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Old 10-28-2019, 02:29 PM   #11
Satriales
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

All due respect, the concept/hook/logline is not getting you read, certainly not by an agent.

Look, maybe you are uniquely qualified to tell this story - maybe you lived it - so including that in a query to a manager might move the needle a tiny bit. But there is nothing here that is a unique/fresh look. It's well worn ground and there's no hook, certainly not a commercial one.

That's the reality, as I see it.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:33 PM   #12
figment
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satriales View Post
All due respect, the concept/hook/logline is not getting you read, certainly not by an agent.

Look, maybe you are uniquely qualified to tell this story - maybe you lived it - so including that in a query to a manager might move the needle a tiny bit. But there is nothing here that is a unique/fresh look. It's well worn ground and there's no hook, certainly not a commercial one.

That's the reality, as I see it.
I mean... you haven't read any of it, so... that advice might be crap, though. Sometimes it's the way something is presented -- especially if it's sort of YA territory -- a 13 Reasons Why or Euphoria or whatever. I don't know, I'm guessing.

I'm not sure what the OP is posting about? If your question is HOW do you get an agent or manager, then the answer to that would be to network and query individual managers and hope to get reads, enter contests and use the leverage if you place highly to try and make connections. Agents come later, if you get a manager they can help you get an agent.

Though, in keeping with others' advice, it is always good to keep writing and growing as a writer.

info here from (me) and finalact4 is good in the 2nd and 3rd post: http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...ad.php?t=84934
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

There's not really a marketable "hook" in that logline. But the worlds of the story —*drugs, gangs, high school romance, race relations —*are VERY marketable.

If you have personal knowledge of the world of drugs and gangs, then I would lead off the query with that. Hollywood is always looking for writers who intimately know interesting worlds and can articulately explore them.

For a project like this, my advice is to not try to sell the story, but to sell yourself.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:38 AM   #14
finalact4
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

I agree with figment and Satriales at the same time.

first, your logline, as written, isn't compelling. i'm sorry, it's just not. there is nothing in it that makes me want to read it. i just got back from Austin and went to the pitch contest and let me tell you, all 22 pitches had a great hook and were compelling. some more than others, but all of them pretty ****ing amazing.

but, that doesn't mean that your pilot isn't good enough, because figment's right, you can't judge something on the logline alone. loglines are tough to write and some people just aren't good at it.

with that said, you have to give us a compelling character, because that's what drives TV shows. someone we want to come back and revisit every week. a character(s) where as soon as the episode is over we're cursing the fact that we have to wait another 7 days to see it again.

now, that compelling character has to be living a life and going along when something happens to them that irrevocably changes his life. so, he's living this old life and is thrown into a new unknown life that he has to struggle to live through.

for example, Breaking Bad, Walter White is a burnt out Chemistry teacher and in the pilot he finds out he's a dead man-- he's told he has terminal cancer. so this guy that works two jobs finally snaps and decides to use his unique skill (chemistry) to manufacture drugs in order to provide for his family after he dies. THAT is a compelling character and one with potentially a strong internal conflict.

your challenge is to find that unique situation and character drive in your story and articulate it better. the story engine has to show us in the logline that your story and character will be compelling enough to want to watch for five seasons.

until you do that, imo, you should NOT send this out to the industry. you want it to be undeniably your best representation of your work. your current logline is too ambiguous and vague. there isn't enough specificity.

for example, if this was a kid that was a gifted prodigy of some kind that was being held back by their situation, that could translate to a compelling character who is trying to rise above his situation in order to get out and have a better life, but he keeps getting dragged back down into the world of crime, drugs and supporting his mother who can't support herself. that has legs.

Bunker is right, the setting is marketable, you just have to articulate what makes your story special. and if your character isn't compelling, you need to rewrite it so he is.

you can post pages, probably up to 8, somewhere there abouts, in the "script pages feedback" forum. it can only be used by registered users and is not open to the general public per se. you can get some good feedback on pages and your logline/synopsis.

good luck,
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Old 12-06-2019, 05:15 AM   #15
dustinkh
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

I wouldn't call that a hook, but rather, a premise.

Stand and Deliver has the same general premise. The difficult lives of inner-city youth. The hook is Escalante's unconventional teaching methods helping marginalized students pass AP calculus exams, giving them a better future.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:37 AM   #16
Darthclaw13
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

Hi Congo,

Thank you for posting your logline/synopsis and asking the board for assistance. You have been given lots of good advice from others here so I will not rehash what they have suggested. I will, however, put my own thoughts on something I noticed.

