Are you wondering how to sell a screenplay? Even before screenwriters have written their screenplay, they often research how to sell a screenplay. Ensure that your script will be entertaining and that the characters are interesting. More importantly, read the dialogue of the script out loud and ask yourself if these characters would really talk like that. If you can honestly say that your script is entertaining and would make a great movie, then you need to take the appropriate steps to get it to the silver screen. These steps will not be easy by any means. In fact, it is much more difficult to sell a screenplay then it is to write a screenplay. So you will have much more work cut out for you after your screenplay is all written. But in the end, it will be worth it.
There are multiple ways of how to sell a screenplay. The most common way is trying to pitch your script to producers by sending them a query letter and a copy of your screenplay in the mail. The idea here is that you want to get a producer as familiar with your story as you can. If they like your idea then they may option it, which basically means they will pay you a certain amount of money to temporarily hold the rights to your story. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are actually going to produce it into a feature film. All it means is you cannot sell your idea or even share your script with any other third party. The option is a contract that can last for six months, one year or possibly even longer. Make sure you understand the duration of the option before agreeing to it and accepting a payment.
Another option of how to sell a screenplay that some screenwriters exercise is to conduct a presale with a movie distributor, who is someone who markets films and presents new script ideas to producers. They can act as your middleman when trying to sell the script. Since they have more connections and know more producers in the film industry, some screenwriters feel that it is worth going through a distributor to sell their script.
To get the backing of a distributor, you usually need to have a director or actors already attached to the project. If you are a newcomer with zero connections then it will be harder to strike a deal with a distributor. They are not agents and are not going to represent you. They just want to find a screenplay that they know they can sell. So if you are new with no connections or attachments to the script then it likely won’t be a good solution for how to sell a screenplay. What you should try in this case is to enter your screenplay in screenplay competitions, such as with Amazon Studios. They actually create five to six figure deals with screenwriters who submit a top quality screenplay.