Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

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  • Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

    I wrote the movie "House of the Rising Sun," which just finished shooting 10 days ago. It stars Dominic Purcell, Dave Batista, Amy Smart, and Danny Trejo.

    With a movie in the can, I thought agents would come to me.

    But nooooooooo (to borrow from John Belushi).

    I can't even get an agent to answer my query.

    I have an option on another script, a new crime novel coming out from a big NY publisher (which I'd love to sell the film rights to), and a backlist of a couple of true crime books from Penguin (film rights available), and STILL I can't find a script agent.
    Last edited by chuckhustmyre; 01-18-2011, 02:53 AM.
    www.chuckhustmyre.com

  • #2
    Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

    Originally posted by chuckhustmyre View Post
    I wrote the movie "House of the Rising Sun," which just finished shooting 10 days ago. It stars Dominic Purcell, Dave Batista, Amy Smart, and Danny Trejo.

    With a movie in the can, I thought agents would come to me.

    But nooooooooo (to borrow from John Belushi).

    I can't even get an agent to answer my query.

    I have an option on another script, a new crime novel coming out from a big NY publisher (which I'd love to sell the film rights to), and a backlist of a couple of true crime books from Penguin (film rights available), and STILL I can't find a script agent.

    What gives?

    Chuck Hustmyre
    www.chuckhustmyre.com
    I checked out your site quickly and you do have some amazing credentials and I'm surprised that you aren't getting any replies to your queries. Perhaps it's what you're saying in your query and how it's formatting. If you want, post an example of your query in the "Loglines and Query Letters" section above and maybe others can give you some feedback.

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    • #3
      Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

      Originally posted by Writr View Post
      I checked out your site quickly and you do have some amazing credentials and I'm surprised that you aren't getting any replies to your queries. Perhaps it's what you're saying in your query and how it's formatting. If you want, post an example of your query in the "Loglines and Query Letters" section above and maybe others can give you some feedback.
      Try and ask your publisher for a lead/referral to an agent or manager, or the producer of your film.

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      • #4
        Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

        Try going for managers who can give you a referal to an agent, which I hear is often the tried and true way to get an agent. It also helps to have a deal set up and ready to go for the rep, (ie an unsigned contract) that way the rep can get a nice easy commission without doing any work. They love that. Do you have a bunch of spec scripts that are perfect and ready to sell in the marketplace? Or do you mainly write literature and books? Maybe you should be targeting LITERARY AGENTS (ie folks who sell and market BOOKS). Many Literary Agents can cross their author clients over into Hollywood, case in point Bret Easton Ellis, who has three screenplays in development right now, as well as a bestselling novel on shelves. Just my two cents. FYI I'm repless.

        SMASH TO:

        BLACK

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        • #5
          Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

          Originally posted by chuckhustmyre View Post
          What gives?
          It's a completely fickle world and there could be many reasons. Ask Michael Arata if he could help you with an introduction or referral.
          "Friends make the worst enemies." Frank Underwood

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          • #6
            Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

            Originally posted by Landis26 View Post
            Try and ask your publisher for a lead/referral to an agent or manager, or the producer of your film.
            Originally posted by MontanaHans View Post
            Try going for managers who can give you a referal to an agent, which I hear is often the tried and true way to get an agent. It also helps to have a deal set up and ready to go for the rep, (ie an unsigned contract) that way the rep can get a nice easy commission without doing any work. They love that. Do you have a bunch of spec scripts that are perfect and ready to sell in the marketplace? Or do you mainly write literature and books? Maybe you should be targeting LITERARY AGENTS (ie folks who sell and market BOOKS). Many Literary Agents can cross their author clients over into Hollywood, case in point Bret Easton Ellis, who has three screenplays in development right now, as well as a bestselling novel on shelves. Just my two cents. FYI I'm repless.

            This is great advice and perhaps your best bet. Your query isn't so bad that you wouldn't get any replies. Going through your publisher might be the last piece of the puzzle you need to get your foot in the door.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

              Originally posted by chuckhustmyre
              Michael is no longer involved in the production. I've asked about everybody I know. My book agent referred me to a very successful script agent, but he's had my book six months and hasn't read it.
              Did you or your book agent follow up? Sometimes you've got to keep kindly reminding people that you're waiting for their response. How about some other script agents? Your book agent has to know more. Or how about your book agent's book agent friends at other agencies? Maybe they can refer you to some other script agent?

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              • #8
                Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

                Why do you feel you need an agent? You got a movie produced without them, another script optioned without them, and you have a new book coming out. If nobody wants you, screw them and deal directly with producers

                P.S.: It seems to me that book agents typically handle film rights for their authors. Not for screenplays, obviously, but for the novels. Doesn't your agency have experience in this area?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

                  If the movie is a big hit then every agent will want to sign you but until then you got no heat so agents aren't kicking your door down...and you don't have a screenplay...you're trying to sell your book to film which is even less desirable if it isn't a bestseller...Your book agent should contact a book-to-film agent at some agency and work that angle...but literary-screenplay agents probably won't be excited about a not-a-bestseller novelist who doesn't have a spec script.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

                    One more thing:

                    I mentioned author Bret Easton Ellis because I think he's the best author/screenwriter working today. Query his reps at ICM, where I have actually had luck with a cold email query before (ended with a pass though). Ellis' ICM reps have been:

                    Garth Friedrich
                    Josie Freedman
                    Mickey Berman (current)

                    His current manager is:
                    Oren Segal, Media Talent Group

                    Might as well start at the top, right? PM me if you need the email structure.
                    Last edited by MontanaHans; 12-29-2010, 06:43 PM.

                    SMASH TO:

                    BLACK

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

                      Originally posted by Rantanplan View Post
                      Why do you feel you need an agent? You got a movie produced without them, another script optioned without them, and you have a new book coming out. If nobody wants you, screw them and deal directly with producers
                      bmartell has several produced scripts. i think 18 now and he doesn't have an agent either. if you can negotiate, sell and option without one then why give them 10%?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

                        I'm looking for an agent, because I'm tired of sending out dozens of queries a week to producers. It's worth 10% to get back to writing, not spending all my time selling.
                        www.chuckhustmyre.com

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                        • #13
                          Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

                          Originally posted by NikeeGoddess View Post
                          bmartell has several produced scripts. i think 18 now and he doesn't have an agent either. if you can negotiate, sell and option without one then why give them 10%?
                          You're right of course, but I do see people use Bill's situation to prove that life without an agent is great. But I know Bill would love to have a top notch rep work for him. Just because you don't HAVE to have an agent doesn't mean you don't want one.
                          Chicks Who Script podcast

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                          • #14
                            Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

                            Chuck:

                            First, congrats on getting the film made.

                            I checked on imdb, and I think you're running into a problem finding an agent for a few reasons, the biggest of which is that it's a low budget movie which is unlikely to see a theatrical release. There are thousands of movies made in this price range every year - just being a co-writer on a 1.5 million dollar movie isn't going to open any doors in and of itself.

                            If this were an indie that was going the festival route, and it gathered a lot of important awards, you'd get some attention. But this looks more like a genre pic than that.

                            I'd say much less in your query letter. When you list the cast, any agent you'd want knows immediately what level of movie it is. Just say you just had a movie produced and you have a book coming out, and leave it at that.

                            Again, it's a huge accomplishment getting it shot - congrats. But the truth is that there's so little money for writers on movies like this that agents aren't really going to be incentivized to rep you off the movie alone.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Sold script, movie in post-prod., can't get agent...

                              Thanks Jeff for the insightful reply - an invaluable perspective on the economics of the business.

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