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ChipC
08-28-2009, 11:57 AM
If a writer has what he/she believes is an awesome story concept for a particular market of prodcos, indie or otherwise, are they open to logline and synopsis submissions only? Of course I would be up front about there not being a completed script yet.

I'm in this situation, but I'm also in the middle of a spec script that I do not want to put aside, unless of course someone showed serious interest in this story concept.

Suggestions? advice? Scolding??

chip

Ernie Santamaria
08-28-2009, 01:19 PM
Couple problems with what you’re pondering as an approach to potential buyers:

First off -- why rush to convey your concept to a prodco in advance of having written the script? What you’re suggesting amounts to wanting them to validate a pitch, and they’re realistically limited to saying only “We’ll be interested to read the script when you finish it.” That’s all they can tell you, so what have you gained? They’re not going to contract for the screenwriting with a writer unknown to them, off of a logline or synopsis. And their reply shouldn't be determinative in any way whatsoever as to whether you proceed with writing a script. It's simply a standard response, nothing more.

Second -- You can’t copyright the *ideas* in your logline, let alone your synopsis. You can for sure *register* the synopsis as a “unique expression” of those ideas, but any writer of their choice can simply change the way you intend telling the story with his/her own take off your synopsis ideas. If a prodco loves the concept they can simply assign a pro to express the ideas as a tangible script and they own the copyright on that work product for hire. Do the script yourself and protect it via copyright and also WGA registration (optional).

Third -- You convey a more amateur status than you need to by pitching in absence of a script, so when you do get back to them with the actual script, you’ve set up an unnecessary bias if the reader knows, by whatever means, about your initial contact.

I see no upside at all by doing what you’ve asked about.

Ernie

SoCalScribe
08-28-2009, 01:25 PM
If a writer has what he/she believes is an awesome story concept for a particular market of prodcos, indie or otherwise, are they open to logline and synopsis submissions only? Of course I would be up front about there not being a completed script yet.

I'm in this situation, but I'm also in the middle of a spec script that I do not want to put aside, unless of course someone showed serious interest in this story concept.

Suggestions? advice? Scolding??

chip


Honestly, unless you're an established screenwriter with a successful track record, they don't care about your ideas. Companies don't want ideas... they want product. They want to see a finished script, so they know for sure if you can write something that will work for them. If you only want to pitch a synopsis to a production company, your most likely responses are:


THE BEST: "I like the concept. Send the script when it's finished."

THE MOST LIKELY: "We do not accept unsolicited submissions, and certainly not unsolicited ideas."

THE WORST: "No thanks" or "We do not accept unsolicited submissions" or something to that effect, followed by them developing their own version of your idea. After all, ideas can't be copyrighted.


If you want to be a screenwriter, the best thing for you to do is actually write a screenplay. It's the best possible way for a production company to evaluate whether your work is ideally suited for their needs... and therefore the best possible way for you to make a sale or get paid. :)

ChipC
08-28-2009, 02:15 PM
I'm glad I asked as this is very good advice from both of you. After thinking about that it would definitely come across as very amateur. Thanks for the feedback!

chip

NikeeGoddess
08-28-2009, 03:31 PM
i didn't read their advice so if i'm redundant....

if a story idea or concept is great now then it will be great tomorrow, next year, and in ten years time. and if it's that good and you came up with it then you should be able to fully realize it in a completed script. if you want to big paycheck then you've got to do the work.