Article

Tips on Submitting Your Scripts

Written by: Jerrol LeBaron
Published: Feb 11, 2009
 

Most writers know how to submit a script once it has been requested. It contains:
1) A letter which should
a. thank the producer or rep for their interest.
b. A brief introduction (credits etc.)
c. Your pitch as a reminder and any awards, coverage or recognition the script has received.
2) The title page of your script should have all of your contact info, including email
address.

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A few other pointers for the US and Canada:
1) Standard script length is 90-120 pages.
2) A typical font is Courier and the size is 12 points, on 8.5 X 11 paper, three hole punched with two brads. Brads can be purchased at writing supply stores such as www.writersstore.com. There are a few variations on formatting. The easy way is to use a scriptwriting software. If you don't have that, take a look at some written scripts.
3) DON'T WASTE MONEY on mailing a script overnight, unless specifically requested by the producer or rep.
4) Don't expect to get your script back, even if you include a postage paid envelope. No matter how you feel about this, it is very common in the industry to not get your script back.

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INCLUDING THE SYNOPSIS IN THE SCRIPT:

One of the things that is becoming more and more common is including a one page synopsis in the script under the title page.

For the below, there are exceptions to every rule. It totally depends on the producer and how he/she conducts business.

It is possible that after reading the synopsis, the reader sets the script aside for later. This would happen if the reader realized that at this point your type of story is not what is being looked for at that moment and as a result, gets set aside.

If you don't include a synopsis and if the producer is not interested in your story idea at that exact moment, the odds are great that it will receive a 'pass'.

The key thing that a writer wants when his/her script is read, is that the reader (whether it is the actual producer, representative or a hired reader) is looking for your type of story and interested in it at the time of reading. This is very important and can make all the difference in the world for you. You don't want someone reading your script who isn't in the mood for your type of story.

Mostly, you have no control over this, but you can make it easier for the producer and possibly increase your chances. A couple of things to keep in mind: Cover letters do get lost and since it could be weeks before your script is read, the producer will not remember what your script is about, only that there was interest. Producers commonly have more than one reader. Every reader has his/her own strengths and weaknesses and the producers/representatives usually know what they are. By having the synopsis you are increasing the odds (even if only slightly) of the right reader getting your script, because the industry person has the opportunity to see what your script is about before handing it to a reader.

Every script has a different pace. Your first 10 pages might not be what they want, but your story idea may be. How do you get someone to get past those first 10 pages? One way is to write a good synopsis and include it in the script. If the reader reads your synopsis and continues reading, you have established that the reader is interested in your script and even with a poor beginning, the reader may read further because of your synopsis.

I recommend including your synopsis as the next page after your title page.