How to sell a movie scriptThat's the "million dollar question", isn't it. If there were an easy template on how to sell a screenplay, then it's likely that many more screenplays would be sold, although the same number of films (or fewer) would still be produced.
Here are some suggestions:
- Contact a literary agent in a major media capital (Los Angeles, New York, London, Mumbai,etc) and see if they are willing to represent based upon a treatment (or treatments) which you submit to them. Expect to wait a lengthy period for a response and be prepared for rejection. It's nothing personal;they have seen/read literally thousands of submissions and unless yours really "Wows" them, it goes to the bottom of the pile.
- Do the same as #1, except this time looking screenwriting agents. This line will far longer than the literary agents and you should expect to rejected by most of the agents ,either due to your treatment not meeting their needs, the fact that they are overwhelmed with submissions or because your treatment really isn't that good.ful for you
- Consider transforming your screenplay into a novel or a work of non-fiction (if possible) Then submit that work to a literary editor for review. If they like what they read, then perhaps you'll be published and you be able to negotiate with a production company about selling the film rights to your work. This also takes a great deal of time and may prove to be unfruitful for you.
- Consider becoming friends with people who own their own production company. After the friendship is solidified, then inquire about the submission process for your works and ask them if they would read yours. Be cool about things if they refuse and continue the friendship if you choose to. If they are interested, allow them to read undisturbed and be willing and able to answer any questions which they may ask. Don't be pushy.
- Do the same as #4 but this time make certain the person is: A name actor; a director, a producer or something with a measure of clout in the business. Again, If they are interested, allow them to read undisturbed and be willing and able to answer any questions which they may ask. Don't be pushy.
- Consider creating/producing a series of shorts based upon your material and posting them online on the various streaming sites. Read the feedback left for them and change/adapt your work if it's not well-received.
- Consider financing your own low budget film based upon your screenplay. Make certain that you create the best work that you able to, considering the economic times also make certain that you are able and willing to go out or stay home by the phone and field any calls which may come.
- Consider offering to "ghostwrite" the works of others. If/when you are successful with this and people are seeking you out for work. ask the other people if they would assist you in producing your own.
- Consider financing or working on the set of another low budget film which does not use a script written by you. Become close friends with the producers and the director the films. Ask them to read your script and perhaps they can assist you in seeking further assistance or financing for your own project.
- Become friends with one or more successful screenwriters. If you can trust them, have them read your script and then offer advice. Understand that these people are usually very good writers themselves (Howard the Duck assist, aside) and they can usually spot a good script when they read one. If they like it and then are willing to assist you, you may well sell your script.
There simply is no easy to submit and sell a script. If you are fortunate someone influential may read it and if you are EXCEPTIONALLY fortunate you might someone willing to option the films rights for it. Whether or not it ever gets filmed is another matter,entirely.