How do I get my scripts seen if I don't have an agent?
You have a script, you’re ready to send it out, but every company website you look on has the dreaded words ‘We don’t accept unsolicited material.’ You don’t have an agent and now you feel lost. What do you do?
It’s annoying. It really is. At this point where your script is good enough for you to think producers want to see it, you should also be trying to get an agent.
However, despite the closed doors, there are plenty of places that are looking for new scripts. It takes research online and looking at production company websites which is boring but you’ll have to accept that being a writer is two things - writing and business. The business is building contacts and learning about the industry. My advice would be to start a spreadsheet (horrible word), where you list production companies and whether they accept unsolicited work or not, so when it comes to future send-outs, if you still don’t have an agent, then you know where to go and where to not bother with.
I didn’t have an agent for ages yet still had my scripts read by a lot of companies.
The best starting point is to watch the shows you love, and if you think ‘I wish these people made my show,’ then watch the credits. Look for the producer and the production company. Often production companies make shows for channels. Some are made in-house, but that’ll be clear from the credits.
Then go to the company website and often they’ll list a general email address which tends to go to reception. That will give you the format of the email, for example firstname.lastname@example.org or something. Then you can try the different variations of that company. For example:
You get it. Sometimes it will be easier to get that email address and the production company site will list it. Keep in mind, freelance producers may not be at the company any more when you email, but there is normally an out of office that lists who you can get in touch with.
You can also email the general email address, email@example.com and ask the question. Mention you know they don’t take unsolicited scripts but would they be keen to read your story about… The worst they can do is say no and repeat their policy of not accepting unsolicited material. If the company doesn’t say whether they do or don’t take unsolicited material, then you can ask this general person who the best person would be to send your work to.
Producers are always on the look out for the next great script, and nobody wants to be the person that says no to something that goes on to be a hit, so try your luck with a query email, and if it doesn’t work, move on to the next.
So the advice is, reach out to people. Email them, don’t pester them, but ask the question. The worst they’ll do is say a polite no, and it’s not personal.
Also, get your script into competitions. It’s a way to get noticed, gets agents interested in you if you do well enough, and it keeps you sane because it’s something that could lead somewhere. What we need when we’re writing is hope. The hope something could happen.
Any questions get in touch.