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From: "Hal Croasmun" Add to Address Book
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 10:51:22 -0800
Subject: [ScriptForSale] Questions Issue #2 - June 11, 2004


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SCRIPT FOR SALE NEWSLETTER June 11, 2004 Questions Issue #2~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "A great screenplay is the most powerful bait in Hollywood." Sissy Spacek~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~To subscribe, send a blank email**********MISSION of************* To bridge the gap between what screenwriters write and what producers buy.****************************************************Hi everyone,Here's a few questions that came in since the last issue. 1. Looking for actors who support the environment. 2. How do I pitch you? 3. How do I find a Producer's Rep? 4. Too many pages? 5. How do I find a good entertainment attorney? 6. Dates for Upcoming ClassesIf you have screenwriting questions or questions about thebusiness of screenwriting, email them to: mailto:question@scriptforsale.comBTW, if you didn't receive the June 4th regular issue of thenewsletter, send a blank email to each of these two addresses: Part One: Part Two: mailto:current2@scriptforsale.comHope things are going well for you.Hal=================================================1. Looking for actors who support the environment.=================================================Hi Hal,My movie deals with protection of the environment andendangered species. How can I find out which actors orcompanies would be drawn to these issues? DianaDiana,I'm sure there's some place that tracks all of this, but until someonefinds it, here's a few solutions, starting with the easiest. BTW, ifanyone here knows of a site that tracks stars and what organizationsthey're connected to, let me know.I did a quick Internet search under the words "celebrities forthe environment" and came up with 453,000 hits. Many of themwere off-topic, but I found at least 70 celebs in the first two pagesof links.Then, I went to and did a search on someenvironmental words -- Greenpeace gave me 25 celebs, Earth Dayprovided another 20 in one article. Just pick your organizationand start searching the online entertainment sites.Here's a few other ideas: - Read or search the Reporter and Variety - Attend fund raisers in L.A. for those organizations - Check with each organization and ask what stars support their cause - Volunteer with the organizations to get inside knowledgeBTW, I have a friend who used this exact strategy to startrelationships with some of the top stars in Hollywood. He wouldvolunteer with organizations who were doing fundraising events andwork his way to the top of the organization. Since he was a veryoutgoing guy, he would take the most high-profile jobs like Emceeor celebrity escort. It took a few years, but he now knows almosteveryone in Hollywood who is anybody.The information is out there. Just do the legwork and you'll findstars who support your cause.=================================================2. How do I pitch you?=================================================Hey Hal,I thought I read in one of your e-mails that you area production company? If I read right, is there anyway I can pitch to you? JacksonJackson,Absolutely. Go to . There,you'll be asked to agree to our standard release form. Once you'vedone that, you'll get to tell us your bio, logline and a half pagesynopsis.Those go to Cheryl. If she likes a project, she'll call you or emailand request the script. If she doesn't contact you, it means yourproject didn't fit her needs right now.But if she reads the script and likes it, then I read it. If both ofus agree, we contact you and take next steps.What we look for are High Concept screenplays, unique truestories, and published novels that will make good movies.BTW, please wait about three weeks. We're in the middle of amove right now and I don't want your project to get lost in theconfusion.=================================================3. How do I find a Producer's Rep?=================================================Hal,I have a bankable actress and 2 name actors attached (notto mention some reputable and Oscar-winning crew).You advised someone else who seems to be in a similarsituation to find a Producer's Reps. I'd love to do the samemyself -- but how??? Where can I possibly find a Producer'sReps??? AnthonyHi Anthony,Go to and pay to use their database. Ifyou can't afford the monthly or yearly fee, click on the words "Takea test drive." You'll be able to pay $19.95 to use it for a week,which should be plenty of time.Do a search for "producer's rep" in all of the possible versions --producer rep, producers rep, producer's rep, producer representative,etc. You'll find them.Best of luck on your project.=================================================4. Too many pages?