Quite often I get emails from people who are on a tight budget and they’re wondering what the cheapest way to query agents, managers, and producers is.
I offer a fairly inexpensive email / fax blast service which goes to either agents/managers or producers. You can learn more about it by going here: Query letter submission service.
But some people are on a very tight budget, so they don’t want to spend the money on my blast service, which I totally understand. My blast service, while effective, isn’t the only way to succeed. There is nothing magical about my blast service. It just saves you the hassle and time of having to build your own database of company information. But you can build your own list yourself, it just takes a bit of time.
I wrote this post a little while ago: Cheapest way to access the Hollywood Creative Directory. But it appears to be outdated as the HCD seems to have gone offline, and perhaps out of business. Hopefully they’ll return.
But the good news is that there are other sources for this information. IMDBPro is probably the main source that people are using today to track down company information. While IMDBPro does charge a monthly fee, they give you a free trail and as long as you cancel before the trial is over they won’t charge you. So this is actually a free way to build your own industry contacts. You just have to do it quickly while the free trial is active.
If I were starting out today building my own database I would probably start by searching for films that are in the same budget range (not necessarily genre) as my film. I would drill into the company information and start collecting it in my own Excel spreadsheet.
My blasts are a bit of a shotgun approach, essentially hitting every agent, manager, and production company, and this approach would be a more precise approach. I prefer the shotgun approach, as it’s worked for me, but I think this approach can work too. I had an actor friend recently who found an agent using this approach, hand picking the companies she submitted to and custom writing her query letter for each company. It worked and she got an agent.