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Sell your screenplay
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If you're the kind of natural-born salesperson who enjoys cold calls the way other people enjoy cold cuts, then by all means use the telephone to contact your agent candidates. You may not get past the receptionist, but don't let that stop you. The receptionist may be able to tell you which agent is most likely to be open to a mail query--and in the smaller agencies, the receptionist may turn out to be a junior agent or even one of the agency principals.

Selling a screenplay is tough--especially if you live a thousand miles from the Hollywood or New York movie scene. But new writers do get lucky now and then, and every successful screenwriter was a beginner at some point in his or her career. So don't let the odds stop you--after all, you didn't let those odds keep you from writing that 120-page script!

Books to read

Writer's Guide to Hollywood Producers, Directors, and Screenwriter's Agents
by Skip Press
Prima Publishing, 1997
Paperback, US $23.00, Can. $29.95
ISBN 0761503994

A comprehensive overview of the movie business from a writer's point of view, with detailed agent and producer listings.

The Script is Finished, Now What Do I Do?
by K. Callan
Sweden Press, 1997
Paperback, US $17.95
ISBN 1878355082

This book is packed with interview-based profiles of Hollywood and New York agencies. It also has useful quotes, tips, and anecdotes on breaking into the business.

Web sites to visit

Writers Guild of America, West
You can't join the WGA until you've worked in the industry or made several option deals, but you'll find useful information on this Hollywood union's Web site.

Hollywood Creative Directory
The publishers of the Hollywood Agents and Managers Directory offer a range of useful directories, including an online database that's available by subscription.

- Durant Imboden

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Copyright © 1996-2002 Durant Imboden. All rights reserved. Credits.