Saturday, February 21, 2009

No screenplays, please!

Over the past few weeks, I've been seeing a large increase in submissions from writers looking for representation for their screenplays. Some of my colleagues are also experiencing this as well. And an overwhelming majority of these queries are coming from query services, a service that you pay to spam agents all across the globe.

First of all, FinePrint doesn't represent screenplays. Ever. In fact, most literary agents do not. That's why God invented film agents and production companies. Totally different thing, trust me. Secondly, do you really want to spend your hard-earned cash on a supposedly professional service that doesn't even know the difference between a film agent and a literary agent? And lastly, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that film agents and production companies probably don't like being spammed by query services any more that literary agents do, so you're most likely doing more harm than good to your budding screenwriting career by using one of these services.

This week alone I received seventeen screenplay queries, all using the same query service ( * cough cough looking at you SellAScript cough cough * ).

In the past, I've responded to these queries with a quick note saying that I don't represent screenplays. Starting today, these just get deleted without a response. Sorry, but it's a waste of my time. I have real queries from people who actually did do their homework to read.


NewGuyDave said...

I simply do not understand some people. Really.

Maybe your submission guidelines need to list what you don't accept first, in 16 point font with flashing lights around it, and a big red circle with a line through it.

If agents didn't have to spend so much time looking at stuff they don't want, they could probably get through more queries on stuff they do.

Ugly Deaf Muslim Punk Gurl! said...

lol, morons. if they can't understand the guidelines on your blog, then why are they even writers in the first place?!?!?

Melissa said...

If they're using a query service, then it's not an issue of not reading the submission guidelines, because these writers aren't reading anyone's submission guidelines.

They're trusting that the service they paid for has an appropriate list of agents. Their problem is that the service is crap and they're trying to take a short cut.

I don't feel too bad for these screenplay writers (I do feel bad for the agents who are getting these crummy queries) because if they're so lazy as to not research the company they're giving all this money to, their work probably isn't any good either.

BTW-Colleen asked in one of her tweets if we see any ridiculous cover letters in corporate America. Not as great as the queries she apparently gets, but we've had some real winners, including one famous one that started with, "I am a woman of excellence."

BuffySquirrel said...

The query 'service' probably hasn't read the guidelines either. Why should they? They get paid regardless of whether the query's sent to appropriate people.

Nathan said...

I only skimmed the SellaScript Site, so to be fair, maybe they really are providing some kind of valuable service (i.e. some return on the money subscribers pay), but I doubt it. If spamming agents is their S.O.P. I doubt they put any more effort into the rest of the "advice" they claim to offer.

Their sales pitch seems to consist of: "We'll annoy more people you shouldn't annoy than you ever possibly could without our assistance".

Thanks SellaScript. Make me a pariah much quicker than I could on my own.

Starian24 said...

Completely (unrepentantly) off-topic --

A TV show in Osaka, Japan took to the streets to see how people would react if they were "shot" by invisible, imaginary guns. Basically the guy goes around pointing his finger at people and yelling BANG.

The first time I saw it, I tried to imagine how New Yorkers would react. ;) That's why I wanted to share the link with you.

Jeff said...

Butt my screenplay is teh awesome!

M. Lucey said...

Seriously. People who buy screenplays are a totally different set than those who buy books. It's like trying to sell bacon to a vegan collective.

Unless it were my screenplay. And then everyone would want to buy it. For REALS.