In your synopsis I saw several grammatical errors. I understand these errors would not be errors if it is a character speaking, but when you are sending in a logline/synopsis to a manager and/or agent they will first and foremost notice any grammatical errors before they even finish reading the synopsis. (they may not even continue reading once they see an error).

The manager/agent could think you are a novice with no experience and that if you have grammatical errors in your "first impression" email/letter, then you would have many in your actual script and pass on you without ever giving you a chance.

So my advice is to go over your logline/synopsis and make sure it is grammatically correct and everything is spelled correctly first. Then go back through your script with a fine tooth comb and have someone else, like a friend, read it with fresh eyes to check for any errors.

People in the industry can be harsh and they will quickly let you know if you make any mistakes (either by outright telling you or just ignoring you).

In a professional situation like this where you are being judged on not just your story but your "correctness" in your writing you want to make sure you give a great first impression.

I have an example below to help you get started.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Congo326 View Post
Marcus lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Him and his best friend, Jeremy, are low key drug dealers.
Your second sentence should read "He and his best friend........" Not "Him and his best friend....." I know many folks speak the way you have it written but in a professional synopsis you want to write "correct" Standard English.

I wish you all the best.
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:38 AM   #17
grumpywriter
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

That you lived this is good because it would answer one of the key questions for any agent: WHY YOU TO WRITE THIS?

But the problem, as others have mentioned, is that there is nothing unique about this idea.

Agents are looking for ideas that are:

1. Unique (ie, never been done before or at least never been done in THAT WAY)
2. Timely
3. Personal to the writer in some way

You've got number 3 but the other two are missing. So, no agent is going to read it.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:22 PM   #18
Mintclub
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

Hey Congo,

I know lots of folks on here have offered you sound advice on your pitch and that’s great and hopefully helpful for you moving forward. In terms of how to get an agent, I’m an agented writer. Got mine through my managers. Normally managers are a great place to start but with all the disruption of the WGA/ATA stand-off they’re probably much harder to pin down right now. That said, IMDb pro is your friend. Do a month’s free trial and trawl through the various management companies on there. Not all of them but some of them do have their contact details to hand for you to query them with an introductory email. A simple hello, who you are and the logline for your show. Keep it short and polite.

There’s plenty of great threads on done deal talking about how best to query, what to say and also other threads with the most popular/ successful managements.

Aside from that a handful of the better contests are an alternate way to get reads from reps. Dependent on how far you go in them. But they cost money.

Best of luck,
Hope you get some reads.

Ps for what it’s worth the script that my agents signed me off of didn’t have a killer hook. Nor was it a flashy high concept. It was about a father trying to save his son. It was set in Ireland. And is currently budgeted at under 5 million dollars. My agents loved the characters. The tone. The voice.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:38 PM   #19
finalact4
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mintclub View Post
It was about a father trying to save his son. It was set in Ireland. And is currently budgeted at under 5 million dollars.
this is a universally compelling story that any human being across the world can identify with. i would read/watch this movie.

it's a story that matters.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:45 AM   #20
Mintclub
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Default Re: Looking for an agent

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Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
this is a universally compelling story that any human being across the world can identify with. i would read/watch this movie.

it's a story that matters.
True. It’s very much an identifiable story. But it’s also a low budget crime film without US leads set in Ireland full of Irish colloquialisms and cultural references. Don’t get me wrong I love it and I’m proud of it but my agents didn’t sign me off it because it sounded commercial or original. My managers proffered it to them as they wanted a director client for it. They co-repped that director alongside the agency. So they gave it the agents to read. They didn’t. Not at first. Firstly it was sent in for coverage. The coverage was well received and off of that a bunch of agents at the agency read the script and then wanted to talk with me. Turned out to be a good fit.

Point is, the OP has a project that may or may not appeal. They asked for advice on getting an agent not a critique on why their work won’t be read by one. I’m only speaking from my own experience as a working writer who is repped by a major agency and have been for years. And I’m sure there are others on here with differing experiences. A decent number of my so-called high concept scripts that were well liked by studios and producers (that afforded me plenty of other opportunities) didn’t bag me an agent but a small Indy film with limited commercial appeal did.

Just one opinion but I’d prefer to offer advice that allows the OP to discover this for themselves rather than tell them they won’t get anywhere with what they have. I think there is a tendency on these boards to speak in absolutes. I’ve no doubt done it myself in the past too. The advice given clearly came from a kind spirited POV but (and if I’ve misread I apologise) it wasn’t what the OP was asking.

Last edited by Mintclub : 12-11-2019 at 04:42 AM.
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