View Full Version : Query Letters

11-09-2004, 11:56 PM
I have been digesting the postings re perfecting a query letter. One of the recommendations is to address the letter to an individual and not to the company. My question is once I have a suitable query letter how do I determine which are suitable companies and from there who is the person to contact? Any advice welcome.

11-10-2004, 01:07 PM
Go to IMDB and look up movies similar to yours. Check the "company credits" and gather the names of the producers. Then get the current hardcopy HCD (Hollywood Creative Directory) or the online version--I think you can get a temporary subscription to the online version for about twenty bucks. Then find the companies and names you've gathered in the HCD and use their contact information to address your queries...

That's one avenue, anyway...

11-10-2004, 06:27 PM
Another thing to bear in mind is that many companies don't accept unsolicited manuscripts from first-time writers (if that's what you are) without a reference. The Writers Guild of America website has a list of signatory companies/agents coded to show which ones accept first-time writers. Last I checked there were about a dozen. I queried them with a script a couple of years ago and got about 3 or 4 replies (most rejections plus words of encouragement). I've also heard it's easier to get actor-owned prodcos to read your script, esp. if you tell them you wrote it just for that actor. Again, the HCD is the place to go for their contact info.

11-10-2004, 09:46 PM
Many--if not most--prodcos' policies are not to accept unrepped "unsolicited" scripts--so NEVER send a script without them asking for it.

That's what the query letter's for--to hook their interest enough to get them to "solicit" the script. Many --if not most--prodcos will definitiely look at queries. Once they request your script, it's no longer "unsolicited." In fact, you're going to write in big letters on the outside of the envelope when you send the script: AS REQUESTED or something to that effect.

My advice is to send QUERIES to everybody you want--no matter what their stated policies. Believe me, if they read your query and find an intriguing-sounding story that they might be able to work with, they're going to ask to see your script--no matter what their stated policies. (You'll probably have to sign a release, but you'll get read.)

One of our first requests from a cold query was from Debra Hill Productions (Debra made her bones--no pun intended--with HALLOWEEN and has a producer's resume longer than my arm). The reply letter requesting our script stated directly, "...although our policy is not to accept unagented material, your query sounded intriguing and we would like to take a looK...yada, yada, yada..."

So once you have that query polished to a high gloss--send it to any and everyone you can think of.

11-10-2004, 10:58 PM
Thanks for your advices. Much appreciated.

11-12-2004, 08:57 AM
Looking for some advice myself on this topic. I did the whole IMDb/HCD thing (which was definitely worth the $20 bucks) and am now sending out my query letters. Now my question: Is it better to send your query to just one person at the company, or say 3-5 people? If you only send to one and don't get a response, do you then try someone else there, or just write that one off?