View Full Version : e-mail versus the snail
04-15-2005, 12:26 PM
I have recently completed a spec script and am about to start sending out queries.
After e-mailing a query to over 500 agents and producers, my last script received about 10 reads including a major studio and mid-sized prodco - the rest were producers. I received some mild interest and even a recommend at the mid-sized prodco before it died in the pike.
I didn't bother sending snail mail queries out because it was a creature feature about a bigfoot. Honestly, I didn't think anyone would want it. It was just one of those ideas I had to get out of my system. But, in the process, I developed a pretty good list of industry e-mail addresses.
I just completed a far more marketable script and I wondering if I should stick with only e-mail queries or go snail mail?
I leaning toward e-mail given the list of e-mail addresses and the success I had with a pretty lame concept through e-mail. I'm willing and able to do either or both but don't want to go snail mail if e-mail is as or even almost as good.
You're advice would be much appreciated.
I'm sure this was covered somewhere on the board but couldn't find it. And realize this may be the wrong area to post but will leave that up the Gods.
04-15-2005, 01:28 PM
I did something similar a few weeks ago and that's about right, I got 15 reads, a few I ignored and most were prod co's. Why not add to your marketing -- do the email and supplement with better info at specific companies; if you have good contact info, etc. pick up the phone and give 'em a call. It's been known to work that way too.
04-15-2005, 11:30 PM
I always used snail mail with pretty good returns but is e-mail the way to go nowdays? Certainly would save time.
I've seen people on here post lists of email addresses of agents at this or that agency so is it okay to send a query to these emails or is it considered spam?
BTW, did you guys mail hard copy versions of your scripts to these guys or did you just send them a pdf?
04-16-2005, 08:32 AM
Emailed the query only and it was short and sweet. Then a few requested pdf attchments, the other hard copy. Just depends. I think if you are open about the fact that your email is in fact an E QUERY then they can choose to read it or trash it.
A few people got snippy but it was just auto reply so I didnt take it personally.
04-17-2005, 03:49 AM
After e-mailing a query to over 500 agents and producers
That is a seriously impressive database you have compiled, Brody.
Care to share with us how you were able to compile such a sizeable list?
04-17-2005, 11:04 AM
I just compiled a list of addresses by searching the web, HCD, on-line data bases, DD script sales and message board.
It's a brainless hobby (obsession) that keeps me occupied while I think of my next script. The bonus is that I end up with a database for the last.
Problem is that I compiled them between Sept-and Dec of last year so lots will be out of date given turnover in the industry.
04-17-2005, 10:28 PM
i'd try next cutting your five hundred down to ten.
pick them carefully.
write a really good query.
work on that query.
don't have a shot at five hundred, now only have a shot at ten. that's it.
bet that query improves.
see what happens.
at the least, you're not just another writer clogging the whole system with five hundred queries.
pick another ten...
04-18-2005, 07:39 AM
What kind of luck have people had with faxing queries? I called several management offices last week to inquire if they accepted queries, and all the ones that did asked me to fax it. Ended up picking up a cheap fax machine.
04-26-2005, 09:35 PM
Faxing is 1985's technology. Queries can be emailed as easily as faxed. Many folks are even taking scripts themselves via email these days. (By request, never cold)
But to the original question I'd say Cesahr was right on.
If there was good will established based on the previous submission, the best way is to call. (And if they don't take or return your call, you've learned something valuable about your current standing with whoever you're dealing with.)
04-26-2005, 09:48 PM
I faxed 40 last week, got two requests...one really REALLY great one...cant jinx it but be excited for me...this prod co is hot right now..anyway, faxed probably after all is said...50.
NOw remember I am very specific in my logline because I dont want to waste time with a horror co' etc. Plus I am targeting mid to smaller prod co's and entertainment groups. So my experience is probably statistically less than you might expect if your project is more mainstream. So have at it.
I have faxed, called, emailed, snail...you name it. Work it all. I like the idea of the fax because SOMEBODY is gonna read it before they throw it in the circle file. I cold faxed my latest read and after doing some research found an ancient connection which got me the read. So, work every angle you can (without jeaprodizing your project) and play the odds.
04-27-2005, 06:56 PM
Fair enough. I was more addressing the situation where good will already exists.
Though on a personal level I hate fax machines. I find them sluggish and byzantine.
04-27-2005, 08:46 PM
04-30-2005, 09:03 PM
Though on a personal level I hate fax machines. I find them sluggish and byzantine.
If I have to send the fax to anyone I use some of these Net services. Just send any doc from the desktop and voila!!, it is out - like an e-mail :D
05-01-2005, 03:26 AM
When phone pitching, one or two prod. co's ask for a synopsis via fax (instead of emails) which I hate 1) It's a hassle 2) it means I can't correspond with the exec easily. Once you have a person on the other end that you know responds to your email you can always update them on future projects, drop a note to let them know you're coming into town etc.
