Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself. – Doris Lessing

Go forth into the unknown, explore the caves of your unconscious, fear not your “dark side,” find the gold.

— Robin Hoffman (@AuthorAlchemy)

Friday, September 30, 2011

A New Marketing Outlet for Three Finished Scripts? I'm Motivated!

GOT AN EMAIL from ScreenwritingU yesterday. There was a big underlined question part-way down the email:
Do you need help finding representation?
The email went on to outline the impossibility of trying to get anyone from the industry to respond to query letters from undiscovered screenwriters. Everything from legal paranoia—we can't read your stuff because you might accuse us of stealing your idea—to agents who are too snowed under taking care of their existing clients (plus referrals from people they already know) to read the work of strangers.

The editor of the ezine, Cheryl Croasmun, said: “Our friends at PAGE International Screenwriting Awards have a new service that we think will help you get connected to representation.”

I've seen a bunch of sites where you can list your work and hope that agents or producers will love your logline and request your script(s). I figured this would be another one of that ilk. But not so. It's called eMeetings, and it guarantees to get you in front of agents and managers.

“We just launched our eMeetings program this month, and over 30 writers have already received requests for their scripts – and I'm thrilled to announce that one talented screenwriter has already been offered representation!” — PAGE

I went to their site, ProductionArtsGroup.com, to check it out. In a nutshell, eMeetings will accept only a limited number of writers for each monthly program. Each month, three L.A. reps will look at the material presented by each writer. They'll read your query letter, study your profile page and send you a personal reply. Reps will request to see more if they like your work.

The fees are very reasonable. Depending on how many months you want to participate, the fees range from $179 to $299, which includes some good discounts for taking more than one month.

One of the features of the eMeetings venue is that you don't have to query the agents cold turkey. Podcasts are provided where the agents discuss what they're looking for right now or what they specialize in. You can then tailor your pitch to better suit what the agent has expressed.

(Another thing I like is that I didn't see anything about the need for live pitches. It's all done by query letter and with the info you provide on your profile. Since I haven't conquered my fear of pitching yet, that makes it all the more doable.)

I really appreciated the part where the eMeetings crew lets you know who shouldn't waste their time or spend their money here:
Who should NOT register for this program?

If you have not completed at least three feature-length screenplays or teleplays, we do not recommend you register for eMeetings. Most Hollywood agents and managers are not interested in signing writers who:

a) have written only one feature screenplay or teleplay
b) have written only short film scripts
c) have concepts or ideas for movies and series, but have not written the scripts
d) are not fluent in English
I currently have one finished screenplay that's been through three readers and nine rewrites. My current script is half-written and I should be able to finish it in October. After that, I have four treatments plus one other script idea to choose from. Reading the “who shouldn't bother” part just gave me a heap of extra juju to get on with my writing!

If it's up to me not to fall through the cracks in Hollywood, I have a slim chance. But if it's up to me to capture the attention of 3-9 “already captive” audience members (eMeetings books the time of the agents and managers who participate), then I have a fighting chance.

As long as I do my best with my scripts, write a great query letter and maximize my profile to show all my writing experience, eMeetings will do the rest.

I'm in! Not as a customer yet . . . but with the goal of finishing three scripts and preparing myself to show my work.

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Milli Thornton (aka Milliver) is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of the Fear of Writing Online Course, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli blogs at Milliver's Travels and the Fear of Writing Blog and coaches writers individually at Writer's Muse Coaching Service.

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