Spec Script Market is on the Rise!

Spec Script market for 2011 is strong.

There’s a lot of buzz going around about increased spec script sales in 2011. Scott Myers of “Into the Story” has a post today about how 6 scripts have sold in just the past week, putting the pace for sold scripts in 2011 higher than 2008-2010. Myers says…

What does this mean in terms of the ‘frenzy’ last week? We still have 17 more days in March, so it will be interesting to see where we end up. If it tops 10 deals, March 2011 would be the biggest spec month in the last 4 years excepting that post-strike period.

Okay, let’s not go nuts and proclaim a new gold rush at LAX, but it’s very encouraging news. And it also highlights how this time of year is especially strong for screenplay sales. The February to May period, post-Sundance and pre-summer vacations, is always a good time to submit your screenplay.

Another article by Tom Benedek (The Next Golden Age of the Original Screenplay) interviews 3 Agents from UTA (United Talent Agency, one of the biggies) and one manager from Madhouse Entertainment (The Bounty Hunter, The Event, the upcoming Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds) about the state of the market and they have some fantastic things to say…

I think it’s going to become a good time for original screenplays because, in the last few years, the studios have spent less development money.
They have fewer potential movies, so they’re going to start needing scripts. I also think that with some of the financial success of the awards movies this year and some of the failures of some of the large studio movies that have been [regarded as being] of a lower quality, there might be a trend toward quality and originality instead of purely relying on pre-awareness titles that could be tentpole movies.

The article defines four major reasons why the market is stronger now than in past years. Benedek received an interesting estimate from another agent…

Whereas in the past one-third of his clients’ incomes came from production bonuses on scripts that were actually made into films and two-thirds of their income came from open writing assignments, today the numbers are reversed. His clients receive two-thirds of their income from production bonuses and one-third from writing assignments.

The article also talks about how a higher percentage of screenplays put into development are being produced.

For more information, The Tracking Board is a site that logs spec and pitch sales and monitors scripts going out into the marketplace (and also lists Open Writing Assignments (OWA’s), from what I understand). This page lists all the recent sales. The site is subscription-only, but Scott Myers’ blog has the loglines for the recent spec sales (see the first link in this article).

In conclusion, for those screenwriters who might be interested, I need to give a quick heads-up on…


If you’re looking to develop your own concept into a completed spec screenplay, please consider my upcoming online group class (next class begins in mid-April) or my 8-Week Guided Home Course. If you already have a completed screenplay, I’m available for a consultation. I look forward to working with you and hope I can help you to achieve your goals.

Good Luck and Happy Writing,


Screenplay How To

2 replies
  1. Anthony Donnelly
    Anthony Donnelly says:

    Brilliant article! Very helpful to me, especially the link to the other article. I’ve just helped a buddy in my group get a spec script accepted for a consideration -- it’s not optioned (yet) but it’s an encouraging step in the right direction at least.


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