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Old 06-04-2009, 09:18 AM   #11
ScreenQuery
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlongton View Post
I would stay away from those places that mass mail your loglines - almost nobody rfeads them.

One of our first customers landed a rep at Paradigm recently.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:06 PM   #12
Takezo
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

I have to take issue with Takezo, though. I've found production companies to be MUCH more approachable than agencies. You don't query studios, obviously, or the biggest prodcos, but indies and other studio-affiliated prodcos are often quite approachable.

I do agree a bit with you on this point.
It all depend upon what you are pedaling.
If you are tyring to sell a big, big movie--no these smaller companies will probably love the writing (they'll pass), and maybe ask to see something else.

The indie production companies are as dead as GM and Crysler now.
Few of these movies (which no one goes to see) are being funded.
All the "play-money" from the rich Russian Oligarchs and Arabs has dried up. It's gone. And few people need a tax write-off, so these indie pics that have little commercial potential aren't being made now.

To write an indie level screenplay would be a waste of time.
Tyring to sell one now is to have better chances of success trying to win the California lottery.

The big agencies have their ways of going out with project.
They start at the top of the food chain, then work their way down.
There are A, B, C, D and even F level production companies.
Yes the lower levels are mostly not even on the Rolodex of agents and managers.
This is for a reason--and that is because they can't get a movie made.
The studios will barely take a meeting with them.
Most of them don't have deals (to finance and distribute) with studios.
So these guys are a waste of time to query.
Talk about long-shots!?

If you want to take the indie route--and live like Van Gogh (and cut your ear off) and starve... go ahead.

I'm looking for connections in general. And being in the midwest makes that more difficult.

Well it's not going to happen over the internet.
You will have to be out here to make some connections.
Or write something sooooo completely outstanding, so incredible that it stands out from the rest.

T
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

One of our first customers landed a rep at Paradigm recently.

Okay screenquery.... how many people use your service? 500? 1000? 5000? Whats the real number?!

How many queries to you send out a year? 20,000? 15,000? 30,000?

How many of your "paying clients" have landed representation?

So let's do some numbers, some ratios okay?!
What are your success rates? 1 in a thousand? 1 in five thousand?
Or are your odds even thinnner?

We'd all like to know the truth.

T
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

The service has been online since April 1st. I don't think we've even hit the 1,000 mark yet -- but then again, not really advertising.

I would say that at least 1 out of 5 get positive results. This can be anywhere from a first time read or a series of reads. About 1 in 10 get something bigger. Requests from a big agency, production company, or whatever. Then, it's all up to them.

Most of the customers say it should cost more for their results. We're actually thinking of knocking it down to an even $5 soon.
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

Have someone who actually landed a rep PM me on this site.
Then I'll make a judgement on your service.

But for everyone else--you should be very careful about any kind of agent/s, manager/s or any kind of service that charges you an up front fee to get any kind of "in" with the entertainment industry.

To me it smacks of scam.

It just doesn't happen this way.
And when producers and agents get anything from these types of services, it's as though it's coming from gadfly wanna' be's who hang out in the thousands in this town.
Personally speaking, any producer/agent/manager worth having look upon these services with a jaded eye.

These services are a dime a dozen in Hollywood.
And they prey upon those who are completely desperate or just ignorant.
You cannot purchase your way into this game.

When you are in the right place at the right time--with the right product, then the doors open up for you.

Most screenplays (nearly all actually) written by amateurs completely stink.
Read that last line again--and contemplate it upon the "Tree Of Woe."
And the professionals know this fact.
This is why the system has been set up sooo f-ing difficult to penetrate.

How much bad material must a person be forced to plough through?!

The whole game is rigged (yes rigged and structured) to allow only the best (5% at most) to get read by credible people.
And of that percentage, only a smaller percentage go on to get bought, and a smaller percentage get produced.

By subscribing to a service it tells someone that you're sending material to that you cannot hack it. That you cannot make the grade to get an agent--or that you're too freakin' dumb to do so.

A: They really got to like your work.
B: They really got to like you as a person.
C: They really have to be able to trust you to perform (development, re-writes, etc.)
D: Your material has to be consistantly excellent.
E: Your material has to be consistantly excellent.

An electronic query does not give you this.
You must break-in to this industry--if you can't, you can't.

The truth is sometimes a hard thing to swallow.
But someone has to whack people in the head with a telephone book.

T
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

Takezo tells the raw truth. No illusions. No denial.

Screen showed his true colors by bad-mouthing me on another thread. Beating his chest, bragging about how great his service is. Muck your service, Screen. I hope you go bankrupt. Stop shilling your lousy service on these boards.

Takezo is right. You can't buy your way into this biz. You have to concentrate on writing . . . period. If you get to the point where you can write a great story, and do it again and again, then you should network the way Takezo suggests.

And get out f Iowa and move to L.A. area when you're ready for networking.

