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Old 10-19-2014, 03:41 AM   #1
thecoffeewriter
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Talking Production Company Interested - Now need agent!

Hello All

I am very new to writing, and I penned a comedy horror STV-style film script and emailed it to dozens of production companies in both the UK and US who had made similar films.

I wasn't really expecting any joy from doing this, and for the most part my expectations were met, but one actually emailed me back sounding reasonably interested by the description and synopsis, and asked me to submit it through my agent. (I've learnt enough that most production companies won't touch a script unless its from an agent, to avoid any copywrite/legal slip ups)

Just assuming that this was a usual brush off, I emailed them back telling them that I had no agent, but could I use their email as a recommendation to try and get one. They emailed me back and said yes.

I am not naive enough to think that they are dying to work with me, but I certainly think its worth pursuing. I know that no major agents would take me on from this little interest, but I am hoping someone may know a smaller agent who would be willing to submit on my behalf just through this opportunity, maybe someone who has just started out and would like it to help them make the connection themselves?

As I say, I'm a total novice to this, so I'm looking for any help and guidance I can find. The little research I've done in trying to find an agent, has led me to big hitters would wouldn't take anyone on without a major successful experience, or people who want $400 for the privilege.

I look forward to hearing what you've got to say!

Cheers Ben
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:54 AM   #2
LIMAMA
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Default Re: Production Company Interested - Now need agent!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is BS. If they were REALLY interested in your script, they'd send you a release form. Or tell you to submit with a release form.
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Old 10-19-2014, 09:08 AM   #3
nmstevens
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Default Re: Production Company Interested - Now need agent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoffeewriter View Post
Hello All

I am very new to writing, and I penned a comedy horror STV-style film script and emailed it to dozens of production companies in both the UK and US who had made similar films.

I wasn't really expecting any joy from doing this, and for the most part my expectations were met, but one actually emailed me back sounding reasonably interested by the description and synopsis, and asked me to submit it through my agent. (I've learnt enough that most production companies won't touch a script unless its from an agent, to avoid any copywrite/legal slip ups)

Just assuming that this was a usual brush off, I emailed them back telling them that I had no agent, but could I use their email as a recommendation to try and get one. They emailed me back and said yes.

I am not naive enough to think that they are dying to work with me, but I certainly think its worth pursuing. I know that no major agents would take me on from this little interest, but I am hoping someone may know a smaller agent who would be willing to submit on my behalf just through this opportunity, maybe someone who has just started out and would like it to help them make the connection themselves?

As I say, I'm a total novice to this, so I'm looking for any help and guidance I can find. The little research I've done in trying to find an agent, has led me to big hitters would wouldn't take anyone on without a major successful experience, or people who want $400 for the privilege.

I look forward to hearing what you've got to say!

Cheers Ben
I worked without an agent for a long time and usually, when I talked to production companies and this question came up, I would tell them that I didn't have an agent but that I usually submitted material through my attorney.

Now, there are attorneys that specialize in entertainment law and if it were to progress to the point where you needed to negotiate a deal, you would definitely need such an attorney. Any old attorney would definitely not suffice.

However, just to submit material, presuming that they accept that (and most places do) all you really need is any attorney with an office and some letterhead.

If you want to pursue finding an entertainment attorney -- you can really only get them in one of two ways. If you are established, then they take their fee as a percentage of your earnings. But this only happens once you start earning real money.

Or you can pay one a retainer. And that retainer is going to be substantial. Twenty-five years ago, when we hired an entertainment attorney (and not a particularly good one), the retainer was five thousand dollars.

I doubt that it's gone done.

A third alternative (if you live in the states) -- many states have what's knows as a "volunteer counsel for the arts" in which lawyers provide free or inexpensive legal services for members of the arts community. If you check this out you may be able to find a lawyer who'll handle you through such a program.

Now, given the bad economic times, I don't know how many of these programs still exist or if they do, how much they charge. I haven't really kept. Nor, if you live in the UK, whether such a comparable program exists there.

Nor, obviously, do I know whether they would accept a submission through an attorney in any case.

You'd simply have to do some research and find out.

NMS
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:33 PM   #4
CrissCross
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Default Re: Production Company Interested - Now need agent!

Simply say I don't have an agent, an Entertainment Attorney handles all my correspondences. It works for Bill Murray.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:57 PM   #5
Rantanplan
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Default Re: Production Company Interested - Now need agent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by LIMAMA View Post
Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is BS. If they were REALLY interested in your script, they'd send you a release form. Or tell you to submit with a release form.
Not necessarily. If they ask for the script, it probably means they want to see it, but are bound by company policy. I've had a variety of similar situations:

-one prodco said, well OK, you don't have a rep, but at least please sign this form
-another said I want to read it but it absolutely has to submitted through a rep (I managed to get a rep to do it who was not my rep but with whom I had a bit of a correspondence)
-a third said, well, OK, if you don't have a rep, when you send the PDF of the script electronically, please include this entire email correspondence so that we can track exactly where this came from.

These were all pretty major production companies.

When you get a form response from the legal department, that's exactly what it is. But IMO when you get a personal email saying please send through a rep, it means there is some measure of interest. These dudes and dudettes would just delete you from their in box otherwise.

Just throw some options at them, OP, or be honest and say you don't have any options but that you'll sign anything they want. Hell, ask them if they know of any attorney who will submit for you for a few bucks.
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Old 10-20-2014, 02:39 PM   #6
finalact4
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Default Re: Production Company Interested - Now need agent!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rantanplan View Post
Not necessarily. If they ask for the script, it probably means they want to see it, but are bound by company policy. I've had a variety of similar situations:

-one prodco said, well OK, you don't have a rep, but at least please sign this form
-another said I want to read it but it absolutely has to submitted through a rep (I managed to get a rep to do it who was not my rep but with whom I had a bit of a correspondence)
-a third said, well, OK, if you don't have a rep, when you send the PDF of the script electronically, please include this entire email correspondence so that we can track exactly where this came from.

These were all pretty major production companies.

When you get a form response from the legal department, that's exactly what it is. But IMO when you get a personal email saying please send through a rep, it means there is some measure of interest. These dudes and dudettes would just delete you from their in box otherwise.

Just throw some options at them, OP, or be honest and say you don't have any options but that you'll sign anything they want. Hell, ask them if they know of any attorney who will submit for you for a few bucks.
If i recall rightly, Bruckheimer used to have a policy like this where they would accept queries but only through a rep-- responded with a really cool, large black 8x10 envelope.
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