Advice That Gets You Agents & Sales

Month: March 2016

Screenwriting tip of the day: Ideas about funding



If you’re trying to shoot your scripts as low-budget features, a social media presence is pretty important.  Here are some quick ideas about where to look for funds in the internet.

There are sites online like Kickstarter and Indiegogo for crowdfunding. They both take in the neighborhood of a 5% platform fee, plus 3-5 % processing fees.

Seed & Spark is slightly different, in that they are selective about the projects they’ll consider for crowdfunding. They don’t post just any film project they get, they cherry pick projects they’ll set up for funding.

Pozible is an Australian crowdfunding site that has launched over 6,000 film projects. Fundrazr is a Canadian crowdfunding site that supports all kinds of projects, including film projects. Both are available to international filmmakers.

There are many other ways to raise funds for your low budget film.

There are groups on LinkedIn you can join and find out about funding. One such group is called Film Financing Group.

The idea is to make friends on the site, then once you’ve created a relationship, ask for help raising funds. Similarly, Facebook has The Indie Film Scene, and the Independent Film Society.

Meetup.Com has lots of groups for writers and filmmakers. There’s one in Santa Monica Called the Film Funding Club.

Again, growing relationships is what it’s all about. Become part of the community before you ask “what can you do for me?”

Attaching talent is another way to improve your chances of funding an independent film. If you can find a director and some actors with some buzz, it’s a huge advantage in fundraising.

There are people who will provide what they call “matching funds,” if you can get your script to a star (who can carry a movie) and get them to sign a letter of intent.

Join LA Creative Professionals, for more free tips, answers, to network, or just reach out.

David Silverman/ veteran Film/TV writer/Exec Producer/  check my site



Screenwriting tip of the day; Send your script to –who now?


Screenwriter Michael Elliot built a career on sending his screenplays — not to studios or producers — but to Hollywood professionals on their way up. This is a smart and radical play, but it worked for him.  He sent his scripts to people in town who were dying to read a good script, so they could star in it, direct it, represent it, or produce it themselves.

  1. “Older” Academy Award winning actors, they’re still looking for great parts, and they still have the contacts and are bankable.
  2. Cinematographers, or Directors of Photography, who are dying to direct. They have the contacts, and need a great screenplay to make their move.
  3. First AD’s (Assistant Directors), for the same reason. No first AD wants to stay in that position the rest of their careers. Your script can make their dreams come true.
  4. Music Video Directors.  Elliot gives examples, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Brett Ratner.  Again, they’re talented, connected, and they need your script.
  5. Commercial Directors. Examples;  Ridley Scott, Michael Bay.  Studios like them because they can create an emotional connection in 30 seconds.
  6. Production Managers. They all want to be producers. Take advantage of other people’s ambitions. They’re hungry.
  7. Casting Directors. Like everyone in town, they want to produce. They work with stars, they have access. They need your material to change their careers.
  8. Produced Screenwriters. They want to produce or direct, too — and obviously have the contacts at the studios. They have credibility. Studios know they’ll get the script in shape.
  9. Tomorrow’s Agents and Managers. The Assistants are always looking for their own clients to represent when they get their break, and move up. If they love your script, it may make the difference for them.

The tricky part then, is how to get your script to these people?  You need their address, or office address.  Google Oscar winning actors by name.  Especially if they seem right for your part.  It better be one hell of a part, too.

Same with many of these other categories. Google Casting Directors. There are Hollywood Directories for many of these people, too.  Check Amazon.  Buy the directories. Go to bookstores and copy the pages if you can’t afford them.  Get the addresses, be creative. You know someone who knows someone. And make sure your scripts are awesome.


This is a summary of Michael Elliot’s article on the subject. To read his article in full, click here.




Screenwriting tip of the day; Read 1 Script A Week (Free Scripts)


Screenwriter and blogger Scott Myers created a simple formula for success that involves completing 4 goals per week. 

Scott Myers 4 magic numbers for you to remember:

1, 2, 7, 14.

  • 1: Read 1 screenplay per week.
  • 2:  Watch 2 movies a week.
  • 7: Write 7 pages per week.
  • 14: Work 14 hours per week prepping a story.

Regarding goal #1.  Pick from these 70 screenplays,– 12 Years A Slave, Argo, Flight, Gravity, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Mud, Prisoners, Promised Land, The Social Network, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Zero Dark Thirty – and more — Many of them have won Academy Awards, many have been nominated.  Try to read one great screenplay a week. Download them here for FREE.

Download 70 Great Screenplays here, legally, for FREE.

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Screenwriting tip for the day; The “great Idea” Myth.


A lot of writers actually have an awesome idea for a movie, but they can’t execute the script at a high level. They haven’t been writing long enough, or they haven’t gotten enough solid feedback on their writing, and learned how to write better. They haven’t reached professional levels.

So, they write what they can and say to themselves, “the studio will see there’s a great idea in there.” Not true. Producers want to see a highly level of execution. Solid writing. A great idea like “a coming of age love story on the Titanic”, poorly executed, would not sell.

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Screenwriting tip of the day; Managers vs. Agents


“…managers in general tend to be more accessible than agents. And unlike with most agents, query letters CAN still open doors with some managers. A.B. Fischer gets “a ton of queries, and I read every single one. I don’t respond to most of them, but if something catches my eye, I’ll absolutely read it. You never know where you’re going to find a client.”

—from a blog by Jim Cirile.

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How To Stop Procrastinating For Screenwriters — 9 Best Tips

I Can't Think.jpgAccording to writer-therapist Dennis Palumbo, a friend, Facebook friend and personal mentor,  procrastination is ultimately about a fear of being judged. He tells his clients (screenwriters, tv writers, and novelists), that instead of obsessing about it, they should write about it, as a dialogue with themselves, or as if they were writing a letter to themselves.

1.  Ironically, often just writing about procrastination gets a writer writing, and, this is in itself a cure.  This simple process helps many of his clients.  Further exploration of these underlying beliefs can be done in therapy, but that’s not something you can do now.

(If you do want therapy, remember Dennis is out in the Godforsaken Valley somewhere, while I’m centrally located in West LA). is a website that links procrastinators up to “buddies,” who will hold them accountable.  Without going into therapy, you can look inward, and try to figure out the nature of the kinds of task you find difficult and which emotions or behaviors are at play.  Examples are:

Unpleasant tasks,  complex projects,  fear of failure (lack of self confidence) and fear of success,  indecision,  lack of interest, and distraction (or lack of focus).  They recommend:

2. Complete unpleasant tasks first.
3. Break complex jobs into smaller, more manageable tasks.
4. With fears, maintain focus on the end result, and remember how good it will feel to finish.
5. For indecision, make a deadline to make a decision, and keep to it.
6. For lack of interest, schedule tasks for when you’re at your peak and reward yourself.
7. For distraction, make it a rule not to leave the desk until a smaller task is done and prioritize.

If you sign up at, you can take advantage of their free “buddy system.”  Simply login and they’ll assign you a “buddy.”   Ask for your buddy’s help in holding you accountable to completing specific tasks.  You’ll provide the same service for them