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Old 02-21-2019, 06:56 AM   #11
docgonzo
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Default Re: What's a realistic batting average on queries?

I've never had any luck getting a rep through a query letter. I've gotten plenty of reads, but a grand total of one meeting out of a few thousand over the years (that meeting led to an offer of representation, and boy am I glad I declined). Now you can say that's the script's fault, but those same scripts landed me representation via referral. So I'll hazard a guess and say that's not the case. But don't ask me what the difference is. I have no clue.

This is all a roundabout way of saying referrals are the best way to go about this. Some people are successful with query letters and go on to have a career. But seems like most people go the referral route, or they win a major contest, or they get into one of the writing programs. If your avatar is correct and you're in Portland, those last two are your best options. However, if you're in a position in life to move to LA, that might be an option worth considering as well.

But don't let that stop you from trying. If you have a killer logline and you know your script is great, go for it. Just don't expect much from it.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:03 AM   #12
Satriales
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Default Re: What's a realistic batting average on queries?

If you have a good script - say it got a couple of 8s on the Blacklist - I do think there is a benefit to finding a manager who does consulting on Stage 32 or Roadmap Writers. I know there has been talk on here in the past about established managers charging for reads and the red flags that raises. However, there are good, reputable, up and coming young managers you can get to read on pay sites. It may be cost prohibitive for you. I get that. But if you really want to know if you are close, research their background and drop the $150 one time.

I know some folks say never pay to get read. I understand that point of view. But if you have some disposable income, I think itís a viable route. While it may be just one managerís subjective opinion, I think there is value there, even if you have to read between the lines.
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Old 02-21-2019, 07:11 PM   #13
DaltWisney
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Default Re: What's a realistic batting average on queries?

Did the LA thing for a few years. Even had a lot badge for quite a while. I'd be willing to relocate there if the prospect of work became realistic, but I'd prefer to stay put until I at least have a rep in place, as I find the quality of life better elsewhere. Might be a bit of a catch-22, but from what I've heard, reps don't need you to be in LA until you're actually working/taking meetings. I'm able to go down there at the drop of a hat, so I don't imagine it being a huge hurdle apart from the reduced access/networking that you miss out on by not being there physically.

I'm 0-for-17 on the queries so far, which is fine. I've aimed pretty high and wasn't expecting an overwhelming response. Moreover, my pilot is a relatively "low concept" period piece and while I actually think the setting would be fantastic for a TV show, it's not the sort of thing that's likely to leap off the page and grab people right away. I'm just dipping my toes in the water and testing the temperature, and I don't want to come across as the typical delusional "Why aren't they acknowledging my genius?!" type of guy just because my first salvo of queries came up airballs.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I do think there's an interesting dynamic where reps need writers to make money, but...reps seemingly don't want to read new writers unless that person already comes with a stamp of approval via contest or referral. I'm not going to call it an inefficiency in the system because in all likelihood their behavior is correct. In other words, they probably get so much useless **** sent to them constantly that attempting to find the needle in a haystack is like panning for gold in a porto-potty. It's simply not worth the time and effort when both of those resources are finite.

In a perfect world, it would be nice if the big management houses could read every single thing that crosses their desk, but we know that's not realistic due to time and budget constraints. Fair enough. No salt here. I'll keep poking around while working on my next thing, and I've sent this same pilot off to every reputable contest under the sun, so I'll keep trying every door until one of them opens.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:16 PM   #14
harbak
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Default Re: What's a realistic batting average on queries?

Pilot's from unknown writers are going to seldom be requested. Just a fact. Most of the pilots I've had read was once I had connections with prod co's etc... They already knew my writing so they gave me a shot. Getting a pilot into the hands of someone who could be a showrunner via previous reads is likely the only way you are going to get much traction with this.

Someone mentioned contests, but there is nothing legit out there for pilots to get noticed, that you can count on at least.

Write more, get connections, rinse and repeat. When you start getting fans among the managers and prod co's eventually someone will refer you to an agent.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:16 AM   #15
docgonzo
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Default Re: What's a realistic batting average on queries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by harbak View Post
Pilot's from unknown writers are going to seldom be requested. Just a fact. Most of the pilots I've had read was once I had connections with prod co's etc... They already knew my writing so they gave me a shot. Getting a pilot into the hands of someone who could be a showrunner via previous reads is likely the only way you are going to get much traction with this.

Someone mentioned contests, but there is nothing legit out there for pilots to get noticed, that you can count on at least.

Write more, get connections, rinse and repeat. When you start getting fans among the managers and prod co's eventually someone will refer you to an agent.
There's truth to that first part. I had a hell of a time querying because I was trying to pitch various pilots. Granted, I landed my current manager with a pilot, but I think it's a lot easier to get traction if you're writing features. A manager can go out with a feature with the intent to sell, and they don't have to worry about getting a showrunner attached. And you can always start developing TV ideas after getting traction in the feature world. There's a ton of crossover right now. Writers should definitely be doing both. But starting things off with a feature is the better route to go.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:51 PM   #16
Bono
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Default Re: What's a realistic batting average on queries?

Zero point zero.

(However, I got 2 managers off queries. So sometimes they work.)
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Old 03-10-2019, 06:45 PM   #17
WillLevin
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Default Re: What's a realistic batting average on queries?

Great question. I just finished sending 10 queries (to managers) for my pilot and got 2 read requests. I think my log line is good because I got some attention (semifinalist) for a pitch competition even before the pilot was done.

I think you should look hard at your log line, maybe put it up on DD and get some feedback.
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