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I have written a screenplay for a short film.

I want to sell this to someone who is interested to produce and direct it.

What is the best strategy to sell a screenplay?

  • Have placed this on hold for now, since there's no clear question here. Please see our site tour for more information. – Neil Fein May 24 '15 at 15:22
  • I have written a story screenplay for short film(movie) n now I want to sell then now what should I do??.. how should I post it as question? – Sudhir Naidu May 29 '15 at 9:30
  • You already have, What's edit has cleaned up and focused the question. It would help if we could focus it even more. The question is still extremely broad; there are entire books written on this question. What parts of the process of selling a screenplay are you unclear about? Do you want to sell to Hollywood, or have an indie film company produce the movie? – Neil Fein May 29 '15 at 17:06
  • no matter Hollywood or Bollywood I just want to sell.. – Sudhir Naidu May 29 '15 at 17:16
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There is probably no "best" strategy. There many ways to sell scripts but here are some things you can do to help.

You have to put yourself into an agent's or producer's shoes. There are tens of thousands of new scripts floating around each year and the vast majority (let's say, conservatively, 80%) are not nearly good enough to produce. People looking for scripts have to focus their efforts since there's a very high chance a random script written by someone they don't know will be terrible. They're looking for writers who have some kind of credible reputation. How do you get a reputation?

Gain some credibility There are a few of ways for unknown writers to let people know that their work is above a certain standard. One is to get coverage. It costs money but if it's from a reputable coverage service (e.g., ScriptShark, The Black List) AND your script receives a "recommend" or a "strongly consider" then you can state that in your pitch or inquiry or response to a job post. There's some debate about whether coverage services are useful but, at the very least, it's another set of eyes on your script which could help you make it better.

Another way to earn some credibility is to enter, and do well in, contests. One of the great thing about doing well in (reputable) contests is that you can also use that information in your pitch. And if you do well in some (e.g., PAGE, Nicholl, Austin Film Festival and others), producers may actually come looking for you. Some contests are specifically for shorts. Doing well means your script was read by multiple people and made it through the ranks. Someone looking for a script at least knows it won't be terrible.

With positive coverage and/or a contest win (or high placing) you're telling interested people that you have something worth reading.

Write a Pitch For a feature, write a pitch and make it the best it can be. I won't go into pitching here because there are loads of places online to learn about pitching (e.g., Good in a Room). Pitch to friends, film yourself pitching. Make it shine.

For a short, write a killer logline.

Pitch Now you have some credibility and a good pitch. You can send query letters to production companies (low rate of return). You can pitch online. For example, with Stage32/Happy Writers you can pay to pitch to executives from a wide variety of production companies, as well as to managers. Stage32 also includes job postings. In the job postings, young directors and producers are often looking for short scripts.

To pitch a feature you can attend a pitchfest, which is kind of like speed dating for pitches.

If people aren't responding to your pitch/logline, rewrite it, get some feedback and try again. It still might not be what they're looking for but it's a numbers game. With so many scripts out there your efforts have to start with making your script and pitch the absolute best they can be.

Post your script on Inktip (again, for a price) where producers are always looking for good scripts. Though many are smaller producers looking for something on the lower budget end of things. Also, inktip will post the logline for your short script for FREE.

The International Screenwriters' Association also has a Writing Gigs page. "Here you can find all the latest screenwriting Writing Gigs worldwide." There are often young directors looking for short scripts and it's FREE to become a basic member and respond to gigs.

Finally In my experience, people are not able or willing to pay for a short script. Sometimes you can get a little money but often the interest will come from young directors or producers making movies on a shoestring and trying to get into festivals. A writer may choose to accept this in exchange for the all-important credit. If it does well, a writing credit, even on a short, can add to your credibility.

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