Every so often I get someone writing to me, asking if they should send a script to some "producer" they found on CraigsList (or some similar site). From my website:
During the past year or so, many budding screenwriters have told me that they’ve responded to “Script Wanted” postings on Internet screenwriting boards. These writers know I’m a big proponent of knowing who your script is going to, so they’ll usually ask the “producers” to provide information about themselves. For instance: “What type of budget are you working with?” “What have you produced previously?” “Will the writer get paid up front? Or would it be a step deal? Or will payment be deferred?” “What plans do you have for the completed movie (i.e. festivals, theatrical or direct-to-DVD release)?”
After posing these questions, most never hear anything back—or they get only a terse response with just an address. Sorry, but that just seems WRONG.
All riled up, I searched a few of these screenwriting boards, and queried twelve so-called producers. I let them know I had a script I’d love to send, but first I needed them to provide some background on who they were, etc. Five didn’t respond at all, 4 responded with merely an address to where I could send my script, and 3 responded with very friendly messages that provided absolutely no useful information whatsoever...but oh, they'd love to read my screenplay and here's a post office box I could send it to.
So, would I send a screenplay to one of these unknown entities? NO!!
Something else to keep in mind: Folks rummaging around on the Net in search of scripts are probably not in any position to get a movie made. It’s highly doubtful they even have the clout to get a script into the hands of someone who can get a movie made. In fact, I doubt these people even know anyone in the film industry. Also, it's a pretty safe bet that most of the people looking for scripts via the Internet are film students—or people who want to make their first film and need a script they can get for free or ultra-cheap. And that's fine…just let us know this up front!
So please...KNOW WHO YOU’RE SENDING YOUR SCRIPT TO. Get information from the people you query. Do Google searches. Protect yourself!