I get questions like this so I thought I’d post a reply for everyone to see:

“I am not a scriptwriter but I have some good ideas for movies. How can I go about selling the idea?”

First check out these posts:

Selling a screenplay pitch or treatment

How to hire a screenwriter to write your life story or great movie idea

As a rule, there is not a huge market for “great ideas” from people outside the industry. Great ideas are literally a dime a dozen. What’s very rare is a great idea that’s written into a well executed screenplay.

I’ve gotten this question so often that I figured I might as well just go ahead and give my advice about how one should try and do this even though I highly recommend in the two posts above that you not try this, because the odds of success are nearly zero. But it is Hollywood and anything can happen…

What you’re going to want to do is come up with a solid treatment. To do this simply turn on a tape recorder and tell your story in as much detail as possible. Then take that recording and transcribe it (or pay someone to transcribe it) into a word document. Then edit it (or pay someone to edit it) down into a readable interesting document that clearly describes your story. Hopefully this document will be between 1 and 10 pages. This is a screenplay treatment. You can, and should register this with the Library of Congress and the WGA. See my post on protecting your work.

Now that you have a treatment you should write up a solid log line and query letter and start making submissions as described in my How to Sell Your Screenplay (in a nutshell).

It’s really that simple. But keep in mind that most agents and managers are going to have zero interest in an “idea” person so I wouldn’t bother even trying to submit to them and I would go straight to producers. If a good producer reads an idea they like, they might option your treatment from you and pay a screenwriter to turn it into a script. Selling a well executed screenplay based on a great idea is a long shot and I would say selling a treatment, even one based on a great idea, is even more of a long shot so please understand that as you begin this long journey.