Screenwriting and Getting an Agent

By Joseph J. Caruso

So how do you get an agent when you’re a screenwriter?

Even better, why do you even need a middle man, when you’re an artist and a creative person creating new movie ideas? Why is the middle man in our way? Unfortunately the real answer to that question is, it’s just the way it is. Unless you have a friend or relative who is going to give you your first shot, then your life is going to be going through an agent first, before you can get into the game.

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So we are back to square one. How do you get an agent? My simple answer is, I just don’t know how. Certainly having a number of screenplays as your sample work is step one, networking on LINKED IN and other places online is another idea. Writing a good “log line” or summary of your screenplay is another idea for success. But connecting and getting that first shot is a real challenge.

The problem is, agents are so jaded from so many bad screenwriters trying to break in to realize their dream so they get angry and rude to people. I had an agent insist that I get script coverage first before she would even read my screenplay and once I got that, she ignored my emails! The arrogance of these people is something to witness because as the saying goes “power corrupts absolutely.”

I have tried to bypass agents where I can, and I have gotten some good ideas and advice about my screenwriting on some cheap 5 dollar websites. Of course, this helps with forward progress with your writing, but now with getting an agent and then marketing your work to Hollywood.

I have also heard that living in LA or Hollywood is another great idea to move forward in this field. This is not for me, because I have no desire to live out there – too much smog, heat, earthquakes, mudslides and fire. No thanks.

Another idea is to send an email or a letter directly to a producer to bypass the agent runaround but so far for me, I have not gotten any return of my emails to a production company. I will keep trying and writing.

My first screenplay I am very proud of, it’s about a great athlete who is having problems moving on from his potentially great high school football career, 10 years after an injury. It’s also a love story and has a fantastic emotional ending. Since then I have written 2 more scripts and I am not working on my fourth.

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