Are you a film school graduate or screenwriter looking to get your script made into a movie? If so, you already know it’s not an easy task. This article will give you the inside scoop on how to get that movie made.
Contact a production company
While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important that you determine if the production company is actually looking for scripts. Don’t just bombard dozens of producers with your script, which is the equivalent of cold calling. Get in touch with companies and target those who are actively looking for someone like you.
It may be about who you know
Producers all agree that your relationships can be the way to get your film produced. Remember, big name actors and directors get people approaching them all the time to ask for help. Most of these people are not taken seriously. Getting your script in front of a powerful and influential producer just won’t happen if you don’t know someone.
This is where your network comes in handy. Think about the current relationships you have. These can range from a professional one with a manager or producer, to friends in the industry that you have real connections to. If you don’t have these relationships, get started! Network, hustle, and find other people who have connections – their network then becomes your network. Once your work is good enough, someone will pass it on to someone else and you will get it produced.
Go to a film festival
So, your connections aren’t exactly stellar. Don’t give up hope just yet. It’s time to get out there and be among your peers. Screenwriters will be at film festivals looking to do the exact same thing as you. There will also be producers there. If you have a favorite producer whose work you like, approach them and pitch your script. Rehearse beforehand and have your business card ready.
This approach works even if it’s a smaller festival like Austin or Sundance and there are no major names there. The next hot producer could be attending, so keep your eyes open and don’t underestimate anyone you meet. They could introduce you to someone who can help you.
Once you have sent your script, expect to wait up to six months to hear back. It’s common to shop a script around to different producers but let them know as a courtesy that others are reading it. Whatever the outcome, don’t stop trying. Each rejection can be part of the learning process that teaches you more about the film business.
One alternative can be to find a young and hungry producer to take on making the movie. Most independent producers got their start this way when a director took a chance on them. The up and comers can be a great resource for you when you don’t have a big budget or connections. You can also try submitting to a contest or development lab, such as Sundance Labs.