Someone who uses various names and claims to be from various places asks more than once:

What does Hollywood really think of companies that offer services like InkTip?

The best answer to that is to explain how producers find material. One critical task of the producer is to find or develop quality producible screenplays. This is an extremely difficult and costly job and one that will make or break a company. Keep in mind the following formula:

# of screenplays offered to each producer = Infinite
% of screenplays that are unproducible = 99.9%
Labor required to evaluate each screenplay = 3 hours
Cost of labor = $75+ per screenplay plus executive time
Cost of finding a producible screenplay = substantial

As that formula sinks in, you can see that the job of finding material is a job of carefully using resources. If a producer were to simply evaluate every script that was offered, most producers would go broke before ever finding a quality script. Producers overcome this obvious problem by using filters.

The most recognizable filters are agents and managers. The agents and managers have presumably already filtered out many of the garbage scripts. Therefore, if a producer limits its consideration to scripts that come from an agent or manager, the chances of finding a quality script are higher. However, the agent game is a challenge for the producer, too. First, most agents and managers are not very good filters. They often push inferior material. Second, the agents and managers who are good filters carefully mete out material and usually submit quality scripts simultaneously to multiple producers. The result is that producers often compete for the few strong pieces of material in the market. Well-funded producers have the ability to compete effectively in this environment, but most producers do not.

Other common filters are personal relationships. Producers and their executives develop personal relationships with reliable screenplay sources, whether they be directly with a small number of writers or with a select circle of agents and managers who will pass on quality material prior to submitting it in the open market. This, too, increases the odds of finding quality material with the least amount of resources and this is the most common way material is acquired in Hollywood.

Another potential filter, and the one being urged by services such as InkTip, is the Internet. Some producers have decided for one reason or another that looking through lists of log lines from completely unknown writers for hours is somehow cost effective. The characteristics of material on a service like InkTip are that a higher percentage of it is unproducible (as in almost all of it), but a higher percentage of it is also unknown and, therefore, not subject to market competition. In other words, InkTip is a place where a producer might find that very rare diamond-in-the-rough no one else has spotted. However, once a producer selects your log line hoping to find the diamond-in-the-rough, the producer still has to expend considerable resources to read your script – or at least a small portion of your script – to evaluate it. This substantially limits the value of InkTip to most producers.

The reasons why a producer might actually spend resources evaluating log-lines in a computer database like InkTip are: (1) the producer is looking for specific content; (2) the producer does not like to read screenplays; (3) the producer has no real resources, e.g. no paid readers to read tons of scripts, (4) the producer lacks resources to compete on the open market, or (5) the producer has so many resources that spending some of it on the very unlikely chance of finding a producible script on InkTip or other services is worth the expense. A review of the “success stories” on InkTip’s website suggests that most of the producers who acquire material through InkTip fall into categories 2,3 and 4.

Accordingly, services like InkTip do have a small place in the market. However, keeping in mind that the number of screenplays registered with InkTip or any similar service is likely enormous, the likelihood of your screenplay being randomly selected by a producer who actually has the ability to pay you money for the script and/or get your script turned into a movie is about as high as the likelihood of a producer actually finding a producible script on such a service. It is an extreme, extreme long-shot.

The other issue to consider with a service like InkTip is that it’s philosophy runs counter to conventional wisdom – at least an agent’s conventional wisdom – which is that access to your writing (especially if you can actually write a professional quality script) should be highly controlled so that it is a desired commodity. Once your script is on InkTip, it is not controlled at all. Anyone who meets a few basic criteria has access to it. This tends to devalue it. However, for emerging writers who have no access to producers in the first place, especially out-of-town writers, this is not a controlling issue.

So what does all this mean? Should you or should you not use a service like InkTip? I don’t know. Now that you can make an informed decision, that’s pretty much up to you.


  1. Scriptwriting is like credit: you have to have a good debt record to borrow money. It’s a Catch 22. You need a good agent to get major studio reads, but agents only want moneymakers. So, for the breakout writer, any and all connections in film are important–if nothing else, to get good, honest industry perspective on what you’re writing. Even with a complex script, it seems the old military adage applies: KISS (keep it simple, stupid). Make sure anyone can understand your script on the main level, even if you build in deeper levels of meaning that some viewers might miss. I’m just getting started on shopping a script around, and I think the discussion on this board is very helpful. It’s great to be able to sit in on the experience of so many people–especially if they’re honest.

