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Talentville Bar & Grill : My uncle's neighbor is an Agent...
Some questions...

Victor Titimas
Posted February 25, 2013 10:24 PM
I'm new at this and have a few questions about this. I apologize if they may sound stupid or from someone who doesn't know much..thanks for answering!:)
1)What's the agents and managers job?
2)Which one should you choose: an agent or a manager?
3)What happens if you send your script and don't have an agent or a manager?
4)How many scripts can you send to a single agent/manager?
5)If you're allowed to send more than a single script, do they use them all at the same time?

Geoff Morton
Posted February 26, 2013 6:34 AM

Here's an excellent book with lots to say on the subject of managers and agents. If you're still new at this, which you say you are, I wouldn't worry too much about managers and agents yet. Keep focusing on your craft, read lots of books on the subject, like Save The Cat and Robert McKee's Story. Keep pounding your scripts. Use sites like this to get feedback. Read some of the top rated scripts here and learn from them, what works, what doesn't. Read others reviews on those scripts here you read, and see what they had to say about them as well. No two critiques will be the same, so a script you thought just fine and excellent may turn up a dozen amazingly valid points in someone else's reviews.

But don't stop there. Take your favourite movies and analyze them. Chart them. Look at how they hew to the three act structure. Read professional analyses on those films you love and see what those critiques turn up. Read the screenplays those movies are on. You'll learn a lot.

In short (long) keep reading, keep learning and keep writing. I haven't read your work from beginning to end, but I've taken a look and I can tell that you have a great imagination and a love of fantasy and sci-fi. So, couple that imagination with the discipline to learn and hammer those flights of fancy into something that wows people.

Hope that helps. :)

Michael Wright
Posted February 26, 2013 7:42 PM
Wow, great answer Geoff!

Geoff Morton
Posted February 26, 2013 7:48 PM
Thanks Michael.

This is taken from another thread from a month or two ago. What I posted there applies here. It's an overview of some very excellent reading materials for anyone who wants to expand their repertoire and knowledge base.


He seems to have fallen out of favour in recent years, but when I was starting out, I bought up the basic books by Syd Field. They helped form the foundation for my storytelling, understanding not just formatting, but the fundamental form underlying movie structure. He tends to refer to movies from a generation or three ago, but they're sound.

The fundamentals of the craft explained from the ground up. Structure is explored in detail.
The Screenwriter's Workbook
Goes deeper into the lessons of the first, with "assignments" for you to do, if I recall correctly, that would allow you to deepen your skill.
Four Screenplays
An examination, scene by scene, of Thelma and Louise, Terminator 2, Silence of the Lambs and Dances With Wolves. He presents screenplay text for a couple scenes and then talks about the following scenes in prose. It makes for a good primer on both the format and the underlying form that drives it.

In recent years, I've used the aforementioned Blake Snyder books.

Save The Cat!
This one lays out the modern movie form in 3-5 page chunks, naming and explaining the type of scene that happens and why, and on exactly what page. Very useful if you already have some foundational knowledge.
Save The Cat! Goes to the Movies
Analyzes dozens of modern movies and how the formula laid out in Save The Cat! applies to them.
Save The Cat! Strikes Back
This one's more of an odds n ends book. There's no overriding direction here, just lots of interesting knowledge about screenwriting and the industry in general.

The aforementioned Screenwriter's Bible by David Trottier (also a contributer to this site - you can get free knowledge from him)

I recently purchased Screenwriting Tips, You Hack: 150 Pointers... by Xander Bennett. Really good tips in there.

For a more academic approach to breaking down storytelling, check out Robert McKee's Story. Not a light read, and not for the faint of heart.

If you subscribe to Jung's more universal archetypal approach to storytelling, check out
The Writer's Journey, Mythic Structure for Writers, by Christopher Vogler. It in itself is a distillation of
The Hero With A Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell.
• If you want an interesting read, check out Myth & The Movies: Discovering the Myth Structure of 50 Unforgettable Films, by Stuart Voytilla. It uses Vogler's work and dissects over four dozen movies to see how the structure applies.

There are a lot more books in my collection that I've learned from over the years, but this is a very well rounded list that should get your head spinning with hundreds of ideas... few of which will make any sense until you actually sit down to start writing and finding your own method.