Questions about to contact with screenwriting managers

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  • Questions about to contact with screenwriting managers

    I am about to pitch my screenplay in the industry by contacting screenwriting managers.

    My pilot episode is a teen drama which in 1h format but I've read that I have to have minimum two screenplays in my portfolio how true is that? If it is true, would it be appropriate to write the second episode as second screenplay in my portfolio? Or should I write another pilot episode?

    Probably I should get a high praise from a literary manager,receive positive feedbacks from script coverage services and get good results from contests before trying to contact with any screenwriting managers. My question is how do I know which literary managers', services or contests positive opinions will worth on the eyes of screenwriting managers?

    Is it true that I should share only the logline, synopsis of the pilot and the pilot episode if screenwriting managers request correct?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Otuken View Post
    I am about to pitch my screenplay in the industry by contacting screenwriting managers.
    Congratulations. What you've done is commendable. Is this your first draft? If it is, you should consider sending it out for notes from other writers. You can work on your logline here. Writers will assist you in developing the best version. You can also post pages to get feedback on clarity, pace, characters, dialogue and the overall interest the pages create.

    If you have written several drafts, I would still recommend the above process. It seems you might be a first time writer-- I'm not certain. When we finish our first script, it's an exciting moment. But I've never heard of a first draft being ready to send out to managers. You want it to be as good as it can possibly be because you essentially get one chance to impress a manager. That's not to say that if you are an amazing raw talent, that a manager will ignore the obvious, but most writers, even the most talented, take time to develop their craft to the professional level.

    My pilot episode is a teen drama which in 1h format but I've read that I have to have minimum two screenplays in my portfolio how true is that? If it is true, would it be appropriate to write the second episode as second screenplay in my portfolio? Or should I write another pilot episode?
    You will query a manager with a logline only. If it is compelling to the manager he will request the script to read. You will send them your script and you will wait until you hear from them. If your script's logline intrigues them, it's possible that they will take a peek at the opening immediately. If they find that they can't stop reading your work you can hear back within 24-48 hours.

    However, if your script registers on the "kinda interesting" scale, it's more likely that it will go into a pile that the manager will take home and read over the weekend. The thing that you should remember is managers are also ALWAYS working on their client's scripts. Taking on a new writer requires a lot of up front time and effort. Their clients will always come first. All of their other work will always be a priority over reading new potential writers.

    You will either be on the top of that pile or elsewhere. Understand that it may take time. Should they request the script, give them three weeks before you follow up. (my personal opinion). If they respond and apologize for the delay, put it on your calendar to follow up again in several weeks. Do not be a pest.

    If you do not receive a response after the first follow up, let it go. Do not continue to follow up. In most cases that is a pass. It happens. You have to get used to accepting this rejection because it will happen throughout your entire career. Don't take it personal. I know this is difficult. Ghosting stings. Allow yourself to feel that sting for a day, if you must, then let it go and move on. If the manager does finally get to it and loves your script, I promise, they will reach out.

    Probably I should get a high praise from a literary manager,receive positive feedbacks from script coverage services and get good results from contests before trying to contact with any screenwriting managers. My question is how do I know which literary managers', services or contests positive opinions will worth on the eyes of screenwriting managers?
    Depending on your situation, you might consider TV fellowships-- I believe there is a thread on this site. Consider targeting the top 2 contests for TV. I think Austin has a TV division. Others can offer more advice on that front, but managers pay attention to the biggest ones. In features it's Nicholl, Austin, Page, Final Draft... get to know whether your type of script fits the contest before spending money and applying.

    Is it true that I should share only the logline, synopsis of the pilot and the pilot episode if screenwriting managers request correct?
    You send the following in a query letter. DO NOT attach anything.
    • title/genre
    • logline
    Add anything about yourself IF it matters. For example if you've been a high school psychologist on site for 20 years, you'd have authority on teen behavior in high school than someone who does not.

    If they are interested you'd want to be able to speak to the type of TV show, the format, the series engine, the number of episodes possible, the series arc, character profiles, a synopsis of a few of the epidsodes. Have an idea of where your pilot fits, Network, cable, or streamers.

    There are a couple of books that are great for writing the TV pilot and covering all your bases... William Rabkin's WRITING THE PILOT (90 pages), and Bill Taub's AUTOMATIC PILOT will assist with ensuring you checkoff all the boxes. And even if you don't hit all the boxes, you'll have a better understanding on what pilot's need to do (you may already know, just adding in).

    If you have the money to spend, Shonda Rhimes TV writing MasterClass would be worth your investment and time as it will help you clarify your vision and focus your series pitch.


    Others will offer advice as well.
    Congratulations and good luck.


    "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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    • #3
      Thank you very much for the information.

      It is finished version which I have finally achieved after countless rewritings. Yes I'd like to share both the logline and the pilot episode.

      Of course it is very competitive industry and I have to prepare myself to all of these things.

      Unfortunately deadlines passed a few months ago for Austin. I am considering to particpate zoetrope or shorescripts.

      I've though that I shouldn't share any information about the show except the logline, synopsis of pilot and the pilot is it wrong? I didn't write other episodes but I know how the story will progress rougly. I follow teaser+4 act structure.

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      • #4
        Wow, finalact gave you amazing and accurate information.

        Not sure what else you need at this point. But getting feedback is important. You need to make sure your script is ready before you send it out.

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