If you follow through and do this one simple thing I guarantee that you will be able to get your screenplay turned into a movie. It doesn’t matter how good your screenplay is. It doesn’t matter how many grammatical or spelling errors are in your screenplay. It doesn’t matter if your screenplay is formatted properly or not. It doesn’t matter if your screenplay is structured correctly. It doesn’t matter how long your screenplay is. The tip I’m about to give you puts you in charge and you get to make the movie exactly the way you want to make it.

The hardest part, hands down, about making a movie is raising the money. So the one simple thing you can do that will guarantee that your screenplay gets made into a movie: raise the money yourself! If you raise the money to shoot your movie you will be able to find thousands of hungry producers eager to work with you and shoot your screenplay. You will be their boss and you will dictate everything (if you choose).

A while back Script Doctor Eric contacted me and told me a little bit about his screenplay consulting service and offered to evaluate one of my screenplays for free. He didn’t write me and ask if I could recommend his service to my readers. And he didn’t write me and ask me to recommend his service after he did the free evaluation on my script. He just started a conversation with me and offered to do something nice for me and help me with what ever current project I was working on. So I sent him a screenplay and he promptly gave me notes in return. I genuinely liked the notes he gave me and felt that they helped me with the next draft of the screenplay. Since then I’ve recommended his service several times. In addition I told him about the writer’s group that I was in and he ended up joining the group and we’ve become friends since.

Now compare that with the people who contact me (quite often) who want me to recommend their screen writing services, contests, or websites and don’t offer to do anything for me. They usually end up in my trash bin without a reply. It’s not that these services are always terrible. Some of them might be quite good. But how can I recommend something I know nothing about?

When Eric contacted me he offered to do something for me instead of simply asking me to do something for him. When a screenwriter sends out a query letter to a producer he’s contacting someone who he doesn’t know and asking for a favor; “will you read my screenplay, option it, and ultimately produce it?” A good producer has lots of people asking for the same thing so it’s not that producers are ogres or the system is stacked against you, it’s just that there are lots of people out there competing for the same precious production funds and why should anyone take you seriously?

So it occurred to me, how could I craft a query letter where instead of me asking for a favor from the producer, I was contacting them and offering them something that they actually wanted? So far the only thing I’ve come up with is raising some or all of the production budget. As mentioned, raising the money is by far the hardest part of making a movie so if you can raise the money to shoot your film you’re guaranteeing that it will get green lit and make it into production. In the current market if you were able to raise even 25% of the production budget that would be a huge help to a producer and he’d be almost certain to at least give your script a read because right off the bat you’ve done something to help him and make his life easier.

So there you have it… the secret to getting your screenplay made really is that simple; raise the money yourself and you hold all the cards.

Now if you’ve raised a reasonable amount of money to shoot your screenplay and you are still wondering what the next step is feel free to contact me as I know many producers who would be very eager to make your movie.

By the way, if you’re good at raising money please email me your address. I have a few screenplays I want to send you!

Update: Want to try and raise the money to shoot your script? I wrote this follow up post: Raising The Money To Shoot Your Screenplay Yourself.

3 thoughts on “The 100% guaranteed sure fire way to get your screenplay made into a movie”
  1. Sadly, I believe you’re on to something. The part of this equation that bothers me is that even with a pathetic product, ie a script; you can get your script made into a movie.

    I’ve been working diligently on my screenplay for over a year. Rewriting ad nauseum and filtering it through final Draft 8. But that’s who I am- a perfectionist.

    I am having a reading in a public space in NYC May 9. Im doing this to breathe life into my script and enable me to get some perspective on it and perhaps rewrite, in whole or in part.

    If someone shows up, digs the story and knows folks w deep pockets, tant mieux (all the better). Quite candidly, I would hope someone would back my work because they see some value in it. Otherwise, it’s a waste of their time and mine.

    This brings me to one nagging question; Q– I am a journalist. This is my first ever attempt to write and sell a screenplay. I’m an unknown in this field. My work is copyrighted and registered w the WGA West. I’m told I should seek an agent to represent me. I fear as a first time screenwriter that I cannot attract an agent who can sell my screenplay better than I. A few yrs back I convinced a big name literary agent to represent my husband’s book on our first war with the Arabs. He sat on the fence, made unrealistic suggestions (my opinion). A small publishing house contacted my husband directly and expressed serious interest. He held out. The economy tanked. He severed his relationship w the agent and went back to the small publishing house. They loved the ms but no longer had funds to publish a book of this length and magnitude. I’m sharing this with you because I’d like your opinion on the issue to get an agent or not get an agent. My gut fEeling is to by pass an agent. What do you think? Thanks.

    1. When I was in college there was an accounting professor who used to give this tip before taking a test: “Know everything.”

      My philosophy when trying to sell a script is to “try everything.” There is no real downside to trying to get an agent, just don’t expect your agent to do all the work in selling your material. You’ll still need to get out there and hustle even if you do get an agent. I wrote a post covering this is more detail so check it out if you get a chance:


  2. After spending twelve years researching quantum physics to make an intelligent science fiction novel with believable charactors, interesting plot and nothing that would insult the intelligence of the reader, I finished it and hoped someone would turn it into a screenplay. When I see the finished product of screenplays that end up on the big screen, I am tempted to say “What could you have been thinking?” The streem of idiot movies seems endless and I just can’t understand the movie industry.

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