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Old 04-20-2011, 03:41 PM   #1
mike_bike_kite
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Possible film script?

Has anyone tried putting forward a film script?
Apart from the idea, what did you need in place to move forwards?
Who would you approach first?
What sort of fees would you ask for?
What sort of cost would there be to produce a full script?
How would you protect copyright?

I'm guessing everyone has an idea for a film but this particular one is a near future SciFi, based on the truth but with a very unusual twist. Of course I am totally new at this game and I'm assuming it's pointless to write the whole script unless there's money on the table.

Any thoughts?

Mike
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:25 AM   #2
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You'll need an agent, and a good one, to get paid to write a script. Most scripts are written, then pitched to an agent and then a tiny fraction get optioned and even fewer ever get made... into something entirely different from the original script.

But good luck!
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:33 PM   #3
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My understanding is that in the U.S. there are set fees for scripts, largely based on type. In order to qualify to get those fees, you have to be a member of the Writer's Guild of America... there is a contract available that details (if you can find it) what you'll get. If you're not a WGA member, you're likely to get a much smaller fee... unless you're already famous, and then all bets are off.

(I probably should not have responded, since I don't know how it's run in the UK.)

If you don't already know someone on the inside, getting an agent would probably be a good idea.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys.

I was talking to some folks in the media today and received pretty much the same story As an unknown the chances of having a script accepted are less than 1% and even if you're known the chances don't raise that much higher. Even worse is the issue of the final payment at the end of the day - it's not brilliant.

Oh well, perhaps I'll put it in my retirement projects bin. They did like the idea though - but I suppose they have to say that!

Mike
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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I don't know what the scene is like in the UK, but where I am (US, but nowhere near Hollywood) it can be helpful to align yourself with an indie production company. One can expect to start out writing for credit initially, but credits can be very valuable down the road. I initially wanted to work on my own script projects, but the money I've made in that field is from co-writing-for-hire and script clean-up. Not glamorous, but it earned me contacts I can use later, and it's fun work.

It's not unusual for an indie prod. co. to get in on a co-pro with a bigger company when a big-budget project comes to town. Things can get very interesting when that happens.
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Old 05-06-2011, 09:23 AM   #6
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I've been writing novels AND scripts for a couple years. My route was to a) learn the screenplay format/craft (from free online scripts and other guides), then b) submit scripts to some of the major contests out there - and there are a lot of them, but probably about 10 recognized and respected contests (like the Nicholl's Fellowship, Austin Film Festival, Scriptapalooza, etc). Once I placed well in a few - finalists, etc - that generated interest from managers and a few production companies. Got some meetings and representation. But even with that, I'm still pursuing that first option. In the meantime I did get a ghostwriting gig to write up a script for my manager's client, that earned some $. But I've found so far it's even harder to sell a script today than to sell a novel to a big publisher. Indie films are a possibility, and more open to new writers, but even that market has been very much near life-support in the past few years. Some signs that it's all coming back soon though...
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:40 AM   #7
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The format for a script is quite different from a novel so all the other things aside you have to write in the right format I'm sure if you even expect to attract an agent, much less get a script accepted. Of course even if a movie is made from someone's story it's not always going to be remembered properly. I remember some yrs back a movie was made from a writer's story and it won some awards, but when the filmmakers got up to give their acceptance speech and thank everyone associated with the picture they made a big goof. They forgot to mention the original author on whose work the movie was based. It caused a big stink at the time as I recall since he hadn't even known the picture based on his work was even nominated (they are supposed to send out a copy of the movie to those who are connected with it and they didn't even remember that much). So I imagine it can sometimes be a thankless job in that the writer doesn't always get the credit he/she deserves either.
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