Aside from contests, the Black List 3.0, and other sites that allow you to keep your script in a database in the hopes that some enterprising agent/manager/producer will find them (Tracking Board, Spec Scout, etc.) the only way to gain the attention of Hollywood is to query. This is something I’ve put off, partially because I wasn’t confident enough in my work and partially because it’s intimidating. As evidenced by my short time as a telemarketer (I lasted three days) I’m not one for soliciting or marketing myself. I would much prefer someone stumbles on my work and recognizes me for the genius I am without me having to submit myself to the awkwardness of asking strangers for personal favors.
Alas, ’tis not the type o’ world we live in. So I wrote a query letter. It’s generic so I can tailor it as needed:
This is how it turned out for The Inhabitors:
I plan on further tailoring it based on what I find the needs/wants of each respective agent/manager/producer is. I cobbled this together based on advice I’ve read in several places online, including the Done Deal Pro Forums, blogs, and common sense. What seems to be the most prominent advice is to be concise. You’re soliciting busy people who are already inundated with unwanted solicitations. Be polite, be concise, be unique if you can.
My letter isn’t super unique in any way. I kept it straightforward and focused for one main reason: Professionalism. My sense of the unique or humerous, I’ve found, tends to be different from others and also long-winded. My favorite jokes are rambling, incoherent messes that don’t reveal themselves until later. Don’t know why. So, for me, adding too personal a spin on a query letter is a tenuous prospect. I believe that my logline is strong enough, my premise interesting enough, that it will get me at least a few reads.
As I experiment and send queries I will post statistics and lessons learned. Until then, I’m going to have a drink to tame my crippling anxiety.