Last edited by Farnsworth : 06-04-2009 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:55 PM   #17
ruby-throated phil
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takezo View Post
Have someone who actually landed a rep PM me on this site.
Then I'll make a judgement on your service.

But for everyone else--you should be very careful about any kind of agent/s, manager/s or any kind of service that charges you an up front fee to get any kind of "in" with the entertainment industry.

To me it smacks of scam.

It just doesn't happen this way.
And when producers and agents get anything from these types of services, it's as though it's coming from gadfly wanna' be's who hang out in the thousands in this town.
Personally speaking, any producer/agent/manager worth having look upon these services with a jaded eye.

These services are a dime a dozen in Hollywood.
And they prey upon those who are completely desperate or just ignorant.
You cannot purchase your way into this game.

When you are in the right place at the right time--with the right product, then the doors open up for you.

Most screenplays (nearly all actually) written by amateurs completely stink.
Read that last line again--and contemplate it upon the "Tree Of Woe."
And the professionals know this fact.
This is why the system has been set up sooo f-ing difficult to penetrate.

How much bad material must a person be forced to plough through?!

The whole game is rigged (yes rigged and structured) to allow only the best (5% at most) to get read by credible people.
And of that percentage, only a smaller percentage go on to get bought, and a smaller percentage get produced.

By subscribing to a service it tells someone that you're sending material to that you cannot hack it. That you cannot make the grade to get an agent--or that you're too freakin' dumb to do so.

A: They really got to like your work.
B: They really got to like you as a person.
C: They really have to be able to trust you to perform (development, re-writes, etc.)
D: Your material has to be consistantly excellent.
E: Your material has to be consistantly excellent.

An electronic query does not give you this.
You must break-in to this industry--if you can't, you can't.

The truth is sometimes a hard thing to swallow.
But someone has to whack people in the head with a telephone book.

T
You sound like a real sweetheart.

Everyone knows how hard it is to pentrate the machine. Everyone. It's when you justify it as right that makes you sound like a little bit of a d-bag. And I only say that because it looks like you're trying to do it - in sort of a Rossio-ian way.

I've worked in the music industry and am constantly amazed at the amount of people in that industry who have absolutely NO idea how bad they are. It's really quite shocking. We see those people every year on American Idol vowing that the world hasn't seen the end of them after they've just butchered the hell out of some Billy Ocean song. Same ones who would show up at the studio.

Anyway, I'm sure that the Screenwriters Universe is no different. I'm sure any industry that appears to be easy, glamourous and lucrative is. But to sit back and suggest that without notable exception, the top writers (5% - which has to be incredibly arbitrary) get work because they're that good and the rest of us 95% (the blind suckers) can't because we suck, is a ridiculously easy way to accept or even justify the difficulty of working in this industry. So are you're saying that we should just give up after a few tries because it's just a fight against Darwinism?

How about the writer who is that good but has no idea where to begin? How about the person who doesn't instictively have the inate ability to navigate waters they've never even seen before. Does that person stop writing?

I think to dismiss every one of these services as disingenuous just because you possess the elusive savy to penetrate isn't quite fair. And to conclude that writers who use these services are doing so only because they suck and can't make it as a reflection of their material is arrogant.

Last edited by ruby-throated phil : 06-04-2009 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:07 PM   #18
Farnsworth
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

5% sounds about right. I bet less than 5% get through the initial screening on American Idol.

Anyone wanting a career as a writer should dedicate at least 10 years of study and practice, just for starters, before they even start to think about networking.

Using a stupid service like Screen Query only distracts you from networking once you have studied and practiced and have written some stories that may be presentable.

I don't get some of your arguments, ruby. But please try to refrain from calling folks "d-bags" (unless it's Screen Query) merely because they tell it like it is in Hollywood.

It's a brutally tough biz to break into. Crack the first nut: writing a great script.
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

Takezo, I'm not counting on screenwriting as a career. I have a career I'm happy with. Screenwriting is my dream job. So I'm not moving to L.A. unless I break into the business. Well, if I have a pile of scripts completed a few years down the road I'm really happy with, then I'd consider moving.

No one will convince me that entering the Austin Film Festival was a bad idea or that it couldn't potentially make my career. It could. The odds are just really, really small, but I'm fully aware of that. I also think my stuff is pretty damn good, but that will be for the jury to decide. At the least, I know I'm not of the oblivious American Idol type. I'm absolutely positive.

I already get paid to write advertising. And maybe some day it'll be movies. I don't need a lecture about how hard it is to get into Hollywood--I just want to know my best options given the situation. Thanks to everyone for their input, though.

Good advice on the query services--I have been told and suspected the very same. I also agree you can't "buy" your way into the business, but paying the entry fee for big contests is much different. Talent will still reign supreme.

Also, I'm not in Iowa anymore. Chicago
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Old 06-04-2009, 02:24 PM   #20
ruby-throated phil
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Default Re: Where the hell do you start?

THe message is that unless you currently already have all the nuts, having the first one doesn't really matter.
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