Selling Screenplays to Disney and Pixar
December 6, 2012 1:02 AM   Subscribe

If someone had completed a spec script that they felt was suitable for Disney / Pixar development -- which of the independent management companies or agencies should they approach for coverage or consideration? Preferably you can recommend ones that are known to routinely feed material / stories / scripts to those organizations.
posted by Muirwylde to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Not to be a wet blanket on things but Disney and Pixar do not use scripts developed outside their studios, so there really wouldn't be any company or agency that could do this for you. Everything is in-house and if you look at Pixar's FAQs they speak to this almost immediately and they're really serious about it.

You might have better luck with smaller studios but for the most part it's pretty well established across the industry that there is no mechanism for getting any of the major animated studios to look at your spec script unless you already work at the studio in a story capacity or you know someone who is extremely high up in story, two things that are ultimately rather rare. The few exceptions to this rule are borne out of the parties involved being extremely high profile and/or cash cows with pre-existing street cred. Be prepared to be disappointed.

Could your project be adapted to another medium? Is your project feature length and from the family genres? If so, you might have better luck with television or indie filmmakers. Good luck. :)
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 2:03 AM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]

Convert it from a script to a book. Get it published (e-published if you must), have it be really successful. Then option it to a studio.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:10 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Move to LA? Start working in the business and making contacts, so you can get assistants to read your work. Then if somebody likes it maybe a junior exec will read it and meet with you. And if you're lucky and the work is good then maybe you might get a meeting with someone who can do something for you?

In the meantime, search out John August's blog and podcast about screenwriting to learn about how the business works.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:26 AM on December 6, 2012

Best answer: Carson Reeves has some things to say about selling a spec script in 6 months on his site. I don't know how well this works, but it's worth a read.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:33 AM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: The better way to go about this is just try to sell your script. Limiting yourself to a big name studio won't get you anywhere, even if it is practically made for them.
posted by signondiego at 6:33 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh, don't forget about putting the script in for competitions. The Scriptshadow site previously mentioned has details on that too.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 6:36 AM on December 6, 2012

Sell it to an indie. There are lots of young producers in LA with trust funds burning holes in their pockets. Let it go, write another and another. Don't worry about them getting made. Eventually, if you're extremely lucky, someone at Disney or Pixar (or wherever) will hear what a great writer you are and you will be brought in for a meeting.

Or if this screenplay is your passion, make it yourself. Know you will lose money.

(NB: Not a screenwriter, but I share a day job with a lot of them and this is how it seems to go.)
posted by justjess at 7:43 AM on December 6, 2012

Best answer: Going by examples of Pixar's most recent hires, you can: Put that script in a box, write an original screenplay for a low-budget live-action independent film, spend several years to get the film made, have the film become well-respected in the industry, and get hired as an in-house writer. If you could win an Oscar along the way that would really help.

Alternately you could spend several decades writing for high-profile television dramas, alternately alternately you could be Aaron Sorkin. Basically you need to be willing to make this a long, long-term career goal if you want it to happen.
posted by Smallpox at 7:44 AM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Lots of good responses and ideas here. @These Birds of a Feather. Even though I didn't mark yours as best answer, you spawned the idea that one approach would be to get a job (any job) within Pixar / Disney and work it from the inside. Thank you all.
posted by Muirwylde at 4:23 PM on December 6, 2012

Rock on! It could take a lifetime to do it but man what an awesome lifetime, yeah?

If you ever get the chance, go to one of the workshops that Pixar does through VanArts across the country. You'll learn a lot about how they craft stories and how you can break your existing script apart and recompose it to be even better. And keep writing -- having just one story to tell isn't good enough. Have ten or twenty ideas, fleshed out or not. You'll be in a better position that way.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:51 PM on December 6, 2012

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