screenwriter segregation / where to submit movie framework with various finished parts

I’m designing a movie framework with so many different components in various stages of development it tires me to list and explain them all, including already-filmed footage (not mine but which I’ve been working with creatively), storyboard art, and fresh/radical inventions. It’s going to need a full screenplay at some point, and I have a lot drafted, but the more I read about screenwriting, the more brain cells I loose.

In a proper screenplay, you’re not supposed to describe anything at length, because no one wants to actually read all that. You’re not supposed to say how the cameras are cutting precisely because it’s the director’s job to re-write your screenplay. You shouldn’t use italics in your dialogue (I’m not exaggerating this) because it’s the actor’s job to figure out how to say the lines you’re writing. This is ludicrous. An italicized word can change the meaning of a sentence, and hence the character and your story. Why should I specifically cut out the meaning of my story because a cheap actor who can mindlessly read their lines has to be hired when the $40-million actor gets bored?

Script formatting is half of this obscene process. One surgical miscalculation means you have absolutely no respect for the entire industry of art. I’m severely ADHD and hence wildly creative by default, I don’t have 500 years to get my ideas from 99% formatted to 100% because a single typo will vaporize the screenplay agent before they even open my email/script.

Where are the people I can mail in a whole bunch or random mush to that have the brains to look at it creatively and judge whether it has worth on the whole? For all the millions of creative people lying around that have to be hired for the things I’m not allowed to write, why aren’t there people that can do that simple creative task? Where are the submission processes that say “attach some rough sketches if you double majored with the ability to google ‘stick figure drawing’ and come up with a rudimentary storyboard”?

Screenwriting for Dummies calls a full-length screenplay a “vast project, around 100 pages long” (and these are pages with around half the text of novel pages). A screenplay at 180 words/page is the equivalent of a 60-page novel at 300 words/page. To me, a “vast” literary project is a fantasy saga of 6 books of 900 pages each, not 60 pages of ANYTHING. The for dummies book says it could take you just months to write your screenplay. What author on Earth would try writing 60 pages of their novel then mail it to Random House asking for a budget of $100 million and a paid crew of 50-200 people to finish it? You might as well just write “STUFF HAPPENS” on a popsicle stick.

Flat across all history, truly vast creative minds strive their whole lives to get what’s in their minds and dreams into tangible form (prose, paintings, poetry, plays, symphonies, speeches, equations…). All but nobody who history remembers ever stopped at six months of progress and successfully demanded society throw millions of dollars at their accomplishments. Why are all these writers depressed who ask for an army of talented people to extend their “STUFF HAPPENS” idea, and nobody gets in line?

Isn’t there anywhere I can send a half-finished screenplay and an extensive portfolio of various mediums/ideas/artworks that proves it’s worthwhile? I’ll settle for getting it to 94%, but if I could format to 100%, then I wouldn’t even be someone with the unlimited creativity that accompanies severe ADHD!

Submit it for what? It seems to me like this movie can exist in only one place: within your head. Why would you want it to be anywhere else?

You need someone like me. But you may need to pay that someone like me. Someones like me don’t do that kind of work for free, it takes a lot of time and a lot of talent and a lot of stress. Money helps alleviate that.

Any amateur screenwriter with a bit of experience under their belt, especially ones that have been on a film set or have had their work produced, will know enough to do a decent job of compiling a lot of disparate pieces into a cohesive whole, at least into a first draft, and perhaps onto the fifth, twelfth, or final draft.

And a first draft is easier to edit into something that works, than an almost-finished-but-not-really-draft-that-you-plan-on-getting-around-to-completing-someday is.

@guizot (prior to GuanoLad):
I was trying to avoid details of my project and get at the general bizarre segregation of screenwriters from other talents. The agencies all say send us EXACTLY this thing. Nobody says “send us your 70% finished screenplay and half-finished storyboard” to get the same weight of the creative substance of a finished screenplay. They don’t say “send us in 2/3-done with a brilliant 70-page collegiate thesis on the societal implications of the brave themes you’re suggesting”. They don’t say send us a screenplay plus a half-hour of multimedia promoting the invention you wrote about. It’s just robotic intrinsically, I don’t get it.

