They want to make sure that your story matches their needs. Check out our FREE and PREMIUM memberships! You introduce your main characters names in the synopsis. Then there is the promotion stage which is where you should spend the other half of your time (although most artistic people hate to do this and severely neglect this part). Legally, we never wanted to read the letters or open any email attachment because if we ever produced a movie even remotely close to the logline sent to us we might get sued. Your logline is your resume that you e-mail to an employer after seeing an advert. 123 Main Street, San Francisco, CA 94122. Even the smaller film festivals are worth attending as you never know when you will run into a small-time producer poised to hit the big time. It literally could be the difference between having a producer read your script or having it languish on your computer’s hard drive. Article 6 of our 10-part Screenwriting Staffing Industry Series explains why a query letter can make or break your screenplay. It’s a tough game. If the industry pro is interested in your logline they will read your synopsis. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don’t have his best interests at heart.”. In addition to posting the actual query letter, we will also get to hear thoughts from the agent as to why the letter worked. SCREENWRITING STAFFING: What do the best loglines include? “Boy meets girl on the maiden voyage of the Titanic,” is high concept (at least it was at the time the film was produced). Just like our screenplays are unique and distinctive, so should our e-mail submissions to industry pro’s This is our chance, as creative writers, to add some flare and pop, hoping to stick out (in a positive way) among a pool of other talented applicants. Q: How many LOGLINES should I submit at once? Industry pros don’t want to open attachments from people they don’t know. } A high concept MIGHT get you an audience with or a read by an executive, but the execution is what will sell or sink the script. “A suicidally reckless cop gets partnered with an ultra cautious cop on the verge of retirement.” Bam. It should be only one sentence. Rob Tobin: Not automatically, no. Q: If I know someone the producer knows, is it acceptable to mention this? There is, however, danger is in relying so heavily on high concept that you forget about the proper execution of that concept. Titanic [SETTING & THE HOOK]. It makes them want to know how it all ends. My conclusion? Unlike the blacklist, they have a running list of every film they help get made. — You should have one go-to logline. — When e-mailing your logline to industry pros, don’t send it as an attachment. Keep your logline to ONE sentence, TWO at the very max. Write a general query letter. The first step in creating a query letter is crafting your hook. This is where you list the central problem your character will face when trying to achieve their goal. } Hit the major turning points, and convey VERY clearly what’s at stake if your hero doesn’t succeed. Even a brilliant script like “Good Will Hunting,” which on the face of it is fairly high concept (A genius works as a janitor at MIT), depends almost totally on the execution, which was of course brilliant. Most likely they have a slate of scripts already in development. Query letters should give the buyer an idea of what your screenplay is about and a brief introduction of yourself. Below is a sample query letter so you can get a feel for how it would look in context. I have no idea if anyone ever wrote a query letter for the film. Don’t waste the pro’s time if your script doesn’t fit their needs. Query Letter $ 1.95 This Sample Query letter is a proven successful format used by WGA writers submitting to Development Executives (includes helpful side notes – 1 Page) Bruce Almighty) In that one sentence, we know who the main character of the film is, the inciting incident, the conflict, and are given a hint and what the jeopardy is. Screenplay query letter sample 1. Douglas King: The number one mistake of writers writing loglines would have to be their attempt to describe, what they consider, to be every important detail of a film. This is your main character. The ability for a writer to be able to portray their film in the simplest terms is an essential skill to be successful in pitching films. Will the world be the same? If your query is riddled with sloppy mistakes and awful grammar, the producer … Most of those 300 will be written by industry veterans. The Smart Girls Query Letter Marketing Service Helps You With All Of These Things. If you don’t know your script well enough to pitch it in a sentence, then I probably won’t want to read your script. Learning how to write this important tool is essential. The overall consensus? The best way to illustrate this is to add some examples of real-life query letters. Keep your logline UNDER 65 words. …will “CHARACTER’S NAME” lose everything or find a way to get his life back? Writing a query letter can determine whether a literary agent asks to see more or sends you a cordial form letter intended to let you down easy. It is a formal letter, which explains the topic and subject of the screenplay. Allow me to footnote this by saying if you don’t have a HORROR script you really have no business submitting to this lead. A query letter is a letter or email – usually unsolicited – that screenwriters send to agents, managers, and producers to entice them into reading their scripts. That is the logline’s fundamental purpose: tell the story in as few a words possible to cause the reader to want more. 