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No Unsolicited Material? 

I’m always hearing from Bang2writers bemoaning the number of prodcos and agents that tell them they’re not accepting new clients, or that they won’t consider unsolicited material.

My answer? Get them to SOLICIT YOUR WORK. Le duh. After all, ‘no unsolicited material’ simply means ‘don’t send us still didn’t ask for’! So get them to ask for it!!!

Get them to ask for your work, then

You CAN do this. Anyone can, if they know the right approach. But first there’s a couple of things you need to understand about the industry to really get your best chance of getting work solicited. These are:

Producers and agents won’t read stuff if they don’t have to (‘cos they’re busy with existing projects and clients) …

But–But–But …

… They’re ALL afraid of missing out on The Next Big Thing.

So you need to persuade those agents and producers you’re the Next Big Thing!

How To Do It

Getting people to think you’re the next big thing and to actually ASK for your writing is easier than you think. Try this for size:

– Get online (a good online persona is a must)

– Meet agents and producers whenever you can in “real life” (like at London Screenwriters Festival)

– Make sure you can deliver your logline (not tagline) conversationally. Know who your audience is and why they would be interested in your story.

– Ask agents and producers if they’d be interested in reading a One Pager, rather than a script (who’s afraid of one page? No one)

– But if an agent or producer declines, ask them if you may get back in touch in say, 3 months? If they say yes, you may ask again in 3 months (perhaps with another One Pager), put it in the diary – and make sure you write back!

– If they say yes to the One Pager, send it – and don’t hassle them. When to follow up on your submission.

– If they write back and say they are interested in reading the script, send it. If they say it’s not for them, thank them … And ask if you may send another One Page Pitch, either then or in 3 months?

Rinse And Repeat

Keep on with the above, building up your contacts and reads – and thus, your name. It’s a simple strategy, but you’re playing the long game … It’s not a case of meeting the right person and/or sending off your script and being magically picked out of obscurity. Sure it *can* happen, but only to about 1% of us (if that). No one ever makes it “overnight” – even those who appear to have come out of nowhere have still been slogging it behind the scenes.

Good luck!

More On B2W About This:

How Do I Make New Contacts?

How To Get An Agent

How Not To *Do* Social Media

Maximise Your Portfolio

Can’t Get Read? Yes You Can

Like This Post?

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8 Responses to No Unsolicited Material … So Get It Solicited

  1. Graham Inman says:

    Excellent stuff.

  2. Glyn says:

    Writing is sooo easy compared to networking.

    I know my story, I know its strengths and (somewhere deep inside) its weakenesses. But I know nothing about producers, agents, film, Hollywood and all that.

    So thanks for your advice. And generally for cutting up the bull into cookable steaks (pun intended).

  3. Lola says:

    In my screenwriting class they also mentioned creating a short film or animated film on the story on a shoestring budget, and making it go viral. If it does, you can get attention to your script this way

  4. […] query emails is your first line of attack and is a great way of getting your screenplay solicited. Most query emails however are badly worded, weird and/or generally needy, making it very easy for […]

  5. WAK Anamjem says:

    I came to know that all large film production company required Solicited submission so what is this mean ? through legal source or through their authorized agent’s source ? so please explain the meaning of solicited ?

    • Lucy V Hay says:

      Hi, if your submission is “solicited”, it just means that prodco or whatever has ASKED for it (from you; your agent etc); an “unsolicited” submission is like “cold calling” – you send it in without them asking for it.

  6. John Ylitalo says:

    I wrote this screenplay based on Jack & the Beanstalk called, Giants. I emailed Rene a screenplay, but it as Unsolicited. How do I solicit my screenplay to Disney?

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