Screenwriting Blog
Posted on by Courtney Meznarich

How to Find a Sales Agent for Screenwriters

If you’re looking for a way to take your screenplay into the world yourself, you’ve come to the right place.

Screenwriters can package their scripts and sell those packages without needing a middle man, except for the sales agent.

To find a sales agent, screenwriters should:

  • Educate yourself on the process

  • Know where to network

  • Find a producer

  • Mind the film budget

We brought in an expert on packaging and sales to help break down the sales process for you. Tiffany Boyle, President of Packaging and Sales at Ramo Law, represents filmmaking clients in building compelling film packages that move projects from a dream to fruition.

Hold your place in line, screenwriter! We’re getting closer to launching SoCreate Screenwriting Software to a limited number of beta testers. , without leaving this page.

“There’s no right way to skin the cat when trying to find somebody to help you package your project,” she began. “And, frankly, there aren’t that many people out there like me. Agents do a lot of this kind of stuff. Managers do a lot of this kind of stuff.

So, getting them can be really hard, especially post-pandemic. A lot of them are so booked up and bottlenecked from content that wasn’t able to be made because of all the shutdowns.”

But never fear! If you know the proper steps to take, there are ways to find sales agents for your film. Below, learn more about the sales and packaging process from our interview with Tiffany.

What is a Sales Agent for Screenwriters?

A sales agent is the essential middle person between producers or production companies and distributors, essentially selling a film or film package to domestic and international markets. Without sales agents, movies may never be seen!

It’s also a good idea to bring on a sales agent early in the process if you’re looking for film financing because they can tell you what the film will make based on its script, cast, budget, producer, and genre, and you can turn around and use those numbers to find investors.

Educate Yourself & Network

Step one in finding a sales agent is to learn how the sales process works.

“So, I’m finding the best way is really to do things like SoCreate, right? You’re able to educate yourself on what’s going on and how to get out there,” Tiffany said.

Then, it’s all about networking and making yourself and your script highly visible wherever sales agents may be.

“You can try to find yourself a way into labs to try to apply for labs like Sundance or Imagine Impact. I’ve had a lot of clients have success in finding inroads through those types of programs, networking, and putting yourself out there.

For example, the Austin Film Fest has a script competition, and then certain winners can go, and they kind of help you meet other people,” she said.

Those other people are often sales agents who make the rounds at some of the top festivals where they know they can find films to attach themselves to and sell.

“So, just looking into things like that is a good way to get started, especially if you have a clean script. And a clean script can be, somewhat, the hardest part because you need to find the person that’s going to be your champion.”

Find a Producer

Speaking of champions, let’s talk about producers. Finding a great producer that makes sense for your project is a huge but impactful step for screenwriters to take once they have a finished script that’s ready to sell.

By ready, I mean that it’s copyrighted, and an attorney has checked it out to make sure all rights to the screenplay are intact – including your right to sell it, life rights if based on a true story, and any other necessary rights if other parties were involved in its development.

Producers have connections and can champion your script to get other necessary talent attached, including a director, cast, etc.

“If it’s not a packaging person, I typically say – and this is a lot of what I do – if somebody comes to me with a clean script, I say you need a producer, you need your backbone of your project. Let’s really hone in and focus on who we can find to do that for you.

Because once you get your producer, a director is more comfortable in coming on board, and then cast and then maybe some financing,” Tiffany said.

And it is possible to do this all on your own without the help of someone like Tiffany. Heck, you don’t even need an agent!  

“A lot of people can be their own packaging execs and really try and find their own producer,” she said. “Or you can try and find people like me through those outlets.”

Mind Your Budget

If you want to package and sell your script, whether on your own or with help from someone like Tiffany, keep your production budget within a reasonable range compared to your experience.

“If you’re a writer trying to sell your project, the first budget, the budget range of your content really shouldn’t be more than like $10 million unless it’s based on IP, just because it can be really difficult as a first time writer to sell something like that,” Tiffany concluded.

Summary

In this day and age, anything is possible regarding how content makes its way from your head to the screen. You can DIY or find pros like Tiffany to get your film made.

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Finding a sales agent is part of the process, and the more you know, the more likely you’ll be able to put together a package on your own. Is it harder to do it yourself? Maybe not. Knowledge is power.

Make them an offer they can’t refuse,

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