Thursday, September 18, 2008

Agents, and independent pilots

First, thanks to Chad at Writers Digest for featuring my blog on his: Script Notes.

Paul writes: I started a production company and have developed "concepts" for several shows--some scripted, some non-scripted. I believe I will be able to get financing to shoot pilots (or sample episodes of the reality/game show projects). I gotta find a good agent though, right? How do I do that?

I don't know much about the reality world, so I won't try to speak to that. But as for scripted shows, independently shot pilots are RARELY picked up by major networks. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is the only example I"m aware of. If you are somehow able to get financing, I don't want to discourage you. Shoot what you want, put it on the internet, enter festivals, etc. Get yourself out there. Maybe it will get you noticed by an agent. But you can't really expect that you can create and produce shows and get them on the air without having experience and any connection to Hollywood.

And yes, if you plan to work within the Hollywood system, eventually you'll need an agent. You can get an agent by A) query letters (discouraged), B) getting noticed via contest (unlikely) or C) meeting agents or the people who have constant contact with agents (generally, how it works). Basically, you need to find an agent to read or watch you, or find somebody (be it producer, studio exec, assistant, etc.) to read or watch your work and like it enough to recommend it to an agent. You need to meet people who can help you, and cultivate relationships with them so they'll want to help you. At least, that's how I'm doing it. As I've said before, it's a lot easier to do this when you live in LA.

If you are interested in creating and producing your own stuff, Ben wrote in to share the link the Channel 101 - a monthly pilot contest with screenings in Hollywood. Cool!

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JimCripps said...

Wow, Amanda, that's certainly on the other side of the fence. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "Don't send out query letters." Sure, working out there is probably the best option, but totally inconceivable; If everyone went to Hollywood to break in to the business, LA would be suffering from an influx of people equal to those persons evacuated from hurricane target zones. Hey..., that could be part of a great logline!

Keep posting - I'm taking it all to heart! (And good luck to you.)

Give Me Some Skins said...

"SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE" was picked up by NBC after it won the NYTF. "WE NEED GIRLFRIENDS" is an indy web series that is currently in development with CBS. There are probably plenty of others but none that have actually become network shows, except for Always Sunny. Just because an indy pilot fails to make it on air, it doesn't mean that the creator doesn't have a development deal or a writing job from that show.