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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

I don't know if I should send or not send my scripts to certain producers for fear of them ripping me off.  Do you have any ideas?

Hoku 


This week's Answer: 

To Send Or Not To Send

Hoku, thank you for bringing up this touchy subject (if you're the Hoku I think about daily and her beautiful voice and her.... Well, never mind -- could you ask your father if he still sings "Tiny Bubbles"?)  To send or not to send.  That is often the question.  When you're considering sending your screenplay to a producer, one thing you can do is look him or her up at IMDB.com.  (I think the letters stand for "Insecure Movie Dolts and Boppers.")  Maybe not.  I've been meaning to look it up on IMDB.  Or you could look them up at YMLC (Your Mother's List of Conspirators).  That might help, too.

Another procedure you can use is just send the producer the log-line, keeping your screenplay to yourself until you absolutely need to or want to show it.  (Or you could send a line of logs.  The forestry department frowns on the practice, but we screenwriters gotta do what we gotta do.)  Sometimes it's best to hold back your script and only send the synopsis.  (If you're not familiar with the word, think "synonym," then "cinnamon," then "toast," then "jelly," then "peanut butter," then "nuts," then "Nuts, I have to write my story out again?!"  and you'll remember what a synopsis is.  I knew all that studying for the SAT's would payoff one day.)

Or you could just send a simple note or e-mail to the producer:

I'm not sending nothin' till I know how much Loot you're gonna pay me for my masterpiece!

It's assertive, deliberate, and clear.  You'll present yourself as confident, being in the know.  And the producer will know he is not dealing with some neophyte, some amateur, just a beginner.  Of course, don't be overly concerned if you don't hear back from him right away.

If ever.

DcH                                                                   related cartoon

 

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