How Do I Get Scripts?Complications Ensue
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Every now and then I get a question whose answer seems obvious, but since someone's asking, there are obviously people out there who don't know it.
I'm an independent producer interested in producing a crafty screenplay. What are your tips on how to find the script I have been looking for? Is there a service out there benefitting unknown screenwriters similar to what is doing for as-yet-unknown songwriters? As an independent film producer, I’m constantly on the lookout for a great story crafted into a financially producible script, but I don’t have a resource through which I can read enough or at least sort through enough of them to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. If you know of anything, please let me know.
Producers get scripts by asking agents to send them. Simple as that. A producer is a potential buyer, so any agent ought to want his clients read.

If you call any literary agency, such as CAA, William Morris, ICM, UTA, APA, Gersh or Endeavor, and say, "I'm a producer, I'm looking for some scripts to read," you'll get sent to a junior agent who can ask what sort of stuff you're looking for, and send you a whack of PDFs.

The reason you go to an agency rather than a "service" is that the agency has already winnowed out 9 out of 10 bad scripts and bad screenwriters. Not to say you won't have to read through a hunk of junk, just that the needle to haystack ratio is higher.

Also, the agent can, over time, get a sense of what you like and send you stuff as he comes across it. Services can't do that.

There's no reason to look for "unknown" screenwriters. Known screenwriters also want to sell their scripts, and most of us have a bunch of scripts we haven't managed to sell for whatever reason. Some of them might be what you're looking for.



Maybe I'm reading too much into the original question, but I get the feeling this producer is looking for a ridiculously cheap (or free) script with a writer who'll do infinite rewrites for a promise of a credit and maybe a few bucks if the movie becomes profitable.

I'm a sad, cynical bastard.

By Blogger R.A. Porter, at 1:05 PM is a website where screenwriters upload video pitches of their scripts. That might be a viable option. I pitched there once and it was cool.

By Blogger Emily Blake, at 1:07 PM  

Hey I have like 3 unfinshed ones. If they give me 20 bucks, maybe it'll inspire me to finish one.

By Blogger Heidi Germanaus, at 6:25 PM  

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