If your screenplay can’t break into Hollywood, don’t just put it on the shelf. Take a trip on Craigslist or Kijiji to meet more approachable producers.
Writers are often passionate about their writing, but clueless as to what to do once they have written their manuscript. If your manuscript is a screenplay, why not head over to Craigslist (or Kijiji in Canada) to find someone interested in producing your screenplay? If this seems a little unorthodox (or did the word “creepy” come to mind?), please follow my three trains of thought.
You see, there are three ways of using Craigslist to pitch your screenplay.
1. Go fishing – post an ad
The first way is the boring, ho-hum approach. You can post an ad, because that’s what Craigslist is there for, right? You can sit around by the telephone, just like The Girl From Yesterday (The Eagles, 1994) and hope that a producer notices your ad. OK, why not? Seriously, why not? It takes just a few minutes to compose the right ad and post it. Do you have anything to lose?
That’s right. I’ll just wait here while you post your ad.
Ooh, that was a flock of geese overhead.
I think the grass will need mowing soon.
2. Help a fishing producer
Finished? Great. Now let’s look at an even better way to use Craigslist and Kijiji. Don’t just post an ad and wait for somebody interested to happen on by. Hunt down producers who are already interested. Yes, you will find people seeking out screenplays on Craigslist and Kijiji. I discovered this a couple years back. Here is an example:
We are a small group producers, financiers and distributors looking to bring your independent film to life.
We’re actively looking to acquire/buy feature length screenplays of all genres so please contact us for more details and we’ll send you further information.
You won’t find many, and you’ll do best by searching big cities other than Los Angeles (Please, those folks get hit up 24 hours per day.), where there are small film companies looking for scripts to shoot. Here is one I actually found under Los Angeles:
Why choose [name suppressed] over other similar sites? You are an industry professional. Your time is limited. So at [name suppressed] we make finding your next project/screenwriter easy. You no longer have to fill out lengthy forms. No longer do you have to create accounts and log onto 3rd party sites just to view submissions. At [name suppressed], all pitches/applications are sent directly to your e-mail, directly from the writer. IT’S FREE TO POST!
Yes, that’s the best I could find in Los Angeles, because everybody hits on Hollywood. But in Atlanta and Seattle and Toronto and Vancouver – there are independent film companies in most major markets, and nobody hits them up. So occasionally they have to go fishing.
Fish for a fishing producer
But there is a third way to use Craigslist and Kijiji to find a producer for your screenplay. You’ll see ads like this posted all the time:
I’m a producer looking for a film crew. I need the following positions listed below to be filled as soon as possible.
Or like this:
I’m looking for some crew members for an upcoming project that I will be shooting in November. The actual shoot dates are November 6th – 9th in the Cleveland area.
Or like this:
Looking for camera men in or near Atlanta. If interested send me an email
Or like this:
Hello we are looking for a camera guy, light guy, and a sound guy.
This is a sweet comedy, short 20min film.
So what? All these guys already have a script. Ah, true…but do they have their next script? What happens when this film is done and they need a new project to work on? There is no harm in approaching them now about their next project.
Some of these producers are actually quite experienced and make a living as producers. Others are hobbyists, seeking actors and film crew who will work for free. It’s up to you to decide whom to approach. If this is your first screenplay, you might be happy to take a test run with a hobbyist. Or you might not be. It’s all up to you.
It’s amazing how much of the entertainment world does business on Craigslist and Kijiji. If you are writing screenplays, you should be there, too. If Hollywood producers won’t give you the time of day, this is a great way to meet producers who will.