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Letters to the Editor

Selling a Screenplay


I'm writing a screenplay and I want to sell it, but I know it's not an easy thing to do.
Is there any chance that I can sell my screenplay over the Internet? I feel that it's a great story, but I’m not sure how to get an agent to read it? What should I do to get into the film industry?

—Cláudio Pestana
    Madeira Island, Portugal

Glenn Bossik, Editor-in-Chief:
You have several great options, Cláudio. You can begin by choosing an agent from’s directory. Before contacting an agent, write a query letter that briefly describes the logline of your screenplay, provides a short pitch, and details your professional background. Then send the letter via e-mail or regular mail. If the agent requests a copy of your screenplay, send it right away. Then follow up by phone in two weeks. Though screenplays aren’t sold over the Internet, you can promote a script through logline listing services and your own blog. You can list your logline on, and you can start a blog for free through our blog hosting network. Another great option is to make your script into an independent film by shooting it on digital provides a video hosting service that allows you to distribute your film on the Internet.

Writing Screenplays for Short Documentaries


I am perhaps the newest person to screenwriting. I’m a poet and writer of novels. However, someone approached me about turning several of my works into short documentaries. Now, I’m beginning to write screenplays for these films. One problem is that I’m disabled and on a limited income. I have no way to pay for screenwriting courses right now. How much instruction can I actually get for this through free online courses? Would such instruction be reliable, accurate, and up-to-date?


 Glenn Bossik, Editor-in-Chief:
Documentaries are journalistic in nature. To get a clear overview of documentary screenwriting, read How to Write a Documentary Script, an online guide by Trisha Das. I also recommend reading Michael Rabiger’s excellent book, Directing the Documentary. You’ll find thatdocumentaries use many of the dramatic elements of fiction films.

Thankfully, there are several low-cost ways to learn the art and business of screenwriting for fiction films. First, buy a copy of The Complete Guide to Standard Script Formats, an excellent book on screenplay formatting. Then read several popular screenplays from a genre that you like. has a directory of free screenplays. The Exercise Series can also help you plan and write your script, and you should buy a copy of screenplay formatting software such as Movie Magic Screenwriter, Final Draft, or Sophocles.


Screenplay Formatting


How can I write the time, date, or place in a screenplay so that it will be superimposed on the movie screen?

— Jaz

Glenn Bossik, Editor-in-Chief:
It’s very easy to use superimpositions in a screenplay. To do so, type the word, super, in all capital letters. Then include a colon and type the time, date, or place in all caps, too. The following is an example from the screenplay for the film, Bobby:


Normally, it’s sufficient to use scene headings to list the time, date, and location of a scene. The script for The Shawshank Redemption does so in the following example:


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