GG what are the Net services you use to fax? My current set up is a hassle so that sounds very useful. Thnx.
05-01-2005, 05:59 AM
I did a search a few weeks ago and there are several...CNet lists most of them. I remember eFax for sure, but it's so nickel and dime, I just found a neighbor and borrowed their fax for acouple days and faxed my a$$ off. Then, after I gave it back and STILL wanted to fax (it gets habit forming) I emailed it to a buddy who has a fax at her office and she's been doing it for me too. I have Vonage so I don't get extra charges too, which is nice. I see what you mean tho about the email contact/respond thing.
Like I said before, it just depends on the company and how much time/money you have at your disposal.
05-01-2005, 06:22 AM
Just found some useful info on Cnet. Send and receive fax via email. Looks good. Thnx CS!
05-01-2005, 11:04 AM
Last time I was asked to send a fax I scanned it into an e-mail and sent that.
05-01-2005, 12:18 PM
I have vonage which is thru cable...they (and I could be wrong about this and I probably am) havent figured out a way to interface all that yet so that I can have both outgoing and incoming in the same place. CNET rules! It's the Ask Jeeves of the technologically impaired which is me..and the hub ain't no stinkin' help desk after hours..
05-01-2005, 03:30 PM
Just signed up with something called InterFax - pretty cool. I can send an email from my Outlook mail and it will be sent as a fax. Makes it a lot easier to send follow up faxes. Seems you can send .pdf attachments but haven't tried yet. Thanks for the Cnet tip!
05-01-2005, 08:26 PM
I'm thrilled something I contributed can be of some use to you all. Kid and others have given us so much great advice...glad I could help.
05-11-2005, 02:32 PM
So I decided to go with e-mail. But I was so pumped that I finished the script that I started sending queries out to producers last night only to remember that Cannes starts today.
Given that Cannes lasts until the 22nd and many exec's stay for holidays, I've stopped e-mailing and decided to wait until the begining of June. My concern is that the e-mails I sent last night were wasted and doomed to die in inbox hell.
Should I resend to those producers in early June or just see what happens.
On the other hand, I spoke to one dev. ex. yesterday who wasn't going to Cannes and wanted my script ASAP. So should I even worry about Cannes and keep on e-mailing?
05-11-2005, 04:50 PM
Don't worry about Cannes. It's in France. Hardly anyone goes.
More importantly...a piece of long term advice...
It's always something...If not Cannes, then it's Memorial Day week and then it's summer...and then everyone is busy because summer is over and then it's fall..."thing are slow in the fall because it gets dark early, try back in Jan" and then it's holiday time and then its pilot season, so everyone is busy, and then it's no longer pilot season so no one is around anymore and on and on and on...
All year long you'll hear about how it's "the wrong time." If you compile all the excuses as to why this is a bad time, I believe you're left with Sept 7-Oct 15 and Jan 2- Feb1 and those times are the "busy times" so it might not be a good time...bla bla bla....
It never ends.
Write the stuff. Send it out. Year round. All the time. End of story.
05-12-2005, 02:14 AM
I agree with Billy - don't worry about Cannes. It's the acquisition/sales execs who go to Cannes and Sundance and AFM etc.... If you are producing a project and you want to see these people then they will no doubt be at some film festival or other throughout the year, in which case timing is crucial, but the creative execs, producers, dev. people are mostly in LA.
Cannes is mainly a buying/selling market so the companies are interested in acquiring finished films or selling their own films on the international market. In fact, many of the US companies who come to Cannes are not the companies you would normally chose to query i.e. they are companies who are in the straight-to-video, low budget slasher/horror/action, Roger Corman-type market. Also there are many sales agents there who are in Cannes to sell or possibly rep completed films or at least packaged films.
The big agencies are there, WMA, ICM etc but their reps are there to sell/pre-sell their clients flicks or pick up packaged projects. I met with an ICM rep in Cannes. They're not really there to look for new writers to sign. I'm interested in seeing some acquisition people so that's why I delayed my LA visit to the end of June. It can be easier to see these people in LA rather than Cannes because their diaries are less booked up. Cannes is a pretty busy schedule for these people.
However, there is a grey area in Cannes - a back door where you can end up pitching development people or the acquisition person who may also be the creative exec etc. That has happened to me many a time. I pitched an acquisition/CE person in Cannes. She loved the idea and liked my writing and was about to pitch it to her boss when - a week later - the company went into liquidation. :( One of many near misses. Ce la Vie as they say in France.;)
05-12-2005, 06:12 AM
you guys are funny....it DOES get darker faster in the fall,,jeeze :b
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