You don't have to live in Los Angeles to sell your script to Hollywood
You finished your screenplay. Now you want to sell it, but you don't have access to Hollywood players. What now?
Selling a screenplay is a daunting task, but movies have to be made, and every movie needs to start with a script. Why not yours? New writers break into Hollywood all the time. Here's how you can from the comfort of your own home.
The first step is also the hardest - you have to write a great story. Download screenplays and read as many as possible. Compare yours to ones that have been made into movies and honestly assess if it stands up. You may need to go back and put in some re-write time.
The second step is to have a great query letter. Alex Epstein, writer of the book, Crafty Screenwriting, says "As a development executive, I read thousands of query letters...mostly e-mail." Yours must stand out from those thousands. Keep it simple and businesslike. Use standard business letter format and address it to a particular agent or producer (be sure to check the spelling of their name and call to make sure the person still works there - things change fast in Hollywood). Include a logline or brief description of your screenplay - no more than three sentences - and ask the individual if they'd like to read it. Short and straightforward is the goal. Executives are deluged with queries, they'll appreciate something quick and direct.
You've got a great script, an enticing, professional query and now you need to find people to send it to. The Internet offers a myriad of sources for the aspiring scribe. The Hollywood Creative Directory is the Cadillac of current listings for producers and agents. They offer a yearly membership for $199.95 or monthly for $19.95. If you're ready to go, a monthly membership is a good deal. You can send out a blitz of queries in a month and then cancel so it only costs you twenty dollars. It's well worth it.
Posting your work online is another way to get your script out there. Inktip.com is a great service which matches up screenwriters with porducers, agents, and managers. A writer may upload his script for a cost of $60 for 6 months. Hundreds of executives are also part of the website, paying for the convenience of searching for the types of scripts they want. Writer's post the genre, logline, and synopsis of their screenplays for execs to read. You can receive a lot of exposure here for only sixty bucks.
Another good resource is moviebytes.com. Check out this site's sections called Who's Buying What and Writer's Wanted for great info on agents and production companies. You can then follow up by contacting them yourself if you determine you have something they're interested in.
There are even more sources for access to Hollywood, these are just the best in my opinion. E-mail me with any feedback and successes you've had with these sites or others that I can include in future articles. Good luck!