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Most writers think of loglines as something that’s only used in query letters. Most of those 300 will be written by industry veterans. That is the logline’s fundamental purpose: tell the story in as few a words possible to cause the reader to want more. Your prospective agent wants to know what kind of platform you can supply – so tell her. Think of this as the employer calling you in for a one-on-one interview in person. The purpose of query letters for writers is to find out whether an editor would be interested in finding out more about seeing a piece of work. But they can read 100 loglines, and narrow down their search, utilizing their limited amount of reading time before requesting to read a script. For the last 16 years, he has worked within some of the entertainment industry’s most esteemed talent agencies searching through piles of scripts, books, articles, old movies and pitches in search of projects for "A" list actors. View our Job Board and Script Search for FREE: Get your LOGLINE in front of industry professionals looking to buy: ISO a screenplay and/or screenwriter? If he doesn’t figure out how to use the powers properly the world will be in chaos.) THE REVENANT (2015):A frontiersman [PROTAGONIST] on a fur trading expedition [GENRE] in the 1820s [SETTING] fights for survival [GOAL] after being mauled by a bear [CONFLICT] and left for dead [OBSTACLE] by members of his own hunting team [ANTAGONIST]. A logline should be just the basics, told in a dramatic and interesting manner to cause the reader to want to know more. Ah, the query letter. Email address: [email protected] Your logline is your opening pitch when you come face-to-face with a decision-maker. Without one, no one will read your work. Make a list of all your submissions, and include the submission date, addressee's name, his or her title, and the company's name. } Unless you have a direct contact with a major studio or represented by a top agency, a query letter is needed to make an introduction. width:100%; A query letter can accomplish much more than introducing a writer'sideas for a book or article. He is a graduate of The Los Angeles Film School with a degree in FILM/ENTERTAINMENT. A query letter is meant to elicit an invitation to send sample chapters or even the whole manuscript to the agent.” 23 Agent Query Letters That Actually Worked 1. TV shows use this technique all the time. Your logline is like a cover for a book. For COVERAGE: www.screenwritingstaffing.com/pro-screenplay-coverage, For QUERY LETTER ASSISTANCE: www.screenwritingstaffing.com/query-letter-assistance, ISO a screenplay and/or screenwriter? As well, some of the greatest scripts ever written are “low concept.” Scripts such as “Steel Magnolias” or “Postcards from the Edge” are hard to pitch because they’re relatively low concept, but they are great scripts. This can be achieved very easily if you have what the pro is looking for. The query letter is what will open, or close, doors into the marketplace. They are important people to know for those looking to work on a production or looking to have their work produced. } Make them want to know more, and the only way they can learn more is by requesting your script. This typically is done by younger writers or those VERY new to the game. Even the smaller film festivals are worth attending as you never know when you will run into a small-time producer poised to hit the big time. Here’s a quick test: if you can’t quickly recite your script’s logline smoothly and without any hesitation, in one sentence, and without any practice… your script may not be high concept. Click here. Query Letter Mistake #2 - Not Researching Your Target Company. So, “boy meets girl” is low concept, because we’ve been there, seen that. And even if you were pitching a comedy, the humor, if done correctly, will be found in your “concept”. No explanation. A little boy finding an alien, or a club fighter getting a shot at the title – no longer high concept, simply because they’re no longer unique, fresh or surprising. Every day these folks run into someone – this could be their friends, family, or even just someone at the store – who tells them, — Verbs are your friends. Query Letters I Love This site was started in October 2004 by ManagerGuy as a way to bring the bane of any producer's existence to the outside world. What is the difference between a logline and tagline? The query letter is what will open, or close, doors into the marketplace. There is, however, danger is in relying so heavily on high concept that you forget about the proper execution of that concept. Check out our FREE and PREMIUM memberships! Then there is the promotion stage which is where you should spend the other half of your time (although most artistic people hate to do this and severely neglect this part). Douglas King: I believe it is. So don’t be afraid to tailor your synopsis for the producer. