Screenplay & TV Series Marketing Strategies
Many writers try their own methods for selling scripts. Some use the following websites who producers use to find new talent and new writers. Others try contacting producers directly and some try Skype pitch fests. See which appeals to you and give a few of the following a try.
Give InkTip, Blacklist and Specscout a Try
InkTip has a large database of producers who are continually looking for screenplays. For a fee, they will list your logline in a brochure/magazine that goes out to over 5,000 production companies. You can also pay to post your entire script and get it read by producers.
Get Lists of Producers Accepting New Writers and Scripts
There are a few places that list producers who are looking for scripts. One of them is the International Screenwriting Association. Also Research Independent Producers and see if they are accepting ‘new’ writers and new material. If not, you can still call them up. Get to know the producers. If you can strike up a relationship with them, or who answers their phone, you’ll be surprised what may happen. Many movies have been made this way. Where do you find them? Google, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and writer’s groups, etc.
Build Personal Relationships with Producers on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn
They’re out there, but when you meet them, you need to become part of their world. At some point along the way, you’ll tell them about your script. Be discrete and maintain the relationship for the future. See Screenwriting U for a list of 200 Producers on Twitter.
Use Script Coverage Services that Send Out 'Recommends'
Most coverage services give either a ‘pass, consider, or recommend’ on a script. A few coverage services will send scripts that get a ‘recommend’ out to producers that request such material. Some of these coverage services have personal relationships with industry professionals who are actively seeking new talent, new writers and new projects.
Try Teleconferences or Podcasts with Producers
Creative Screenwriting Magazine does podcast with writers, producers, and directors. How that will help you? Because it gets you a clear idea of what producers are looking for and how the business side of the process works. So you’re better prepared when you get that call from a producer.
Join Screenwriters On-Line (chats with Producers)
Screenwriters On-Line has online chats with producers who have agreed in advance to read your query letter. So you get double value – learn what they need, then send a query letter that will be read.
Try an Online Pitch-Fest
This is definitely something we’ll be seeing more of in the future – online real-time meetings with actual producers. Sitting at your computer, you are face-to-face with a producer who listens to your pitch.
Consider a Sherwood Oaks Producer Event
Get Your Script Reviewed
It is important to know your brand new ‘original’ script is ready to be ‘sold’ before you start marketing it to Producers. Script reviews by industry professionals verifies that your project is ready to sell and that is reaching its ‘target’ audience. Scripts that are given a ‘consider or recommend’ by Industry readers are usually given some attention and passed on to Producers. Some companies use such services to recruit new writers and new scripts. Getting your script reviewed confirms that your story is ready to pitch and confirms that you are on the right track with your original new ‘story’ and unique set of characters. Try the following sites and see if you get a ‘worthy’ review.
Have the Right Marketing Materials Ready
For a feature screenplay this includes the query letter and the actual script. The script should be written in Final Draft script (110-120 pages max). Hopefully, the script has already been reviewed by industry professionals and is considered ready to be sold. That means you have gotten good reviews with either a ‘consider’ or ‘recommend’ as a review. For a TV series that includes the Treatment and the first Episode, also written in Final Draft (60 pages max). The treatment includes a well-written logline and brief description of the entire TV show as well as a few episodes (briefly described) that will make up the entire first season of the show, as well as in-depth character descriptions.
Register Your Script & Treatment Materials On-line
All professional scriptwriters register their materials before having them reviewed and before trying to market them. They use both The Writer’s Guild of America (see website) and also The US Copyright Office in Washington, DC to protect their material. People recommend using both to make sure ALL their materials is protected from theft – which is rare if you are dealing with a legitimate film or TV company. Do research about the Producer and the Film or TV company before submitting material when ever possible.