Everyone plays the waiting game, and it sure can be the hardest part of pitching your script. It becomes a mind game of when should you follow-up, how do you follow-up and how long should it really take a producer to respond to your script submission?

Well… it depends. 

I know that’s not the answer anyone really wants to hear, but when you’re dealing with so many different personalities and schedules, no one answer fits every producer. As a rule of thumb, however, give them at least a month and then follow-up with an email asking if they’ve had a chance to read your script. 

Three things that you could add to that follow-up email to be more professional:

  1. Congratulate the producer on something you read about them or their production company in the trades.
  2. Attach the first 20 pages of your script in a pdf document and invite them to just read the opening of the script. (If you try this, include the logline at the top of the pages, but don’t put the logline in the email.)
  3. Pitch them a new logline for a script you’ve finished that is in their wheelhouse. 

Btw, don’t do all of the above in one email. Just try one at a time.

Now that I’m on the other side of the table, working as a producer, I have bad news. The waiting game doesn’t end. 

But does it really take all that time? Can’t someone just read your script?

Let’s break it down by the numbers. Most production companies only have one or two people working for them on a daily basis. My company, Media Distribution Partners, only has two. However, as the VP of Development, everything has to go through me first. Even the material my partner finds goes through me to evaluate first. Why? Because that’s my job and it takes time to read a script. (“You know that, right? You are reading scripts to learn and know your genre?” she asked, fingers crossed.)

If you look at it by the numbers, you’re usually being read by ONE person, who could take up to TWO hours to read a script, if they read the whole script. Do you have two hours a day to read a script, in addition to everything else you need to do? And pretty much EVERY production company has more than one script to read.

When you look at it that way, a month is actually a pretty short length of time to wait. On behalf of all production companies, I ask you to be patient and follow-up. And don’t be afraid to follow-up, as everyone needs a friendly reminder, especially if we’ve asked to read your script.

Recently, I found out just how hard it is to get a script read, even when everyone wants to read it! I’ll share that in the extended version of this post. In the meantime, happy writing and pitching!

You can read the extended version of this post in the Screenwriters Pitfalls List or join our newsletter to get the extended pitfall sent to you every time we put out a new one.