I don’t know where you got that it’s in my head. I’m talking about mundane elements. Maybe I should be more clear.

A storyboard is like a comic book of a movie. It can be anything from haphazard sketches, to polished drawings with intermediate actors speaking the lines at the drawings flip by on video. If I’ve done storyboard work on a movie I have in my head, then that’s creative substance bringing it to reality.

A new invention or abstract method can be featured in a film. It can be thrown in as a component, or the whole film could be about the invention/method/idea. If I have a lot of documentation on a (patentable) method covering images, video,diagrams, etc., that creates great substance to support the movie idea. It would be silly not to evaluate the invention to gauge its weight within a film. (I’m working toward pitching it to Epson right now.)

I’m a creative writer and very long-term comedian. I’m putting a lot of that talent into the screenwriting. That screenwriting has substance even if it’s not completed. There’s a BIG difference between sending in unpolished lazy crap, and having a series of polished modules (Scene 1, 4, and 17) that don’t comprise a full screenplay but create substance for the general project.

I’ve been studying parkour and freerunning (urban/outdoor acrobatics), particularly people’s media. There’s a lot of professional cinematographic footage out there that’s only tapped for online videos, but could stand up in theaters if it was supported by other elements of good cinema (plot-driven dialogue, coherent story arc, enticing themes, etc.). Fully done, already-filmed footage is a MAJOR element of a movie, not in my head. At the least, it could stand as excellent video storyboarding to show what has to be re-filmed with better cameras or differences. That’s substance.

There are all sorts of people I’d like to invite to the table, and when any of them show interest, that’s something to tag on to the project. But where do I submit something so complex? I don’t need Disney or Paramount to buy a finished script, I’d just like more interest in it… In investigating the art of screenwriting, I would expect all sorts of methods to submit ideas for films in various contexts, but it seems absolutely segregated from all the other talents and components of filmmaking.

But will anyone actually look at a “first draft”? The general template submission guidelines I see strongly stress you submit a polished work… Anyway, isn’t there a way to pitch a framework with half a screenplay and all these other elements? I’ve seen an opening credits frame with SIX screenwriters. Is it most likely that somebody wrote the entire draft from scratch, or is it likely various talents came together and worked as a group before a solid/final draft was written?

You’re not supposed to show anyone a first draft. If a first draft takes you two months to write (it varies, for some people it takes a year, for others only weeks) a second draft is really just adjusting what you have, and should take a tenth as long, only days in some cases. Then it’s hopefully just improving and refining.

Multiple names on a screenwriting credit usually means at least one or two of them rewrote the entire thing, but often it can only mean a few extra scenes, or weaving in a new character, or something even smaller than that like editing dialogue. I think there are guidelines on when a credit is warranted.

Anyway, you can sometimes submit a treatment instead of a screenplay, which is the entire story written in a brief six-to-twenty page document. But eventually you have to write the script anyway, so best to do that. An ending to a film is crucially important, so it’d be good if you had that part written.

Plus it’s just not a good example of work ethic to submit anything half-done. It implies you don’t finish things. If other people’s money is involved, they don’t want to hear that you do things half-arsed.

Random mush doesn’t have worth.

Ideas are cheap. Execution is what matters.

If you want someone else to fund and make this thing, you need to package it in a format they can use. And that means understanding your role in a creative collaboration. The rule about avoiding writing camera directions isn’t there to stifle your creativity. It’s there because someone who knows a hell of a lot more about cinematography than you do is going to break the whole film down into shots for production, and you as the writer need to make it easy for her to do her job. Similarly, it’s the director and the actors’ jobs to figure our how to weave a dramatic performance out of your words. You can’t direct the actors through script formatting, and using non-standard formatting just makes it harder for the director and actors to do their jobs.

