Today, writing a good screenplay or making a good film isn't ENOUGH. To sell your screenplay or film it needs to stand out in a crowded, busy film market like Berlin or Cannes or Sundance or AFM.

I just got back from the European Film Market or EFM in Berlin. This week-long market is one of three major film markets around the world: Marche du Film in Cannes (in May) and American Film Market in Los Angeles (in November).

At each of these markets up to 10,000 film professionals gather: distributors, sales agents and producers. They are all clamouring for product.

Films are sold in three different stages of production:

    1. Completed (here's a list of the 700+ titles at this years EFM)
    2. In Production
    3. In Pre-production (and in development)

As a writer you want to sell your script into the development stage. As a filmmaker you can sell your film at any of these three stages.

How do film distributors, financiers and producers sift through the hundreds of completed films and the thousands of films in production and in pre-production?

A superb VISUAL/POSTER and the most compelling one-sheet today is a key ingredient if you want to sell your screenplay or sell your film.

Sell your screenplay

Here is a handful of one sheets I collected at the European Film Market in Berlin. Note the poster for Alice Lowe's debut feature Prevenge. This is a great poster because you can see exactly what kind of movie it is. Prevenge is neither a comedy nor a sci-fi. Prevenge is obviously a horror.

My good friend Robyn Larkin here in London has designed movie one-sheets for distributors, producers and sales agents for nearly two decades. Here is his two minute interview on what makes a great poster:

My point is you need to create a really strong visual image to sell your screenplay or film. With the right campaign image you will raise the chances dramatically of selling your projects.

So...once you've written your HOT SCRIPT - how are you going to get people to notice it in a sea of other scripts? My writing courses ALWAYS feature points like this: Isn't this the first question you should answer before you write a script or make a film?

Most 'writing' courses don't help you after the writing stops. My 'Write and Sell the Hot Script' does!'

Join me, bring your script idea. We can plan your approach together!

See you soon in Toronto!

Elliot Grove
Elliot Grove founded Raindance a quarter century ago as a thought experiment: Can you make a film with no money, no training and no experience, he asked? When people like his first intern Edgar Wright started making movies he founded the Raindance Film Festival to celebrate their work in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998.

He founded the Independent Filmmakers' Ball in 2014

Elliot has produced over 700 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 (1997) was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of £278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Japan and America. In 2006 he produced the multiple-award winning The Living and the Dead.
In 2013 he relaunched the production arm: Raw Talent with the cult film director Ate de Jong. Their first venture was the psychological thriller Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. finished late 2013.

He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008), Raindance Producers' Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking (Focal Press 2013) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). He was awarded a PhD in 2009 for services to film education. His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year.

Elliot teaches several courses at Raindance including Lo To No Budget Filmmaking and Writer's Foundation Certificate.

Read articles by Elliot Grove.