View Full Version : possible to get an agent and work with a quiet script?
07-16-2002, 10:13 PM
First of all, I am a newbie here and wanted to say hi to everyone.
Secondly, about my question. You see, I have several scripts I think are very good, but they don't appear to be money making juggernauts. They're quiet, character pieces (for instance, one is about the life of a young girl being raised by her drug addicted mother), more suited for independent production companies rather than the big boys. But again, I think the writing is good. They say write what you like to write and not what you think you should write so I did.
So I'm wondering is it possible to get representation and work if my scripts aren't really high concept, action, thriller, etc. pieces? Or should I force myself to write a more sellable screenplay?
Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks.
07-16-2002, 10:56 PM
Last year, I read an exceptional script that was both high-concept and character driven. Still, a very small movie. This particular writer was picked up by a good management company, because his script won several screenplay competitions. That's how he caught their eye.
This script was so compelling, I actually kept up with it for a time. Since then, I know the writer has tightened it with some suggestions by a topnotch story-guru. Last I heard, it was being considered by one of the biggest directors in Hollywood.
Industry people know this writer's name, now. His work has earned him what every newbie should strive for: Respect. That's what it's all about.
People don't just pluck a writer like "Crash," right out of the blue. (Crash is a frequent and respected poster, so I'll use him.) There was an initial script that amazed someone - or a lot of someones, to earn him work.
If the writing is really good (and I mean off the map) - it's going to get noticed. That's been my experience, anyway.
Welcome to the board...
07-17-2002, 01:36 PM
Slupo - welcome to the board! I have also written "quiet" scripts and was always hearing the same thing from agents and managers - well written, I really enjoyed it but somehow.... So I decided to write an up-the-middle romantic comedy and try to both meld my predilection for character and truth and elegant moments with BIG and set-pieces and COMEDY and....the market. I promptly got a manager. There are many opinions out there, but to me, writing "for the market", on at least some level is not a bad idea. Writing is art and is soul-satisfying, but make no mistake, it is also product.
That said, if you write soley for the market and eschew your passion for writing, ten to one says the script will suck anyway. It seems to me that there is more than one interpretation of "write what you're passionate about".....it seems that you often hear that from writers who are already established and who then have the luxury of taking that course. On the other hand, if you can't find something you are passionate about in your big bang-up blockbuster action script, it surely will suck. So there's a fine balance.
Best of luck to you
07-17-2002, 03:41 PM
The hard thing about "quiet scripts" is getting them
read. Often, the concept (like a girl being raised
by a drug addicted mother) isn't particularly
fresh or compelling. "Quiet scripts" are not
about the concept - but about the WRITING.
Unfortunately, it often takes a compelling
concept to attract an agent or producer to
discover the writing.
What do you tell an agent? "I know the concept
sounds ordinary, but the writing is amazing."
How many times have they heard that?
This is why contests can help. If the script
is well written it should place in a contest,
and that win will provide you with the
entree needed. Ditto with a recommendation.
If you write a "quiet script," you need to
find another way to entice very busy agents
and producers into reading your script -
since the concept is less likely to lure
Someone who writes MEN IN BLACK will have
a much easier time pitching the script
around town than one who pens a "quiet
There's nothing wrong with writing one
of these stories but be prepared to work
a little harder in marketing it.
07-17-2002, 04:05 PM
Of course, everything is relative. Some extremely loud script can go wide to 60-70 people, make it into every buyer and studio - and still not sell.
Then, some quiet little movie might only be read by six people, and still get snatched up and made. That's why there are people like Creativexec. They follow the big ones, but they also work hard at finding the undiscovered gems, too.
But quiet movies often can't be labeled so easily. Those pitches - to quote The Player: "It's Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman." Most likely, that's not going to happen with yours. Generating substantial heat around town will be more difficult.
But don't let that discourage you...
07-17-2002, 10:56 PM
slupo - please send me a private message w/ your email addr.; would like to respond off-board. Thx.
07-17-2002, 11:25 PM
Wow. Thanks for all the replies! So, it definitely seems tougher to get an agent and work with a quiet script. I can accept that. I have a Cop/Serial Killer thriller in the bin but it's not one of my favorites. But it seems that this one would be easier to get read.
I think what I'm taking from this thread is to write something that is true to myself, but also more high concept. I think it can be done, it's just going to be a bit harder.
And maybe if I get some credits under my name, I can shop the quiet scripts around.
07-18-2002, 01:26 PM
Let your imagination run wild.
Come up with a strange idea... an interesting idea.
Cops & serial killers - seen them a million times before. Challenge yourself to take the next step - to find an idea that's downright weird... and fascinating.
What if you had your young girl raised by an alien mother? Sort of your idea meets ET.... you can explore many of the same issues, in a story with a creative idea.
Or let's say your serial killer is in prison for life... but has studied astral projection and can now kill even though he's locked up? How do you stop this guy?
I have a story about a FBI agent who is famous for tracking serial killers - he's killed over a dozen of them. He's tracking a killer in New Mexico, when the local assigned to help him realizes that the FBI agent is a serial killer... of serial killers! He's more crazy than the guy he's tracking!
Find a creative idea. Not something queit, something interesting! You can still deal with issues and characters and subject matter that you are passionate about.
What if that girl was being raised by a vampire mother... born addicted to blood and fighting the urges?
Let your imagination run wild...
07-18-2002, 05:50 PM
slupo - did you get my email?
Let me know who's looking for "vampire mothers" scripts ...
07-18-2002, 09:04 PM
There have been a rash of vampire and werewolf script sales recently. A werewolf script in the trades today, a vampire script a couple of days ago. So a vampire mother script might actually have a chance right now.
Maybe you could tell that to the managers who've recently passed on the script. "Enjoyed the story. Great writing. We're passing. What else have you got?"
JakeSchuster aka Ostroff
07-19-2002, 08:39 AM
Re quiet scripts: remember "American Beauty". Even in its slightly more conceptual early drafts it was a quirky, well-written and darkly funny piece.
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