We thought we’d write this weeks post to address a question many writers ask us: should I answer one of the many “screenwriter’s wanted” or “screenplays wanted” ads found all over the internet?
Type “Screenwriters Wanted” into Google and you’ll find yourself swamped in ads such as these:
“Screenwriter wanted to write Indie Drama script. Fantastic and original treatment already in place, just need you to turn into a full feature draft. No pay upfront, but we have interest from several top producers waiting to see the script.”
“We want your Comedy Screenplay! Have you got a funny laugh out loud script in the style of the Farrelly Brothers? Then we want to read it! Send to FunnyHaha Productions and if we like it we’ll make it. No payment for script, but professional actors and funding in place.”
Hmmm… We have one word for you — Don’t. Just don’t. We find it amazing how people can post these kind of ads, basically asking writers to turn in hours and hours writing a screenplay for nothing. Often there’s the promise of cash once the thing not only gets made, but presumably is some kind of success.
Don’t get taken in by the talk of “Producers waiting,” “We’re a top production company,” or “You’ll receive payment once it’s completed.” This is just a ruse to try and get something from you for nothing. All of your time and effort should be focused on writing the best script that you can and then trying to sell it and / or get an agent or manager.
The bottom line is: Never write a word for anyone without first being paid. No matter who they are. Your screenplay may be wanted, but don’t spend hours writing it only to give it away for nothing. It’s worth so much more than that.