How To Sell Your Screenplay – 7 Tips
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How can I sell my script about 2 dozen times a week? For some reason, writers believe they have value by typing THE END at the bottom of the page. The truth is, they created the first draft of something that could have commercial value. Knowing how to sell a script combines creative pursuit and raw commercial sensibility.

The brutal truth is that most writers fail to realize that what they write has a commercial meaning. It is this combination that makes a writer a creative entrepreneur. And you don't have to go to film school to find out either! I didn't do it, even though I now have the Raindance Film School!

How to sell your script

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent sweat. "
Thomas Edison

How much effort are you willing to put into a strategy for selling your script? Do you know the way the motion picture industry requests and purchases scripts or not?

Let me try to explain one strategy that I believe will work.

1. Make the main character feminine

Nobody buys a script unless they have someone they trust review it. A film production company can receive hundreds of scripts. They employ them to weed out those who are not suitable for this company Script reader. Since most script readers are female, why not write a film with a female lead? The theory is that a reader would be more likely to recommend your movie if the lead is female, even if the script is one that she normally passes on. And there are so few good scripts with women.

2. Get on the blacklist

In December 2005 the Blacklist was started. It's an overview of the most popular unproduced scripts this year. The scripts submitted will be judged based on the votes of film managers who work in the film industry.

Blacklists are meant to shed light on extraordinary scriptwriting. Previous lists included Oscar-winning films such as JUNO, THE KING & # 39; S SPEECH, and ARGO.

Writers can upload scripts and download them from industry members. There are also plenty of useful writing resources that you can use to sell your script.

There are those too British version for European writers to deal with.

3. Avoid drama

Drama is a killer word. Why? Because all stories are dramatic. The word drama is too general.

Imagine telling a real estate agent that you are looking for a home. You want to know which “genre” of home you are looking for. The price, location and number of bedrooms determine the type of house.

In storytelling and films, we define the type of story according to the genre of the story. And more precisely, the mix of genres. Is your script action / adventure? Or rom-com? Or thriller?

The more specific you can be about the genre, the better. It helps story development executives quickly decide whether or not your script is of interest. There is also a great indication of how the film can be marketed.

Avoid comedies

Money is funny they say in show business. But be aware. Although comedy is likely to be in high demand due to the public health crisis in 2020, comedy scripts are hard to sell. And that's because of the way films are made.

For example, an actor's face is often close in horror and reacts to something terrible. Horror filmmakers rarely use big names and expensive actors. It just wouldn't be good to read if Idris Elba or George Clooney were up close and screaming. Filmmakers usually use a cast of talented strangers (cheap) for horror – which makes them cheap to film.

In comedy, the settings are more center-shot. Like a couple at a table. Because the actors' faces are much smaller in relation to the screen size, you need well-known actors that the audience can relate to. To make a comedy much more expensive.

If you are determined to write comedy – and I encourage you to do so – make sure you do Improve your craft.

Beware of horror

Because horror films are cheaper to make – they're often the entry point for new writers and directors. This means that the market is flooded with horror films. We did a few ourselves here at Raindance. Movies like Deadly virtues were made for under $ 100,000 and sold well internationally.

The problem, however, is that the film companies are also inundated with horror scripts. It takes a horror script with unique and highly original ideas to impress a development manager.

4. Make sure the script format is correct

Submitting a completed manuscript in the wrong format will result in immediate rejection. Most executives won't bother reading it. Get that Script format Law! There is just no excuse for misunderstanding this part.

5. Length of the script

In general, hour-long episode scripts can be anywhere from 45 to 63 pages, although you'll want to stick to 50 to 55 pages most of the time.

For a feature film, you really have three options:
65 – 85 Directly to streaming or VOD
90-100 pages – the typical independent film for wide release and some plays
120 pages – your typical Hollywood film


1. Script too short
Let's say you want a 90-page script, but no matter how hard you try, it will appear on 85 pages.

Script readers usually start by looking at the number of ending pages. With 85 pages there is concern that your script will be viewed as VOD and shorter film and not taken seriously. Just open the script in a relevant place, e.g. For example, after page 37 and at the top of page 38, write: Chase: 3 pages that remain to be written. or love scene: but you are written. The next page is then page 41. Or whatever you need to insert to make the last page number the length you want to present.

2. Script too long
For example, suppose your final draft is 123 pages, regardless of how you edited and crammed the pages together, and you don't want a script reader to think your 123 pager is a three-hour epic written by a megalomaniac writer.

Just go through the script and go to page 38, page 37a, etc. until your final page number is within the number you want.

6. Title, slogan and logline

Your title is your first chance to market your script. I recommend 2 or 3 words – tight and tense. Those few words should start selling the story.

A slogan is the simple words that often appear under the title of a movie poster. The tagline is used to filter out an emotional reaction to the title of the film

The logline could be considered the shortest possible summary of the story, or the pitch of 25 words or less of your script.

Learning how to get your story right is one of the most difficult skills a writer needs to develop.

Improve your pitching skills. Raindance has a regular Pitching Skills Workshop, and also hosts the frequency Live! Ammunition! Pitching competition.

7. Say something worth buying

The only golden nugget about selling your script is really quite simple:

Come up with an idea or a concept that no one has thought of before. An idea that is bold, fresh and original. Make it clear and concise. Test your idea with your friends and your social networks. And when you've managed to create and express an idea that no one has thought of before, they'll send the limos.

When I'm with writers in the Screenwriters Foundation Certificate We always evaluate the economic feasibility of the story.


We live in very difficult times. The stories you create are more important than ever. Keep your creativity strong. Let me know how you are creatively dealing with the pandemic.

Check out this year's Raindance Film Festival.

Check out features, documentaries, short films, music videos and the Immersive plus Industry forum. Everything for them silly price of £ 19.99.

Remember, Raindance is here to help. Enjoy your writing and my best if you sell your script.


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