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Old 03-19-2009, 02:23 PM   #1
joshbuxton
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Default Difference between Production Companies

Does this statement ring true?

Small/lesser known production companies will read screenplays (when requested) sent by the writer, while large/well known production companies "require" submissions to be placed through an agent or manager.

Is there some kind of leaglity associated with the writer submitting their own work, or is a response from a larger prod co of "only agents/managers can submit" another way of saying, "thanks, but no thanks"?
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:55 PM   #2
grant
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Default Re: Difference between Production Companies

There are a multitude of reasons the big companies have less incentive to read a script from an unknown writer.

Big, well-known companies:

- Get a lot more requests to begin with, since their logo is at the beginning of big movies.

- Are more likely to have dealt with crackpots and frivolous lawsuits. "Werewolfs vs Vampires? That was my idea!"

- Have the money to develop material, aren't as reliant on spec. They'll spend millions developing a script that never gets made.

- Are more conservative. Would rather adapt an existing property with a track record than take a chance on a spec.

- Have relationships with A-list writers, get to read their specs before anyone else.

- Already have too many scripts from Agents and Managers, since they can pay better than smaller places, and are more likely to get something greenlit.

- Generally aren't as hungry as smaller companies. If they miss out on a great script from a nobody, they'll still do alright.

Etc. Etc. Etc.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:23 PM   #3
EvilRbt
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Default Re: Difference between Production Companies

Quote:
Originally Posted by joshbuxton View Post

Is there some kind of leaglity associated with the writer submitting their own work, or is a response from a larger prod co of "only agents/managers can submit" another way of saying, "thanks, but no thanks"?
Material submitted directly by the writer is considered "unsolicited" and the majority of prod. companies will not even think about reading an unsolicited piece of work. If they read something, let's say a prison musical, and "pass" on the script then they would leave themselves open to a lawsuit if they coincidentally developed or produced a prison musical down the road. If they don't read it, no one can argue they stole something from it. Simple as that.

With that in mind, when you send out query letters to companies, always offer to sign a Release Form, a legal document which essentially protects the recipient from a situation like the one described above.
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