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-   -   How to get read by these producers? (http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/boards/showthread.php?t=48520)

marcal 07-07-2009 03:12 PM

How to get read by these producers?
 
I have an unusual script that I want to send to some of these indie-type producers and prodcos below. Any ideas on how doing so differs, if at all, from more mainstream spots? Has anyone had luck in getting scripts read at any of these places? I have phone #s from IMDBpro for these places but not email (aside from info AT etc. etc. etc.).

Alternately, if anyone knows of particular managers/management companies that are open to somewhat more unusual/indie-type scripts (and writers), including socially/politically relevant ones, I'd really appreciate it...

James Schamus, Focus Features
Christine Vachon, Killer Films
Edward Saxon, Edward Saxon Productions
Peter Saraf, Big Beach Films
Jonathan Demme, Clinica Estetico
Participant Productions
IFC Films

Johnnycomelately 07-07-2009 05:12 PM

Re: How to get read by these producers?
 
If you have the phone numbers why don't you call and pitch them. Have your logline ready, be sure to know that the material is a fit for what they like to do, and then, when someone answers the phone, if you have the name of a key person's assistant, ask for them. If not, just launch into:

"Hi. My name is Marcal. I'm calling about a project I'm working on that's a great fit for X company. It's about xxxx (logline).

Can I email you the logline and brief synopsis?"

I've had good success with this phone approach, but I may have a bit of an advantage because I have the writes to two novels to support "my project."

Still, it's worth a shot. Make sure you proceed with confidence. All they can do is say no.

Good luck!

Jake Schuster 07-07-2009 06:35 PM

Re: How to get read by these producers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Johnnycomelately (Post 553146)

I've had good success with this phone approach, but I may have a bit of an advantage because I have the writes to two novels to support "my project."

Just make sure, when you put it in an email, Johnny, that you say you have the "rights". Otherwise you'll arouse suspicions.

Johnnycomelately 07-07-2009 08:58 PM

Re: How to get read by these producers?
 
Just make sure, when you put it in an email, Johnny, that you say you have the "rights". Otherwise you'll arouse suspicions.

You know, I used to tease a friend about his "psychological malapropisms."

And now I seem to have the same problem!

So far, though, I've used the right "rights" in my email :)

Thanks, Jake.

NikeeGoddess 07-08-2009 11:03 AM

Re: How to get read by these producers?
 
Quote:

"Hi. My name is Marcal. I'm calling about a project I'm working on that's a great fit for X company. It's about xxxx (logline).
wrong! this is amateur red flag.

always start like this:
"Marcal (last name) calling for James Shamus."
the receptionist won't even ask who you are or what you want. you will be automatically switched to that producer's assistant.

[if for some reason they tell you he's not available... maybe he's shooting/on the set/or something, ask when you should call back. they will tell you.]

then -- make sure they know right away that you have something... a project or script that Shamus will definitely want to check out.

you need to work through the assistant who screens everything. make sure you get her/his name. if it's funny make them spell it. and they might want you to pitch them right over the phone so be ready. short and sweet.

btw - trust me. this works. come back and let us know how it went.

Johnnycomelately 07-08-2009 05:44 PM

Re: How to get read by these producers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by NikeeGoddess (Post 553352)
wrong! this is amateur red flag.

always start like this:
"Marcal (last name) calling for James Shamus."
the receptionist won't even ask who you are or what you want. you will be automatically switched to that producer's assistant.

[if for some reason they tell you he's not available... maybe he's shooting/on the set/or something, ask when you should call back. they will tell you.]

then -- make sure they know right away that you have something... a project or script that Shamus will definitely want to check out.

you need to work through the assistant who screens everything. make sure you get her/his name. if it's funny make them spell it. and they might want you to pitch them right over the phone so be ready. short and sweet.

btw - trust me. this works. come back and let us know how it went.

Nike - yes, your approach is definitely better and stronger. I should have been more specific about this, since I always have a name to request when I call and yes, they almost always put you through to someone. You just have to make sure you're confident and ready to pitch when you call.

What I don't understand is why no one ever tells the xmillion people on these boards how effective it is to identify and call (not query) potential producers who fit your project.

I guess in sales that's known as cold-calling and most people shy away from it.

marcal 07-10-2009 01:35 PM

Re: How to get read by these producers?
 
Thanks for the advice. I've decided to wait a few weeks for the Nicholl Fellowship Quarterfinals letters, see if I make it, and then proceed. If I don't make it, no harm done, and if I do it'll be a small boost I can add to queries...

scruffdiva 07-15-2009 11:54 AM

Re: How to get read by these producers?
 
this is great. and as a former EA, please be nice to the assistant. they remember you if you aren't. a lot of times, the assistant's opinion of you will be conveyed to the boss. my former boss once didn't return a guy's call because he was out right nasty and rude to me. you have to treat the assistant like mini version of the exec you're trying to reach: respectfully.

Quote:

Originally Posted by NikeeGoddess (Post 553352)
wrong! this is amateur red flag.

always start like this:
"Marcal (last name) calling for James Shamus."
the receptionist won't even ask who you are or what you want. you will be automatically switched to that producer's assistant.

[if for some reason they tell you he's not available... maybe he's shooting/on the set/or something, ask when you should call back. they will tell you.]

then -- make sure they know right away that you have something... a project or script that Shamus will definitely want to check out.

you need to work through the assistant who screens everything. make sure you get her/his name. if it's funny make them spell it. and they might want you to pitch them right over the phone so be ready. short and sweet.

btw - trust me. this works. come back and let us know how it went.


SoCalScribe 07-15-2009 12:06 PM

Re: How to get read by these producers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by scruffdiva (Post 556561)
this is great. and as a former EA, please be nice to the assistant. they remember you if you aren't. a lot of times, the assistant's opinion of you will be conveyed to the boss. my former boss once didn't return a guy's call because he was out right nasty and rude to me. you have to treat the assistant like mini version of the exec you're trying to reach: respectfully.

Not to mention all those calls that somehow get dropped and messages that don't get delivered... it's amazing how often that happens to rude people.

Especially when it's a cold call. If the executive isn't expecting a call from you, the assistant's response of, "It's some jackass who has a project he wants you to consider." versus, "It's a guy who wants to know if we'd be interested in hearing about his project." can mean the difference between connecting with the exec and getting the promise of a never-to-come callback. :cool:

Assistants may be on the lower rungs of the Hollywood ladder, but they're the ones with the best access to the people you're trying to reach. Treat them well and most will treat you well. Treat them like crap and watch how fast most executives will ignore you.

scruffdiva 07-15-2009 04:30 PM

Re: How to get read by these producers?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SoCalScribe (Post 556566)
Not to mention all those calls that somehow get dropped and messages that don't get delivered... it's amazing how often that happens to rude people.

Especially when it's a cold call. If the executive isn't expecting a call from you, the assistant's response of, "It's some jackass who has a project he wants you to consider." versus, "It's a guy who wants to know if we'd be interested in hearing about his project." can mean the difference between connecting with the exec and getting the promise of a never-to-come callback. :cool:

Assistants may be on the lower rungs of the Hollywood ladder, but they're the ones with the best access to the people you're trying to reach. Treat them well and most will treat you well. Treat them like crap and watch how fast most executives will ignore you.

Ha! To my own credit, I never lost a message. I just knew how to phrase how things went down. When I worked at Penguin Putnam, I set up a meeting with and editor two green authors who were so nice and thorough. Even if nothing came out of it, I was happy to set it up.


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