SCREENWRITING SECRET ON HOW TO GET AN AGENT… (BONUS: 5 Boutique Script Agencies)
by Dov S-S Simens on February 19, 2017
SCREENWRITING SECRET: Key to Script Writing… is Script Writing
You’re a Screenwriter (so you say) and have an amazing idea for a great movie. Maybe you even have the perfect pitch and have written & registered a perfect treatment as told to do in that seminar titled “How to Sell Ideas” or “How to Get a Literary Agent” or “Hollywood Loves Ideas”, etc., given at an expensive ($150,000-$250,000) 4-year theory laden film school.
Oh yeah… at the end of the class, in the last couple of moments, the instructor or panel moderator gently suggests “you need a literary agent” or “it is very important to have an agent”. But… it’s been three years since you have had this great thought and you keep hearing “you need an agent” but can’t seem to get one.
So what’s the bloody secret or trick to getting a Hollywood movie agent when you are a writer?
(Always remember, “Writers-Write and Thinkers-Think”, and if you desire an agent to represent you as a writer than you better write.”)
The answer is simple…. Write the great script.
But you say you only have (A) an idea that is great, or possibly a (B) pitch that is perfect or even a (C) Treatment that is registered with the Writers Guild of America.
Then, if that is all you have, then you are not going to get a true Hollywood Agent to represent your ideas (aka: thoughts) unless of course your parents are (A) Billionaires or (B) one of your relatives, with the same last name, is a Bankable Star…. yes, Hollywood loves money and marketable names.
Again, so what’s the Screenwriting Secret to getting an agent?
Again, the answer is simple… Write the great script, but now permit me to add some practical information.
SCREENWRITERS WRITE 3 SCREENPLAYS
When starting a career as a writer and you’ve paid between $99-$299 for screenwriting software, be it the most commonly used (“Final Draft”), or opted for a more-than-adequate cheap software (“Highland”), or a very good full-service software (“Fade In”), or are totally broke and are using the free software (“Celtx”) the secret is… write three scripts.
SCRIPT #1, a 110-140 page studio feature script.
SCRIPT #2, a 90-100 page independent feature film script.
SCRIPT #3, a 22-25 page tv script.
WHY WRITE 3 SCRIPTS?
Simple: There are two reasons for writing 3 scripts.
(The proper software programs to use are either going to be Final Draft, Highlander, Fade In or Celtx.)
FIRST, It shows the agent that you can write for the 3 major screenplay buyers.
….. (1) THE MOVIE STUDIOS (110-140 pages)
….. (2) INDEPENDENT PRODUCERS (90-100 pages)
….. (3) TV/CABLE NETWORKS (22-25 pages)
SECOND: It makes it easy for agents, or their independent readers, to discern how good you truly are.
Lets apply common sense. If an agent receives 3 scripts, from a writer looking for representation and one is 110-140 pages, another is 90-100 pages and the last is 22-25 pages…
…Which one do you think the agent, or his/her reader, is going to look at?
The 22-25 page script!
Why? Double-Duh…. Because it’s the least amount of work to do (reading for agents… is work).
Thus, write a great 22-25 page script (likely a TV sitcom, technically called your “spec script”) that you already know the (A) characters, (B) their voices and (C) the 4-5 sets.
WRITE THE GREAT SPEC SCRIPT
Now write a great 22-25 page script (your spec script), along with a studio feature film script, and an independent film script and you’ll have a better chance (never a guarantee) that you will get someone at that agency (a reader, a mail room boy/girl, an assistant, an inter, an agent) to pick up your 22-25 page script, instantly see that it is typed in the write format and peruse the first page.
(Remember, “Nothing is Written… It’s Re-Written…”)
Back to the 22-25 page script:
Now, if the first page is great.
…He/she will read ten pages.
If the ten pages are great.
…He/she will read the 22-25 pages.
If the 22-25 pages are great.
…He/she will now read your 90-100 page independent feature film script.
If the 90-100 pages are great…
…Voilla! You now have an agent, who is setting up pitch meetings with TV/Cable Networks execs, Movie Studios and Production Companies.
BONUS: 5 HOLLYWOOD LITERARY AGENCIES
(“You can lead a horse to water but you…” Point: You must do some legwork. So Google these agencies. Get their phone numbers, agents’ names and e-mails… and proceed.)
….. (1) ABOVE THE LINE AGENCY (468 North Camden Dr, Suite 200, Beverly Hills, CA 90210)
….. (2) ABRAMS ARTISTS AGENCY (9200 Sunset Blvd, Suite 1130, Los Angeles, CA 90069)
….. (3) AGENCY GROUP (1800 Century Park East, Suite 711, Los Angeles, CA 90067)
….. (4) ALPERN GROUP (15645 Royal Oak Rd, Encino, CA 91436)
….. (5) ARTIST AGENCY (9430 Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90212)
…And if you are committed and have talent (it can’t be taught), then take any of my three affordable ($89-$389) film school programs to launch your career. Thousands before have done so and are now professional Writers, producers and Directors.
Dov Simens / Film Instructor
16-HOUR (live, DVD, On-Demand) FILM SCHOOL
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