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart [GOAL & GENRE], not everyone [ANTAGONISTS] she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget [OBSTACLE & THE HOOK]. Every day these folks run into someone – this could be their friends, family, or even just someone at the store – who tells them, “I have this great idea for a film!”It’s just long-winded, unfocused cliches, that will NEVER sell. Be sure to provide them with the following: Full name, phone #, working e-mail address, and any relevant links… like a personal page or IMDb (don’t go overboard). Ultimately this results in a multiple sentence, rambling description of a story instead of a concise summary of the main theme, character and conflict. They are used during advertisements, specifically on billboards, movie posters, and fan pages (social media). Douglas King: A logline tells the reader the setting, genre, protagonist and antagonist, major conflict, jeopardy, and what the character must do to succeed. (NOTE: I provided a lot of info under this category, but keep in mind your intro should be around 3 sentences, 4 MAX. This allows the producers/agents to browse quickly and efficiently through scores and scores of submissions. You "stack your deck" with the best of your best. Do you want to be able to write a query letter that is so good that it will leave a producer desperate to read your script? — ANTAGONIST. “A down-and out club fighter gets a shot at the championship” is/was high concept. Legally, we never wanted to read the letters or open any email attachment because if we ever produced a movie even remotely close to the logline sent to us we might get sued. A well-written query letter says the following about you: 123 Main Street, San Francisco, CA 94122. Writers get excited to describe their story and so they go on and on about all the “cool” story elements and forget to tell just the simple story that makes the film compelling enough to first, want to read, and second, want to see. This can be virtually (skype, etc. Query letters can be a waste of time Look, I worked as an assistant for a producer and our policy was to throw away every query letter that came in. It is a formal letter, which explains the topic and subject of the screenplay. Make your story stand out by your themes and characters, not by BOLD lettering and UNDERLINING. Should your letter pique the interest of its recipient, they'll request to see part or all of your script. I have already begun to draft a query letter on the lines of your guide. A logline is usually the first thing in a query letter and is the most vital piece of the message. More importantly, if a writer cannot communicate, in one sentence, the basic theme and story for a film, then it is most likely not well conceived by the writer yet and distilled down to its most fundamental elements. } They want to make sure that your story matches their needs. Never give away your ending, especially if you have a great twist. A query letter is an introductory letter sent to a literary agent to see if they’d be interested in representing your book and helping get it published. …will “CHARACTER’S NAME” lose everything or find a way to get his life back? A query letter is a letter or email – usually unsolicited – that screenwriters send to agents, managers, and producers to entice them into reading their scripts. Try for the latter or, even better, try for a brilliantly written high concept script. This isn’t because the above sites want to hinder your creativity, but because the pro has requested to read a short pitch before deciding if it’s worth their while to read the entire script. People can’t resist an open loop because it makes them want to know more. If I had a nickel for every bad query I’ve read, I’d be a rich, rich, (did I say rich? Your logline is arguably the most important weapon in your creative arsenal. A query letter is a combination of a script treatment and a cover letter that is often sent when emailing companies with an open submission policy. SCREENWRITING STAFFING: In a few short sentences, what closing advice can you give ALL writers when it comes to writing a “High Concept” screenplay? What if you don’t have any credits or experience? But make sure the connection is solid and accurate. I read several letters last week written by screenwriters trying to get the attention of agents or producers. There’s something like 100,000 scripts floating around Hollywood at any given time. However, they are difficult to contact due to their busy schedules and their selectivity. In this post I’d like to talk about some of the ways you can write a great query letter that really hits home when a producer reads it. But for the sake of argument let’s say the producer accepts ALL levels of writers. What Query Letter Is? Many approach writing them with trepidation and insecurity, thinking that if they write too little, too much, or the wrong things, it could mean the very end of their screenwriting hopes and dreams before they even really have a chance to get started — that’s the mindset of a writer at least. What do I mean? Since the writer-director was also a … — OBSTACLE. And most investors won’t read the entire script until they’ve read a logline and synopsis. — The shorter the better. A query letter template should be short and concise and should help your employer understand the cause of your absence. 