HOW TO SELL A SCREENPLAY+FILM

Choose the current stage of your project below to see custom steps and the best Planet DMA tools and services.

Your First Creative Step

Write down your “motivating moment.” What is the scene, or the line of dialogue, or the emotional moment that inspired you to write a script? Now identify the single personal value this moment represents for your Main Character (e.g., love, friendship, trust, etc.)? The answer holds the key to your script and your commitment to writing it. (For more guidance, see Write It, Pitch It, Sell Your Screenplay, Chapter 3|Where Do I Begin?).
..

Your First Business Step

If you have any partners on the project, and you haven’t yet signed a collaboration agreement that was formally drafted for your specific project by an entertainment attorney, stop all creative work and get the deal drafted and executed (see Chapter 10|The Danger Zones). Members of our online group can instantly access industry attorneys in our databases.

The classic Hollywood tale is not “boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-wins-girl-back”! Those are only three of the five elements necessary to tell a classic Hollywood tale.

—Write It, Pitch It, Sell Your Screenplay (Chapter Six|The Spine)

Your Toolbox

The Q&DMA BLOG

I’m so glad you read the 1-3-5 and drafted a treatment (or “outline”) prior to writing your screenplay!  The shortest/most relevant answer to your question is your treatment can be short (e.g. a 3-5 pages) or long, but long would be about 30-40 pages.  So my tip from here would be to reduce the length…

See all Q&DMA blog posts for writers+filmmakers →

The BOOK CHAPTERS & ONLINE GROUP

Whether this is your first screenplay or an early draft of your latest screenplay, use the book to revisit the elements of structure and story (see Chapters 4-7) and commit to the stages of the professional writing process—beat sheets, outlines, etc. (step-by-step guidance is in Chapter 9|The Writing Process).

Joining the Online Group gives you access to established entertainment attorneys and a private Facebook Group where you can connect with other writers as you work.

See all Books & Services for writers+filmmakers →

The DATABASES

If you’ve joined the online group, start with the attorney database and make sure each partner on your project has signed a formally drafted collaboration agreement, addressing ownership, exits and more (see Chapter 11|The Danger Zones). Until a signed deal is in place, do not start or continue to collaborate on a screenplay or film.

        

See all Databases (online group members only)

Your First Creative Step

Do a “weekend analysis” of the latest version of your script. Print the first 10, the middle 10 and the last 5 pages of your screenplay. Get a highlighter and start marking the values established in the Set Up, who experiences the Unexpected Change and how they respond, and how that tracks through the Reversal and the Final Battle in the middle and last sections (For more guidance, see Write It, Pitch It, Sell Your Screenplay, Chapters 4-6|Theme, Character Arc and Spine).
..

Your First Business Step

Develop your submissions strategy while you are finishing your script. It may help you draft or maintain a completion schedule in time for a critical deadline (see Chapter 12|The Sale)! If you’re a member of our online group, take a moment to review the Submissions Calendar for the next 12 months and check for matches. Otherwise, keep an eye on our home page for upcoming deadlines for contests, fellowships and conferences.

You have ten pages (which translates to ten minutes on screen) to set up your story. Shoot for five. Any longer than that, and your audience and story analyst will utter the hated words, “When is this movie going to start?”

—Write It, Pitch It, Sell Your Screenplay (Chapter Six|The Spine)

Your Tools

The Q&DMA BLOG

The simplest and clearest answer is, surprisingly: you are supposed to keep submitting. Now for the details. First, your timing is perfect. With five years as a development exec now under my belt, I just updated my screenwriting book (“The 1-3-5 Story Structure Made Simple System“) to, among many things, create a crystal clear blueprint…

See all Q&DMA blog posts for writers+filmmakers →

The BOOK & GROUP

Once you’re one or more drafts into a completed script, you might resist deconstructing the beats of your work. But it will be easier to fix or polish your script by analyzing the elements of story and structure independently of dialogue and descriptions that you are falling in love with. Go straight to the step-by-step “Weekend Analysis” in Chapter 10 and do your own snap coverage of the screenplay. Follow the easy references to earlier sections on story and structure to make clean fixes.

Once your story and structure are solid, go back to Chapter 10 to start crafting a powerful synopsis and pitch; you are leading with those in the marketplace, not your completed script.

See all Books & Services for writers+filmmakers →

The DATABASES

If you’ve joined the Online Group, start with the full Submissions Calendar, where you can schedule your rewrite against key deadlines, then the agency list (see Chapter 12|The Sale). You also can post specific inquiries to the private Facebook Group, where you can network with fellow writers and filmmakers.

..
See all Databases (online group members only)

The CONSULTANT

Planet-DMA_write-pitch-sell-reality-show-screenplay-digital-project-sl2If your latest script still doesn’t resonate with you or readers, contact DMA for detailed development notes and proposed fixes for your screenplay and pitch. This isn’t just top-tier script coverage evaluating your work; these are advanced notes guiding you through fixing the elements that aren’t working yet.

