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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

You’ve Finished the Damned Script – Now What? (Anthony Cawood Primers for a Networked World) – Part 3 - posted by Anthony Cawood

A writer’s work is never done. Let’s see, where were we? Oh – that’s right. Marketing you and – most importantly – your SCRIPTS.

You got yourself an online presence. TICK.

You’ve used some of the handy sites we mentioned last time to garner feedback, and improve upon perfection. TICK.

So – here you stand (or more likely sit): armed with a finished, polished script. But now who’s going to make it? And how will they learn of its existence?

Well, our third article is here to help you out – providing you, the writer, with a host of sites and services especially geared to get your script out there. To be seen – and hopefully filmed. After all, that’s what we’re writing them for!

Isn’t it?

A few tips before we dive in.

  • On Forums and Message Boards, make sure you follow their rules and post in the right place. Nothing’s more offensive than a writer who barges in, and doesn’t bother to get the “lay of the land.”
  • Keep posts short and sweet – and watch them for responses.
  • As part of the “getting to know you process”, mention any achievements you may have. EG: My script won XXX award was filmed by John Doe Director in 2014. You know, that sort of thing.
  • Post your logline, and make it zing. After all, it’s the first thing a reader will react to.
  • Link to your website or IMDB page etc. That gives people a chance to check out your work.
  • Please note: I personally specialize in shorts, so the resources listed may be biased that way. But I’ve mentioned sites that focus on Features, too.

*Speaking of “getting to know you”, I’ve included in these listings the number of short scripts I’ve managed to option/sell/get made from the various sites. Just so you can get a sense of how active and successful they could be for you.

So onto the resources. And what better place to start, than …

Simply Scripts (SS)http://www.simplyscripts.com/submit_your_script_new.html

Submit a logline and your script. When you do, it’ll appear in two places.

The Discussion Board – lots of screenwriters frequent SS. It’s here that they’ll take a look at your work, and offer you their thoughts. These are great free reads. Perfect to use for your next revision.

Unproduced Scripts – A round up of all scripts submitted in the previous week.

TC Note: Your script will also be findable via the sites’ search engine, various genre links and (potentially) through SS’s ‘Random Short Script of the Day’.

Simply Scriptshttp://www.simplyscripts.com/category/scripts-available-for-production/

Between SS and STS I’ve had 3 scripts sold/optioned so far.

Inktip http://www.inktip.com/

Inktip is primarily for indie, lowish budget Features. From what I’ve heard it’s got a pretty decent track record of connecting screenwriters with producers and getting things made. They also provide a host of other services including script tracking, an online magazine, a competition portal and a whole lot more. Some things are paid for, others free.

To date, I’ve gotten five shorts sold/optioned through Inktips. Submit your short for free via http://www.inktip.com/sa_short_script_listing.php

Blacklisthttp://www.blcklst.com/

A site definitely geared for the Feature screenwriter. My experience of it is non-existent, but some writers have had success. Blacklist takes the approach of evaluating and scoring scripts by at least two of their readers (the site’s reader evaluations are paid for by the individual writer. Any resulting industry reviews are free.) This allows prospective film makers to get an opinion of a script in advance – though some writers have taken issue with evaluations and scores.

Reddit, Produce my scripthttp://www.reddit.com/r/producemyscript

There’s a forum for everything you could ever think of on Reddit, and that includes Screenwriting. The ‘Produce my Script’ forum has been set up to connect writers with filmmakers. The filmmaking side tends to be students and gifted amateurs. But give it a try. You never know where the next Tarantino will emerge from. I’ve had three successes here thus far.

WinningScriptshttp://www.moviebytes.com/ws/

Sister site to MovieBytes (Great competition portal). WinningScripts offers writers a great opportunity to get their scripts listed and seen by industry professionals. One can list an unlimited number of scripts on the site for a modest annual fee (currently $29.95). Included in that is a logline, synopsis and script excerpt. Interested film makers can contact you to request full scripts. There’s also a Top 10 section based on scripts that have won or placed in competitions. I’ve not had a script success from here yet, but I remain optimistic.