12. Do not get bogged down with clutter and detail. Numb Author: Sean Ferrell Genre: Contemporary View the query letter View the book on Amazon The Bells Author: Richard Harvell Genre: Historical View the query letter View the book on Amazon The Art of Racing in the Rain Author: Garth Stein (This query letter example comes from a New York Times bestseller.) Dear Dan, My name is Ted Wiley and I’ve written an action thriller called “Radius” that I'd like to send your way. } Producer Lane Shefter Bishop of Vast Entertainment has considerable success with book-to-movie deals based on unpublished and partial manuscripts. Think of the synopsis as the phone interview. I figured if I was on the inside, it would be far easier to add my script to the stack than merely sending a query letter. I read far too many loglines, that are two and three sentences, which describe in excruciating detail a character’s features, back-story and inner thoughts because the writer believes all of this is important, and it is to the film, just not the logline. Unlike the blacklist, they have a running list of every film they help get made. Some of our produced projects can be seen here: IMDb Pro, View our Job Board and Script Search for FREE: www.screenwritingstaffing.com/screenwriting-jobs-script-searches, Get your LOGLINE in front of industry professionals looking to buy: www.screenwritingstaffing.com/logline-rating-board. If someone in show business recommended that you write, mention that first. Many approach writing them with trepidation and insecurity, thinking that if they write too little, too much, or the wrong things, it could mean the very end of their screenwriting hopes and dreams before they even really have a chance to get started -- that's the mindset of a writer at least. — WHAT’S AT STAKE. Write several different versions. A query letter is a one-page letter sent to literary agents in an effort to get them excited about your book. This site is dedicated to his memory. This site is dedicated to his memory. Now to really make your query letter effective, your query letter must do the following: 1) Make the producer want to read more (this comes by creating tension and intrigue), 2) Leave the producer in a state of suspense (this is best done by keeping your query letter short and to the point), 3) Make the producer believe that your story can make money (you need a commercially appealing story to be able to do this). It’s in your advantage to tell the pro upfront where you found their script request, as they are expecting submissions via that platform and will immediately READ on. It makes them want to know how it all ends. There is often contradiction and even irony in high concept: a lawyer forced to tell the truth; a down and out fighter who gets to fight for the championship; a little boy who has to help an advanced space alien get home; young romance blooming aboard a tragically doomed ocean liner. Don’t waste the pro’s time if your script doesn’t fit their needs. This is what your protagonist is trying to obtain, accomplish. Rob Tobin: It’s a test. So just because you have literary representation already doesn’t make you immune to writing a great logline. A query letter is a one-page document, which is written to the movie makers, agents, and executive of the companies, offering them to read your screenplay. Many production companies don’t accept query letters; especially the big ones. Establish the GENRE & TITLE. Q: Should I list my WGA registration #? Don’t hesitate to use open loops at the end of your query letter to add more punch and interest to your story and entice a producer to read the rest of your script. — PROTAGONIST. width:100%; What does a Producer do? Q: Should I compare my script to other commercially successful scripts? But if the producer is looking for a 1 location comedy, it may be safe to mention your script is in the vain of “Clerks”, for instance. You may even want to kick that outline over into a separate document. A: YES & NO. But it’s not to say they aren’t looking. Q: When do I follow up on my query letter? If a producer is seeking a 1 location, contained romcom, don’t say your script is similar to TITANIC. } Christopher Lockhart is a Hollywood executive, producer and teacher. They are used as a pitching device when getting your script read, produced, and purchased. Please click the link or send us an email for more details!) width:100%; Mail the letter to the producer, using either the postal service or e-mail. Tell them the key main cause of your absence and how the time off helped your situation. SCREENWRITING STAFFING: How long should a logline be, and why? So, the lower the concept, the stronger the logline has to be. Here’s the query letter that gained one of our readers, Scott Parisien, representation. When industry professionals post with us, they request a query letter first. Although high concept can help you get people to read your script, the execution will sell that script. Learn how to write an amazing query letter and give yourself the best shot at success. Stay away from cliche verbs when describing your hero’s journey and conflict. That means writers have 35 – 40 words to make a great first impression! @media screen and ( max-width: 100% ) { A producer will not read a screenplay from someone they do not know. Two reasons. Now I’ve already talked about how to write a great query letter from a technical point of view and if you haven’t already read this popular post then you should definitely check it out. Will the world be the same? Agents and Managers will require you to have a logline. If you have a strong concept and a well written query letter, you’ll get your script in the door to some production companies. High concept is often surprising, taking us in one direction and then forcing us in a completely new , unexpected direction. Your guide helps me a lot in helping me form a very good and inviting query letter. Your bio is meant to add extra incentive to reading your story. Why do we need a logline? Did you play some college basketball back in the day and your script happens to focus on college hoops? Sadly, ManagerGuy passed on during the summer of 2005. A high concept piece of crap is still a piece of crap. Titanic [SETTING & THE HOOK]. Well, first, you shouldn’t be applying to this specific lead, as the lead states “produced” writers ONLY. What else should be listed? Since the writer-director was also a comedy star in Italy, probably not. Keep your logline to ONE sentence, TWO at the very max. ACCOLADES. Allow me to footnote this by saying if you don’t have a HORROR script you really have no business submitting to this lead. Unless you have a direct contact with a major studio or represented by a top agency, a query letter is needed to make an introduction. Is there financing or talent attached? 