View Full Version : what happens if you send out an unsolicted script...
05-25-2004, 06:18 PM
and mark "REQUESTED MATERIAL" on the envelope? Do they just throw it away?
05-25-2004, 07:34 PM
Send a query first. That's the protocol.
05-25-2004, 10:34 PM
They know what they requested. They have computers and stuff... plus, pencils and paper and memories.
Send query letter. If they're excited by your script's idea, they'll ask to read it.
05-25-2004, 10:35 PM
the assistant who opens the mail has to ask around the office and make sure someone didn't request it and when he realizes that you're lying and you've wasted his time and made him look like an ass - he curses your name and throws your script in the trash.
05-25-2004, 10:39 PM
People read unsolicited material even with a release and request?
I never did. I used the text book "this is a pass." More then I say "good morning."
Sad news. But very true.
P.S. A script goes to the mailroom, who then puts it in the requesting agents mail box, then it travels in a cart to the agents assistants desk. Odds are, he/she will read it a couple weekends later. If they aren't hooked by page 10, they'll make a note to pass. I usually used post-it's. I've never read a spec. I liked. If the spec writer doesn't email me back asking if I liked it, I forgot about it. If they do, I'll recall it and tell them I passed.
Now this isn't true for all, but it is for most people I know and work/worked with.
05-26-2004, 12:55 AM
Then what do you put on the letter that accompanies the script?
"Here's the script you requested, Bob!" and hope someone named Bob works there?
I know you've gotten emphatic response in this thread already, but I just want to add to it. If your script is good enough to merit a read, someone WILL request it, so problem solved.
05-27-2004, 08:57 PM
If your script is good enough to merit a read, someone WILL request it, so problem solved.
So, why would a person spend a couple hours reading your stuff? Because it's good? What makes it good? The log line. But a lot of the time, a good script, or an okay script, won't merit a read because the log line is sh!t.
And as always, if the reader isn't hooked within 10-15 pages, guarantee, it will merit a trip to the trash.
Believe it or not, many studio execs won't finish a script. I know, because I would listen to calls and hear crap like, "I got to page 21 and thought 'this is a hit,' no need to finish."
It's amazing being on this side now. All of it is really a pipe dream and when you're in, a giant burst of the bubble comes your way.
05-28-2004, 02:23 AM
I don't even know how to reply to that. >D
05-28-2004, 04:16 AM
Most likely the script will be returned along
with a letter that says "... we do not accept
unsolicited material...we are returning your
script unread...." A copy of this letter is
kept on file.
For legal purposes, this should be done (it
creates a paper trail) instead of simply
tossing the script in the trash - which
doesn't record its final disposition.
Here's a possible scenario of why this
is wiser: A writer sends his unsolicited
script "return receipt requested," the
mail room signs for it and sends it up. An
assistant opens the envelope, knows its
all bullshit and tosses the script in the
trash. Two years later, the agency
packages an unrelated project that is
very similar, and the writer claims that
his project was stolen. He can provide
proof that the agency had his script
(with his postal receipt) but the agency
has no recollection of the script at all.
This could be problematic.
If on the rare chance someone reads
the cover letter with the accompanying
unsolicited script and thinks the story
sounds great - this person could send
the writer a RELEASE FORM to sign and
However, if the story sounds that good,
a query letter (without the script) will do
the same trick and look more professional.
It is true that execs do not read (bad)
scripts cover to cover - and will abandon
them after X amount of pages. (Unless they
are reading them for "notes" or a Monday
morning staff meeting.)
Only script readers - who must write a
full-length synopsis - will read the script
FADE IN to FADE OUT (or at least are most
likely to read it all).
05-28-2004, 09:10 AM
That's the kind of reasoning needed in this discussion. It's the legal ramifications of the process. Even the pathetically few reads I've gotten came in the fashion CE described. The query; the release, and the submission. And "the pass" somewhere down the line.
The real question is will someone of merit in the agency read the query in order for the last two steps to occur?
05-28-2004, 09:32 AM
Successful and busy agents are not reading
queries - but their assistants may. If the
writer gets a request - it is most likely from
the assistant and NOT the agent.
Big agents don't need to find writers through
the query pool - they get recommendations
for new writers or pick them out of film
festivals and contests (like Nicholl) or poach
clients from other agencies
Overall, smaller agencies offer the better
the chance for the new writer. (However,
it has to be an agency with clout - or it's
useless.) But that doesn't mean a new
writer shouldn't query CAA; he should just
be realistic about his chances of getting
repped off a query (which are very slim).
But querying mid-size agencies, for instance,
does work in getting representation. And
once at a mid-size - along with some work
under your belt, you can parlay that into a
move to CAA (which you'll want to do if
you really want to grow in the industry).
05-28-2004, 11:32 AM
That's where my interview came from, the assistant. Getting through will continue to be the challenge.
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