Two Ways A Screenwriter Can Get Their Script Read In Hollywood by Author Carole Kirschner

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Film Courage: Once the screenwriter finishes a script, what are they doing with it?

Carole Kirschner: They are keeping it in a drawer and they’re just waiting for somebody to come along. That’s what…no…

Film Courage: And they are Tweeting about it.

Carole Kirschner: They are Tweeting about it “I’ve got a great script.” Well, what you want to do is you want to get it out into the world absolutely and there is a couple of ways to do that.

One is to send it to somebody, to give it to somebody who can give it to somebody somebody else, who can give it to somebody who is in a position to evaluate it or possibly hire you or represent you.

I’ve told this story many times about Madonna’s manicurist. She goes on the road with Madonna but when she wasn’t on the road, she had a salon, she worked at a salon and there was a woman who came in and was her customer (her regular customer) and this woman had a son who was a screenwriter and she would tell the manicurist “My son! He’s so talented.” And then one day she said “Would you show his script to Madonna?” And no…”Would you read his script?” And the manicurist said “Sure.” Everybody thinks they know how to read a script.


So she read it and said “You know what? This is really good.” And so the mom said “Would you show it to Madonna?” And the manicurist said “Yeah…”

Now the manicurist never gave it to Madonna, she gave it to Madonna’s assistant. But the assistant read it and thought it was good and then she actually handed it to Madonna. Madonna eventually (this whole thing took like a year), she read it, she thought it was good and she gave it to her agent and the agent thought it was good, brought the guy in and he got representation.

So you never know. You know, a friend of a friend of a friend (somebody who can get it to a junior agent, a junior manager, a junior executive). Or get it higher up if you know somebody who knows somebody, so you want to launch it into the world.

You also want to absolutely enter it into contests but don’t spend your money on Shmegeggie screenplay contests, only do the top five or six prestigious ones because the truth is the community is not looking at the (I don’t mean to insult anybody) certain screenplay writing contest (most likely they’re not).

Film Courage: How would you know? Is there a site or how would you know what are the top contests?

Carole Kirschner: Yeah, Google ‘Top Screenwriting Contests.’ You know, it’s certainly going to be Nichol’s, it’s going to be Page [The Page Awards], it’s going to be Austin [Austin Film Festival], there’s Final Draft, there’s others. Definitely go online and just Google ‘Top’ ones. There’s lots of sites that talk about the best ones. The ones I just mentioned are well-known and well-received.

In television there’s The Tracking-Board, which is really good. That’s the thing that Mickey Fisher entered his on Tracking B [The Tracking-Board].

Film Courage: Interesting. And that’s the name of the site, The Tracking-Board?

Carole Kirschner: Yes.

Question For The Viewers: What do you do with your finished screenplays?


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