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Pitching Your Screenplay To Literary Agencies

By Author: Matthew Scott
Total Articles: 37

If you're like most aspiring screenwriters pitching your screenplay to Literary Agencies can seem a little confusing. The business side of screenwriting can always be a bit perplexing to anyone not quite yet in the know. You may have even asked yourself on more than one occasion, 'just how do I, an unknown screenwriter go about pitching my screenplay to Hollywood.'
There are several ways to get people interested in your script. Attending pitch festivals whenever you can. Or contacting someone you know that happens to work in the movie industry. If that person isn't exactly the connection you are seeking maybe they know someone who is. But usually, if you're like most people you don't really have any Hollywood connections just yet.
It's a funny business, this thing called "show biz". In order to get producers and directors as well as those studio executives to ready your script you quite often already need to have a literary agent to get you through the door. But then, most agents won't even give you a glance if you haven't already gotten some kind of recognition. It can be frustrating. How do you get their attention?
One of the best ways, to go about getting your foot in the door of Hollywood is through writing a query letter and mailing it off to the various agents at the different literary agencies. But before you mail your query letters off make sure you send them to agents most suited to your stories genre. Keep in mind most agents and literary agencies represent certain genres. And to get the best response and not suffer a ton of rejections is to limit your mailings to the literary agencies that represent your subject matter. Example: If your story is a drama you would not send your query letter to an agent that handles strictly Science Fiction. That would be counter productive.
Once you've figured out which agents would be best suited and more interested in your screenplay you can begin drafting your query letter and pitch. As a screenwriter you want to hit a home run with a winning pitch. But before you can do that you must join the major leagues and get in the game.
Now you may wonder, just how do I go about writing my pitch? Where do I start? What should I put in and what should I leave out. Do I tell the entire story from start to finish in a condensed version? Just how exactly should I write my pitch?
First off, writing a pitch is an art form. As a screenwriter you are a natural born story teller. Think of the pitch as a commercial for your screenplay. Like the previews you see at the movie theatre. Only you are using words to paint the visual for your reader, the literary agent.
In drafting your query letter and pitch keep in mind you have a very short period of time to get the agents attention and interest. Your purpose is to entice your reader to want more. So you must choose very specific things within your script to include in order for your pitch to work.
Allow the plot to thicken, but not too deeply, after all you don't want to give too much of your story away. Give just enough to wet the literary agent's appetite. Once you have revealed "the hook" begin reeling your reader in with a dynamic conclusion. Leaving them hanging on the final words of your pitch.
Hopefully they will be so excited by your pitch that they will call you up and ask to read the entire screenplay. That is your ultimate goal. You have just hit the ball, maybe not out of the park just yet, but you have made it to first base.


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