If you’re not represented by an agent the options are somewhat limited.
Have you already written a screenplay, or are you looking to find a company that would buy the idea and then hire a writer?
If you haven’t written the script then you have even less paths you can utilize. Here are a few:
- You can seek representation from an agent and/or literary manager. This can prove extremely difficult unless there’s a compelling reason for them to consider your material. Chief among these would be a direct referral. Did another client, producer, director recommend you to them?
- Do you have IP (intellectual property) that has a profound history? For example: Do you own the rights to a best selling novel or the life rights to a story that’s made headlines in the news?
- If you cannot find representation to try to sell your story then the next thing would be to try festivals and pitch events. This would require that you have a finished screenplay. If you’ve completed your script you can submit it to the Academy’s Nichols Fellowship (Academy Nicholl Fellowships), Sundance Screenwriting Lab (Sundance). Here’s one article that lists some of the most significant competitions (Best Screenwriting Contests to Enter in 2017).
- If you win or even place high enough in a major screenwriting competition, you may find representation, or (less likely) a producer who will take the project on.
- In addition, depending on where you live, you may be able attend a pitch event like “The Great American Pitch Festival”(Homepage - ScriptFest) where you can meet Agents, Managers, and Producers all looking for writers and/or screenplays. In the southeast there the Nashville Film Com (https://filmnashville.org/)
- If all else fails there are several websites that allow you to pitch your ideas… Amazon Studios (Submission Guidelines) has a crowd-sourcing element, then there’s the Blacklist (Where filmmakers & writers meet), and Inktip (INKTIP).
There are many questions that you leave unanswered. How far into the process of creating a viable project are you? Do you have a script? What access do you have to agents, managers, filmmakers, writers? What do you envision your role would be if you don’t want to write the script? Are you a producer? Do you want to control the story or simply sell it?
Define what your goal is, then act accordingly, and do all you can to maximize the potential for a positive outcome.
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Written by: Brian Herskowitz