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.
- “Older” Academy Award winning actors, they’re still looking for great parts, and they still have the contacts and are bankable.
- Cinematographers, or Directors of Photography, who are dying to direct. They have the contacts, and need a great screenplay to make their move.
- 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.
- Music Video Directors. Elliot gives examples, David Fincher, Spike Jonze, Brett Ratner. Again, they’re talented, connected, and they need your script.
- Commercial Directors. Examples; Ridley Scott, Michael Bay. Studios like them because they can create an emotional connection in 30 seconds.
- Production Managers. They all want to be producers. Take advantage of other people’s ambitions. They’re hungry.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.