If you don’t want to just be the writer – if you want creative influence over other aspects of the production – then you need to make the movie yourself. No one is going to give you money to do this, not because you’re not a creative person, but because you don’t have a track record. How does a prospective investor know that you’ll deliver something at the necessary quality level if you’ve never done it before? And this is why it’s important for you to finish the script. You can’t shoot a movie with half a script. If you haven’t finished it, what assurances does a producer have that you WILL finish it? It’s not like you have a strong track record of finished projects you can point to. They’re not going to pay you on the hope that maybe you’ll finish it.

OK, let’s say my protag is at a party and walks in a room with 2 people chatting. He says:
I really like her.

There are exactly 16 ways to italicize the various words in this sentece, including none (222*2). Every single one the 16 carries a different meaning:
Italicizing “I” may imply there’s another person involved.
Italicizing “really” stresses a stronger magnitude of his feeling.
Italicizing “like” may mean he especially isn’t in love [yet].
Italicizing “her” implies they are talking about multiple people.
…and so on for the other 11 setences.

All that add different information about the character, the story, etc., etc. I understand there are creative actors who can take into account the entire story and make creative judgements based on their interpretation of the script, but why MUST the writer leave all that task to the actor/director, when it’s relevant to everything the writer’s writing about (especially with this mandate of having to use extremely few words to get points across)?

I still don’t understand this segregation of roles. The musical score is another “aspect of the production”. I’m a lifetime creative musician (I almost majoed in film scoring in college but there was no money in it), and that’s a role I can bring to the table. You’re saying I can’t be involved in the score because I’m not the director and hence can’t choose myself? Even if I write just one solid rock song with a note in the script “[My song] begins to play”, that’s a contribution. That can be sent in with a script to give it substance, as can a promotional video explaining an invention featured in the film.

There are so many “aspects of the production” that can be handled ahead of time without needing to actually be the director. A storyboard artist may work at all sorts of different levels, yes? One good pencil sketch of a setting is a creative item carrying weight. Hence, why can’t the writer mail in a sketch of a setting to extend the descriptions of that item?

I’m using “mush” loosely. Obviously I mean arranged into an understandable format. If you have various components it should be up to you to package things neatly in an understandable way. Of course you couldn’t mail in a bunch of random sketches with no notes on how/where/why they relate to the script. Of course you can’t send in 100% half-written scenes with typos. But what is wrong with sending in 20 polished scenes with a treatment and all these other elements, to the point where it would become easy for a reputable screenwriter to look at everything and write the missing scenes.

Why this obsession with a writer writing everything 100%, and zero weight on all these other aspects/roles? Why this dire necessity on a screenplay? What if I wasn’t even a writer?? A full storyboard and musical score is solid groundwork for a screenplay. A known screenwriter could then transpose that into a surgical script because they have that expert talent. Right?

Thanks for all your help…

The best lowdown on screenwriting:

Hollywood buyers insist on a properly formatted, finished script because the script is the tool that allows them to approach actors and directors, as well as make a shooting schedule and a budget. Anything else is just hot air.

As a practical matter, if you’re having a difficult time finishing one script, screenwriting probably isn’t the job for you. Most working screenwriters in Hollywood write 5 to 10 scripts before they’re able to sell a script or get assignment work. Finishing the script is the easy part.

(Most of the work for screenwriters in Hwd is assignment work, where a studio or producer has the rights to a particular intellectual property, and they hire a writer to develop it into a screenplay. Original scripts do sell, but it’s much less common than work for hire on assignment.)

Just about every available buyer/market in Hollywood is already swamped with material. They aren’t waiting for your script. If you can prove that you write exceptionally well, by winning a Nicholl Fellowship or placing high on the Blacklist, they will at least be willing to read your material.

They will also be willing to read your material if you have proven success or critical acclaim in some other medium. If you’ve written a best selling paperback, literary fiction, or journalism. If you’ve written a prize winning play. If you’ve created a comic strip with a dedicated following, especially among young people. If you’re a successful standup comedian. If you’ve put out a series of youtube videos with millions of views.

