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Unsolicited material

Discussion in 'Agents/Lawyers/Managers' started by hanokhanok, Mar 12, 2010.

  1. hanokhanok

    hanokhanok Guest

    Hello,
    Of course all of us heard of the famous Hollywood quote "WE DON'T ACCEPT UNSOLICITED MATERIALS." And of course all of us hate it mostly.
    My question is:
    Is there any way around to transform the unsolicited material into solicited material? Is hiring a lawyer to submit the material for me would make this magical transformation? so i can get better chances to get my script looked at.
  2. Getting a lawyer to submit it will not make it "solicited."

    That would get around any requirements that submitted materials be submitted by official representation of the author.

    A lot of the time, "we don't accept unsolicited material" simply means "if you mail us your script without prior contact, it will be returned unopened."

    It never hurts to e-mail someone and pitch them your project... you never know.
  3. davidartiste

    davidartiste Silver Member

    Actually, Nathan, i hate to argue wih you, but if he hires an entertainemnt lawyer in Hollywood who has industry contacts, then it would become solicited. This does actually happen. It isn't cheap, however. You are looking at thousands of dollars with no guarantees. But it does happen.
  4. hanokhanok

    hanokhanok Guest

    thank u guys
    David, are you sure it costs thousands of $ to hire such a lawyer?
    Is there any one whose fee is hundreds not thousands?

    Thank u
  5. davidartiste

    davidartiste Silver Member

    My friend, If you want a lawyer who has the contacts in Hollywood like:

    Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson and Binder

    Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer Austen Mandelbaum Morris & Klein

    Lichter, Grossman, Nichols, Adler & Feldman

    (and there are many more) they charge by the hour. Most likely in the neighborhood of $500 per hour. They will read your script. Charge you per hour for that. Make a few calls. Charge you per hour for that. Consult with you. Charge you per hour for that etc etc etc.

    When i say thousands, i mean thousands upon thousands.
  6. Jevan Crittenden

    Jevan Crittenden Silver Member

    In that instance it doesn't be come solicited, it becomes submitted through representation. There is a difference.

    9/10 you will come up against a clause that says they don't review unsolicited materials. This doesn't mean you need representation. It means you need to network. Get your foot in the door. Get their interest up. Get them to ask you for the material. Then it becomes solicited.

    However, sometimes this isn't enough. HBO, for instance, has a policy that they only review submissions that come through representation. In that case, hiring a lawyer could be your meal ticket.

    Learn the system. Work the system.
  7. hanokhanok

    hanokhanok Guest

    Well, to me this difference between represented material and solicited material is kinda vague...here is a reply i got today from Participant Media production company, it will says it all:

    Thank you for your interest in Participant Media, and for bringing your project to our attention. As with most production companies, it is Participant's policy to only accept submission queries from guilded literary agents. An agent representing your work may place an introductory call to our Creative Department, and if applicable, the material will be requested at that time for consideration. For legal protection of both ourselves and the artists, we are unable to enter into any dialogue with other persons, and any unsolicited material sent to us will be returned unopened. Additionally, in continuing with Participant’s mandate, all submissions must have a social issue that can be used in our effort to provoke change.
    Thanks again for considering Participant Media. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

    So they say it is a legal issue, while i think it is just a way to filter applicants and reject them all unless any of them has inside connection (NO WONDER WHY MORE THAN 95% OF 2009 MOVIES ARE CRAP)

    And about those managers who take money for representing screenplay. I know it sounds scam, but don't you think he/she might be aspiring broke manager who wants to make it in this industry as much as us? or I just should run away from them.
  8. HollywoodScribe

    HollywoodScribe Bronze Member

    You should read the scripts out there. Spec scripts written by unrepresented, unproduced writers. If you think 95% of the released movies are crap, I bet you would find that 99.99% of the spec scripts written are crap.

    You're right, not accepting every single script from every single writer is just a way to filter applicants and reject them unless that script has been read by someone they know and trust. Part of it is legal, but a bigger part is exactly what you say it is. It can cost a prodCo up to $150 per script to have it read and covered. And a small prodCo with a few films released in the theaters will get 200 scripts per week. The bigger prodCo's can get more than 1,000.

    If they read and covered every single script that every single writer sends that could cost hundreds of thousands per month. Most companies just don't have that kind of money to spend on the reading of new writers.

    The difference is, a legit manager will make their money from the sale of the script. They, just like us, are working on spec. If a manager can attract, say, 50 writers a month who will pay them a $100 fee to rep their script, and they, just like us, are aspiring, broke and trying to make it in this industry there is the possibility that the $5,000 per month is enough. And that they don't have many contacts. They don't have much incentive to work really hard on getting a script sold if they already have their fee.

    Sure, they can make more when (if) they make that $35,000 or $350,000 sale. But when 99.99% of the scripts written are crap they can take their five large a month and not even bother trying with most of them.

    Put up a really nice, flashy website, a few testimonials and appeal to the fellow struggling writer, "Just like you, I'm ambitious and talented but broke and trying to make it in this business. Join with me and together we can break in!" Do a lot of free marketing on social networks, buy an email list and it's reasonable to see that one could attract 40 to 60 aspiring writers a month to drop a measly hundred bucks for that shot. If that manager actually ended up with a really good script (they're out there, right?) and brokered a sale for $80,000 or even guild minimum, that would attract even more new writers.

    Damn, I've convinced myself. Who want's to be my first client? Only $50 for the first 50!
  9. craktactor

    craktactor Moderator

    Always remember the great W.C.Fields when he said, "There's a sucker born every minute". And anybody who requires or demands any moneys upfront are hoping you're that sucker.
    In this business, managers, agents, whathaveyou, are there for you to hire. Not the other way around.
    Unfortunately, like aspects of life, there's a catch-22. You gotta be in to be seen. But you gotta get in to be in.
    Fortunately, a lot of the top competitions have become a way in.
    Simply put, write something spectacular, something brilliant, something... you get my drift.
    To steal from a movie (unparaphrased) "Write it and they will come."
  10. davidartiste

    davidartiste Silver Member

    Here is one thing I can say on the subject. Before I had a manager, I had written query letters to everyone and their mother. Big production companies, small production companies, agencies and even studios have said they wanted to read my script(s) and sent along a release form. The point i am making is that the generic boiler plate rejection letter they send to everyone about unsolicited material (and believe me, I got those by the truck load) are a way of rejecting your idea moer than some plagiarism protection thing. If they like the idea they will break their "policy" and request it. Don't let it discourage you. Just keep sending out your query letter and hope for the best.

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