This article was originally published in 2016, and a lot has happened since… so this is the 2020 version, it’s November – so almost the 2021 version 😉
So – you’ve finally done it; you’ve completed your first short script. Congratulations! Great feeling, isn’t it?
Now what? Well re-write, re-write and re-write…. Until the final version of your script really shines.
But once you’ve gotten to that blessed point, how the hell do you get it filmed?
That was the question that confronted me in August 2013, when I finished my first short, Prototype.
I wrestle with that question every day, on some level or another. And I’ve discovered there’s no one answer, or quick unravel of this Gordian knot. Believe me on this. I’ve looked and tried.
What I have discovered in my research is a wealth of information scattered around the net: resources, writing communities willing to help – and a bunch of places to connect with potential filmmakers.
I will cover all the info I’ve found in future articles.
But first things first.
Forget for a moment about the script. You have to be ready to market you.
Let’s be honest. To some, “Marketing” is a dirty word.
But I think it’s best seen as a great opportunity – a chance to showcase your writing. With the right approach and attitude, you can use the tools of marketing to share:
- News on your newest scripts and their availability
- Your growing success when things get produced, wins in competitions, etc.
- Your thoughts and ramblings on writing and film making
- Your own tips and info on how to get those darned scripts made
In other words, you have to “get yourself out there.” It’s a horrible, over-used expression – but important if you want to get your scripts actually filmed. And get them made regularly.
I was lucky. For me, marketing came pretty naturally.
You see, I work in marketing (please don’t hate me or throw things!) But for others, it might not be as easy. So here’s a quick guide to some of the tools you can use to “enhance your profile”:
A website is essential.
It provides you with somewhere to refer potential film makers to – a place they can look beyond the pat logline, and find details of what you have available, successes, other things you write.
It’s a place to compile and showcase scripts that you’ve had filmed and show that you take writing seriously. In other words, it’s the hub of you.
Mine is www.anthonycawood.co.uk have a look and see how I’ve put this into practice.
When you step into the world of web design, btw, you should seriously consider getting your own domain. (That’s the bit after www.) If so, have a look at domain companies like http://www.123-reg.co.uk/ or similar.
If you’re proficient in building websites, you can even consider a do-it-yourself option, and place it with a dedicated hosting service. Check out http://web-hosting-review.toptenreviews.com/ for a few examples.
Building your own site can be daunting and chances are, you’re not an IT programmer! But, it can be easier than you think. There are tons of services out there that take IT out of the process… providing templates, drag and drop functionality, etc.
Check out https://www.top10bestwebsitebuilders.co.uk/ for a good selection of options. Most of these throw in a domain as part of the process, too.
But what about content? That can vary according to your style. Here are just a few examples of writer websites from the screenwriting community:
Marnie Mitchell Lister: http://brainfluffs.com/
Breanne Matson: www.breannemattson.com
Warren Duncan: https://warrenhduncan.wixsite.com/screenwriter
Mark Renshaw: http://mark-renshaw.com/
David Lambertson: https://dlambertson.wixsite.com/scripts
Quite a diverse bunch! But as you look them over, you’ll see some reoccurring themes and topics, such as:
- Scripts with loglines and additional script details
- News of their latest scripts and any developments in various projects
- Details of produced scripts (with links to videos)
- Contact details (email, phone, etc.)
And websites have added benefits: they make you more visible in Google and other search engines, and are also a convenient place to store your scripts (in case of that future devasting hard-drive blow-out.) I have a hidden page on mine that holds PDFs of all my scripts. That way, if I get a script request when I’m away from home, I can just send people the relevant link. You can of course use Dropbox, Google Docs and similar services for the same purpose. Or email yourself updates of scripts just in case.
And then there’s the fringe benefits. I’ve had numerous occasions where a potential film maker has asked to see Script A, checked out my website and saw a logline that they liked… then asked to see Scripts D and F too!
You can also create a web presence through a Blog type setup instead of a standard website, see below for a little more on this.
Like most people out there, I already had a Facebook (FB) page for personal reasons. But it can be used for industry purposes as well. Many film makers create specific pages/sites for their film projects. They serve the same sort of purpose as a dedicated website, but tend to be more project specific. And also are slightly easier to set up and share. FB pages are terrific for news, networking with people who share your interests and creating communities for your work.
And when it comes to connecting – don’t forget LinkedIn as well. There are plenty of producer’s, directors and various other crew types on this business social media and connections site.
If you have another career, other than screenwriting, then don’t forget to make sure your profile also reflects both roles… just so people looking you up know your writing is serious too.
When it comes to internet tools, Twitter’s more of a two way street. Not only can you share your news, views and general rants – but you can also get feedback from fellow writers, producers and directors. As with Facebook, it’s a great way to keep people posted on your writing developments… Just make sure you don’t end up using it as a writing diversion! I’m @anthonycawood11, by the way….
Admittedly, my Website, Facebook and Twitter are my main marketing weapons of choice. But don’t forget to explore other noteworthy options:
- Dedicated Blogs. Service providers include Tumblr, WordPress and others provide a slightly different way of creating a website, this post is on WordPress!
- Instagram – great for sharing stills from films made from your scripts and engaging on a more visual level.
- Youtube/Vimeo – also great for getting your videos seen by the masses
- Pinterest – Good for moodboards, mocked up posters of your scripts and the like.
- TikTok – Okay, I’ve not quite worked out how to use this one for showcasing your screenwriting but I’m sure there’s a way!
Bring them all together
For a long time I’d have links to all my different content at the footers of pages and on emails and the like. The only problem is that the more sites and services you get and use, the messier it all looks!
And then I found Link Tree: https://linktr.ee/
It’s a great free resource that collects all your various links into one, easy to navigate, list. There may be other similar services, but they’d be hard pushed to beat the simplicity of Link Tree.
My Linktree can be seen at: https://linktr.ee/tcawood
One Last Tip
Don’t forget synergy! (You’re a writer – you know what that means…) Combining the power of these tools is a great strategy for marketing.
I know and you know that you’re a great screenwriter. But now it is time to make sure everyone else finds out!