"Do You Accept Unsolicited Scripts?" I get asked this question every week. Queries come from friends on Facebook, Twitter followers, LinkedIn contacts, and random emails from people who find me on IMDB.
If I'm feeling overwhelmed, I sometimes say "No, we're too busy". If you catch me in a weak moment I might say "Okay, but it'll take me a while to get to it". And it gets added to the bottom of the pile.
But what I should say is:
- If you don't know what I've produced in the past, if you don't know what I have in the edit suite or airing on television right now, then you probably don't know what I might be interested in. Do your homework first!
- Horror and other genre writers, in particular, want me to hear their "unique" plot twists, while giving me nothing about character. I can now definitively say there are no more unique plot twists. But there remains a world of unique characters.
- Is your story about an issue? Autism and vaccination, human smuggling, the plight of the planet? I don't care about issues. Well, I do, but like 99% of the world, I'm not going to pay $15 to be lectured to. Bring me stories about interesting people.
- If your script has car chases, buildings blowing up, and takes place on more than one continent, you're budget will be over $20M. To shoot in Canada, you're going to need an international co-production with another (probably European) country. Have you written a script that provides a good reason to bring in another country's financing?
- If you're pitching me a television series concept, don't tell me what happens in the pilot. Tell me what happens in the third season. If you don't know the answer to that, you don't yet know your show well enough to be pitching it.
- Again with TV, which broadcaster wants this show? Which time slot, what day, which show is the lead-in and why? In other words, don't write to please yourself; write with a broadcaster in mind. Do you know which shows are working for them and which aren't going to be renewed?
Once you're sure I'm the right guy to pitch your series/show/concept to, once you've created a truly unique set of characters who live in a world I haven't already seen a hundred times, once you've thought about budgets and have a good idea of what I'm looking for – well then Yes, Thank You, I'd love to read it. But it'll take me a little while to get to it.
Bob Crowe produces, and writes, for Angel Entertainment. His last film, “Big Muddy” is an Official Selection of TIFF 2014. Follow Bob on Twitter at @bob_crowe.