Looking for an agent

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  • #16
    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.

    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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    • #17
      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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      • #18
        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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        • #19
          Re: Looking for an agent

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

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Looking for an agent

            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, 03:42 AM.

            Comment


            • #21
              Re: Looking for an agent

              Originally posted by Mintclub View Post
              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.
              Thanks for sharing your experience Mintclub. I think you make some really good points - most important being that you never know what piece of writing someone will really respond to.

              I think the only big difference that matters in Congo's situation is that your feature was sent by referral. It was definitely going to be read by someone at the agency (even if it was just, to your point, initially coverage from an assistant or a coord). Congo doesn't have that luxury right now since they're just shooting out blind queries which no one is obligated to read - which I think is why most of us are telling them they need a sexier pitch to hook in readers.

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Looking for an agent

                Originally posted by Mintclub View Post
                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.
                I agree. When a story is more situational loglines can be challenging to accurately represent the story the writer has executed. Being close to your material can place the writer at a disadvantage in identifying the strongest elements in the story. Virgin eyes can offer a distance that can potentially unlock information about the story that the writer might be overlooking.

                This project is also not a feature but a TV pilot, so understanding the character's struggle is of utmost importance to communicate. That character has to be compelling enough to warrant an audience returning week after week for a very long time.

                I would be completely remiss if I felt something wasn't interesting and didn't say so. As a writer, I might not be as objective as others are to my material.

                The OP offered the logline and a story synopsis, so it seems logical that they were in effect "asking" for story consideration. Otherwise the OP's question would have simply been stated as, "I have a TV Drama I'd like to get in touch with an agent to take it it to the next level." Maybe I misunderstood what the writer was asking?

                "A father trying to save his son," is easy to understand. The situational struggle of being trapped by your socioeconomic circumstance and trying to break free of that can be a lot more of a challenge to communicate. The point is to help the writer find the BEST way to effectively communicate the story in a way that will engage the recipient and encourage a read.

                I can't tell if there's more to the story than has been surmised from the initial logline and synopsis-- perhaps it simply needs to be better revealed and clearly communicated what makes this story compelling enough to want to follow this person's struggle week after week.

                The first and most important step is to have solid well executed material. Without that, it doesn't matter who reads it. There had to have been something "original" about your material and your unique execution that garnered the interest you received, Mintclub. BTW, having a story concept that is universally appealing to wide populations around the world, IS commercial. I think you're selling yourself short.

                to the OP, if anything in my opinions have been offensive or seemed harsh, I extend my apologies. My opinions are offered simply to help if they are not helpful discard them.
                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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