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Go through the listing of producers and read which ones are looking for stories in the same genre as yours. Get the Hollywood Executive thinking, pondering over the story. It’s a query letter. What should be included in a bio? However, they are difficult to contact due to their busy schedules and their selectivity. “A space alien lands on Earth” is old hat. What is a Query Letter? I meant RICH) man. Even if the concept doesn’t interest them, it at least shows them you are a professional. A query letter lets individuals looking to buy a script know that you are interested in working with them. Most writers think of loglines as something that’s only used in query letters. to try and entice them to read your script. Genre: Animal Fiction, Contemporary View the query letter View the book on Amazon Breathers Author: S.G. Browne Genre: Contemporary, Dark Humor View the query letter View the book o… Always use descriptive and action words to make the logline compelling and exciting. Don’t lose them with too much detail. Query letters are tough — introducing your story in such an exciting way that an agent or producer can’t help but contact you to read the whole thing. Douglas King: A logline tells the reader the setting, genre, protagonist and antagonist, major conflict, jeopardy, and what the character must do to succeed. Stand out from the crowd. The above is a made-up query letter for the hit film Life is Beautiful. A novice screenwriter's first line of contact with the powers that be. Draft one that you can later customize to send to agents, producers, and studio executives. Because, as I said in my last answer, the chances of making money as a screenwriter are incredibly small. ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW FOR INSTANT ACCESS! I am a huge advocate when it comes to directly e-mailing the industry pro with your query letter or pitch (if requested). Just like our screenplays are unique and distinctive, so should our e-mail submissions to industry pro’s This is our chance, as creative writers, to add some flare and pop, hoping to stick out (in a positive way) among a pool of other talented applicants. With over 275+ success stories, our site has proven that query letters are effective. I figured if I was on the inside, it would be far easier to add my script to the stack than merely sending a query letter. This is what your protagonist is trying to obtain, accomplish. Be sure to provide them with the following: Full name, phone #, working e-mail address, and any relevant links… like a personal page or IMDb (don’t go overboard). The Query Letter: Your Key to the Marketplace by Charles Deemer (Mar-04-2002) For screenwriters who live outside of Los Angeles, the query letter is the most important manuscript aside from the screenplay itself. width:100%; That is the psychological aspect of writing a query letter because this is so important, and, at the same time, one of the least talked about aspects of writing a great query letter. However, there is a good chance they are looking to bring on a few more writers to help re-write their slate of projects. He is a graduate of The Los Angeles Film School with a degree in FILM/ENTERTAINMENT. Make a list of all your submissions, and include the submission date, addressee's name, his or her title, and the company's name. } Whether you are seeking representation or already have one, they must have this available to pitch to their prospects. — OTHER. The point of the logline is to get them to request the script, that’s where they will discover the ending. There are many risks that come with neglecting your logline. Mail the letter to the producer, using either the postal service or e-mail. I don’t typically use this selling/marketing device in my own personal queries, but I know people who do — and it sometimes works. Every screenwriter submits differently. Writers get excited to describe their story and so they go on and on about all the “cool” story elements and forget to tell just the simple story that makes the film compelling enough to first, want to read, and second, want to see. Most producers you submit your logline to are not the ones financing your script. But we’re also going to figure out what your query letter needs to do – and how you’re going to write it. The advert above actually requests that the writer has PRODUCED work. Please find excerpts from 4 blogs that highlight how to write an effective pitch for your screenplay. I’d much rather read (and produce) a brilliantly executed low-concept script that a poorly executed high concept script. I received a query letter recently from a person who asked to send me a script about eight months ago. They want to make sure that your story matches their needs. If you do it right, then it’s something that you only have to do once in your life, after that you’ll have opened doors and have all the connections you need to submit your script to agents and producers anytime you like. No script. Has your script won or placed in a contest? A producer who’s sold to all the majors, Barri Evins created Big Ideas to give aspiring screenwriters what it takes to break into the business by sharing methods she uses with professional writers. Without one, no one will read your work. But make sure you establish right from the start you have something worth reading.). Encourage the producer to contact you if she is interested in pursuing the project, or taking a look at a more detailed description. Make your story stand out by your themes and characters, not by BOLD lettering and UNDERLINING. Outside of judging and spear-heading multiple film festivals across the country, he is a regular contributor for FINAL DRAFT and CREATIVE SCREENWRITING MAGAZINE. Home : 415-555-0000 Cell: 415-555-0000. email@example.com The person we are cheering for. It is usually 1 or 2 sentences long. So keep a couple backup loglines in your arsenal. Should your letter pique the interest of its recipient, they'll request to see part or all of your script. Email address: eparks@calibertalent.com. It is the spine of the screenwriting process. — GOAL. There is no one way to submit, but before breaking the rules, you MUST understand the fundamental, original rules. I have no idea if anyone ever wrote a query letter for the film. Boast about the fact your script can be shot on a low to moderate budget, and only features a few locations and characters. Every day these folks run into someone – this could be their friends, family, or even just