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Old 01-23-2008, 12:09 PM   #1
GoldStarWriter
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Unhappy Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

Ok, so I created a market plan with all the Production companies I wanted to cold call/ query tol. Started calling prodcos bottom up from lowest to high - such as Miramax, New Line - but they're all saying No unsolicted materials. So how do expect to even get your script recognized if none of them are willing to accept a query? Should I fax instead or email.

I feel like I'm losing a cause already. For those who got through to Production companies, how did you do it? I don't want to give up on my dream...
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

Instead of creating a list from low to high (based on size of the company), create a list in terms of what they've produced similar to the screenplay you want to pitch. And create a really good logline/query letter rather than cold calling on the phone -- and try to find out the name of an individual in development at those companies (maybe you already have). Use resources like Done Deal Pro, imdb Pro and/or the Hollywood Creative Directory to do your research.

You sound fairly new at this, so also enter some contests to see how your screenplay stacks up against others. Maybe consider paying for a few analysts to read your script.

Yes, it's a very tough nut to crack; most never do. But if you think you're really talented -- and professionals in the industry validate it -- keep going for it. But never give up your day job.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

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Originally Posted by Pasquali56 View Post
Instead of creating a list from low to high (based on size of the company), create a list in terms of what they've produced similar to the screenplay you want to pitch. And create a really good logline/query letter rather than cold calling on the phone -- and try to find out the name of an individual in development at those companies (maybe you already have). Use resources like Done Deal Pro, imdb Pro and/or the Hollywood Creative Directory to do your research.

You sound fairly new at this, so also enter some contests to see how your screenplay stacks up against others. Maybe consider paying for a few analysts to read your script.

Yes, it's a very tough nut to crack; most never do. But if you think you're really talented -- and professionals in the industry validate it -- keep going for it. But never give up your day job.
Ive been writing 4 years but this is actually the first I've quered. I do have Imbd pros and have been cold calling with the names of Managers or producers/directors. My story is action, fantasy, adventure based. So Ive been calling production companies who deal with that...
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

Maybe you should try emailing and snail mailing a good query instead of cold calling on the phone. It's all tough, but I personally think phone calling someone cold is the hardest route. They're usually not paying attention and have a hundred other things going on, so they're usually not going to listen carefully to your pitch. At least when it's in writing they can read it when they have a free moment. Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2008, 01:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

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Originally Posted by GoldStarWriter View Post
Ok, so I created a market plan with all the Production companies I wanted to cold call/ query tol. Started calling prodcos bottom up from lowest to high - such as Miramax, New Line - but they're all saying No unsolicted materials. So how do expect to even get your script recognized if none of them are willing to accept a query? Should I fax instead or email.

I feel like I'm losing a cause already. For those who got through to Production companies, how did you do it? I don't want to give up on my dream...
Fax.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

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  • Try sending written queries, rather than cold-calling. There's differing opinions on this, but we were able to get our script pretty well-exposed and eventually sold via a process that started with cold-queries (or its equivalent: Inktip placement). The written query gives you a chance to shine as a writer, which can go a long way to winning over the person reading your letter. If you sound like a competent writer in your letter, they might have more confidence in the quality of your script. Sometimes an intirguing query letter will even get the prodco to relax their "no unsolicited/unrepped materials" policy. We had that happen once.
I tried a written query approach for one of my scripts and tried to go all out -- 100 letters snail mailed. Zero requests. I've had much better luck with InkTip and mass email services.
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Old 01-23-2008, 05:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

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Originally Posted by GoldStarWriter View Post
Ok, so I created a market plan with all the Production companies I wanted to cold call/ query tol. Started calling prodcos bottom up from lowest to high - such as Miramax, New Line - but they're all saying No unsolicted materials. So how do expect to even get your script recognized if none of them are willing to accept a query? Should I fax instead or email.

I feel like I'm losing a cause already. For those who got through to Production companies, how did you do it? I don't want to give up on my dream...
With cold calling, you're likely to get the receptionist (but not always, on occassion you might get through to the person you were trying to contact). But very often if you get a receptionist or an assistant, they're going to do their job, which is get rid of you.

So try e-mailing or faxing. Even the occassional snail mail.

Or you might want to brush up on your telephone sales pitch. A trained salesman/cold caller knows how to get around receptionists. Don't sound like a newbie when you call (or else it's more likely to be click).
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

Another angle, try ANY connection you might have in the business--even if it's a stretch. Today, I just sent off my script to a guy who works closely with gus van sant. Over ten years ago, i did some grunt work for him and gave him a ride home. I sent an email to his agent (Imdb) with my synopsis, asking him if he would give it a read. I mentioned the work i did for him that one day (ten years ago)...he probably didn't remember me from Adam but he responded.

Good Luck!
Jen
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Old 01-23-2008, 10:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

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Originally Posted by jenvon View Post
Another angle, try ANY connection you might have in the business--even if it's a stretch. Today, I just sent off my script to a guy who works closely with gus van sant. Over ten years ago, i did some grunt work for him and gave him a ride home. I sent an email to his agent (Imdb) with my synopsis, asking him if he would give it a read. I mentioned the work i did for him that one day (ten years ago)...he probably didn't remember me from Adam but he responded.

Good Luck!
Jen
I guess I did have some sort of connection. My screenwriting professor from 5 years ago... she's retired from the industry but we haven't spoken since. But tommorrow I'll try and reach her. And faxing and emailing... I will try and do that tonight!
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Old 01-24-2008, 12:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Giving up hope? No Unsolicted materials...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldStarWriter View Post
Ok, so I created a market plan with all the Production companies I wanted to cold call/ query tol. Started calling prodcos bottom up from lowest to high - such as Miramax, New Line - but they're all saying No unsolicted materials. So how do expect to even get your script recognized if none of them are willing to accept a query? Should I fax instead or email.

I feel like I'm losing a cause already. For those who got through to Production companies, how did you do it? I don't want to give up on my dream...
Listen, home-slice this screenwriting thing is a hard, Hard, HARD thing to do.

The writing.

The marketing.

It's hard to do even during the best of times and you're doing it during a strike (as you should be unless you're a WGA member) so ummm you need to knuckle up a bit and drive on.

Now I think you posted a logline in another thread a couple days ago saying you were ready to start querying after years of writing, right, and now you've queried for how long -- a few days -- and you're ready to give up?

Learn fast.

This is a marathon that requires daily sprints.

Grow a set.

Toughen up.

Strap in for the longhaul.

Or stop wasting your time.

That's tough love but it's all true, man. Anybody here will tell you that.

It's as simple as that.

Work on your logline. If the logline is good enough these dudes will ask to read the script regardless of any BS unsolicited materials policy.
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