When Is It Time To Sell A Screenplay? by Daniel Calvisi

Watch the video interview on Youtube here

Film Courage: How does a screenwriter know when it’s time to sell their screenplay?

Daniel Calvisi, movie studio reader, screenwriter and private screenplay consultant: Well, you want to show it to a bunch of friends. You want to get notes from friends who know screenwriting, who know movies and know how to give notes on a script. So ideally you’re in a writer’s group and you’ve got feedback from your writer’s group.

You’ve written (I would say) at least five or six drafts. Writing it re-writing as we know. And hopefully maybe you’ve shown it to someone you’ve known in the industry, not as a submission but as a friend to read, where they’ve given you some feedback.

So there’s really no way to know exactly when you’re going to be ready to bring something to market but basically field-test it with as many people as you can to the point where you feel like it’s in its best shape as possible.

Film Courage: Okay, let’s suppose friends, family say “Oh this is excellent!” Now we know that they have their reasons for saying this, as well. They don’t want to hurt our feelings. They want to see us do well. 

Let’s suppose we’re ready to try and go out there and take it to market, what are some of the of the first things, what are some websites that we can go to, what can we do to try and help sell it?

Daniel: I think you should make a hit list of companies and people that you’re going to send your script to.

First of all, it’s good to get a rep. So you want to send it to managers that accept unsolicited submissions. I believe The Writer’s Guild has a list of those. There’s a website called The Tracking Board where you can probably find some good manager lists. But I always say pick up the phone. That’s the big thing now. We don’t make as many phone calls as we used to. It makes us all a little nervous and if you’re a skittish writer who is more of an introvert that’s tough.  But you have to pick up the phone and you can actually get submissions just from cold-calling and introducing yourself and being nice and saying “Hey, here is what my script is about, here is the log line, do you want to read it?”

Now they may shut you down right away and say “We don’t accept any unsolicited submissions” but they may love it and they can send you a waiver form that you can sign where you can submit without a rep.

But that’s only if they’ve heard your log line, they’ve heard your pitch and they really like it and they want to read it.

STORY MAPS: How To Write A GREAT Screenplay


Question For The Viewers: How do you decide to send

out a screenplay?


Watch the video interview on Youtube here


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