How did you sell your first script

Selling the finished script - but how?

You have written a script, are completely satisfied with it and would now like to sell it? This route is not exactly conventional, but it is still possible. In this post, we'd like to introduce you to ways in which you can sell your script.

Who is actually buying a script?

First of all, it is of course very useful to know who the actual buyers of a script are. This includes the following two areas:

  • TV channel
  • Film production companies

For us as authors, that means that we have to come up with a script to television editors, producers or even to decision-makers from large production companies can turn. However, this already results in a first small problem: such people are usually in no way inferior to an employee of a book publisher. Your desks and mailboxes are literally overflowing unsolicited submissions of manuscripts.

Why a finished script is also a disadvantage

If you join the list of scripts sent in on your initiative, you will most likely end up unread in the trash. Regardless of who you contact: It is almost essential that you contact us for the first time an exposé or a treatment send in. If this meets with approval, the responsible person can set out on the arduous path of collecting funds for the realization of the film.

Unfortunately, this succeeds less often than it does, and even when the funding is in place, those responsible usually want to have a say. If the first version of your script is already in place, even the smallest change requests can result in a lot of work.

Why should you still have a finished script


Especially if you have not yet been filmed, there is a risk for editors or producers to actually give you the writing order for the script after the material has been approved.

After all, you don't even know whether, in addition to the good idea, you actually have the know-how to write a script. For this it is very helpful to have a script for reference to own with which you can do this work of persuasion.

The agent - the American model

In the US, when it comes to scripts, there is no longer a single step around agents. If you still have the promising opportunity here in Germany to contact a broadcaster or a production company directly, in America such decision-makers only deal with agents. You can of course also look for an agent in Germany. They usually have good connections within television newsrooms and production companies.

Not only do you know where your fabric could be placed, but you already have a foot in the door. Here, too, is the finished script extremely important, because the agent will not buy the pig in a poke, but in any case wants to read one of your works first.

Network

In order to sell your script, it is almost essential to network. There is indeed a small chance of success with an unsolicited submission, but knowing specific contact persons personally increases this chance immensely. In this regard, it is highly recommended that you attend many events where you can meet decision-makers. These are, for example, film festivals, panel discussions or trade fairs. Membership in the Association of German Scriptwriters (VDD) can also be very useful here.

In addition to good networking opportunities within the association, you will also find yourself here Events attentive, where you can present yourself and your material or get in contact with decision-makers.

Always have your logline ready

As part of a logline, your script is briefly summarized in two to a maximum of three sentences. This is the step you should be very meticulous about if you want to sell your script. Develop such a gripping logline that the other person is interested in more. Once created, you should not only be able to insert them into every submission, but also be able to recite them by heart so that you can always call them up when you come into contact with decision-makers at events.

If the logline is convincing, written exposés or treatments are often requested, which - now actually asked and sent in with a contact person - guaranteed to be read and checked become.

Conclusion

While the tips in this post have worked for many authors, they are of course not a guarantee of success. There are also fabrics that are so convincing that they can be bought by unsolicited submissions.

There is simply no silver bullet for selling a script. We wish you the necessary luck on the path of your choice, which every scriptwriter has needed at some point on his path.

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