So don’t be afraid to tailor your synopsis for the producer. — PROTAGONIST. } A well-written query letter says the following about you: MAN ON FIRE (2004):In Mexico City [SETTING], a former assassin [PROTAGONIST] swears vengeance [GENRE & GOAL] on those who committed an unspeakable act [ANTAGONISTS] against the family he was hired to protect [THE HOOK]. You only have one chance to impress and woo them. It should be only one sentence. The person we are supposed to loathe. SCREENWRITING STAFFING: What’s the #1 mistake you see writers make when writing a logline? Douglas King: I believe it is. Just like our screenplays are unique and distinctive, so should our e-mail submissions to industry pro’s This is our chance, as creative writers, to add some flare and pop, hoping to stick out (in a positive way) among a pool of other talented applicants. — Just like you go through many re-writes with your actual script, the same applies when writing loglines. The first step in creating a query letter is crafting your hook. Dear Dan, My name is Ted Wiley and I’ve written an action thriller called “Radius” that I'd like to send your way. However, they are difficult to contact due to their busy schedules and their selectivity. So keep a couple backup loglines in your arsenal. Unless you know Spielberg, Scorsese, or Michael Bay personally, you will have to submit a logline first. Practice writing your “query letter” in a word or google doc first. @media screen and ( max-width: 100% ) { What if you don’t have any credits or experience? If you are submitting your logline blindly, using a site like IMDb Pro to collect e-mail and fax information, there is a good chance the industry pro is not currently searching for a script. Tell the producer why you are well-versed in the subject matter you are pitching. …will “CHARACTER’S NAME” lose everything or find a way to get his life back? But sending query letters, whether through snail mail or an email service that blasts out to 500 companies, is a numbers game. Dear Director of Development; Since the Guide is now dead, think of it as the blurb you find under the poster on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Redbox. Q: Should I tell them my script is EXACTLY what they are searching for? (note: loglines are NOT taglines, make sure you are familiar with the difference). That’s why at Screenwriting Staffing we provide the e-mail address of the industry pro (no standard, limited submission forms) to each lead we send out. This is a huge red flag for producers. It makes you look paranoid and amateurish. A query letter can accomplish much more than introducing a writer'sideas for a book or article. The “Producer” credit is the primary credit position among all PGA-sanctioned credits for feature films. Rob Tobin: A high concept story is one that can be easily and quickly pitched in a one-sentence logline that captures the listener’s attention and makes the listener want to know what happens next. 123 Main Street, San Francisco, CA 94122. This can be virtually (skype, etc. Include your contact information. I meant RICH) man. Like any artistic endeavor, whether it be writing a book or a screenplay, there is the creation stage which is where you will spend one half of your time. A poorly written logline is a reflection of your script. If you can’t convey the essence of your story in one or (at most) two sentences, then it may not be structurally sound. They are not reaching out to you, you are reaching out to them. The best way to illustrate this is to add some examples of real-life query letters. Then there is the promotion stage which is where you should spend the other half of your time (although most artistic people hate to do this and severely neglect this part). The overall consensus? If they want to read your screenplay, they will contact you. Production Company Name 123 First Street Hollywood, CA 91007. Many experts describe it as the mini description in the TV Guide. Most writers think of loglines as something that’s only used in query letters. Producer’s love when a writer incorporates elements/factors from their advert into their synopsis. (NOTE: Just like the INTRO, this needs to be UNDER 4 sentences, preferably 3. THE BOSS (2016): A titan of industry [PROTAGONIST] is sent to prison [SETTING] after she’s caught insider trading [CONFLICT]. Rob Tobin:  Absolutely not. Your logline is the answer when someone ask you that banal question: “What’s your script about?”. Bruce Almighty) In that one sentence, we know who the main character of the film is, the inciting incident, the conflict, and are given a hint and what the jeopardy is. You have a few seconds to catch them before that curtain descends. You should make the letter personable and professional. But what you can do is sell the idea, premise of your story. Email body: When industry professionals post with us, they request a query letter first. Get his hamster going. (Note: for just $95 we can write your query letter for you.. A good logline may lead to another logline request. For educational purposes, I’m going to compose a standard “advert” you may find through Screenwriting Staffing (or a similar service) to reference. (Note: our team of writers here at Script Mailer can write an emotionally compelling and powerful query letter for you, all for only $75. Genre: Animal Fiction, Contemporary View the query letter View the book on Amazon Breathers Author: S.G. Browne Genre: Contemporary, Dark Humor View the query letter View the book o… Thoroughly proof your letter for spelling, grammar, and formatting mistakes, either through your word processing program, an app like Grammarly, or a capable colleague. The above is a made-up query letter for the hit film Life is Beautiful. This allows the producers/agents to browse quickly and efficiently through scores and scores of submissions. That is why learning to write a compelling logline is so important. Taglines are typically under 10 words. 