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Promotion of film properties may be one of the most difficult parts of producing projects, and a screenplay is often more difficult to get noticed than a finished film. A film has a fully realized vision that people can look at and decide whether or not they are interested in acquisition or distribution, but a screenplay is really only an indication of a possible film that could be made later on. Because screenplays do not have much of a budget behind them, there are many more out there that are trying to get noticed. If you plan on being successful as a screenwriter then you have to get your screenplay noticed one way or another, otherwise it is never going to break through to a real industry location. Here are a few tips on how to get a screenplay noticed by film industry professionals.
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Films have film festivals and screenplays have competitions. There are very few locations to actually have your screenplay submitted so that industry professionals are intending to look at it and take it seriously, and screenplay competitions are one of these. Here you often submit either a finished work or work in progress so that it can be judged by people working in the profession, often awarding it a cash prize, the ability to work on it in a professional screenwriting lab, or even an option purchase agreement. There are a growing number of screenplay competitions that you can enter, so it may be best to try to find ones that are going to be specific to your style, genre, or geographical location.
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The film industry is not a cut and dry profession that allows you to simply work and progress in a strait line. Instead it is based on connections that you meet in professional and creative areas, and in the industry many newcomers will find it advantageous to join industry organizations or creative groups to make contacts and develop skills. This is especially true for screenwriters who are not always working on set and in production companies, which means they have to work harder to make a name for themselves and their work. Here, joining industry groups where you will developing skills in pitching projects, developing characters, and working on spec screenplays is incredibly common. If you enter into these groups with a finished screenplay you will find that this is one of the best ways to get a screenplay noticed because this is where creative work often interacts with the industry that can take it somewhere.
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Making Them Request It
Agencies, production companies, and studios will never take unsolicited work. It is not in your interest to try to send your screenplay out unsolicited, especially since you cannot protect yourself from having your creative work appropriated. What you can do is send query letters and make contact with production companies to send information about your screenplay. If they end up being interested in it then they will ask for you to send a copy in, which is what every screenwriter wants to occur. To get your screenplay noticed you have to find something that will make the organization you are contacting take notice, and this means that your pitch is going to have to be different every time. If you are looking toward a production company you will need to find the type of work that they are best known for and then try to draw out those elements in your screenplay in your pitch. If you are trying to submit it to a talent agency so that it can be represented and sold then you will again have to present it as something that they will have an incredible financial return from. Getting your screenplay noticed in these situations requires you finding a way to tell your story quickly and so that the recipient will have to read it.