Joseph writes: I've recently finished two pilots and am working on a spec right now. I'm planning on moving to LA next summer and would like to be as prepared as I can when I get there, so I set up a portfolio website to introduce myself and display my work. I've read online that these can be a good way to get your name out there, but haven't been able to find much info on the subject and I was wondering what you thought about them and if you had any suggestions on what to include. Do you think it's a good idea to show my actual scripts on the website as long as they are registered with the WGA? or should I just have a summary of the pilots and have people email me if they would like to read them? Any other tips you might have would be greatly appreciated.
Hmm. My gut instinct is to tell you not to put your scripts online, but I can't come up with a lot of reasons why. There's no reason to be overly precious or protective of your work...it's not as though people are begging new writers to read stuff (usually we have to do the begging)! Also, I don't think anyone is going to steal your ideas, and like you said, you can protect yourself by registering the scripts with the WGA. Still, if you meet people (managers, agents, producers, etc.), you'll want to establish email contact at some point - and you'd be able simply to email your scripts to them. I feel like if you tell people "just go to this website," they might never do it. If people who stumble across your site are impressed by other material you post online (like blog posts), they might want to download your scripts - but they could also just email you if you post an email address online.
My friend Josh and his writing partner Juliana, who were chosen for NBC's Writers on the Verge, have posted their scripts online (on Josh's blog) for a while...so I asked Josh if he thought posting scripts online had helped them. Here's his response:
I have no idea whether it's helped us or not. We've certainly not had any producers or agents contacting us based on that. Where it may have helped us, though, is in getting freelance work. I can't say for sure that this is why, but over the past year or so we've been doing more ghostwriting working -- books, pilots, features -- and a few of the people have mentioned our work. Not necessarily that they found it on the site, but I'm not sure where else they would have seen it. I just figure it doesn't hurt anything to put it out there, and there's always the chance that someone who matters will see it, whereas if you don't do it, there's no chance.
Anyone else get bites from posting your scripts online? Please comment!