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Ask the Coach: Who Do I Send My Script To?

What to do with your movie script once you’ve finished. It might seem like it should be a single, simple answer of where to send it, but it isn’t.

Welcome to “Ask the Coach.” As a writing coach, I answer questions from writers about making the work of writing happen, tackling craft, business, and personal questions along the way. (Have a question you’d like answered? Check the details at the end of the article about how to submit one.)

Ask the Coach Who Do I Send My Script To

Today’s question is about where to send a script:

I am wondering if you know any places or producers that I can send my movie script to?

Ah, yes! What to do with your movie script once you’ve finished. It might seem like it should be a single, simple answer of where to send it, but it isn’t.

Here’s what you need to know: Once you’ve finished your script, the reality is that there are a number of pathways to bring your script to the marketplace, which can include seeking representation with a manager or agent (Neil Landau recommends starting with a manager), submitting to contests, searching for producers and other industry contacts on IMDBPro and LinkedIn, attending pitchfests, and more.

Rather than rehashing some of the already excellent articles out there about how to sell your script (a search engine is excellent here), let’s put the marketing process in context to help you adopt a marketer’s mindset.

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You might think of marketing your script the way you would a job search process.

If you were looking for a job, you’d research companies your skills are a match for, and that interest you. You’d write a resumé and cover letter. You’d connect with others in your industry who might know of job prospects that were a good fit. You’d keep submitting until you began to get interest (and revise your materials along the way or brush up your skills, if needed), and you’d persist in looking for the right match between your abilities and their needs. Then you’d progress to job interviews, where you’d be pitching yourself as a candidate. From there, once you find a match, there would be an offer to review and negotiate, to reject or accept, etc.

Marketing your screenplay is not unlike marketing yourself for a job, except in the case of script marketing, it’s —obviously — your job to position your script as well as possible in the marketplace, rather than yourself. It’s less personal (though I’d argue that positioning yourself objectively is part of the equation of succeeding in job searches too). You can even think of creating a marketing plan for your script.

In addition to researching managers, producers, and production companies that feature work like yours (you don’t want to send a romcom to an action-thriller company), preparing marketing materials, including a query and a synopsis, building your network of industry relationships, you’ll be readying yourself to pitch to industry professionals, much like you would prep for job interviews.

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Think of it this way: Once you’ve finished a script, your next big task to get your script into the right hands, as well as positioning yourself as a great screenwriter to work with. This may involve rewrites, before your script is ready to send out. It will involve making sure you have at least two marketable scripts before querying. It will certainly involve research, promotional materials, and networking.

If you’re someone who hates the idea of selling (many writers start off feeling this way), think of it as a gradual process. For instance, you might start by researching managers (there are some good lists of screenwriting managers online) and learning more about that process. A manager can become a great ally for tackling a lot of the rest of this work. You’ll still need a great query and a solid script — and you’ll still be marketing yourself to managers. Or you might start researching comparable films and their associated production companies and build connections there.

One other option is to consider taking a class about script marketing. Good screenplay marketing courses can help you prepare your promotional materials and get your head around the process of putting your work out into the world, step by step. You might check out Script University and ScreenwritingU.com as possible sources for script marketing courses.

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That’s a Wrap

Bottom line: Figuring out where to send your script requires research, supporting documents, networking, and the mindset that marketing is a normal and expected part of the process. While it might feel overwhelming, take it one step at a time, and you’ll gradually move forward with finding the right home for your screenplay. I’m wishing you all the best on the journey.

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Submit your question to be answered anonymously via my online form here or email directly to askthecoach@calledtowrite.com. Look for answers to selected questions in my monthly “Ask the Coach” column on the third Thursday of the month. And reach out to me on Twitter to share your thoughts: @JennaAvery.


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