How To Get A Screenwriting Manager
We’ve all been there. You’ve finished your screenplay and you want to take the next step as a screenwriter. Then you do google searches to find out how to get a screenwriting manager. Before you get ahead of yourself, let’s cover the basics here.
What Does A Screenwriting Manager Do?
Screenwriting managers are there to help give you career advice, negotiate contracts and manage big decisions. They help you improve the quality of the drafts you write and help you decide and develop what will come next. Screenwriting managers are in for the long haul from the beginning.
Okay, so now that we got that out of the way, you want to know the nitty gritty. HOW DO I GET A SCREENWRITING MANAGER?!?! Alright, calm down. Don’t pop a vein. The truth is that there’s many ways to get one, but the first thing you have to do is make sure your writing is great. Make sure your work stands out from the pack. This would mean getting feedback on your screenplay from friends, preferably ones that work in the industry if you can. If you don’t know anyone in the industry, then try using some professional script coverage services. This will help you know what kind of shape your screenplay is in.
Don’t send a query letter to a manager before your work’s ready. If you want to get high caliber representation, then you need high caliber work that will generate that type of representation. If your screenplay’s not quite there, then it’s time to take a deep breath, slow down and continue honing your craft. Keep reading screenplays, writing screenplays and getting quality script coverage.
Write A Great Query Letter
Once that screenplay is in tip top shape, then you can worry about penning a great query letter. Screenwriting managers field dozens of queries a week so the best way to stand out is clarity and brevity. Keep it short, friendly and engaging. Don’t bother mentioning accolades from unheard of screenwriting institutions and contests because they won’t care. They’re interested in the logline, short synopsis, and if you come off like an intelligent and communicative person. Here’s one of the query letters that got one of the readers at scriptreaderpro.com representation.
Screenplay query letter sample
Bourne-esque action thriller from a contest-winning writer.
Dear NAME HERE,
What would you do if you saw a face on a missing person poster that looked exactly like you?
Well, that’s exactly what’s happened to Ethan Monroe—a British ex-pat who’s come to the States to start a new career.
When he discovers this poster and delves into his cloudy past, he finds holes and secrets that reveal he may not be who he thinks he is at all.
THE OSIRIS VENDETTA mixes action and intrigue with exciting, memorable characters and a twist that you will not see coming.
My last two thrillers placed highly in industry contests, with my script FERAL winning the All Access Competition.
I look forward to your request to read the script. Thanks for your time.
The main things you want to avoid when it comes to writing a query letter is going on too long, sloppy presentation and overdoing it by giving more material like video clips, pictures or banner along with your query letter.
Seek Out People To Send Your Query Letter To
As you do your research on screenwriting managers, focus on these points.
I recommend for new writers to stick to one genre. Look for managers who represent writers with a similar style to yours.
For example, if your niche is writing dark romantic comedies, make a list of your favorite movies in that genre. Then search for who wrote them and who they’re managed by.
• Start small
You’re probably more likely to find success with small time screenwriting managers and literary management companies with smaller client lists than the big boys of the industry. New managers just starting out on their own are more likely to be driven and hungry to find that next big breakthrough screenwriter.
You can download a list of the top 100 screenwriting managers and find which manager is willing to represent you. Every manager and management company on this list is looking for new writers. While many don’t accept unsolicited queries without a referral, many on the list do.
Included are the contact details, submission policy and size of each management company. There are a few omissions, but chances are if a screenwriting manager isn’t on the list, they’re probably focused on acting talent or operate on a freelance basis, completely separate from any Hollywood management company.
IMDb pro is another place to find screenwriting managers. If you haven’t already, sign up with IMDb Pro. It has taken over from the Hollywood Creative Directory as the go to resource for screenwriting managers. You’ll find the contact details of everyone you could ever want to get in touch with, the movies they’ve worked on, are developing and the writers who are signed with them.
You could also try befriending someone who knows one and try to get them to recommend you. If you have friends or family members with connections and are willing to go out on a limb for you, pull that trigger. Being referred to a manager or agent from someone they know and trust is the best way to get representation.
The annual Blacklist, released every December, is another great and free resource for getting screenwriting managers. You can read all of the loglines for the most popular scripts of the year, find projects that are like yours, and find the names of the managers behind each project.
Online Pitch Sites
You could also try numerous online pitch sites like the blacklist website, Stage32, and InkTip. New and hungry managers use online pitch sites like these to find all those hot screenplays that have scored highly on their charts.
For people not lucky enough to have any connections in the industry, start going to places screenwriting managers are likely to be. These places would include writers’ groups, festivals, conferences, coffee shops, bars, and gyms near agencies and companies. It’s all about putting yourself in places where you’re most likely to either meet people that work in the industry or know someone who does.
Screenwriting contests are also a good way to find a screenwriting manager. Script competitions that promise the winner meetings, rather than just prize money are guaranteed to put you in touch with producers, screenwriting agents and literary managers if you place highly. The Nicholl and the Austin Film Festival screenplay contest are good examples of such competitions.
The above information tells you how to get a screenwriting manager. If you follow it, you’re guaranteed to see success through determination and persistence.
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