Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Script Register

Q: I need to register my script. Who's reputable? I found the Writers' Guild of America and Writers' Federation. Which is the best? Second, I am thinking of sending a synopsis to 'Soyouwannasellascript.com'. Are they reputable or am I wasting my money?

As far as I know, the Writers' Guild of America is probably the most reliable for registering your script, and it's not that expensive at all, only 20 bucks (less after dollar to pound conversion). Haven't heard of Writer's Federation, and I can't find a corresponding website. I have heard of Soyouwannasellascript.com but I don't know much about it.

With any of these websites, tread carefully. Most are genuine opportunities to get your work seen by producers/directors/execs etc but the actual reality of making a sale of any kind is pretty slim, I'd say. So, use your own judgement. If the fee isn't too high and it looks worth a shot, then why not: get your work out there as it's so difficult to get anybody to read your stuff if you don't have an agent, and all that jazz.

The screenwriting network sites like Zoetrope and Trigger Street are free, where people read and give feedback on your script (but you have to do the same), so they might be worth a look if you're not already aware of them. InkTip is another website that's quite popular and they boast a few success stories but for me, it's a bit of a lottery, not a guarantee of anything much.

If anyone has any experience with these kind of sites - the good and the bad - let us know!


Anonymous said...

I started writing screenplays less than three years ago and after I had completed my first master piece, I had no idea what to do with it.

I searched the web and found various web sites including InkTip. After I registered the screenplay with WGA I posted my first script on InkTip on the 1st of April 2005 and was disappointed.

Still I stuck to my guns and posted another at the end of May ‘05. Still very little response.

However I noted from their Preferred Newsletter that several Horror scripts were having success, so I decided to write a couple of Horrors.

They were up there by the end of June. Suddenly hits on my loglines took off, then downloads of synopsises and Wow, scripts including my first two.

By July 2005 I was offered my first assignment by a director, after he had read my two Horror screenplays on InkTip.

The publicity on InkTip because of that success brought another assignment offer and an option.

Currently I have seven scripts on InkTip, two horror, two action dramas, one historical biography and two thrillers and shortly will be adding a couple more.

In the last month I’ve had 276 log hits. Seven resume hits, eight synopsis hits and three scripts downloads.

I make the point of changing my logs every six weeks and keep my resume up to date.

When I place a new script I often feature it in the following edition of their magazine.

When I have a success through InkTip and I’ve had five, I make sure they are aware of it and get them to publicise it in their newsletter, magazine and on the site.

That always brings more responses.

I think InkTip is a great marketing tool but you must have a good logline, ensure you ticked all the relative boxes regarding the script when you posted it and have a synopsis that makes people want to read more.

I keep my logline under 30 words, and use it as a teaser. For example: -

A perilous rescue by a Cornish lifeboat crew on a stormy Christmas eve, will change the lives of many.

Also, my synopsis to under 400 words and again the least the better and have a cheeky resume.

When I started I had no resume so I put:

Just started writing, be the first to get me on the way up!

InkTip has brought me three assignments, one option and one job as a story editor, but more importantly it has helped in building a network of contacts.

Currently I am in discussions with a producer who found me on InkTip over a year ago, he has read four of my scripts and liked one in particular but had just optioned a script from another writer with a similar premise.

We stayed in touch and last month he asked me, “did I have anything new”. I send him a couple and the first ten pages of my current project.

We are now discussing terms regarding this new project as he wants me to complete the script for him. In his words, “my friend Graham got his Oscar for ‘Blood Diamond’ and this could bring me mine”.

InkTip can and does open doors so be prepared to walk through one when it does.

What is important is that your script is as perfect as it can be, and using the two free web sites, Zoetrope and TriggerStreet can help.

On these sites you can post your script and receive reviews from other writers. Make sure you register your script first on somewhere like WGA (Writers Guild of America), you can do this on line for a cost of $20.

Both Zoe and TS are communities of writers and to get your reviews you have to review other writers work. This in it self is a useful exercise as when you review and analyse someone else’s work you get a chance to see bad, good and great scripts and recognise the difference.

Which helps with your own writing.

Once your script has been reviewed and you’ve taken on board the constructive comments and re-worked your script, reflecting the remarks before you post it on InkTip. Which costs $50 for six months.

Remember, before you post there, write a succinct logline (less than 60 words) and a short synopsis, as you will need to post them when you place your script on that site.

Make sure it’s in a pdf file, so you formatting and presentation is locked in.

Good luck.

Danny Stack said...

Wow! Thanks Anon. Sounds like you need to start your own blog!