When you’re sending out screenplay query letter to agencies, managers, or production companies, you will face a number of hurdles.
Don’t get discouraged. Rejection is a part of the game.
If you’re already send out a query letter, then you may have noticed that some companies use similar phrases to discourage writers from submitting work. Below are a few of the most common rejections. Maybe you heard these in a call? Or read them in an email? Or saw it on the company website, IMDB Pro, the Hollywood Creative Directory?
“No Unsolicited Material”
“No Unsolicited Queries”
“No New Clients At This Time”
They all seem like reasonable responses…and are probably all lies.
I say “probably” because I know of producers, writers, and other creative folks out there who really are legally prohibited from looking at submissions from outside writers.
But they are the exceptions.
Most likely, when someone tells you, “We have too many clients,” or any of the other phrases above, it means one of two things:
1. They are getting a lot of query letters and are trying to prevent even more submissions.
2. They have read your query and are not interested in your project, for whatever reason. Instead of telling you, “Your letter is poorly written,” or “We can’t make a Civil-War musical,” they have a standard rejection line where they try to let you down easy.
Because in the end, they don’t have time to tell you what they like and don’t like about your letter and/or screenplay. (That’s what a script consultant is for.
Joking aside, don’t take it personally when your query is rejected. If you query 100 companies and get 5-10 requests for your script, you are WAY AHEAD of the norm. Really. Expect at least a 90-95% rejection rate.
How do I know the companies are lying? Because as a screenplay reader I’ve written the above words myself on too many letters to count. And starting out as a screenwriter, I got those same rejections myself.
Don’t be discouraged. Keep going. Rejection is a part of the game.
It’s why I sign my correspondences…