Film Courage: Jay, you mentioned on your Youtube channel about an article on Final Draft and it was quite beneficial for you from an Oakland [California] screenwriter who used to be a rapper, Saeed Crumpler?
Film Courage: It was called Against All Odds: How a Black Writer from the Bay Area Queried His Way to Being Repped. Again that’s Saeed Crumpler, he had some tips and it was beautifully written, do you want to go over any of them?
Jay: Yeah, Saeed’s article was very helpful and following his tips is what has led to the requests that I’ve gotten so far for my script. One of the things that he said which I hesitated in doing Use every tool in your toolkit. You’ve got to go for it. Mention that you’re a Black writer or mention if you are a Queer writer or a Latino writer or what have you. Use that to your advantage. Mention if you’re a woman writer because managers are looking to diversify their roster. It just makes sense. Lead with something like that and let me see what this person may have to offer.
Another tip was just to keep it short. Queries that I had drafted before reading this article were way too long, paragraphs upon paragraphs (it’s just like this isn’t good). I’m sitting here thinking that a five or six…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
Jay Fingers is a novelist, journalist, editor, and emerging screenwriter. He grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, before attending film school at the University of Miami. After college and working in Miami Beach’s nightlife scene for several years, Jay moved to New York City — Brooklyn, specifically — where he wrote four books: Guestlist, Kisses for Tati, Orange Mound and Manhattan Sweetheart. Deciding to fully pursue his lifelong screenwriting ambitions, Jay relocated to Los Angeles, where he currently lives and has been tirelessly working on spec scripts.
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