How to Sell a Screenplay

A screenplay is a written document used for filming a television program or a film. Screenplays can be adaptation of some famous work, or one can create original pieces of work as well. The proper format of a screenplay is usually one page, which consists of one minute of the screen time. A screenplay is also known as a script. The important organs of a screenplay are dialogue and speech. The action in a screenplay is often written in the present tense.
how to sell screenplay

Screenplays are usually in two formats like:

  • Spec format: These screenplays are written with no promise of payment. The entire content of the screenplay is written and invented by the screenwriter. Spec screenplays are based on real events or on some established work.
  • Commissioned screenplay: these scripts are written by some of the hired writers. The concept of the script is conceived earlier even before they get the writer. Many writers work for one script and the best one is selected.

Now, there is specialized computer software, which is specially designed for formatting screenplays, stage plays and teleplays. Some of the famous computer screenplay softwares are Screenwriter, Movie Outline, Movie Magic and Montage. However, writing a screenplay may require a lot of time. If you want to sell your screenplay then it is easy, you must know how to convince your customer for buying the script.

Here are some simple steps that will teach you how to sell a screenplay.

Movie Screenplay

Things Required:

  • Logline
  • Draft
  • Synopsis


  • Try to contact some of the studios and contact companies who prefer screenplays from the unsolicited screenplays. Enquire if you need to send these details through an agent. If so, look for a good agent who will help you get your documents in the production house.
  • Try to deliver your script personally, if you do not have the time then ask someone else to do it for you. Make some contacts in the industry; it will make it easier for you to send around your scripts.
  • Make sure that you make a logline on your script. The logline should be of three to four sentences and not more than that. The logline should have the description of the main plot of the story. Most of the producers will make their decisions based on the logline, so make sure that you have the most interesting logline.
  • Start writing a synopsis, which is always requested as a qualifier for the second round. The synopsis will be asked by agents or studio executives. The synopsis should be of one page, in which there should be a detailed character description and the twists in the main plot.
  • Always remember that you must not make your screenplay very lengthy. It should be of maximum 140 pages, any longer than that the producer will be bored to read it.
  • Check for spelling and grammatical errors, sometimes in a hurry you tend to make mistakes. Hire an editor to draft the story for you, and to ensure that the story has a good flow with minimal errors.
  • Send in a clean and neat copy of your screenplay. If you do not have a good printer, then get it printed from a copy shop. Always remember that the presentation of your script will matter a lot.
  • The first page of your screenplay should be simple with information. Add the necessary details like the title of the screenplay, your name and any other relevant information.
  • To increase your experience as a screenwriter, apply for some screenwriters contests. There are many Hollywood projects, which are looking for aspiring screenwriters and directors for their upcoming movies. If you are selected for any of these projects, it will get you one-step closer to your dream as a professional screenwriter.

Tips and Warnings:

  • If you don’t know the exact format, check the scriptwriting software. It will give you the perfect flow for action, dialogue and the overall format.
  • The script should be able to impress the directors on its own. If you give them any reasons of how good your script is, then it might be rejected.
  • Keep sending your scripts to maximum number of studios. The more studios you hit, your chances of selling a script will increase.
  • The rates you get for your script will vary. A newcomer will be paid less as compared to an established writer.

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  4. How to Write Outline
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One Response to “How to Sell a Screenplay”

  1. Alan Miller says:

    There are many different way to sell the scripts and buy scripts through which you get profit.

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