1. Firepoet
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    Firepoet New Member

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    Would it be so bad to send a script directly to an actor?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Firepoet, Jul 16, 2008.

    Now normally it would be a no brainer not to do it. However, here's the situation I am talking about: What if an actor gave an interview and in the interview he said something like "I wish I could find a script where (insert movie idea here.)" And you just happen to have a script with that very exact idea.
    Would it really be so bad to send the script directly to him?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. An actor couldn't accept a script anyway.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    sorry, but that's not true of all, cog!... and an actor certainly could accept a script, as there's no law agin it...

    i've done a lot of work in/for the film world for many years, and if one has a professional quality, wga-registered script that seems perfect for a certain actor, it's quite common to send it to the star's agent... many a movie has been made as a result...

    fp...
    just be sure your script is professional quality, register it with wga before submitting it to anyone, and send a good query letter and a standard synopsis to the agent first... if s/he thinks the client will be interested, the script will be requested... sending an unsolicited script will normally severely limit your chances, but exceptions do exist and some folks have done so with good results...

    the best way to do this is to have someone who's known to the actor act as a go-between, which is why networking is how virtually everything gets done in hollywood...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I stand corrected. But I thought you had to be a WGA member, not just submitting a WGA-registered script, for it to be used for TV or cinema production. My undersytamding was that scripts would have to be presented through specific channels for consideration, and those channels would specifically not include the actors.

    I do know that the Star Trek franchise specifically told people years ago never to send scripts or story ideas to any of the cast or production staff, that due to Writers Guild rules they would have to be returned or discarded unread.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...you don't have to be a wga member even if signing with wga signatories [which many producers are not, btw]... if you did, much that you see on the screen and the tube would never have been produced, as some of it is actually from new writers who didn't qualify for membership even with that sale... to qualify for membership, you must have had a certain amount of work bought/optioned/produced by wga signatories, so there would be a paradox of major proportions if you couldn't get to be a member till you sold work, but couldn't sell work if not a member, right?...

    ...but none of that applies to submitting spec scripts for consideration, anyway... so we're not dealing with that here... only with submitting a script to an actor, to see if s/he'll like it enough to 'attach' her/himself to the deal when offered to producers, or perhaps even want to take it on for their own production company, which many stars have these days...

    ...this happens more than you might think, which is why 'chutzpah' and 'networking' are the most vital requisites for a screenwriter and why it's virtually mandatory that you live in the LA area, if you want a career as a writer for either tv or film...

    ...the majority of connections and deals are made 'in the flesh' by putting yourself in the right place at the right time and by making the right friends/acquaintances in the right places... if you're not available to 'take a meeting' at the drop of a hat, you can miss out on a sale/option, so you can see that living in podunk, iowa or wherever is a major drawback...

    don't know where you got that idea, but it's totally not so, in the real world... scripts have always landed in the laps of producers, directors and stars in every way you can imagine and some you couldn't!...

    that's true of all tv producers/networks [and most film companies/producers], but not due to any guild rules... it's due to the justifiable fears of their legal departments, that if they happen to come up with anything similar to the writer's work on their own [happens all the time, btw], s/he'll sue them for plagiarism, whether or not they got the idea from the submitted script... so, any script sent in unsolicited will not even be looked at... it'll be returned unopened... and any that are requested must be accompanied by a signed release...
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks! That's great to know, not that I'm planning on diving into scriptwriting.

    Then again, a year ago, I was saying "No way!" to ever trying to tackle a novel. Whether or not I ever finish it, at least I've gotten to where I'll give a novel a try.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    keep up the good work, amigo!... leaving all doors open at least a crack is the only way to be truly 'creative'...
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say go for it. If you know they are looking for that, why not? But from everything I know about the industry, actors certainly tell people in the studios about a script they like but unless they are also directors (or huge stars), I can't imagine many actors would have the power to actually get the script produceds.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    having a 'name' actor 'attached to a script' [= they'd be open to taking on a role in it] has influenced the sale or option of many a script... it makes the project more tempting to a producer, as with a name on board, it's easier to get backing...

    and these days, many actors of varying levels of 'stardom' do have their own production companies...
     

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