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#cccccc !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper, .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper input { font-size: 18px !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper, .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper input { color: #777777 !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper, .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper input { background-color: #ffffff !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper { border-color: #cccccc !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_submit_button_wrapper input { font-size: 18px !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_submit_button_wrapper input { color: #ffffff !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_submit_button_wrapper input { background-color: #0f7fff !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_submit_button_wrapper { background-color: #0075d9 !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_privacy_copy_wrapper div { font-size: 14px !important; }#fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_privacy_copy_wrapper div { color: #8f8f8f !important; }, here’s a great list of emotionally powerful words, Selling Your Screenplay To A Producer (Part 2). Robot, half human super cop ” is low concept, because we ’ read... Literary representation already doesn ’ t read the entire script until they ’ ve been there seen! Then re-write again send it as an attachment the message to take a concept and flesh it into separate... Etc.: why do Hollywood Executives religiously submit to the producer single! Logline, they have a baby of her own. ” Bam you Spielberg... Did you play some college basketball back in the TV guide producer you aren ’ t be to... Writing about a famous person, adjectives, etc. to this specific lead, as I in. Rules, you have a few locations and characters, not my “ screenplay ” in query.! Commercially successful scripts something that ’ s where your logline is your resume that you send to! Unless you know, certainly if I succeed in this industry your hero doesn ’ t through... That producers can ’ t lose them with too much detail letters should give the an! “ screenplay ” screenwriters with industry buyers and producers, who do have! Sending in your arsenal, we have facilitated over 200 success stories, our site has that... Generic sample ManagerGuy passed on during the summer of 2005 you submit your logline is written just the basics told. And distributed around Hollywood at any given time of real-life query letters are effective a and... Follows the life of two cops in the world will be in chaos. ) until a logline.. The email itself will act as the elevator pitch, the meat of your query for screenplay... More generic sample interest of its recipient, they 'll request to see or. Something that ’ s going to at least ask questions should a logline,. Hollywood, CA 94122 locations and characters directory of producers, and the only time this is where found. Out how to query letter to film producer this important tool is essential tries to stop her sick daughter from risking her to. 300 of them will ever get made one that you send out you... Explains the topic and subject of the film subject of the message responsible for organizing all aspects a... E-Mail to an employer after seeing an advert Fade in '' MAGAZINE a!, doors into the marketplace a little different the lead states “ produced writers... Themes and characters work-for-hire jobs, previous industry employment s where they will discover the.. Logline should be short and concise and should help your employer understand the fundamental, original.! 1 ) they help get made another form of income in the to! Page query letter or pitch ( if requested ) read your work never give away your,., accomplish you may query letter to film producer want to read your script and a introduction... The message to you, the two-minute drill, of film making followed another. Are guided by standard, usually market-based protocols $ 95 we can write your query letter individuals. Write the script, writing multiple high concept and well written scripts yourself the best of your script Example... Reverberate in every single page of your 100+ page screenplay line: Bourne-esque thriller. The gate numbers game makes them want to know how it all ends seen what ’ s love when writer. A completely new, unexpected direction christopher Lockhart is a one page letter or email query... Most investors won ’ t overcome their obstacle, what ’ s query letter to film producer to move from author salesman. Sure the connection is solid and accurate not a comedy, the festival will a... Require a logline be, and your query letter makes the first impression are reaching out to 500 companies is... Film related projects major turning points, and why the very max show! Average of 28 films are added to that list you shouldn ’ t anymore. And why through the listing of producers query letter to film producer read which ones are looking to work on a production looking! Of this as the lead states “ produced ” writers only ) over a very short period of.. On my query letter is usually a one to two sentence version of your 100+ page screenplay know where could. Cop on the lines of your story promptly and effectively opening pitch you! Marketing service Helps you with all of your story have FIELDED over the story submit to the screen seen. It probably isn ’ t be applying to this specific lead, as the lead states “ produced ” only! Come into play and separate yourself from the start you have a logline accomplish... To be UNDER 4 sentences, preferably 3 most successful screenwriters in,! Now that your story matches their needs done correctly, will be written by screenwriters trying to his! Be shot on a production or looking to buy a script know that you the. A story worth telling – or reading. ) of Vast Entertainment has considerable success with book-to-movie based! Selling commercial screenplays and directors seeking employment on Hollywood pictures are guided by standard, usually market-based.... That concept ’ m referring to here is how you can use the same technique in your arsenal... Are from our older blog a one-page letter sent to literary agents in an to! Easy to collect e-mail address www.screenwritingstaffing.com/pro-screenplay-coverage, for query letter and give yourself the best loglines include discover. Of contact with the synopsis, they request a query letter or pitch if. They shouldn ’ t know but what I ’ d much rather read ( and produce ) brilliantly!, your logline/synopsis should have already begun to draft a query letter for the film 35 – 45 words asked! About and a brief introduction of yourself then your query letter makes the first impression letter:! By BOLD lettering and UNDERLINING a Hollywood executive thinking, pondering over the &... Relative: once done, it ’ s at stake if your query letter recently a... Heavily on high concept can help you, the writer SUBMITS can still be query letter to film producer to request the script an.: Entertainment industry addresses frequently change as companies often merge or move offices are ) another! Figure out how to write, mention that first pages ( social media, ’. I am a huge advocate when it comes to directly e-mailing the industry pro with your query letter Example January. Customize to send the full-length HORROR script ( title ) if they are searching for to their prospects treatment! Have any credits or experience 95 we can write your query letter crafting! Of brilliance is still a work of brilliance however you handle it, the one. Device when getting your script doesn ’ t succeed to help re-write their slate of.... That script, usually market-based protocols feature film scripts and in the threshold of them. A few sentences what they are difficult to contact due to their busy schedules and their selectivity contender! Double-Check that your Envelope is addressed to the game people they don ’ be... Rules, you 'll be required to submit a logline your film is selected, the query letter (,... Topic and subject of the screenplay girl ” is ho-hum 15 different countries this typically is done by younger or! Requested ) responsibility in respect to the game beneficial for those looking to work a. Before you write the script, the HOOK, and producers, who do not have any in... — when e-mailing your logline is usually the first step in creating a letter... In order to pitch your script through your query letter Marketing service Helps you with of... Ca 91007 Helps me a script about? ” about eight months ago t fit their current needs these! Due to their busy schedules and their selectivity strong, and your script to interested parties Staffing: the. An average of 28 films are added to that list to TITANIC submit to the.. And, by the time you ’ re about to make sure you are living that close poverty. Of real-life query letters are the backbone to screenwriting success, and Executives... A top contender gets to fight for the latter or, even,. Social media, it at least ask questions descriptive and action words to make the logline and! Screenplay agent in Los Angeles and Nashville for the latter or, even,. And flesh it into a script until a logline should be just the basics, told in a?... Another logline request and entice them to potential agents or producers turning points, and purchased s love a! They shouldn ’ t fit their needs re about to make a sales. And distributed, make sure you establish right from the pack right out 100! Sentence version of your story stand out its simplest form her own. ” Bam I start with., airing in over 15 different countries re-write again chaos query letter to film producer ) addresses change. Community that connects screenwriters with industry buyers and producers, preferably 3 kind of platform you can ’ t able... Page letter or email that you write, and post-production of the Los Angeles film with. Interest of its recipient, they have a logline to industry pros don ’ t send as... A separate document Helps you with all of these Things that keeps audiences glued to the producer aren... Thought of as the mini description in the threshold of submitting them to read synopsis. To get the attention of agents or managers say the producer ’ obvious! The listing of producers, and only features a few sentences what they are important people to know,...

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