Otherwise, Hollywood folks are likely to respond like so.

The writer doesn’t have to leave it all to the actor and director.The script is part of the process of selling the actors, director, studios, and producers on the movie. Through the use of style, dialogue, and story structure, as well as judicious use of camera angles and asides, the screenwriter conveys his overall vision for the film. (Be wary of screenwriting manuals like Screenwriting for Dummies. Most of these books and seminars are put out by people who have never had substantial Hollywood careers. Their advice is often out-of-date, or just plain wrong.

When Hollywood films became big business, specialization of work and standardization of the process of production and distribution were established for consistent quality, financial stability as well as meeting the demands of the growing audience.

You are still completely and entirely free to do all the jobs of movie making yourself, if you want. You just have to raise your own money. Thousands of people do this very thing in the independent film world. The winners become pop culture heros: Spike Lee,Kevin Smith, Shane Carruth. The vast majority of independent film makers fail, however, and end up losing thousands of dollars. It’s tough to make movies that anyone wants to see. Tough, and expensive. That’s why there are so many barriers and pre-conditions.

Mainly because Hollywood gets better results from specialists who have dedicated their careers to one particular job or sets of jobs. Directors, cinematographers, production designers, costume designers, SFX artists, and professional storyboard artists are responsible for creative visualization. Anyone who’s investing millions of dollars will want experienced pros with a verified track record.

A reputable screenwriter could do all this, sure. You have to pay him. That’s all. Save up about five grand or so, and hire a good non-union screenwriter. Solicit a number of , get their work samples and resumes, hire the one you like best. Give him the score and the storyboards, along with what you’ve got written. He can do the rest. But not for free.

The other roles are given plenty of weight; in fact, the most weight is usually given to the stars, not the screenwriter. On most major Hollywood films, screenwriters are seen as disposable. They get hired on and fired off of film projects all the time. The final script for a film may have contributions from 5 or 10 different writers.

First of all, if you actually intend to sell a screenplay, you need to understand the purpose of all of the “ludicrous” and “obscene” formatting you so decry. Scripts are like a top-level specification for telling a story; they give all of the basic elements (background, dramatic personae, stage directions, dialogue) which the production team, e.g. the director(s), producer(s), actors, production designer(s), stage decorator(s), et cetera use in order to interpret the writer’s intent in order to tell a filmable story. Many writers–especially, but not exclusively those who have never been involved in the production side–know fuck-all about what it takes to take a story from page to screen, which is an enormous task even for a low budget short feature, much less the kind of sprawling story you are describing.

Second, the format of a screenplay (which depends on the type of medium in which it is to be produced; a feature film is different than a multicam, which is different from a portable single camera, which is different from a documentary, which is different from a stage play) has been developed and defined in order to give the entire production team the information they need to do their jobs in an effective fashion. Film scripts, for instance, are formatted such that one page of dialogue is (roughly) equivalent to one minute of “talking head” time, which means that the director of photography know whether he’s going to have to cut to change reels, or the producer estimate how much set time any given scene will require, et cetera. Mucking around with this means that the production team now has to figure out a new, non-standard way to deal with this, which means added cost and time. In an industry–which despite public perception–often runs on a shoestring, even with major motion pictures–such wastage is totally unacceptable. If a picture is burning $500k a filming day, which is about average for a blockbuster pictures, the loss of a week of productive filming time translates into busting a budget and having to shut down or find new financing. You can fuck around with novel formatting at your peril; any director or producer who sees giant blocks of descriptive material or line drawings is probably going to chuck your script unless it is shining brilliance just on the principle that it won’t be worth the time to figure out what it is you are trying to say. Nobody working on a film wants to spend their time reading War and Peace: The Novel of the Movie. They’re there to tell a story on film. This doesn’t mean that you can’t provide supplementary material to the production process; Akira Kurosawa–who originally trained as a painter–used to storyboard his scenes by painting them, and the resulting works of art were often as impressive as the films themselves. But Kurosawa also spent decades working in the trenches of low budget Japanese films before someone handed him a seven figure budget to make Kagemusha or Ran. In order to get there, he had to show that he could do brilliant work on a pittance, which he did, albeit by working with a team of actors, set designers, d.p.s, et cetera who helped him craft his genius into groundbreaking films.

