Thursday, June 30, 2011

Movie Industry Agent Wanted

I got sent this a while ago from a reader named Clint:

Movie Industry Agent Wanted (Mesa)

Date: 2011-06-10, 10:53AM MST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Reputable, experienced agent wanted to sell screenwriter's scripts to producers, directors or film companies. Four are done, ready for pre-production or option, all of feature length and are registered with the Writers Guild. This is not a job for the beginner. It requires someone who has the insider connections with Hollywood and a proven record of successful sales within that industry. Screenwriter has agreement with an author to do his other five books as scripts and books are already published and solely owned by said author.

Of those done, two are of historical and factual content and never been done on film in their entireity. Another is a western done as a sequel to a successful movie in the 70's which starred the late John Wayne (no copyright violation) and the last one is based upon myth about a haunted lighthouse in Oregon. Two of the four can be filmed almost entirely in Arizona. Budgets would vary from low to high.

Compensation is just what the industry standard is. A flat 10% of what a script sells for after it is sold. There are no up front fees paid, again per industry standard.

For futher information make contact with an outline of your background and proven success.

I don't even know where to begin with this, except to say that even putting aside the foolishness of seeking an agent on Craigslist, this is a classic example of how NOT to write a query.

Let's treat this like those Highlights games and see if you can spot all the things this posting does wrong.


  1. "I've paid my dues, I'm ready for fame."

  2. Wanted: Studio head to greenlight five-picture saga by unexperienced writer. Please, top five only.

  3. I think I should win a cookie or something if I find anything right with it. Still looking....

  4. Alleged Screenwriter with no Track Record Seeks A-list Agent to Represent Surefire Hit Screenplays, including Period Pieces and Westerns. I will tell you where and when to shoot the films and I shall control the budget. Applicants must prove they are well-connected and successful and worthy of my brilliance. Everyone knows screenwriters control Hollywood, so you better get on my good side!

  5. "And if I don't get any response, I'll sue your ass and your stupid agency!"

  6. This is a spoof, right? It reads like something from Hollywood Roaster.

  7. All I see is an opportunity to make a similar post posing as an agent looking for an established screenwriter with at least 4 unsold scripts.

    And all I'd need to do is draw up an outline?

    I wonder if he'd find me.

  8. He really should just sell his scripts on Ebay. That's where the real money is.

  9. I feel sorry for this person. Not because he won't be getting work (that he's clearly not ready for) but because he probably polished the hell out of that ad and thinks it makes him sound professional. The inexperience his attitudes betray make him a laughing stock, but also indicate he won't be able to learn from this mistake any time soon.

    Unless you know someone in the business it can be daunting and time consuming to wrap your head around how the town actually work. I'm thankful for sites like this one that help me understand more about the industry I want to work in while I develop my writing skills.

    Maybe in reply to the ad we should send him a list of good resources like Bitter's blog.

    He'd probably just be insulted. *sigh*