Donï¿½t Shoot Too High –
Iï¿½ve known many new writers who believe ï¿½if only an agent at CAA could read my script, theyï¿½ll see with all clarity what a great film or series it will make, and that will catapult me above all the freyï¿½. Wrong. Agents at large firms are walking a high-wire with no net as they fight to manage and serve big clients, and bigger accounts. Even if you deliver a deal on the table and ask them to handle it for you, you may not get the kind of focus your project deserves. Low to Mid level agents can have all the right relationships with any major company, or the right company your project needs. They can also align your project with a larger firm who may be strategically connected to package the project with talent. Everyone is a producer trying to fit their pieces of the puzzle together to make the picture. Bringing opportunity and work to a lower level agency can win you a fiercely loyal rep who prioritizes you.
ï¿½I Canï¿½t Pitch Companies Unless I Have An Agentï¿½ –
Not true. One of the best things about the TV/Film industry is that there arenï¿½t any rules. Itï¿½s how I built the TV Writers Vault into a direct sourcing tool for Production Companies to scout new scripts and ideas (Sorry agents!). I knew as an insider working with the best producers in the business, that they wanted compelling and original projects from anyone, and having an agent doesn’t add ANY quality to what the project is unless it’s an agent from a large firm that can add value by packaging it. But the TV Writers Vault is just one tool in your arsenal for success. Sure, there are people who will block your path in making direct inroads, but thereï¿½s a thousand different routes you can take to get to the same place. Do not believe that companies wonï¿½t take pitches without an agent. The real challenge and goal should be to connect creatively, and know how to speak efficiently. If the first thing out of your mouth is ï¿½Hi, Iï¿½ve written a movie script that I believe is right for your companyï¿½, then the response youï¿½ll get is, ï¿½Sorry, we donï¿½t take unsolicited submissionsï¿½. But if the first words out of your mouth are, ï¿½We met at [xyz conference], and our mutual friend [so-and-so] thought you should hear the logline for my drama pilot scriptï¿½, and if in that past chat with you they liked the way you think and conceptualize creatively, then theyï¿½re more likely to engage. Theyï¿½ll also know if they like the project based on the premise. If they do, then theyï¿½ll want to read the script or pitch treatment. In that conversation, learn about what they like, how they view certain genres, what their focus is, and try to engage in some creative conversation so theyï¿½ll see how you think.
Build relationships with development executives and assistants at production companies. If they like the way you conceptualize, and like the way you think, then youï¿½ll begin to build a network of likeminded creatives who will ultimately collaborate with you. When you build your own peer group of connections, agents will see that in the opportunities you deliver.
Network (film festivals, conferences) –
Our industry is a contact sport, so be sociable, engage with others at industry events, support the work of others, and youï¿½ll begin to build a thriving network that supports you as well. Agents are all about networking, and meeting creative people and decision makers in a social setting is the best way to win new contacts. While there are thousands of ï¿½festivalsï¿½, key on larger festivals that offer panel discussions and social mixers as a way to engage with industry executives and peers. If youï¿½re a TV Writer, film festivals are the new playground. With TV and Film being synonymous these days, many producers at film festivals also produce TV, or at least have it in mind when considering new projects. Film festivals span the country, so you donï¿½t have to be in L.A. to do this type of networking. If you live in Tennessee, hit the Nashville Film Festival
. If you live in Washington State, go rub elbows at the Seattle International Film Festival
. When in Texas, mosey over to the Austin Film Festival
For a more intensive networking experience, go to one of the major conferences for TV and New Media. NATPE Conference
and RealScreen Summit
are great venues to connect with other writers and producers, and rub elbows with executives.
Itï¿½s Not Who You Know, but Who Knows Your Work –
Be your own best agent, and be bold in sharing your work and ideas with others. Fearing exposure of your ideas and stories is counterproductive, and there are enough electronic paths of communication to establish exposure of a project with someone soliciting it, or with whom youï¿½re following up with after a conversation. Our industry is a brain-trust, and there IS a collective consciousness that connects ideas and subjects between creatives, inspired independently, as we all search and conceptualize ï¿½what is entertaining to watchï¿½. Get your work archived in an intellectual property archival service like creatorsvault.com
prior to exposure in the marketplace. Then get people to know your work, how you think, what you create, and soon opportunities will find their path to you. When more people know your work and your talent, itï¿½s easier for an agent to send you out on the rounds. And when you deliver your own deal to a new agent youï¿½re considering to rep you, youï¿½ll have beat the catch-22 and landed an agent as a new writer. Then get back out there and help your agent help you!
Learn how you can sell your TV show idea or script at the TV Writers Vault…