I got this question recently:
“My screenplay was just announced as the winning feature screenplay at an upcoming film festival. I am going to accept the award. So here is my question: What should I expect now that I am a winner? Will I likely be approached by agents and producers at the festival? Should I contact an entertainment attorney for advice before going? Am I going to be a guppy in bowl full of sharks who will try to get my screenplay for as little money as they can?
Your advice please on how I should prepare myself for the festival and awards ceremony?”
I don’t think you need to spend money or time talking with an attorney at this point. Once someone presents you with a contract then you should seek out an entertainment attorney.
I would look at this festival as a great networking opportunity. Go prepared and look for any and all networking opportunities.
I have a few suggestions as to how to prepare for the festival:
1. Print up a few copies of your script(s) and make sure you have access to email and PDF versions of your screenplays so when you meet someone, if they show an interest in your script you can email it to them right away or hand them one of the printed copies. A lot of people prefer digital copies of screenplays so make sure that’s an easy available option for anyone you meet.
2. You should print up some business cards and hand them out to anyone and everyone who will take it. I would recommend building a screenwriting website (see my screenwriting tools page as I offer this service) to showcase your other log lines and synopses and make sure you print that on your business card and tell people about it.
3. Make the most of your experience by taking advantage of every opportunity the festival offers. There will be lots of sessions, meetings, and opportunities to network and you’ll get pretty tired after a day or two but remember that this is a business trip so take every opportunity to network that you’re given.