Erik Bork has written an article for Script Magazine about the good old fashioned way of getting a literary manager to your read your script: send them a great query. Erik writes:
When I work with writers giving feedback and guidance on their material and career paths, I often end up giving advice about how to gain access to agents, managers, and producers – which seems to most writers to be the biggest challenge of this business.
The common conception is that “who you know” is ultimately the key thing, because you can have the greatest script in the world, and if nobody in the industry will read it (because they don’t know you, and you weren’t referred to them by someone they trust), nothing will come of it, right?
True enough. However, this statement misses one key part of the equation: the industry is desperately hungryfor marketable material and writers. And it always has been and will be.
No matter how few paid writing jobs or script sales there might be compared to the number of people who would like to have them (and that will forever be an outrageous ratio), the fact remains that the “development” side of the business is always on the lookout for more “stuff they can sell.”
How desperate are they?
Last year I met a very legitimate, big time manager of working screenwriters at a writing conference I was invited to speak at (where writers had also paid to get five minutes to sit across from the likes of him), and asked him about the best way to “get access” to him and others of his kind.
Here’s what he said:
Send him an e-mail.
What kind of an e-mail? The kind with a quick description of the script you want him to read, and consider representing. The kind that he gets dozens of, every week.
I know, the prospect of “cold queries” seems like a huge long shot, and compared to a personal referral, perhaps it is. But it’s not necessarily worse than the five minute “pitch fest” approach, because ultimately what a manager (or agent, producer or executive) is looking at, in both cases, is the content of the story being proposed. It’s either something they think could be sellable (in a pitch or a short query), or it isn’t.