Thoughts About Writing Queries…and Coverage Too

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The Bitter Script Reader wrote this very funny book, and we all should buy it
The Bitter Script Reader wrote this very funny book, and we all should buy it

R asks:

I’ve read the feedback on all the online sites, BL, Inktip, ISA, et all, and found none of them seem to be worth the money or effort. So, in your humble opinion, for someone not located in California, what is the best way to approach an agent, manger or producer? Send a logline only? A logline and synopsis? Hold their children hostage? Threaten to send them back if they don’t read it?

If you don’t have feet on the ground in LA, then I’d first try reaching out through any connections you might have through your college’s alumni network. The next thing I’d do is research managers and (assuming your script is low budget enough) smaller producers who might accept queries.

And if I struck out there, I’d probably use the Black List.

It used to be a bad idea to approach managers and producers via email but that’s more accepted now. I say do email or snail mail. The key is to keep it brief. Introduce yourself succintly. Don’t ramble. Don’t give any more information than is absolutely necessary. If there’s a reason why you might be of interest to them, say it here, but don’t take more than two sentences or so to get there. (Example: “I used to be an analyst for the CIA covert ops division, and I’ve brought some of that experience to my spy thriller spec.”)

Don’t send a synopsis. Keep it to a logline. I wouldn’t go into more than a three-sentence description of the story. Hook them, intrigue them and don’t overwhelm them with details. The people you are reaching out to get a LOT of emails a day so if they click on an unsolicited email that’s five dense paragraphs long, they WILL skip it.

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