I got an email recently and thought other readers might find it useful. It’s another case where a writer is really working hard to get their script produced. We can all take a lesson from what this writing team is doing to help their script’s chances.
Here is the email exchange:
I just thought I would give you an update on what’s going on with our script.
As you may remember the horror con we were going to, was postponed until next year. Anyway. last week I e-mailed a certain actor with a logline about one of our scripts, and I mentioned that there was a part specifically written for him. He liked what he read and thanked us very much, he then gave us his managers e-mail address and told us to e-mail her about it. (Which we did)
Anyway, she e-mailed us back, and asked if we could send her a full storyline/synopsis and a character breakdown. (Which we did) She then e-mailed us back once more after she read it, and was all for client being in the project as they character that we had originally suggested. (Great news)
She then suggested to us TWO more people for certain parts in the movie, who are also her clients (which we did not know) and asked us would this be okay. She left us a link to her website and her phone # and would like to talk about it. So we e-mailed her back saying yes, that they would be great as the parts she suggested.
So late last night, she e-mailed us once more saying great, all three for the parts that we talked about. She then gave us permission to mention that we are in talks with the representation of clients A, B, and C, being involved in the project. And hopefully that it will help us in our funding process for the project to get off the ground. And if needed, anyone interested in the script can contact her about her three clients being invovled.
So our next step is to get query letters out there to financiers/line producers/independent production companies and let them know about script, and also let them know about actors A, B and C. We hope to start sending out letters within the next few weeks. (We’re just waiting to hear back from three more actors/actress) On addition to that, another actress who we also e-mailed read our scritp and has agreed to write us a LOI stating that she is interested in playing th part of X.
Obviously we’re looking for a little publicity, so we talked about e-mailing Fangoria, Horror Hound, and Rue Morgue magazines, which all have a huge fan base. (Even from people inside the business) Basically tell them about the project, and who we have spoken with about being involved ect ect. If any of them do wish to print a small article regarding Route 66: we’re hoping that maybe someone in the business will read it, and take an interest in the project. (You never know, it’s a long shot, but we got to try)
Of course it’s still very early days at the moment, and we know how hard is to get funding for the project to get off the ground (Even with us being in talks with certain people) however, we will both keep trying as we feel this is a solid screenplay, and giving the right funding it could turn out to be a great horror film.
So far we have spoke to an EST. manager/rep and talked to her about three of her well known horror clients to be invovled in the project, along with one LOI from another actress in the horror business…. and still waiting back from three more actors/actress.
Here is what I wrote back:
That’s all fantastic news. I think you’re moving ahead right on schedule.
I’m curious, did the manager end up reading the script, too, or just your outline and character breakdowns? I ask because just to get a sense of where these actors are. The fact that she’s willing to vouch for you without you having to sign a pay-or-play contract is very good news indeed, because you drop their names at your discretion.
First, off, you’re doing a lot of producing here, you understand that, right? That’s not a bad thing, but you should understand that so when you approach people you’re not the “writer” you’re the “writer / producer.” And say it with confidence, too.
If I were you I’d come up with a list of as many movies within the past 10 years that were fairly successful and are roughly similar to yours in terms of budget, tone, and story line and then track down any and all producer information on IMDBPro. You can usually find the producer’s name, and then click on it over to IMDBPro and then find their company information (or agent information) with a phone number. Not always, but a lot of time you can find this. Make a list and then start cold calling producers. Again, you’re now a producer, which is okay, and ultimately you might just end up with a “co-producer” or “executive producer” credit, but you should approach these people with that in mind. Tell them about your attachments and that you have a LOI from the one and a verbal agreement with the other three.
I’ve never been good on the phone so I’ve never been able to do this, but if you have some decent phone sales skills this method can really work. It sounds like you’re a go-getter and this is the method for the go-getters! Sending emails and query letters works, but it takes a lot of them as most of them never get read.
I’v said this before and I’ll say it again, if you can raise any money yourself from outside the entertainment industry you’d be doing yourself a huge favor and these producers will be even more willing to work with you. Right now the economy in the movie biz is still very pinched and small indy films aren’t making much money so raising money is more difficult than ever so if you can raise even 10% of your budget plus with these actors attached you’ll be giving an established producer something to work with.
You’re idea about trying to get some PR from within the horror community is a good idea. So anything you can do go for it. One thing that’s very common in the indy production world is to pick start date of say, Sept 1st 2011 and start telling people that’s when you’re shooting your movie. Say it with confidence and conviction so that you start believing it, too. Between me, you, and this computer we know that may or may not happen and you may have to push the date back, but it gives the announcement more punch. Plus it gives you something to work towards. I would say a year in the future is enough time to realistically (somewhat) give you time to raise the money and still be close enough that people will be interested.
Anyway, well done. I look forward to seeing the finished film!