How Not to Approach a Screenplay Agent

This is a brilliant page from the Knight Hall Literary Agency – one of the UK’s leading screenplay agent company who are representing screenwriters, directors and authors.

It’s essential reading for screenwriters in particular, and while there are some extreme (true life!) examples below, general etiquette and knowing how to deal with a screenplay agent and industry people in such a way that they think “wow, I could really work with that person” is incredibly important.

Here is their article in full:

Whilst we’re always on the look out for new talent, please, please remember that Knight Hall Agency isn’t a public service.

If you really want to put us off the idea of representing you, here are a few tips (some may raise a smile but we’ve had them all – yes, even the last one – and some are commonplace):

1.After checking with the Post Office that your recorded-delivery package has arrived, phone us to ask if it has arrived. Call again a week later “not chasing, only wondering” if we’ve read the script and consider you a genius but have just forgotten to mention it

2.Phone us repeatedly before you’ve written anything

3.Turn up at our office, barge past the receptionist and inform him/her that you know we say we don’t arrange meetings before seeing a prospective client’s work but as you’re here … (NB: no one likes anyone who’s rude to the receptionist, and anyone who is gets caught out here – we don’t have one)

4.Phone, cupping the mouthpiece, to say you’ve got a brilliant idea but for legal reasons you can’t tell us what it is. Or who you are.

5.Send us a wooden guitar-case packed with scripts written in a vast array of exciting fonts and illustrated throughout. And forget to enclose return postage.

6.Enclose a bunch of kind rejection letters from producers and/or other agents.

7.Write “Dear Road Hell, My name is [insert] and I am a writer, ” enclosing photos of yourself in fancy dress.

8.Having already received two polite letters from us explaining that we don’t feel we’d be the right agents for you, submit your third “spec” adaptation of a copyright novel to which you have not obtained the relevant rights/sequel to someone else’s hit movie/episode of an existing TV series.

9.Send a “zany” letter that runs to several pages, or a one-liner that tells us nothing about the work you’d like us to read.

10.Inform us that a spirit guide dictated your masterpiece to you, and you can prove it by your remote-control healing powers.

You view this article in its original form here:

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