Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Tyler M. Reid

How to Find a Producer as a Screenwriter

After you have written your screenplay the only next step is to get your film made. In that next step there are actually quite a few more steps.

For the many screenwriters who do not have an agent or manager, the next step you should take is to find a producer.

producer is at the top of the chain of command when it comes to making a film. They help find the money, all the talent, and are the ones who sign all the agreements and contracts. If you are just starting out as a screenwriter, finding a producer should be your next step after you have written your screenplay.

Find a Producer as a Screenwriter

How to Find a Producer as a Screenwriter

Many screenwriters do not live in major hubs like New York City, Los Angeles, or Atlanta, and because of that you may think it will be hard to find a producer. Luckily it is much simpler than many think and you can do it without spending too much money - though spending a little money will help.

Look Through the Credits

Let’s talk about the free ways to find producers and their contact information. When I started out in my undergraduate degree 20 years ago I wanted to find a way to reach producers, but I had no idea how. Then something occurred to me, at the beginning of every movie is a list of the production companies that were involved in making the film. So I took out stacks of DVD’s watched the opening credits of the films and wrote down all the names of the companies that were list. Then I just googled those names and many times their website would pop up. Even if they did not have the email address of the staff or producers, they always had an info email address. Later down in the post I will briefly talk about query letters. This is a more time consuming, but free way to find production companies and producers.

Use LinkedIn

I am a big advocate of LinkedIn - as they call themselves, they are the professional social network. It’s true, they really are. You can find thousands of producers on LinkedIn. Unless you spend money for a monthly premium account you can’t send messages to those people unless they become a connection. However, on their LinkedIn profiles you can usually find the name of the company they produce for, a website, or even an email address. Again, this is another free but more time consuming route.

Use a Paid Database

There are databases out there that cost money that will give you a list of producers and their contact information. Usually they are expensive and they can be a little hit and miss because they are not always kept up to date and people shift companies frequently.

 IMDbPro is also a good alternative and can be a little costly. However, if you carve out a whole month of just collecting email addresses and phone numbers, then you can get away with paying for only a month's subscription. IMDbPro has a pretty good collection of contact information. They of course have the names and a profile for nearly every single person in the entertainment industry, but that doesn’t always mean they have contact information - however, they usually have the name of the company they work for. In that case you can still look up the company on google.

Write a Great Query Letter

So you have built out this huge list of producers' email addresses or production company email addresses, but something you have noticed is that many producers or production companies demand that you do not send unsolicited materials, which usually stops a lot of screenwriters from taking any further steps. You do not want to send your screenplay if they ask you not too. However, you should see it as an opportunity to make a connection, then send materials, which would no longer be unsolicited. This is where a great query letter comes in.

A query letter is a brief letter or email in which you introduce yourself and your screenplay.

What to Include in a Query Letter

Briefly introduce yourself and mention any writing credits, awards, or relevant qualifications. Also is there anything unique about you as a writer, maybe it's your background, or your experience in a specific field, even your hobbies that could be unique. Something that helps you stand out as an individual person and not just another writer sending an email.

Before you dive into your Logline and Synopsis it is important to note a specific film that either the production company or producer has produced. This shows that you have done your homework and are not just sending the same exact query letter to hundreds of producers. It makes it feel more personal from your end.

Then you will want to include a compelling logline of your screenplay. After your logline provide a short synopsis that outlines the plot without revealing the entire story - and this means short! Just a paragraph where each ACT is represented in two sentences. The shorter and more concise the much more likely they would be willing to read it.

Politely request if they would be interested in reading your script and thank them for their time. This whole email should be very short and easy to read in just a few minutes. It is good to take out a timer, and time yourself on how long it takes to read it. Try to read it as someone seeing the email for the first time. If it takes longer than three minutes then you may lose interest.

Good luck and start pitching to producers!

Tyler is seasoned film and media professional with over 20 years of diverse experience, specializing in production management and creative direction, with a rich portfolio spanning music videos, films, and documentaries, and a global network from the US to Sweden. Reach him on his website, LinkedIn, and X, and gain access to his free filmmaking templates when you sign up for his newsletter here.

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