25 words. Learning how to write this important tool is essential. If you are living that close to poverty (which most writers are) find another form of income in the meantime. The above is a made-up query letter for the hit film Life is Beautiful. ENTER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS BELOW FOR INSTANT ACCESS! (NOTE: A synopsis is NOT a treatment, be sure to know the difference.). A story about a sign painter who becomes a multi millionaire by selling his signs to fast food restaurants and parlaying that money into a fortune through wise investments in hedge funds may be 100% original, but… It’s not the just originality that makes a story high concept; it’s the effect is has on the audience. — Try writing your logline before you write the script. A producer doesn’t want to compose a logline themselves (or pawn it off to their assistant) they want this completed beforehand, by you. That is the psychological aspect of writing a query letter because this is so important, and, at the same time, one of the least talked about aspects of writing a great query letter. SCREENWRITING STAFFING: Should a screenwriter follow the current film market and mirror their writing based off what’s “selling” and making “money”? When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart [GOAL & GENRE], not everyone [ANTAGONISTS] she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget [OBSTACLE & THE HOOK]. Please click the link or send us an email for more details!) Learning how to write a logline is its own art form, and takes time and practice, but the payoff is well-worth your time! You’re about to make a virtual sales call, and your query letter makes the first impression. Tell them the key main cause of your absence and how the time off helped your situation. to try and entice them to read your script. Writers get excited to describe their story and so they go on and on about all the “cool” story elements and forget to tell just the simple story that makes the film compelling enough to first, want to read, and second, want to see. Loglines are also used as elevator pitches. (A SASE is a Stamped, Self-Addressed Envelope. How to Write a Query Letter If You Are Absent from Work. #fca_eoi_form_374 .fca_eoi_layout_5.fca_eoi_layout_postbox div.fca_eoi_layout_email_field_wrapper { Articles were written by Screenwriting Staffing's Founder, Jacob N. Stuart, What is a logline? Use verbs such as “battle,” “grapples,” “jousts,” “duels,” “spars,” “scraps,” “clashes,” in place of “fights,” “opposes,” and “contends with.”. A query letter lets individuals looking to buy a script know that you are interested in working with them. A high concept MIGHT get you an audience with or a read by an executive, but the execution is what will sell or sink the script. SCREENWRITING STAFFING: If the writer’s story is 100% original, will that qualify the script automatically as “High Concept”? It’s a professional business letter used to sell a manuscript or magazine/newspaper article idea. Make them want to know more, and the only way they can learn more is by requesting your script. The reason for the constraint is both practical: they are easy and fast to read by those who must cull through hundreds of script ideas daily, as well as they fit into the description areas for sites like Netflix, TV Guide, RedBox, etc. Don’t lose them with too much detail. This typically is done by younger writers or those VERY new to the game. Your guide helps me a lot in helping me form a very good and inviting query letter. Folks, this is really important. Screenplay query letter sample 1. Your logline should resonate and reverberate in every single page of your screenplay. — You should have one go-to logline. Christopher Lockhart is a Hollywood executive, producer and teacher. Unless you have a direct contact with a major studio or represented by a top agency, a query letter is needed to make an introduction. A film production cover letter will be included in the email you send over for a job and not be attached separately in a document. A final great way to write a powerful subject line is to focus on what you or your screenplay has accomplished that can give extra credibility to your script and make people want to read your query letter. It's a mistake to not research any updates or changes to your target company. Query Letters I Love This site was started in October 2004 by ManagerGuy as a way to bring the bane of any producer's existence to the outside world. Quickly let them know you would be happy to send the full-length HORROR script (TITLE) if they are interested in a read. Is there financing or talent attached? — The shorter the better. Are you a retired cop and your story follows the life of two cops in the inner city? Stand out from the crowd. Douglas King: The number one mistake of writers writing loglines would have to be their attempt to describe, what they consider, to be every important detail of a film. width:100%; I am a huge advocate when it comes to directly e-mailing the industry pro with your query letter or pitch (if requested). View our Job Board and Script Search for FREE: Get your LOGLINE in front of industry professionals looking to buy: ISO a screenplay and/or screenwriter? Industry pros don’t want to open attachments from people they don’t know. If you can’t pitch your script in UNDER 60 words, you may want to evaluate the premise of your story. Tell the industry pro where you found their advert. Click here: www.screenwritingstaffing.com/industry-professionals. But we’re also going to figure out what your query letter needs to do – and how you’re going to write it. So what do I mean by psychological aspects? This series is called "Successful Queries" and I'm posting actual query letters that succeeded in getting writers signed with agents. However, the best script may be something like “Secrets and Lies,” or “As Good as it Gets,” which are not particularly high concept. (i.e. A: NO. — NEVER give away the ending. width:100%; Industry professionals can’t read through 100 screenplays a week, never finding the right script. Q: Should I tell them if I don’t sell my screenplay that I won’t be able to pay rent next month? A novice screenwriter's first line of contact with the powers that be. — OBSTACLE. Finally, High Concept is relative: once done, it’s no longer high concept. Even if the concept doesn’t interest them, it at least shows them you are a professional. Encourage the producer to contact you if she is interested in pursuing the project, or taking a look at a more detailed description. Still a piece of crap is still a work of brilliance face when trying to get the attention agents! 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