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Screenwriting Myths & Facts: Part 7

By Steve Kaire

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True or False

  1. A query letter is typically two to three pages long

    That’s false. A query letter should never be longer than one page.

  2. There is more money available to invest in independent films now than ever before

    That is true.

  3. The most important element in a letter of introduction is the person who referred you to that company or agent

    That’s true. If you have the name of a person who referred you, list it in the first paragraph.

  4. A slam dunk is a compelling, high concept premise that is universally recognized as being a winner

    True.

  5. During a pitch session, you should first tell the listener how you got the idea of creating your story

    False. This is another big misconception. You have limited time to give your pitch and the listener doesn’t care how you created it.

  6. A fish out of water story is an example of a brainstorming technique

    That's true.

  7. It isn’t permissible to email your script to interested parties who requested to read it

    False. Many companies and agents now prefer online submissions to having all those stacked scripts in their office. Ask the company which is their preferred method of submission.

  8. Unlike agents who charge a flat 10%, managers can charge any percentage of a client’s earnings that are agreed to

    That’s true. Most managers charge 15% of all earnings but some celebrity managers charge up to 50% of their client’s earnings.

  9. When you use a framing technique, (example: It’s “Apollo 13” meets “Die Hard,”) it should come at the end of your pitch

    False. Framing techniques should be used before you pitch your logline to prepare the listener for what type of story you’re about to pitch.

  10. All well written screenplays should contain a main character who goes through a character arc

    True. Virtually every script has one of its characters undergo a positive change by the end of the movie. Notable exceptions is the James Bond character and Popeye Doyle in “The French Connection”.

 

About Steve Kaire

Steve Kaire is a screenwriter and "Pitchman" who has sold 8 projects to the major studios without representation. The last project he sold, he’s Co-Producing for Walden Media. A screenwriter for over 30 years, he holds a Masters in Dramatic Writing and has taught writing classes at the American Film Institute. Steve was featured on the Tonight Show’s, "Pitching to America" and was voted a Star Speaker at Screenwriters Expo three years in a row. His unique CD & Ebook, "High Concept - How to Create, Pitch & Sell to Hollywood" is a best seller. His website is: HighConceptScreenwriting.com.
Screenwriting Article by Steve Kaire

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