Joe writes in:
I’m just a 32 year old boy. And like every 32 year old boy, I have an idea for a TV series. I don’t have any connections, but I do have a show bible and pilot script. Is there any way a regular old boy without any connections can get anyone to look at his work?
I’d really just love to sell the premise, and I’m willing to intimately jostle anyone or anything to make it happen, but heck, this country boy doesn’t even know what his lubed hands should be reaching for!
Yeah, no, that’s not a thing. Listen to every episode of Scriptnotes, and you’ll learn what to do. Reader’s Digest version– move to Los Angeles, get a job in the Industry, meet people, sell your script.
It’s great that you’ve written a script; not everyone can even accomplish that much. But if it’s your first script, it’s probably not very good.
But more importantly, no one will read it, anyway, because no one knows who you are. There are plenty of great writers right here in Hollywood, and reading a script takes time. Why would they read yours when they already have fifty scripts sitting on their desk from experienced writers with successful track records of writing and creating shows?
The only way to get someone to read your script is if they know you, either personally or by reputation. You have no reputation right now. The only other option is to get to know them personally. The only way to get to know them personally is by moving here and making friends.
As a side note: you can’t sell the premise, because there’s nothing there to sell. When you sell a script, you’re selling your copyright to a fixed work. You can’t sell an idea because you can’t own in the first place.
When you hear about a big time writer “selling a pitch,” what they’re actually doing is convincing the studio to pay them before they’ve even written the script. Yes, part of that sale is the quality of the idea, but a good portion of it is, again, knowing the writer and knowing that she’s capable of delivering a good script based on that idea.
Creating a TV series is even harder, because in television, the writer is expected to produce, as well. It’s a big job, and if you’ve never set foot on a set before, how are you going to know how to run an entire series?