example.org as he is well
respected in the business. His Website is:
Do you know of a script printing service?
- They print and bind your script for you and will even mail it. No
more printing, collating pages, punching holes in the paper, inserting the
brads into the cover, etc. Just upload your data file and they do the
rest. I think this is a very good service to offer.
Click link at bottom of page to read page
2 of Advice for Screenwriters.
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