Lots of UK writers have been asking me recently about breaking into Hollywood so here’s my advice.
Pretty much the same advice applies whether you’re breaking into your home market or a foreign market and my top tip for both is DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Just as I’d expect a writer applying to write on ‘Holby City’ or ‘Coronation Street’ to watch the show and know it well, so you have to know the market you’re trying to crack, whatever and wherever it is.
If you’re a UK writer wanting to write UK films you’d be researching UK film production companies, right? So, do the same thing for Los Angeles. Learn which production companies and studios make what films. If you’re into the UK market you’d get Broadcast and Moviescope. For the US market there are loads of great magazines and websites to help you keep track of who’s making what – try Deadline Hollywood, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. There are also subscription sites like TrackingB, Tracking Board, DoneDealPro, ItsOnTheGrid and Screen International.
If you want L.A representation, find out who represents the Hollywood writers whose films you love. The websites that track film script sales always mention who represents the writer so you can build up a picture of the L.A literary agent scene pretty quickly.
Although you can certainly make approaches to Hollywood from the UK, in her ScriptChat Q&A, Los Angeles literary manager Jenny Frankfurt also recommends getting out to L.A and networking in person. One great way to do this is through the Hollywood Field Trip. It’s a bit pricey but the feedback from those writers that have been is that it was money incredibly well invested in their careers. Right now the guys have got 2 spots remaining on their October trip and are offering £200 off the price. Do get in touch with them if you’re interested.
If Hollywood is the market you want to write for then you should GO FOR IT – good luck and I’ll see you there!