6 Things To Do Once You Get A Script Request
September 10, 2020
Congratulations! Despite all of the odds and self doubt, you queried managers and got a script request! It's okay to celebrate. In fact, you should celebrate. You’ve just joined one of the few writers who's had
success querying, so it’s okay if you want to do the Drake quarantine dance real quick. We writers must enjoy all the victories we can, no matter how small. So, what's next? You might be thinking. Here are the six simple steps I took after I received the coveted script request.
1. Proof read your script. You need to make sure there are no spelling errors. Be sure to check “their, they’re and there”, “your and you're”, “a lot and allot”. You do not want spelling errors to be the reason your script gets moved into the trash folder. My script went through several phases of coverage, some paid and some writer peer reads, before I sent it off. Both ways have their merits and the more eyes on your script, the better chance you have of catching everything.
2. Give them time to read. This is the hard part. I remember a week after I emailed my script, I was checking my email daily, thinking, “They don’t like it.” I went so far as to ask one of my mentors, writer Hilliard Guess, and he told me, “Give them two to three weeks. You’d be lucky if they have time to read immediately.” So, relax, meditate, go for a walk—they’re busy and have a pile of scripts to read. Don’t panic if you don’t hear back for a couple of weeks. Keep busy by writing.
3. Do not bug them. Only been three days? A week? Do not email them asking, “Hey, just wanted to check in and see if you read my script.” This could also be a quick way to move further down the list, get your emails avoided, or your script thrown in the virtual trash altogether. Give them space. If they asked to read you, they will read you. If they like it, they will email you. It’s their job to find great new writers with great voices. It'll be in their best interest to follow up.
4. The follow up. If it has been three weeks or so, it’s okay to email them with a quick and friendly, “Hey, I just wanted to check in and see if you got a chance to check out my script”. I would only send this email once. A couple managers I reached out to responded “Sorry, I’ve been so swamped, I'll get to it this week." Or, “My reader has read it and liked it, I’m going to read it soon.”
5. No response. If after three or so weeks you get no response, I would say this is a silent “no”. This is not the end of the world. Not every piece of material is for everybody. Don’t email them some hatred email—that's just being a bad human and don't forget, this industry is smaller than you think. Just move on to the next query or next manager. No response can also be a response.
6. Be ready. Don’t just sit on your butt waiting while the manager is reading your material. WRITE, WRITE, WRITE. Prepare your next sample, because if the manager likes your writing, nine times out of 10, they will ask you for a second script.
So write, rinse and repeat the process! A script that's not out there can't be requested.
Written by: Saeed CrumplerSaeed Crumpler, an African American Screenwriter, grew up in Oakland, CA in the Bay Area. He attended nearby San Francisco State University where he graduated with a degree in Screenwriting, and also had a successful independent hip-hop career. Recently he attended UCLA Professional Program in Writing for Television. Follow Saeed on Twitter via @balance510