View Full Version : Question for CE re volume of scripts

02-09-2005, 07:56 AM
For CE and other agency folks:

On another thread, we're trying to determine the size of the "universe" of serious aspiring pre-professional screenwriters. So far we've looked at the number of entrants in the Nicholl + Greenlight competitions (about 10,000) and the number of FILM SCRIPTS registered with the WGAw by NON-WGA MEMBERS (also very roughly 10,000).

A third way of counting would be to look at the number of scripts submitted to major agencies by non-WGA writers, on which we have the following data:

"If an agency does agree to read your script, it goes
next to the story department, where readers will
synopsize it and offer their critiques. This is called
coverage. A large agency might typically send between
15,000 and 30,000 projects to coverage each year,
including material from new writers as well as existing
clients' work."
[Source: www.groupsrv.com/movies/about29605.html (http://www.groupsrv.com/movies/about29605.html)]

These "projects" presumably include novels, comic books, TV stuff, video games, etc. in addition to FILM scripts. Can you give us some idea of how many FILM SCRIPTS by non-clients who are NON-WGA MEMBERS are submitted to your agency each year? And how many individual writers do these scripts represent?



02-09-2005, 10:05 PM

I don't think all of the info you're
looking for is actually collected.

I believe I once asked the STORY DEPT
how many scripts were covered a year.
Although I don't recall the exact number,
I seem to remember that the STORY
DEPT covered about 8000 projects that
particular year. (That is not divided up
into books, comics, articles, etcetera.
That is a collective number.)

It would be fair to say that the majority
of those projects are NOT by clients.

Although that number may seem small,
keep in mind that we are selective about
material (certainly "unsolicited material"),
so the number would be lower than
one might expect.

However, that number would not include
projects that are submitted to agents
and NOT sent to the STORY DEPT (not
every script is sent to the STORY DEPT).
That could account for a large number
of scripts.

Many large agencies deduct "covered
scripts" from the agents overhead.

Since an agent has to be in the black at
the end of the year - moneys brought into
the agency versus moneys gone out -
newer agents will read scripts themselves.

I don't think any agency collects info
on which writers are WGA and which
aren't. If the agency receives a script
or solicits it - the WGA status is totally
irrelevant. Also, the STORY DEPT does
not keep records (or even check) on
what professional credits a writer might


02-09-2005, 11:20 PM
I wonder how many in those numbers are overlap (i.e. the same scripts get read at all/some of the agencies, same script goes to the big contests, or both, etc). It could indicate discouragingly inflated numbers.

02-10-2005, 12:00 AM
There is definitely overlap.