=================================================Hi,I have a problem with my screenplay. I know the industryaverage length is 110-120 pages. Currently I'm on page 84.But there's still alot of story left to tell! If the story is a goodin depth drama, could the length hurt me? MartinHi Martin,Let me give you the short answer -- Yes.Like any industry, there are things that are considered standard.90 to 110 pages is one of those things. If you are over 120 pages,you're instantly suspect.As an unproduced writer, you want to make sure your script isn'timmediately discarded over minor things like this. If your scriptcomes in at 136 pages, it may still get read (if the concept isgood enough), but you already have one strike against you.Here's my advice: Until you are an A-list writer, stick with theindustry standards. Make sure your script is extremely wellwritten. No typos. Properly formatted. No colored paper orother gimmicks. Just an amazing concept and a great storytold in 90 to 110 pages.And if you're not sure how to trim it down to 110, give your scriptto another screenwriter with a big red marker and say "any placeyou see excess, mark it out." My guess is you'll see 20 pagesor more disappear. It might be shocking, but it will be a valuablelearning experience.And BTW, keep writing. The more you write, the better you get.The better you get, the less words you need to communicate thesame story. The less words you use, the more you'll be seenas a pro in Hollywood. Brevity equals brilliance!=================================================5. How do I find a good entertainment attorney?=================================================Hal,Great newsletter tonight.I am signing with a manager and I know this means anagent or lawyer will be needed to finalize a deal in the offing.Can you -- with your omniscient knowledge of Who's Whoin the biz -- recommend a lawyer who is the one guy youwould want negotiating your contract, if you were in my shoes? EmilioHi Emilio,You're going about it the right way. The best ways to find a goodentertainment attorney is by recommendation. Start polling thepeople in the Biz you trust and find out who they recommend.As for me, I don't give out names unless I've worked with youdirectly. I've already lost one major Hollywood relationship bymaking that mistake. But I can help you in other ways.I'll tell you how we found our first and second entertainment attorney.BTW, before I go any farther, let's clarify one thing. Don't ever useanything but an entertainment attorney on an entertainment deal.Specifically, I'm saying "Don't use your real estate attorney or yourprobate attorney or your corporate attorney or your general practiceattorney, etc." I've had to negotiate with "regular" attorneys manytimes and they just don't understand this business. Without evenknowing it, they make recommendations that kill deals and/orleave you totally unprotected.Here's how we found our attorneys. On the first one, we had adeal proposed by a major production company. We went to theRepresentation Directory from HCD and found about 250 lawfirms listed. We called them up, told them our situation andspoke with the ones who would talk with us. BTW, some wouldn't.Of the ones who said they'd work with us, I interviewed them andwe chose the one we felt was best. For that deal, we paid him$350 an hour.The second attorney, we found through a referral from anotherproducer who had passed on three of our projects. By that time,he felt comfortable enough with us to recommend his attorney.Some film industry organizations have a referral service. Youmay want to check with any that you belong to. And if you areoutside L.A., come to town for an industry event. Often, you'llfind that entertainment attorneys will speak at these events.I'm sure there's going to be at least one attorney at this year'sScreenwriting Expo in November.One last comment: Remember, you don't have to stick with thefirst attorney you choose. If you don't like the way he or shenegotiated your deal or are unsatisfied for any reason, you simplychoose another attorney for your next deal.=================================================6. Dates for Upcoming Classes=================================================About five times a week, I get emails requesting the dates of classes.So I'll put them in every Questions Issue and newsletter I send out.Here they are...June 16 - 25, 2004 -- COMEDY WRITING FOR SCREENPLAYS 20 - 29, 2004 High Concept Sells -- Creating Marketable Concepts 6 - Sept. 16 -- GREAT SCREENWRITING SERIES August 6 - 15 -- Create Characters for A-list Actors. August 22 - 31 -- Dramatic Devices: Writing Fascinating Scenes September 7 - 16 -- Writing With Boldness: Creating Anticipation, Expectation and Compelling DescriptionNext PRO SERIES -- September 1, 2004 to January 31st, 2005TEN classes in 5 months that take you from


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