BIZ TIP TUESDAY:
QUERY (LETTER) - letter to a producer or agent asking if
they would like to read your script. No more than one page long. This isn't a business letter, it
isn't a book report - the purpose of a query letter is to sell them on your script. So think of it as
an advertisement. Grab them with your first
words - make your story sound like something they HAVE TO READ. Be entertaining, Usually a
paragraph about your script, a paragraph about yourself, and that all important question - would
you like to read the script?
TREATMENT - Prose version of your story - usually part of a "step
deal" when you are paid to write a script. You'll write a
treatment (the producer will tell you how many pages) and when
they agree on the story, you "go to script" (they cut you a check
to write the script based on that treatment - no coloring outside
the lines!). Most treatments are between 5-15 pages. I've written
detailed treatments that were as long as 35 pages. Treatments are
also great to use when you're writing a script NOT on assignment
- you can make sure the story works in a 10 page form before
writing 120 pages (and finding out it doesn't work).
SYNOPSIS - 1-2 page distilled version of your script. The shorter
the better! Mine are all 1 page. This is a sales tool to get
people to read your script - so think of it like the back of a
paperback book. People hate me for this, but I never tell the end
of the script in a synopsis. I like to create a cliffhanger at
the end of the synopsis so that they'll have to read the script
to find out what happens next.
LOGLINE - Your script idea in 25 words or less. "A farm girl
learns to appreciate her home and family when a tornado whisks
her to an alien world run by witches." "An ordinary computer
programmer must accept that he's the "chosen one" in order to
free mankind from enslavement by a computer system." It's just
the essence of the script - not the details. A good logline sums
up the script PLUS makes you want to read the darned thing -
"Military hero survives accident, comes home to find his wife
with another man... his clone!" (Ah-nuld's THE SIXTH
NEVER send a script unless they have asked to read it!
SCRIPT SECRETS STORE - time to monkey around!
Was TRANSFORMERS 2 better that the first movie but not as good as the cartoon?
Can't wait to see Pixar's UP again in 3D?
Was MOON the best film you've seen this year with a robot in it?
SWEET SEVENTEEN! Get them all at one low price!
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Deal includes the Secrets of: Ideas, Outlines, Structure, Story, First Ten Pages, Protagonists,
Visual Storytelling, Dialogue, Descriptions, Scenes, Supporting Characters, Act Two, Blockbusters,
Great Endings, Rewrites, Treatments & Loglines, and Selling Your Script! Almost everything you
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Oh... and the Pitching Blue Book is included in the set!
These Blue Books are $4.99 each - but get them all and save!
For more information about
BLUE BOOKS - SWEET 17 The deal is back!
Okay, I'm the West Coast Editor, so I'm biased - but this is the best screenwriting magazine out there. Other magazines have articles *about* screenwriters, Scr(i)pt has articles *by* screenwriters.
Chris Henchy and Dennis McNicholas on writing LAND OF THE LOST and interviews with Orci & Kurtzman on STAR TREK, plus Brancato & Ferris return to TERMINATOR
with TERMINATOR: SALVATION and Bob Peterson and PeteDocter talk about writing in 3D for Pixar's UP!
Scr(i)pt also focuses on the actual writing rather than the deal making - this is a "how to" magazine.
Real nuts-and-bolts stuff! Oh, and I have at least one article in every issue.