What I am about to tell you was the most significant reason for my success as a screenwriter. I came up with a clever, hands-on approach to creating a contact list of producers, agents, and entertainment attorneys that I would later target.

I followed the Hollywood trade papers and websites (like DoneDeal.com) that listed the names of all the principals who were responsible for getting a particular movie made. Then I’d write down the names of the executive producers, producers, and associate producers who were involved in the project. I would also include the names of the people who negotiated the deal including agents, managers, and attorneys. After six months of compiling my list, I noticed the same names would keep recurring. Those were the people that I was going to contact.

The big advantage of using this approach is that you’re creating your own unique list. In effect, you are tracking insiders who are the movers and shakers in the industry. These are the people who are in the narrow selling loop as evidenced by the fact that their names keep coming up in deal after deal.

This approach will yield a lot more dividends than blindly writing to   any and all production companies. That’s the route most writers take and it’s rarely successful. So is getting the list of agents from the Writers Guild of America. Any agent that would take on a brand new writer without any credits is not well connected in the business.

By creating an original list of Hollywood’s power players and then targeting them, you’re bypassing the overused and unproductive methods that don’t serve you well.

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Read Steve on Screenwriting by Steve Kaire the first Thursday of the month on Write On! Online. Kaire is a screenwriter/pitchman who’s sold eight projects to the major studios on spec without representation. For more from Steve Kaire, check out his CD: “High Concept-How to Create, Pitch & Sell to Hollywood” and website: High Concept Screenwriting.

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