How To's | Screenplay Doctor | Screenwriting

Top Tips on Evaluating Agents and Production Companies

1 Aug , 2014  

Written by Susan Kouguell | Posted by:

What happens when an agent or production company expresses an interest in your work? The Screenplay Doctor Susan Kouguell provides readers with some tips on how to proceed not only with excitement, but with caution.
Here’s the scene: You receive a call or email — an agent is interested in representing you and then another call and another email — now a production company wants to produce your screenplay. You’ve been working on your script for months, maybe years and finally — jubilation! You are headed for success. But wait! Put the brakes on and take a deep breath. Don’t jump into a relationship with the first person (or the second or third or fourth…) who expresses interest in your screenplay. It certainly is flattering when someone is interested in your work, not to mention the possibility of actually seeing your screenplay turned into a film and/or the chance to get representation — but be careful. Always trust your gut instincts and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Top Tips on Evaluating Agents and Production Companies

  • If an agent or production company is interested in your work, research them. Find out how long have they been in business, and their track record.
  • Ask why they believe your project and writing style is a good fit for them. Sharing the same sensibilities will only benefit you.
  • Ask agents how they plan on working with you, and how they intend to place your work and sell you as a writer.
  • Work with people who share your vision of your work and career.
  • If companies and/or agents are not forthcoming with information do not sign on the dotted line.
  • Ask agents and companies what their expectations are of you and your work so there are no negative surprises around the corner.
  • Always get everything spelled out in a contract.

The time is now to empower yourself and be savvy!

Award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker Susan Kouguell is chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a motion picture consulting company founded in 1990 where she works with over 1,000 writers, filmmakers, and industry executives worldwide. (www.su-city-pictures.com). Her short films are in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and archives, and were included in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial. Kouguell worked with Louis Malle on And the Pursuit of Happiness, was a story analyst and story editor for many studios, wrote voice-over narrations for (Harvey Weinstein) Miramax and over a dozen feature assignments for independent companies. Susan wrote THE SAVVY SCREENWRITER: How to Sell Your Screenplay (and Yourself) Without Selling Out! and SAVVY CHARACTERS SELL SCREENPLAYS! A comprehensive guide to crafting winning characters with film analyses and screenwriting exercises, available at $1.00 off on https://www.createspace.com/3558862 and using DISCOUNT CODE: G22GAZPD. On Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SB8Z7M (discount code does not apply). Follow Susan at Su-City Pictures, LLC Facebook fan page and SKouguell on Twitter, and read more articles on her blog: http://su-city-pictures.com/wpblog/

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Related Image: "Dona Ana" screens at Center for Latino Arts in Boston on November 6 at 3 pm.


Award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker Susan Kouguell is chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a motion picture consulting company founded in 1990 where she works with over 1,000 writers, filmmakers, and industry executives worldwide. (www.su-city-pictures.com). Her short films are in the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection and archives, and were included in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial. Kouguell worked with Louis Malle on And the Pursuit of Happiness, was a story analyst and story editor for many studios, wrote voice-over narrations for (Harvey Weinstein) Miramax and over a dozen feature assignments for independent companies. Susan wrote THE SAVVY SCREENWRITER: How to Sell Your Screenplay (and Yourself) Without Selling Out! and SAVVY CHARACTERS SELL SCREENPLAYS! A comprehensive guide to crafting winning characters with film analyses and screenwriting exercises, available at $1.00 off on https://www.createspace.com/3558862 and using DISCOUNT CODE: G22GAZPD. On Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SB8Z7M (discount code does not apply). Follow Susan at Su-City Pictures, LLC Facebook fan page and SKouguell on Twitter, and read more articles on her blog: http://su-city-pictures.com/wpblog/