Do you have a question that you’d like to have answered by a longtime Hollywood literary agent? Send it in!

Question: (Susan Bridges)

My writing partner and I have submitted a screenplay and one sheet to a production company. From the communication I’ve had with the assistant thus far, they’re not considering the screenplay itself but instead are considering us to work with them on their own projects.

My question is, how long should I wait to follow up with them, and what should I say when I do? We do not have representation, if that is relevant.

Answer: (Michele Wallerstein)

It sounds as if you have already been following up by checking in with the assistant. Without knowing when you submitted the screenplay I will have to give you a rule of thumb to guide you further. It usually takes 2-3 weeks for a script to be covered by a reader in the company, then there is another wait for the upper echelon of the company to look it over. The producers themselves only look at material that has received very positive coverage from their readers. Apparently you have received good coverage.

It is good to check in again after a total of 3-4 weeks. You need to ask if the producer has seen the script and if the answer is yes, they will either put you through to him or her, or they won’t take the call, nor will they call you back. If people like your work they will want to meet you and will call. If they want you to do work on one of their projects it is fairly easy to call an agent and ask them to negotiate on your behalf. After all… they will get 10% of your fee. Everyone likes a "gimme."

Michele Wallerstein is a Screenplay & Novel & Career Consultant and author of “MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career“.

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