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Writer1
07-31-2004, 01:23 PM
A couple of months ago I started researching a story that I wanted to turn into a screenplay. The story(public domain) has been told before, but not on screen.

It turns out that an A-list actor and an A - list director have been working on this story for 5 years now...still in development.

Is it wrong for me to contact them, tell them of my interest, and let them know that I want a crack at writing the screenplay?

Another company called me to talk about a comedy script I'd written. I know they recently purchased the rights to do a re-make of a cult comedy classic. The script hasn't been written yet. Can I approach them about writing it?

Is this improper? Can writers contact prodcos about specific writing assignments? Can we be proactive instead of waiting for them to contact us?

Leech
07-31-2004, 02:09 PM
Writer1 -

It's not improper to be proactive with your career, just the way you conduct yourself would be. None of the tactics you suggested can be deemed improper.

For the first scenario:

You may not get the job, as you are aware. There is a lot stacked against you. You don't have the credits or background (assumingly) for the assignment. I know that you have researched the topic for a couple of months, but the star and director have done so for a couple of years. What will you have as proof of your capability to write this story?But if you want, go ahead. I don't want to discourage.

For the second scenario:

The chances seem to be a lot higher for this case. They like your comedic script, and they are in possession of rights to film a comedy. Go ahead and ask.


Edited to add: You should prepare a treatment so you can pitch your take on the story.

Minibrain
07-31-2004, 04:52 PM
This is what agents do all the time on behalf of writer clients -- they contact companies working on projects that the writer might be right for.

The idea that you always wait for them to come to you? Where'd you get that notion?

Producers and studios will approach well-known writers or people they've worked with before. Or sometimes if they've just read a script they really like, they'll call up that writer for something else.

But there's always a lot of selling going on from the writers side. Usually, it's being done by agents and managers.

If you don't have an agent or a manager, both of these jobs are going to be difficult for you to get. But making the first move isn't going to make it any worse.

Far better, of course, if you have a contact known to them who can introduce you. Always, always the preferred way to go.