  2. This is Awesomo! I was looking for the tribe of Wannabe Screenwriters and Vidiots, and here you all are!
    Hollywood is not an evil place, nor is it a ghost town, but it is a big bad city of Pimps and Whores, and don’t get sucked in. I went to Hollywood once and instead of becoming a star, I became a black hole in space.
    There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
    You will attract the attention of some high=powered Entertainment Attorney from Beverly Hills and you will
    eventually get paid.
    I know. I’m writing a script about it, called Rock of Vampyre.

  3. I have been writing high concept spec scripts for 10 years and live near L.A…. Know producer’s, prod-co’s, A list actors etc. been in pre-production, have had many different agents both west and east. Plus, nepotism furns high in L.A….conclusion: move on to something worth while and enjoy your life or write for a local theatrical company, you’ll be more satisfied or join a community writer’s circle which is what sci- fi writer Ray Bradbury did. I have extensive writing credential’s in classical literature. A director/producer once told me, it’s not who you know but does the who you know like you. Most produced scripts are geared in violence and horror towards young people and border on mental illness rather than good creative writing scripts.

  4. If your formula were remotely true, I wouldn’t have a career. There is no way you’ve ever worked in development at a studio or a small indi production company. Low level interns and employees do first-run coverage. Then maybe a “Head of Development” looks at it (note: a HOD is generally a glorified term for a development ASSISTANT underneath actual executives and/or producers, and they rarely get paid more than 30 bucks an hour).

    So by the time 80+% of the fodder gets sifted out, the company has spent about $30 per script that DOES make it through (most readers stop after page 10 if it’s horrible, which cuts a lot of time).

    PROOF: If the cost was that substantial then companies like Grindstone wouldn’t have enough content to distribute.

    This is a very negative article and just isn’t that true.

  5. Dear all,

    I am a writer from OZ.

    I have written a number of scripts and posted them on Inktip and entered a number of Festivals in which I have received nominations. I do not have an agent or manager and am not sure how to go about getting one as it is nearly impossible from down-under to physically attend all the festivals in which I have received my nominations.

    I would appreciate any assistance.

    Thank you.

  6. I have 14 screenplays/stage-plays, including 10 musicals with 230 songs. I have had my best results from going to the top. Ted Hartley at RKO, John Schneider (Mike Gursey) Ben Vereen (Pamela Cooper) and others. But I would trade my contacts (I think) for the names of all the night janitors at all the studios and production companies who accidentally on purpose drop a certain script on a certain desk.

  7. Thanks for the tips you have shared here. Something else I would like to state is that computer system memory needs generally increase along with other advancements in the technologies. For instance, if new generations of cpus are brought to the market, there is certainly usually a matching increase in the size and style demands of all computer memory and also hard drive room. This is because the program operated by way of these processor chips will inevitably surge in power to take advantage of the new technological know-how.

  8. Hey, how’s it going?

    I want to pass along some very important news that everyone needs to hear!

    In December of 2017, Donald Trump made history by recognizing Jerusalem as the captial of Israel. Why is this big news? Because by this the Jewish people of Israel are now able to press forward in bringing about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    Jewish Rabbis have publicly announced that their Messiah will be revealed in the coming years who will be a leader and spiritual guide to all nations, gathering all religions under the worship of one God. They deny Jesus as their Messiah, and the Bible tells us this Jewish Messiah will be the counterfiet that will bring about a false peace, and ultimatley the great tribulation.

    They even printed a coin to raise money for the Temple with Donald Trumps face on the front and with king Cyrus'(who built the second Temple) behind him. On the back of the coin is an image of the third Temple.

    More importantly, the power that runs the world wants to put a RFID microchip in our body making us total slaves to them. This chip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in the Bible, more specifically in Revelation 13:16-18:

    “He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

    Referring to the last days, this could only be speaking of a cashless society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Otherwise, we could still buy or sell without the mark amongst others if physical money was still currency. This Mark couldn’t be spiritual because the word references two different physical locations. If it was spiritual it would just say in the forehead. RFID microchip implant technology will be the future of a one world cashless society containing digital currency. It will be implanted in the right-hand or the forehead, and we cannot buy or sell without it! We must grow strong in Jesus. AT ALL COSTS, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    People have been saying the end is coming for many years, but we needed two key things. One, the Third Temple, and two, the technology for a cashless society to fulfill the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast.

    Visit http://WWW.BIBLEFREEDOM.COM to see proof for these things and much more!

    If you haven’t already, it is time to seek God with all your heart. Jesus loves you more than you could imagine. He wants to have a relationship with you and redeem you from your sins. Turn to Him and repent while there is still hope! God bless!

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