See all Consulting Options for scripts and pitches →

The MAGAZINE

Error: Your requested Widget "Flipboard Magazine Widget" is not in the "Widgets for Shortcodes" sidebar

  • [do_widget_area blog-left]
    • [do_widget id="nav_menu-6"]
  • [do_widget_area blog-right]
    • [do_widget id="nav_menu-12"]
    • [do_widget id="archives-9"]
    • [do_widget id="categories-8"]
  • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-1]
    • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-2]
      • [do_widget id="text-10"]
    • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-3]
      • [do_widget id="nav_menu-9"]
    • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-4]
      • [do_widget id="nav_menu-2"]
    • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-5]
      • [do_widget id="text-17"]
    • [do_widget_area header-sidebars-1]
      • [do_widget_area orphaned_widgets_1]
        • [do_widget_area orphaned_widgets_2]
          • [do_widget_area orphaned_widgets_3]
            • [do_widget id="nav_menu-15"]
            • [do_widget id="nav_menu-17"]
            • [do_widget id="nav_menu-13"]
            • [do_widget id="rss-3"]
            • [do_widget id="recent-posts-4"]
            • [do_widget id="text-16"]
            • [do_widget id="categories-9"]
            • [do_widget id="text-15"]
            • [do_widget id="nav_menu-16"]
            • [do_widget id="wpv-post-formats-2"]
            • [do_widget id="wpv_posts-5"]
          • [do_widget_area page-left]
            • [do_widget id="archives-6"]
          • [do_widget_area page-right]
            • [do_widget id="nav_menu-11"]
          • [do_widget_area portfolio-left]
            • [do_widget id="archives-7"]
            • [do_widget id="categories-6"]
          • [do_widget_area portfolio-right]
            • [do_widget id="archives-5"]
          • [do_widget_area wp_inactive_widgets]
            • [do_widget id="text-12"]
          • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-blog-page-left]
            • [do_widget id="search-2"]
            • [do_widget id="meta-2"]
            • [do_widget id="recent-posts-2"]
            • [do_widget id="text-5"]
            • [do_widget id="icon-link-2"]
            • [do_widget id="wpv_flickr-2"]
            • [do_widget id="tag_cloud-2"]
            • [do_widget id="text-11"]
            • [do_widget id="wpv_contactinfo-2"]
            • [do_widget id="nav_menu-7"]
          • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-blog-page-right]
            • [do_widget id="text-6"]
          • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-events-left]
            • [do_widget id="wpv_authors-4"]
          • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-events-right]
            • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-sermons-left]
              • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-sermons-right]
                • [do_widget id="recent-posts-3"]
                • [do_widget id="archives-10"]
              • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-widgets-left]
                • [do_widget id="categories-2"]
              • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-widgets-right]
                • [do_widget id="wpv_advertisement-2"]
                • [do_widget id="rss-2"]
                • [do_widget id="calendar-2"]
                • [do_widget id="wpv_posts-4"]
                • [do_widget id="nav_menu-8"]
                • [do_widget id="gmap-2"]
                • [do_widget id="wpv_authors-3"]
              • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-woo-product-left]
                • [do_widget id="archives-8"]
                • [do_widget id="categories-7"]
                • [do_widget id="rss-4"]
              • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-woo-product-right]

                The Write It, Pitch It, Sell It Flipboard magazine brings you curated industry news on sales, scriptwriting, buyer brand shifts and more. Subscribe to our magazine for daily updates in your inbox (or to your stunning Flipboard mobile app), or check Planet DMA’s home page for news that can help you position your script and its pitch.

                The TWITTER LISTS

                Follow our curated industry Twitter lists, and your own Twitter stream will update constantly with news, deadlines, events and more from screenwriting and filmmaking organizations and thought leaders. And be sure to follow @PlanetDMA for updates on how to write, pitch and sell your screenplays and films.


                Your Next Creative Step

                Get your current cut “on paper.” If there is an assembled version of the film, create a conformed script (and keep it updated with every cut). Now, do a 1-3-5 “Weekend Analysis” of the written, conformed script (not the cut!). For all feature-length projects, print only the first 10, middle 10 and last 5 pages of the scripts and check for solid structure and story. (For step-by-step DIY coverage, see Write It, Pitch It, Sell Your Screenplay, Chapter 10|The Pitch & The Analysis). If it’s not solid on paper, it’s not solid in the cut (and you can’t be distracted by beautiful shots, awesome editing and that amazing music bed)!
                ..

                Your Next Business Step

                Set up your deliverables “binder,” even if you don’t have a buyer yet. This will include all releases, location agreements, insurance policies, credit list, all of the creative documentation I insisted on above (logs, transcripts, etc.) and much more. ITVS’s sample production deliverables will give you a quick overview, and our upcoming ecourse walks you through deliverables with a production pro.

                When you pitch, your job in the room is to entertain and engage the listener. It is not to carefully outline every beat of the script.

                —Write It, Pitch It, Sell Your Screenplay (Chapter 10|The Pitch & The Analysis)

                Your Tools

                The Q&DMA BLOG

                See all Q&DMA blog posts for writers+filmmakers →

                The BOOK & GROUP

                Even if you have a completed cut of your film, do your “quality check” against a written/conformed script. Use the book for a streamlined “Weekend Analysis” of the story itself. Once your story and structure are solid, go back to Chapter to start crafting a powerful pitch to use when you shop your film.

