[What’s up, screenwriting ninjas? In this little edition of Ask ScriptBully we’re gonna tackle that most vexing element of the quest for how to sell a screenplay…and that is how the HELL to get one of them screenwriting agents.]

“Hey Michael, So I had a question I know you’ve heard before. But how the hell do you get a screenwriting agent? I’ve got a screenplay which I feel is in pretty decent shape, and is ready to be sent out to agents, but I’m not sure how to get started. Thanks!”

-Matt R.

Hey Matt,

Thanks for the question. Even though I feel the question is the wrong one.

Your screenwriting aim SHOULD not be how to get an agent. It should be HOW to get your career started. (And in my experience the two hardly ever go hand-in-hand.)

That’s because most screenwriting agents simply don’t have the time or motivation to help you get started. You are a pain in the ass to them. (You take time, you have no idea how to write for the marketplace, and you’re a probably control-freak about your words.)

Sad, but true

However…an agent who represents an up-and-coming actor or director would absolutely be somebody you’d want to pursue.

And as for HOW to “get” that agent – simply send them an email telling them that you’ve got the absolute perfect vehicle for their client.

Just be sure it’s SOMETHING that will help them expand their career. (Not the same old shit they’re doing now.)

Wayne Gretzky, before he became the greatest hockey player in the universe, was instructed by his dad to watch hockey games on TV, and track the movement of the puck with a pen and paper.

Because, as Gretzky senior put it, the key is NOT knowing where the puck is. (It’s knowing where the puck WILL be.)

Know where the client of your targeted agent WANTS to be. (Usually walking a red carpet in February.) And you’ll find yourself with more than an agent…you’ll find yourself a career.

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About The Author

Michael Rogan
Editor, ScriptBully Magazine
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Michael Rogan is a former screenplay reader and optioned screenwriter. He is also the founder and editor-in-chief of ScriptBully magazine, and has written a few non-sucky books including "How to Write a Book That Doesn't Suck (and Will Actually Sell)". He has made it his mission to help screenwriters kick ass - and rid the world of films based on action-figure lines.

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