Sherry oh Sherry am I to be a Viktim to?
Warren at The Screenwriting Life has been having some fun, and did not invite us to do the same :)
I quietly put in my best effort logline and low and behold, they want more of this literary gold.
Title of Work: The Venus Trap
Synopsis: A young women ensnars her older gargantuan lover in her wiley,
unsuspecting, forcibly recaltricant, web of lies, deceits and more dammning
lies, before swalling up his life, family and possessions, before moving
onto the next viktim.
NYP-Bio: aspiring Australian screnwriter still working the old 40hors to pay
From this obviously brilliant logline, they want more, see below, copy and pasted from the lovely Sherry's email. She can obviously spot brilliance.
Also, I must disagree with Warren on one point. I think my logline is much worse than his :)
Thank you for your query to the Screenplay Literary Agency. Based on your
query form information we would like to see your work and learn a little bit
more about your goals and your work.
1) Would you please send us an electronic copy
of your screenplay for further evaluation?
Please email your manuscript to
(We accept Final Draft, Movie Magic, Screenwiter, and pdf, doc, and
2) Would you please answer these 2 questions
in the body of the SAME email? (Just copy and paste
A. How long have you been writing, and
what are your goals as a writer?
B. Do you consider your writing 'ready-to-go',
or do you think it needs some polishing.
You may send either 30 or so pages, or the entire screenplay, whichever you
are more comfortable sending to us. Your screenplay is completely safe
within our company. We take care to properly manage all access and if we
don't end up working together, we delete all files.
Please DO NOT include any questions with your submission. If you have a
question, please send it to question@TheScreenplayAgency.com where the
proper people may address your question. Most of the questions you may have
are answered on the website and at the bottom of this email. Please see the
Our preference for receiving your screenplay is via email.
If the file size is greater than 5 megabytes you can mail it to us, but
please only send it once, either by email or snail mail (we prefer email).
Our mailing address is: The Screenplay Agency, 275 Madison Ave., 4th Floor,
New York, New York 10016. If you decide to mail your screenplay please be
sure to INCLUDE your email address (very clearly) so we may reply and
process your screenplay. Mailed screenplays may take up to 30 days to
reply/process. Emailed manuscripts are processed much more quickly.
We also just recently found a free service that will move large files. Take
a look at www.yousendit.com. We've used it successfully in the past. Just
use my email address.
We believe we are very different than other agencies.
We believe that we are unique in that we are willing to develop an author
and their talent. We like the metaphor of a business incubator as a
description of how we will take time to bring an author's work to the proper
quality level, even if it takes months to do so. We take pride in the fact
that we answer every email personally within 2-3 days.
Also, you may understand how a Literary Agency works, but many authors
don't, so please excuse me while I take a minute and let you know how the
process works. As your Literary Agent, our mission is to assist you in
finding a buyer for your work and to coach you along the way in various
options available to you. We don't edit your work, our mission is to sell
for you. As for compensation, get paid on success only, meaning we only get
paid if you get paid. Typically we will receive 10% of what you receive if
we are successful.
We do not charge fees, so our compensation is based on success only. Along
the way, we may suggest that you improve the quality of your work and or how
it is presented. Once your work is deemed 'presentable', then we'll start
shopping it to buyers. We never promise a sale, but we can tell you that we
have a model that works.
We look forward to receiving your materials.
Sherry Fine - V.P. Acquisitions
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) Do you return screenplays?
A) Sorry for the inconvenience however, WE DO NOT RETURN SCREENPLAYS due to
the volume of submissions we receive. Please do not send us anything that
you can't replace easily.
Q) Would you prefer me to email or mail my manuscript?
A) WE MUCH PREFER EMAILED MANUSCRIPTS.
Q) How should I attach my manuscript?
A) PLEASE DO NOT PASTE YOUR MANUSCRIPT INTO THE BODY OF THE EMAIL. Please
send it to us as an attachment, otherwise it hangs up the mail system. If
you can't create an attachment, please get a friend to help you do so.
Q) Is my screenplay safe with you?
A) Your materials are safe within our company. If you are uncomfortable
sending your entire manuscript, please only send 3-5 chapters. If we do not
end up working together we will destroy and delete any copies of your work
that we have.
Q) How long does this review take?
A) About 7-10 days. We're faster than most other agencies.
Q) Why is there no phone number? I want to talk to someone...
A) Quite frankly, we are deluged with submissions. It is our policy to
provide a contact number later in the process, assuming we would like to
proceed with you.
Q) Where are you located?
A) We maintain executive suites in Los Angeles and New York and we have
various relationship partners in Los Angeles where we meet with clients and
buyers. Other than that, we travel often and have the good fortune to live
in Florida and California depending on the time of year. Sometimes we think
that we live in airports.
Q) Tell me about your company.
A) We are bigger than a small agency and smaller than a large agency. We
have about 15 people total and as of 2nd quarter, 2005 we have over 60
active conversations ongoing with buyers and 3 option agreements in
negotiations. We market to the larger and medium sized publishers and
producers. None of the options have made it to production yet, because
we're on the newer side, but it should be a good year for our authors this
Q) How do I know you are for real?
A) All we ask is that you judge us on the professionalism of our
interactions together. We will never ask you for money, so that's one way to
judge for yourself. Our commitment to you is that we believe that we should
get paid only if we sell your work. Your commitment to us is that you will
do what it takes to make sure your manuscript is the best it can be and that
it meets or exceeds industry quality standards.
Q) What are you looking for during your evaluation?
A) We mainly look for COMMERCIAL VIABILITY in the work coupled with good
solid writing skills. "Is it something that will sell?" is of paramount
importance to us. (We ARE NOT scrutinizing every word, spelling, and grammar
usage. There's plenty of time later for that.) We believe that great writers
are made, not born at least 99% of the time. But if a work doesn't have
commercial potential, then we want to let you know as quickly as possible.
Being willing to grow talent, we believe in the old adage, "luck is when
opportunity meets preparation and hard work".
Q) What if you find errors or problems with my screenplay? Should I spend
time revising now, or later?
A) We receive very few 'ready-to-go' screenplays. We believe we are unique
in that we are willing to work with our authors along the way. Most that we
receive need some level of polishing before we can submit them to buyers.
Some need very little polishing. Some need a lot. Over the years, we've
learned that it is worth our time and effort to do what it takes to develop
new talent. We've learned that incubating new talent makes good business
Q) My screenplay isn't finished....
A) As long as there is enough finished to determine your skills as a writer
we are willing to look at your work. As mentioned previously, we take a
long term view and we are willing to develop talent.
Q) Is this an automated email? Is there a real person out there?
A) Yes, and yes, and yes... We personally review each query form to
determine whether the story idea/synopsis sounds interesting. This tells us
which screenplays we would like to receive.
Then, yes, we do use form letter emails to provide these FAQs. Can you
imagine typing this time and time again? We pride ourselves on using
technology to be as efficient as possible. This allows us to work with
authors from anywhere in the world. By automating certain elements of our
communications we can spend more thoughtful time on your questions that are
specific to you and your situation.
Sherry Fine - VP of Acquisitions
We Grow Talent
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