Frequently Asked Questions

If you have question that you don’t see answered here or in the search results (by using the search box on the right side of this page) please email me your question and I will get back to you with an answer as soon as possible. Check out the contact page for my email address.

Q: I just finished writing a screenplay. Will you help me sell it?
A: Yes. That’s exactly what this blog is all about. Nearly every post on this blog relates to selling your screenplay so you should read as much of this blog as you can. Also be sure to sign up for our newsletter, too, so you can receive our guide to selling your screenplay and weekly updates. Join by using the join form in the right hand sidebar on this page. This post is a good place to start if you’re new to and want to get an overview of my strategy: How to Sell Your Screenplay.

Q: Can I sell just an idea for a screenplay?
A: It’s possible but highly unlikely. I’ve actually written several posts on this subject. You can find them here: Selling a Screenplay Idea.

Q: How can I turn my life story (or other great idea) into a screenplay and then sell it?
A: First, read this post: How to hire a screenwriter to write your life story or great movie idea
Once you have a treatment read this post: Selling a screenplay pitch or treatment
Then read this post and replace the word “novel” with the word “treatment”: How to get your novel turned into a movie
These posts might help, too: Selling an idea
Also, these posts might help: Turning your novel into a screenplay

Q: Can you give me some advice about how to turn my novel into a screenplay?
A: This is a very common question that I get and I’m honestly not sure I’m the best person to ask about this since I’ve never written a novel and tried to sell it as a screenplay. However, I have written several posts which should help you with your journey. You can find them here: Turning Your Novel into a Screenplay.

Q: I have a very specific formatting question. Can you answer it for me?
A: Yes but read this post first: Screenplay Format.

Q: I have a screenplay (or idea) that is fantastic but I need your help writing (or selling) it. If I give you half the proceeds when it sells and a shared writing credit will you help me write (or polish) the script (or idea) and sell it for me?
A: The short answer is “no.” I don’t have time to take on any unpaid projects at this time. If you have a budget for hiring a writer let me know, I might be able to help you. Check out this post and the posts it links to for more information: Will you sell my screenplay for half of the proceeds and a shared writing credit?

Q: Can I write a screenplay sequel for a movie that I love?
A: You can write a spec screenplay based on an existing property without getting into trouble, but it’s going to be hard to sell because before the movie can be made some sort of agreement will have to made with the copyright holders. So you’re making an already difficult task (selling a screenplay) a whole lot harder. I have written a post which covers this in more details:
Writing a spec script based on an existing franchise.
Also, these posts might be helpful:
Writing a spec screenplay sequel.
Writing a screenplay based on a book, comic, video game, or toy.

Q: Can I write a screenplay based on a book, comic, video game, or toy?
Yes, it’s a free country, you can write a screenplay based on anything you’d like. However, it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever sell such a screenplay unless you first negotiate the movie rights because before the movie can be made you will need to acquire those rights. Check out this post which covers this in more depth: Writing a screenplay based on a book, comic, video game, or toy.

Q: How can I break into television writing? Or Q: I have a great idea for an original television show, how can I sell it?
Breaking into television, like breaking into feature film writing, is very tough. But we are in a golden age of television right now and there are vast opportunities if you’re smart and willing to work hard. I’ve written a few posts on television writing which will hopefully help you answer your questions. You can find them here:

Q: I just finished writing a terrific screenplay. How do I raise the money and produce the film myself?
I applaud your initiative. I’ve written some posts on producing your own film here and have written some posts specifically about raising money for your film here.

Q: I have a producer who wants to option one of my screenplays. Do you have any suggestions on how to navigate this negotiation?
I’ve written several blog posts on the topic and have talked about it on the podcast quite often. Check out these two posts:
What is a screenplay option?
How to decide if you should option your screenplay to a producer
How much should a writer get paid for their screenplay?

Click here to hear me give an overview of option agreements and how to negotiate them.

Click here or click here or click here or click here to hear me talk through some of my own option agreements.

Click here to listen to a conversation I had with a screenwriter who was in the middle of her own option negotiation.