Dear MovieBytes:
Should I Give Away My First Script for Free?

Dear MovieBytes:

I have six scripts and some names of production companies. Would it be wise to give away my first script for free so I can get my scripts into public attention and more likely to be read?


Dear R.C.:

No, that wouldn't be wise.

There may come a time in your career where it makes sense to give a free option to an independent producer so they can raise the money to make your movie, including a fair purchase price for the screenplay. Or you might sign a "shopping agreement" where you give someone the right to shop your script to buyers for a specified period of time for a purchase price to be negotiated later. Those circumstances are both quite different than "giving your script away," though, because in both cases you'll either be paid for your script or you'll retain the rights to your material.

Unfortunately, there really is no shortcut to the attention you seek. Giving your script away will not advance your career because that screenplay will never get made. Sad fact of Hollywood Life: if a producer doesn't have the money to buy a script, they don't have the money to produce a movie.

Keep plugging away. Once your scripts are good enough, you'll meet producers who are willing (and able) to compensate you for your work.


(Posted: 12/26/2015)

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