someone at the store – who tells them, “I have this great idea for a film!”It’s just long-winded, unfocused cliches, that will NEVER sell. A logline should be just the basics, told in a dramatic and interesting manner to cause the reader to want to know more. #fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper { At Screenwriting Staffing, the contact person’s full name is listed, so there is no excuse to use cliches like, “To Whom It May Concern”, or “Dear Producer”. A: No. There is almost always a twist to high concept that intrigues us, catches us off guard, and makes us want to know more. 25 words. * Please Note: Entertainment industry addresses frequently change as companies often merge or move offices. Maybe 300 of them will ever get made and distributed. A: Just ONE, TWO at the very most (and that’s only if it’s the same genre, or the producer says they are open to ANY genre). Please find excerpts from 4 blogs that highlight how to write an effective pitch for your screenplay. If you can keep it UNDER 45, that’s even better! This will help jog their memory. Query Letter $ 1.95 This Sample Query letter is a proven successful format used by WGA writers submitting to Development Executives (includes helpful side notes – 1 Page) You should make the letter personable and professional. Try for the latter or, even better, try for a brilliantly written high concept script. How to contact: Submit only a query letter for film related projects. Most producers and production companies will not accept unsolicited screenplays, but through services such as Screenwriting Staffing and others, writers have an opportunity to reach these very same producers. Many approach writing them with trepidation and insecurity, thinking that if they write too little, too much, or the wrong things, it could mean the very end of their screenwriting hopes and dreams before they even really have a chance to get started -- that's the mindset of a writer at least. ACCOLADES. @media screen and ( max-width: 100% ) { Then vanished without a trace. When you only have 30 seconds with an A-lister in Hollywood, you have to be able to pitch your story promptly and effectively. From my days fresh out of film school, working entry level at some indie studio, to screening incoming submissions for specific industry pros via, I am a huge advocate when it comes to directly e-mailing the industry pro with your query letter or pitch (if requested). Unless you have a direct contact with a major studio or represented by a top agency, a query letter is needed to make an introduction. If the producer likes your pitch and wants you to send the script in, make sure you state in your cover letter where you met and when. Your query letter should not be more than a page; if you can keep it at half a page, you already have a leg up. Is there financing or talent attached? Do not get bogged down with clutter and detail. He has the money to pay any writer in the world to take a concept and flesh it into a feature-length script. “A top contender gets to fight for the championship” is ho-hum. One of the easiest ways to learn what makes a good, standard query letter is simply to see an example of one that does its job well. But in this article I’d like to talk about something a little different. Thoroughly proof your letter for spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes, either through your word processing program, an app like Grammarly, or a capable colleague. This typically is done by younger writers or those VERY new to the game. 2) It opens doors, plain and simple. How to Write a Query Letter If You Are Absent from Work. View our Job Board and Script Search for FREE: Get your LOGLINE in front of industry professionals looking to buy: ISO a screenplay and/or screenwriter? And, by the time you’ve seen what’s “hot,” it probably isn’t hot anymore. “A badly wounded policeman becomes a half robot, half human super cop” is high concept. Sign up for Barri’s newsletter and follow her on Twitter @BigBigIdeas.. Click to tweet this article to your friends and followers! For educational purposes, I’m going to compose a standard “advert” you may find through Screenwriting Staffing (or a similar service) to reference. 4. You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about here, thinking what exactly is an “open loop?” When it comes to pitching a query letter to a producer or screenplay agent, an open loop is when you frame a question at the end of your query letter like this: …will “CHARACTER’S NAME” get the girl or will he die trying? #fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper { Establish the GENRE & TITLE. Read ScreenCraft’s Writing the Perfect Query Letter for Your Scripts! Produced work. A good logline may lead to another logline request. This site is dedicated to his memory. — Most importantly, don’t get discouraged. It’s time to move from author to salesman. The producer’s going to at least ask questions. Q: Should I tell them if I don’t sell my screenplay that I won’t be able to pay rent next month? This can be achieved very easily if you have what the pro is looking for. You’re about to make a virtual sales call, and your query letter makes the first impression. Rob Tobin: It’s a test. If this is simply a fan letter, briefly explain your admiration for the producer's work. Will your hero lose the love of his/her life? Award-Winning screenwriter with over 20 scripts either optioned or produced to screen airing. One page letter or email that you know, certainly if I succeed in article... Longer high concept is often surprising, taking us in one direction and then re-write again synopsis one! Script that a poorly written logline is a numbers game contact: submit only a query letter the! Whether you are interested in working with them Street, San Francisco, CA 91007 points, our! The stronger the logline is to get them to read your script doesn ’ t lose them too... Searching, are bombarded daily with unsolicited query letters should give the buyer an idea of what your,. 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