Third, understand that once you sell a screenplay, unless you have specific provisions in your contract, you give up all rights to the story. Everybody from the producer’s housekeeper to the lead actor’s pet ferret has rights to change what the want in the script. A typical script goes through numerous rewrites including bringing in script doctors and dialogue tuners to turn your dream story into something that actually works on film. And they’re right; you don’t own “your” story, and there are plenty of people out there who have creative input into how to make your story better, including how to tune the lines, how to stage the scene, how to interpret the character motivations. Shakespeare wrote over four centuries ago and people are still finding novel and innovative ways to retell his stories. Unless you are Woody Allen or Charlie Kaufman, accept that this will be the case. If you don’t like this, then you need to get involved in the production side, like Orson Welles, Martin Scorsese, David Mamet, Quentin Tarantino, or Joss Whedon. Then, you can not only write the dialogue, but work with the actors to sell them on how to say it. However, unless you want to be known as a complete asshole, you’ll listen to the actors, director of photography, et cetera, and refine your interpretation based upon their input.

Fourth, and I don’t know of an way to be less harsh about this, but the entire “unlimited creativity that accompanies severe ADHD” mantra is an enormous line of crap. Sorry, but nobody cares that you think you’re creative, or believe that your ideas are pure genius, or whatever; they care that you’ve have provided a story and dialogue which are unique and interesting and exciting, and most of all, capable of being filmed. You need to present something that, if not “100%” is close enough as a coherent first draft that a scriptwriter can see the promise in it without having to wade through a giant stack of storyboards or listen to you playing the theme on the oboe. Why? Because there are plenty of people out their who have seemingly great but totally half-baked ideas. The ones that studios want to risk their money on, however, are capable of coming to the table with a fully baked loaf of bread rather than spending years trying to finish the second half of a promising story. (Well, except for the ones who keep hiring J.J. Abrams and apparently don’t care that they’re paying for the first third of a story and then a bunch of action set pieces and lens flares that distract from the fact that there is no coherent ending.)

If you actually have the talent and drive that you claim, then you can insert yourself into the production process. There are plenty of screenwriters who are also accomplished as directors, producers, and yes, even participate in developing the film score. But no single person can do it all by themselves; such a movie would take years or decades to produce. You need all of these people to help you interpret your story in a way that is actually produceable as a film. You may have something in your head that seems like its a finished product, but I guarantee the first time a d.p. or lighting supervisor looks at your vision they’re going to point out a bunch practical reasons why your notion can’t be filmed as you imagine it.

Sorry for harshing on your buzz, but if you really want to make it in the highly competitive world of screenwriting and film production, you need to be realistic about what you are facing. However great your ideas are, there are thousands of other people who also have great ideas. You either need to be able to show that you can complete those ideas in a useable format, e.g. the standard screenplay formats, or you need to team up with someone else who can help you do so. Thinking that you’re just going to do the “creative stuff” and leave it up to some cinematic morlocks to turn it into a filmable product without altering your vision is about as rational as learning to drive by watching Fast and Furious movies.


I’m also forced to be harsh about it. The rules are there to keep people like you from bothering them.

Who knows how many people out there are thinking about writing a screenplay? Millions, probably. Say that 1% of them do so every year. That’s tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of scripts. The best way to reduce that number to a manageable one is to set the bar extremely high. One of those bars is whether a person can complete a work. A partial work is almost never judgeable. A flawed work is. One typo isn’t enough to judge you on, but people who think they don’t have to be perfect are not going to have one typo but a pattern of mistakes. [Usually. It’s LOSE. Not LOOSE. I’d toss you right there.]

Same advice we have given dozens of others who’ve started threads like yours over the years. The people who make it in the business are those who devote their lives to it. There are two paths. One is to make your own movies, submit them to the zillions of film festivals, and get noticed. The other is to move to Hollywood and find a job in the industry to learn how it functions and work your way up. Virtually nobody (except for people already famous for other reasons) has ever made it outside these routes. I guarantee you won’t be the exception.

Most new musicians, inventors, painters, and writers have to start in poverty and face rejection 100 times or be Ramanujans and shine above the rest. That’s not new to me. That has nothing to do with the BALANCE of factors/roles if you want to do multiple things, accepting each element is just as unlikely to fail as another. Fine, break it apart. Let’s say I have an album unlikely to sell, a patent unlikely to sell, paintings unlikely to sell, and a screenplay unlikely to sell. I can either quit the arts altogether, or I can do what nearly every successful composer, inventor, painter, and writer, had to do to launch their career, i.e. working from the ground up, submitting ad nauseum and building tough skin for rejection.

Where is the middle ground between doing EVERYTHING myself, and writing one finished screenplay and releasing all rights to the creative process?

This is an absolutely intriniscally simple princple; why not accept:

(Polished Screenplay) + (Finished score)
OR: (Screenplay) + (storyboard)
OR: (Screenplay) + (4 rock songs) + (photograph)
OR: (1/2 Screenplay) + (Patented invention backed by global company)
OR: (30 min raw footage) + (full soundtrack album) + (story)
OR: (rudimentary 90-min movie as groundwork for IMAX version)
OR: (university-backed cancer cure) + (general idea for film)

Let’s take this last one. If I have a full quantified cure for cancer but it would take varied talents to produce and market the formula/etc., what film studio in the world wouldn’t seriously consider a proposition for a movie that will help give the cure exposure to the public and call for these professionals?

To be precise, I’m working with:

A) EXISTING footage. This is the equivalent of having already hired all of your experienced people. It just can’t stand on its own in cinema without other elements, so the major pitch is not to start with nothing, but to start with something.

B) A method I’ve been pitching that various professionals, including an Emmy-award winning biomedical engineer, have said is very interesting at an early glance. It’s not a whole lot, but it’s a big step over throwing a mess of technical jargon at a screenwriting agent who has no skill or time to evaluate it. Let’s just say for the sake of argument I finish the invention and achieve a patent backed by a major university but that doesn’t have any resources to throw money at my idea for a movie. That is strong professional weight to the project.

C) A library of absolutely cutting-edge fractal artwork. (I paid hundreds of dollars for a pro e-commerce site to sell it but that’s tabled for the moment.) It supplements both my method and my movie framework. The screenplay may say:
Joe explores a vast fractal multiverse.
Of course this line alone won’t summon a line of creative graphic artists to figure out what a “fractal multiverse” might look like and create hundreds of elite images to back their interpretation. Hence all that already done in a professional task already done. (It’s imagery, and hence would have to be interpreted by someone who would turn it to actual video, but that imagery is a standard step in making movie: storyboard art.)

D) Rock and electronic songs of mine that I could easily submit to a record company to evaluate. Why can’t I just as easily submit them as a component of a movie framework to a team with somebody who knows about music in the context of film? That would be more likely to gain funding than the screenplay line:
An original rock song plays that synchs absolutely perfectly with this scene.

E) An idea for a video game based on the study of human movement that would be required to generate the acrobatic CGI characters in the film.

F) Simple ideas for music visualization plug-ins (graphics that dance on the screen to the beat of pre-recorded music). I will likely not quantify these into a polished proposition (how could I have time?), but writing a few coherent paragraphs explaining how the idea would relate to the film, would supplement the screenplay.

G) The featuring of a quickly growing art/sport (freerunning & parkour), which someone would want to study to gauge the relevance of the screenplay to society. Just a simple series of links letting them explore these online, with notes on how those videos relate to the script, would be invaluable to the value of the screenplay.

…and other components!

I don’t have time/resources to go to college, study movie directing, buy a camera, hire actors, and start filming my movie, just because I can’t locate the people on Earth with the smarts to look at the framework and gauge it’s potential cinematic value. I basically know how to submit the individual items to specific people, but the movie is the thing that will bind them all into a coherent whole, and it must be looked at as a whole.

So where are the intelligent screenwriting manuals that say how to integrate a screenplay with a wide project set? Why do they all robotically spit back a single process (mail us 100 basic pages and if it’s absolutely extraordinary, we’ll find you a few million dollars and hire 70 people to bring your idea to life for you)?

Because it’s not worth their time and money to take a non-robotic process on screenplays that are 99% likely to be shit and 99.99% likely not to be good enough to risk a few million dollars on.
Very few people who think they’re special flowers are. Most of the time, it’s the Dunning-Kruger effect at work.

I know it’s a long thread but you missed the whole point I started with. I think it’s funny that people basically write “STUFF HAPPENS” on a napkin and then beg for a million dollars and a crew of 100 people to make it a blockbuster IMAX film. I’m working on a framework (mostly my own components) with 40 times the substance of a bare screenplay. And yes, I know it needs a screenplay! (It’s partly drafted.) The point is I have no idea where to send it when it’s complete (and when the components have more professional backing.)

Just the fact that this thread has spiraled completely backwards into telling me things I already agreed with to begin with, says something about this mindless processing of screenwriting. This is a long thread, yes, but the fact that you’re skim of it has defaulted you to an erroneous interpretation in that I’m trying to write a screenplay and complaining no one will buy it, shows you can’t process fresh, new creative information. This is part of what I’m annoyed with.

Take novel writing. I submitted an unorthodox query letter to an agency, who rejected it with a template based on some time-honed filtering of what makes a good query letter. While my query was convoluted and could have been simpler, the point is it’s incredibly difficult to submit a new, fresh project within the template of a process formed from things that have come before!

The more radical an idea/work, the more it’s going to rage against a process built for standard, non-radical ideas. My main fictional saga is a work of METAfiction. This means it transcends the internal story to involve the reader themselves as characters, or an akin breach of standard fiction. How can I submit something like that in a standard template built AGAINST changes and new processes? I’m progressing with compressing my works into time-honed templates and still maintain their radical nature, but it’s basically impossible to do 100%

It’s a baffling paradox that people who strive to discover new and fresh things, have built filtering processes that work exactly in the opposite direction.

What you’re looking for is “coverage.” That’s when professionals grade your screenplay and either give you notes to improve it, or potentially show it to producers to make it. Look online and you’ll find many places across the world, but mainly Hollywood, that do this, usually for only a nominal fee.

Yes, everyone who has replied to you in this thread has misunderstood what you meant to say despite your exceptional writing skills. We must be morons who can’t comprehend ideas, especially the rocket scientist guy (Stranger) and the lawyer guy (me).

You’re just too extraordinary to go through the ordinary process. You should include this datum as the first sentence of every letter and resume you send. It’ll make clear how exceptionally extraordinary you are.

You’re asking for their money. You haven’t given them any reason at all to give you any money. That’s what it comes down to.

They only have so much money to spend, so they spend it on two things: projects with proven audience appeal that originate in some other medium (Harry Potter, Twilight, the fictionalized life of a popular standup - Louis CK), and projects originated within the industry by people who have followed the proper channels.

If it’s such a great idea, it doesn’t have to be a film, does it? It could be a graphic novel, or a motion comic, or a radio play, or a serialized web novel, no?

That may be helpful, thanks, but you’re still missing my main point. Who is qualified to evaluate my complex project with all its components? Forget all my specifics if you like, just simply, who would look at a storyboard, songs, scoring, and inventive methods, ALONG with a screenplay designed to bring them into a whole? I can’t imagine anybody but a team of people could properly do that. So there must be some versatile agencies that will click particularly well with a complex framework…?