sales Selling a Script in Person

sfoster

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I remember hearing something about how when youre in hollywood theres a script in the trunk of every car or youre never more than 30 feet from someones unpublished script.. i don't remember exactly what the saying was but the point was that there are scripts everywhere and people trying to sell them.

Are there any examples of movies that were made without an agent for the screenwriter, just because someone was carrying a script around in hollywood and bumping into people telling them about it ?

There's an episode of seinfeld where kramer tries to randomly attach fred savage to his script like this 😄
I imagine this is about how well it goes for anyone without an agent

 
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HKB

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Kramer is one smooth guy.

I can't remember anyone I know that has had real success with an agent. One guy that I know made it to a meeting in Hollywood all expenses paid, but the whole deal got canned. Agents might be in the same category as a lawyer fighting your parking ticket; sometimes it's better to do it yourself.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Many writers I know have had real success with an agent. My agent has
helped me open doors I could not have opened without her.

sfoster; I'm sure there are stories like that. “Hollywood” is a very social
business. A writer at an event could pitch a script to a producer – it
happens a lot; far too much in some producers opinions. A writer who is
friends with an actor can pitch that actor a script and then (perhaps) use
that actor's name to get a meeting with a producer.

Whatever the actual saying, it's correct – almost everyone in the Los
Angeles area has a script. As any server or barista or valet parker, “How's
your script going?” and you'll get a lengthy reply. I overheard my waitress
at Denny's (around 50) discussing her screenplay with a couple of trendy
20something hipsters and the table across from me just a few days ago.
This Denny's is across the street from Nexflix and a few blocks from
Paramount and Sunset/Gower which has a lot of production offices.

Great place to pitch.
 

sfoster

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Many writers I know have had real success with an agent. My agent has
helped me open doors I could not have opened without her.

sfoster; I'm sure there are stories like that. “Hollywood” is a very social
business. A writer at an event could pitch a script to a producer – it
happens a lot; far too much in some producers opinions. A writer who is
friends with an actor can pitch that actor a script and then (perhaps) use
that actor's name to get a meeting with a producer.

Whatever the actual saying, it's correct – almost everyone in the Los
Angeles area has a script. As any server or barista or valet parker, “How's
your script going?” and you'll get a lengthy reply. I overheard my waitress
at Denny's (around 50) discussing her screenplay with a couple of trendy
20something hipsters and the table across from me just a few days ago.
This Denny's is across the street from Nexflix and a few blocks from
Paramount and Sunset/Gower which has a lot of production offices.

Great place to pitch.
Well my goal next summer would be to spend a month in LA surfing and then try to pitch my script or get an agent.
I could only have one full script written by that time and two treatments. but I know sometimes if a single script is good enough it can create a bidding war.
 

sfoster

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Is your script good enough to start a bidding war?
Not yet, it's only 1/3 of a script; it's still being written. But aiming for this next summer gives me a deadline and a goal to have it finished and polished by a date. I need some direction and hope in my life.
 
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jax_rox

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Well my goal next summer would be to spend a month in LA surfing and then try to pitch my script or get an agent.
A close friend of mine is a writer who landed a gig on a high-profile US network show sans agent - it was far more difficult than it would have been with an agent, but I guess it proves that it can be done.

Based on what I know of their experience, it appears to me (let me provide the caveat here that I'm not a writer, so this is far from first-hand experience...) that writer's agents want to represent you as a writer, not your project (necessarily). That is to mean, they can help shop around a particular idea or project you have, but to represent you effectively, they need to know you can write consistently, not just write one project. We all know that in this industry you often have to 'kill your babies' (for want of a better term), and if your 'baby' is the only thing you have, you become much less of an interesting investment.

You may or may not already be doing this, and I know it's advice you've probably all heard before - but sometimes it's better to just get it done and move on (for the moment), knowing you can revisit as your trip nears. As with anything, the more you write, the better writer you will become, and by finishing scripts for three projects which you can then revise, refine and re-draft before you take them to pitch, the better they will all be, the better writer you will be, and the better placed you will be to pique the interest of an agent, producer etc.

Think of it this way: everyone has an idea for a movie, and everyone thinks their idea is the best. Everyone is working on their screenplay, or have 'just finished' their one screenplay. What will make you different? What will set you apart? What will make an agent or a producer or actor invest in you specifically?

And if you're serious, start making contact now. Start making concrete plans now. Book meetings well in advance, lock them in your diary and prepare for them.
Trust me, I've done the LA for a month for vacation with a vague intention of doing something about speaking to someone about my career. It's very easy (especially if you're the type of person who needs to use something like a trip a year from now as a deadline to ensure you finish your script 😉) to end up on your last day thinking 'Man, I forgot to do all those career-related things I planned to....'

Driving down to Disneyland is way more fun than trying to book meetings... 😁
 
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sfoster

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Yeah I'm writing as much as I can. Wish I were faster. Maybe the second script will be faster than the first :)
What will make me different from all the other scripts... well it was written by me. Thats what makes it different.

Sometimes you just have to believe in yourself and follow that path.
EDIT: Also I don't like the idea of waiting 3 years to write a stack of scripts... i'd rather do something more agile. Write 1 script, 2 treatments, then talk to some professional agents/managers/actors etc in hollywood about my script and get feedback then reassess my potential.
 
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