Heywell Film Scripts Blog

Comedy. Drama. Horror. Suspense. My life AND my scripts.

Bad Script Marketing

Posted by bobheske on December 19, 2006

From time to time I peruse the Web to market my scripts. The two biggies I use are:

  • Mandy.com
  • NEFilm.com
  • For features, I have also posted on Inktip. Although I’ve never sold a script off this, I have had several shorts optioned thanks to Inktip’s free shorts posting service.

    Want to make sure you never-ever-ever option a script?

    Write a bad posting to market it. Just as writing a script takes talent, so too does writing a good script posting. One visit to the afore-mentioned sites and you’ll see that there are as many bad postings as there are bad scripts out there.

    Here’s but a few*:

    *Names and contact info have been changed to protect the ignorant.

    A Few Bad Postings:

    AVAILABLE: Fifty completed screenplays available. Most all genres: high medium and low-budget. Contact: Kent Stop Writing at 1-800-tiredfingers.

    Critique: 50 scripts? Does this guy ever have a chance to breath air? And what is this … mass marketing? Pick one solid script, write a compelling logline, and list any recent awards/contests. That’s how to hook a producer.

    AVAILABLE: COMEDY/SLASHER/HORROR/MORONIC short film about a band who double as xfiles agents/pervs/ghost busters. Scripts written. Contact Bill/Jill/Will/Lil at one of these 50 phone numbers.

    Critique: Talk about an indentity crisis. Pick a genre for chrissakes – don’t take ALL OF THEM! Even the band has multi-personalities. Hey, there’s the hook – it’s Sybil II! Any it’s nice to note that “scripts written”. Unwritten scripts are so much harder to sell.

    And One Good Posting

    AVAILABLE: Short script available: DARK NIGHT OF THE SOULS. Logline: A bitter eccentric’s defiance of a village’s ban on Christmas leads to confrontation and redemption. Write Safe contest finalist. Contact: Good Will Writing, Phone: 123-4567, Email: talentedguy@gmail.com

    Comment: Tells what it is, tells quickly what it’s about, and then even notes a nice contest showing. Short. Succinct. Effective. Bravo!

    Some Pretty Bad Loglines

    Questions of Fact by Ida Know
    Plagued by mistaken identities and the cruel unacceptance of his denials, a young man finally succumbs to the temptation, taking on the roles that he is accused of, and soon finds himself caught in a downward spiral of hilarious and bizarre circumstances. 17 pages.

    Critique: Speaking of questions, this logline raises a bunch of them. Why is the young man plagued by mistaken identities? And why is there “cruel unacceptance” of his denials? And I assume this is a comedy? But you wouldn’t know it except for the oblique insertion of “hilarious” in the tail end of this exhausting logline. Use less words to get the high concept across quickly and efficiently. The best example I know is the 3-word logline for Aliens (“Jaws in Space”).

    The Idle Life by Seth Sloth
    A dark comedy about a young man’s quest to live his life in a nothingness nirvana. 9 pages.

    Critique: This logline also says nothing, but in fewer words. The character may be written brilliantly; however, the logline does zero to clue us in to his humorous predicament or lovable loser character. Think of the comedy Arthur (1981 with Dudley Moore) whose logline might be: A happy, unambitious drunk must choose between the woman he loves or the woman who will make him rich. Another example is the more recent comedy Failure to Launch (2006 with Matthew McConaughey) whose logline might be: A thirtysomething slacker suspects his parents of setting him up with his dream girl so he’ll finally vacate their home.

    And A Pretty Good One

    Ravenous by Shur M. Hungry
    A couple of young womanizers find out what it’s like to be treated like a piece of meat. 11 pages. Placed in the top 35 of 1176 entries in the 2006 American Gem Short Screenplay Competition.

    Comment: Good, short catchy title. Brief, intriguing logline. Also, tells me how many pages and that this story was very competitive in a topline contest. Well done (no pun intended)!

    The bottom line: When you write a script, take the time to come up with the right tools to market it. Namely, these five things:

      1) Logline (two sentences – and no more!)
      2) Short synopsis (2-3 paragraphs)
      3) Long synopsis (preferably one page, two pages at most)
      4) Treatment (you should have written this BEFORE you sat down to write the script)
      5) Query letter (once you have the logline and short synopsis, the query comes easy)

    Happy (effective) marketing!

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