Stage 32http://www.stage32.com/

A great online community for all aspects of film making. Once you’ve joined, you can upload loglines. People can check them out and contact you if interested. I’ve had two shorts optioned by other Stage 32 members to date.

International Screenwriter’s Association (ISA)http://www.networkisa.org/

Upload your script’s logline and other details, which are visible via the site’s database. The site also has a ‘Jobs’ section – more on that in the next article. I haven’t had any success with this site as yet, but I have had a few read requests.

Script Boutiquehttp://www.scriptboutique.co.uk/

A relative newcomer from the UK. It’s similar to Inktip in that as you can list your logline and synopsis for viewing. Script Boutique is free for screenwriters from all round the world. No successes so far, but it’s a new site which will probably grow over time.

There are also some other sites/forums that I regularly post on. No luck with these so far… but then again, you never know! 😉

Screenwriter’s Market http://bproducersseekingscreenplays.runboard.com/f2

Indietalkhttp://www.indietalk.com/forum.php

Student Filmshttp://www.studentfilms.com/

Done Deal Prohttp://messageboard.donedealpro.com/boards/index.php

Screenwriting Goldminehttp://www.screenwritinggoldmine.com/forum/

Film Maker Forumhttp://www.filmmakerforum.org/script-marketplace/

Happy writing to the STS community. And until next article – get those damned scripts out there!!

About Anthony: Anthony Cawood is a new(ish) screenwriter from the UK with two produced short films, two in post production and another seven sold/optioned. His script, A Certain Romance, recently won in the Nashville Film Festival Screenwriting Competition (short script category), and two other scripts have recently placed 2nd and 3rd in the FilmQuest Screenwriting Competition and Reel Writers Screenwriting Competition respectively. Links to his films and details of all his scripts can be found at www.anthonycawood.co.uk.

5 Comments so far

1.

sydney
October 22nd, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Thanx for some great suggestions. Would be interested to know what, if any experience you’ve had with Talentville, since it’s also a site to post and get feedback and, supposedly, exposure.

2.

Anthony Cawood
October 22nd, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Hi Sydney, glad you liked the article.

Re Talentville, I did join an age ago bit I just found it a little too restrictive with having to earn review points (by revieiwing other scripts) before you could get anything read… unless of course you paid for membership. Site and idea seem good but I found SimplyScripts where I feel I can contribute, or not, at my discretion.

I should really have mentioned it in Article 2, so I’ll try and remember to add it in Article 6 where I intend to list more general resources and include anything I’ve missed along the way.

Thanks

Anthony

3.

marnieml
October 23rd, 2014 at 1:33 am

Great article Anthony and WOWZER on your 4 shorts being picked up! You are on a serious roll!!

I wasn’t nuts about Talentville either. Too much of a clique and people boosting ratings of their friends screenplays. Same thing started to happen at Triggerstreet years ago, which is why I left. There is a lot to be said to anonymity.

I also had a crappy experience with Blacklist. One of the things that appealed to me about them was they are gender specific. You won’t get a Sci-Fi lover reading your rom/com. I submitted a Dramedy and got ridiculous feedback from someone who obviously didn’t care for the genre. They said it needed to be a comedy. Someone else at SS had a similar experience.

You didn’t mention Virtual Pitch Fest. I attended a pitch fest in La that they sponsored. It was top notch. Then I bought some pitches on their website ($10 per pitch) and got great results. Also, the people who run VPF are pretty awesome. 🙂

4.

KP Mackie
October 24th, 2014 at 4:20 pm

Congratulations AW!
You ARE on a roll. Keep it going!

Amazing article. A plethora of valuable information. 🙂
Thanks so much!

5.

Anthony
October 24th, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Thanks for kind the kind words Marnie, glad you liked the article.

Blacklist certainly doesn’t seem to have worked for everyone, that’s probably true of most things on my list to be fair. VPF – good shout but haven’t used it as yet, will try an do some update articles as I find or experience new things and VPF is now on my list to try – many thanks.

KP, thanks again, glad you liked the article too, hopefully it will be useful for our fellow screenwriters here and on MP.

Both – thanks for the congrats, a little surreal to have so much interest all at once, now for the less exciting bit… waiting for them to get made. Better write some more shorts too, nearly all gone 😉

Anthony

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