How to Find a Producer for Your Screenplay

Producers don’t live in bat caves or dungeons. Most have a visible online presence, either created by others (e.g. articles) or by themselves to promote their work (on Twitter, for instance). Nevertheless, finding a producer and getting them hooked by your project is still very tough. The ubiquitous phrase “We don’t accept unsolicited scripts” on their company websites couldn’t be more transparent. This is why we created the Pitch Network, an innovative scheme to help writers and filmmakers find a producer.

But in the realm of short films, there are also producers who may consider taking on your project if you are convincing enough. Spoiler alert – the way to do it is not blanket emailing them! You should instead introduce yourself and ask for a general meeting. If the meeting goes well and they click with you, they might be keen on reading your script. In this post, I’ll give you a few tips on how to find and approach a short film producer.

#1 Credits and Short Film Festivals

Watch dozens of short films and make a list of the producers. Among them, a newbie producer might be looking for a new script. The same applies to production managers and other crew members. Some could be trying to step up in their career. Research film festivals across the UK or your home country (especially the BAFTA or Oscar-recognised ones), look at the credits, and do as said above.

#2 Networking

This can be a ruthless industry, and you have to be a networking pro if you want to survive. How? Attend film festivals and other industry events. Join social media groups and connect with other filmmakers. Ask friends, ex-classmates, and teachers working in the industry to introduce you to their contacts. Work as an assistant on film sets. Finally, consider looking for commercial producers who might want to move to fiction.

#3 Build a Relationship

When approaching a producer, don’t pitch your project right away. Think about it as a long-term creative partnership. Most young producers are looking for personal connections and still have much to learn about their craft, as many do in this industry. Be positive, proactive, and sincere. If you build a relationship, treat them fairly and expect the same from them.

#4 Producers Aren’t Goldmines

Producers are businesspeople. If you’re paying yourself, your crew, or anybody else, you have to pay the producer too. This doesn’t mean you always need to pay them a fee, but when pitching your project be clear about what it can bring to them and how it might fit in their slate. The project should benefit their career as much as yours.

#5 Be Patient

Finding a producer can take many months. A producer interested in your project may drop out or decline your offer. In this scenario, you can ask them for contacts that might help you kick your project off the ground. Just remember to be patient, polite, and understanding. Last but not least, if your script isn’t arousing much interest, ask yourself if another draft could help, or perhaps if you should move onto the next script.

We know this process can be excruciatingly exhausting and take quite a lot of time. If you want to invest your time and energy in your writing only, our Pitch Network is open to short films too.

If you need help with a new draft of your script, take a look at our Honest Feedback – which puts real industry readers at your service. Getting feedback from the same people who are evaluating scripts for producers and commissioners can be hugely helpful.