                See all Books & Services for writers+filmmakers →

                The DATABASES

                If you’ve joined the Online Group, start with the full Submissions Calendar with an eye on festival and competition deadlines that are a fit (see Chapter 12|The Sale). Don’t wait to complete your film to do this! You also can post specific inquiries to the forum, where you can network with DMA and filmmakers.

                ..
                See all Databases (online group members only)

                The CONSULTANT

                Planet-DMA_write-pitch-sell-reality-show-screenplay-digital-project-sl2If your cut still isn’t resonating fully with you or early viewers, contact DMA for detailed development notes and proposed fixes for your reel or full cut. The direction you receive will be crystal clear; it’s up to you to address the notes!.

                See all Consulting Options for scripts and pitches →

                The MAGAZINE

                Error: Your requested Widget "Flipboard Magazine Widget" is not in the "Widgets for Shortcodes" sidebar

                • [do_widget_area blog-left]
                  • [do_widget id="nav_menu-6"]
                • [do_widget_area blog-right]
                  • [do_widget id="nav_menu-12"]
                  • [do_widget id="archives-9"]
                  • [do_widget id="categories-8"]
                • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-1]
                  • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-2]
                    • [do_widget id="text-10"]
                  • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-3]
                    • [do_widget id="nav_menu-9"]
                  • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-4]
                    • [do_widget id="nav_menu-2"]
                  • [do_widget_area footer-sidebars-5]
                    • [do_widget id="text-17"]
                  • [do_widget_area header-sidebars-1]
                    • [do_widget_area orphaned_widgets_1]
                      • [do_widget_area orphaned_widgets_2]
                        • [do_widget_area orphaned_widgets_3]
                          • [do_widget id="nav_menu-15"]
                          • [do_widget id="nav_menu-17"]
                          • [do_widget id="nav_menu-13"]
                          • [do_widget id="rss-3"]
                          • [do_widget id="recent-posts-4"]
                          • [do_widget id="text-16"]
                          • [do_widget id="categories-9"]
                          • [do_widget id="text-15"]
                          • [do_widget id="nav_menu-16"]
                          • [do_widget id="wpv-post-formats-2"]
                          • [do_widget id="wpv_posts-5"]
                        • [do_widget_area page-left]
                          • [do_widget id="archives-6"]
                        • [do_widget_area page-right]
                          • [do_widget id="nav_menu-11"]
                        • [do_widget_area portfolio-left]
                          • [do_widget id="archives-7"]
                          • [do_widget id="categories-6"]
                        • [do_widget_area portfolio-right]
                          • [do_widget id="archives-5"]
                        • [do_widget_area wp_inactive_widgets]
                          • [do_widget id="text-12"]
                        • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-blog-page-left]
                          • [do_widget id="search-2"]
                          • [do_widget id="meta-2"]
                          • [do_widget id="recent-posts-2"]
                          • [do_widget id="text-5"]
                          • [do_widget id="icon-link-2"]
                          • [do_widget id="wpv_flickr-2"]
                          • [do_widget id="tag_cloud-2"]
                          • [do_widget id="text-11"]
                          • [do_widget id="wpv_contactinfo-2"]
                          • [do_widget id="nav_menu-7"]
                        • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-blog-page-right]
                          • [do_widget id="text-6"]
                        • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-events-left]
                          • [do_widget id="wpv_authors-4"]
                        • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-events-right]
                          • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-sermons-left]
                            • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-sermons-right]
                              • [do_widget id="recent-posts-3"]
                              • [do_widget id="archives-10"]
                            • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-widgets-left]
                              • [do_widget id="categories-2"]
                            • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-widgets-right]
                              • [do_widget id="wpv_advertisement-2"]
                              • [do_widget id="rss-2"]
                              • [do_widget id="calendar-2"]
                              • [do_widget id="wpv_posts-4"]
                              • [do_widget id="nav_menu-8"]
                              • [do_widget id="gmap-2"]
                              • [do_widget id="wpv_authors-3"]
                            • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-woo-product-left]
                              • [do_widget id="archives-8"]
                              • [do_widget id="categories-7"]
                              • [do_widget id="rss-4"]
                            • [do_widget_area wpv_sidebar-woo-product-right]

                              The Write It, Pitch It, Sell It Flipboard magazine brings you curated industry news on sales, scriptwriting, buyer brand shifts and more. Subscribe to our magazine for daily updates in your inbox (or to your stunning Flipboard mobile app), or check Planet DMA’s home page for news that can help you position your film, yourself as a filmmaker, and your pitch.

                              The TWITTER LISTS

                              Follow our curated industry Twitter lists, and your own Twitter stream will update constantly with news, deadlines, events and more from screenwriting and filmmaking organizations and thought leaders. And be sure to follow @PlanetDMA for updates on how to write, pitch and sell your screenplays and films.


                              ©2004-2017 Planet DMA | Gameplan. Resources. Results.
                              Top
                              Follow us: