Getting your unsolicited script made, or at least read by a production company is about the toughest way to break into the industry, but lots of people still ask me about it so here’s my two-pennies-worth…
If I go back only ten years I could have written a list here of nearly a hundred film and television production companies who would accept scripts submitted by new writers (writers they didn’t know, and who didn’t have an agent). I know because I made a living reading for about twenty of them. Sadly, that is no longer the case. It costs money to employ readers to plough through tens of thousands of scripts each year. The reality is that of those thousands of spec scripts, only a handful will be good enough for the production company to want to develop it and try to get it made. In essence the return on the money invested in reading unsolicited scripts is too small to make it viable for most companies.
However, maybe you are that one in ten thousand whose script is pretty much perfect but you don’t yet have an agent or any credits to your name. So how do you get a production company to read your script if you don’t have an agent? Well, there are still a handful of places accepting unsolicited submissions. The two biggies are BBC Writersroom (for television drama) and the UK Film Council (for feature films). These are two large organisations with the structure and funding to read huge numbers of scripts and take forward any projects they come across that really excite them.
I’ve listed below all the places I’ve found that do still accept unsolicited script submissions. Check out their website and follow their submission guidelines. If in doubt, contact them and ask what their policy is.
Shooting People – online pitching available. Subscription required.
Do bear in mind that I’m not recommending these production companies, I’m just pulling together information that’s already in the public domain. It’s up to you to do your homework. The production companies I’ve listed range from the very well established like Red Productions and Red Planet to the brand new, 2-people outfits like Achilles Entertainments.
If you know of any others, please let me know and I’ll update the list.