Veteran screenwriter Michael Elliot has created an online resource to help new and unrepresented screenwriters break into Hollywood by selling their first screenplay. Elliot announced the launch of the website WritersLittleBlackBook.com today.
WritersLittleBlackBook.com is an online directory of more than 1,200 feature film producers and the contacts at each company that Elliot believes are most likely to consider material from new, unrepresented writers. "Getting your script read by a Hollywood producer is a new writer's best chance of selling their screenplay," says Elliot.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Elliot was once a homeless, high-school drop-out with no formal training in screenwriting. However, in 1998, after reading a "how-to" book on screenwriting, Elliot sold his screenplay in seven days to a major film studio, and he did so without an agent or manager. "I had less than $300 to my name when 20th Century Fox bought my script for $250,000," Elliot recalls. "It was life-changing."
Eleven years and over 20 sold projects later, Elliot's story and his strategy became the inspiration behind his new website: WritersLittleBlackBook.com. "Eleven years ago, I was able to identify the one person at this producer's company that I had the best chance of getting read by," states Elliot. "This person read my script within three hours of me dropping it off. By 7 p.m. that evening, I was having coffee with this guy and his boss, a Hollywood producer. A week later, my wildest dreams came true. I want other writers with a similar dream to land their script on the desk of that one Hollywood producer who will rally behind their screenplay and help get it sold."
Aspiring writers now have access to these Hollywood producers through WritersLittleBlackBook.com. WritersLittleBlackBook.com is a members-only resource. Each of the more than 1,200 listings include the producer's contact information, produced credits, and more importantly, the one person at the producer's company that Elliot recommends writers contact.
Elliot's produced credits include 2001's "MTV's Hip-Hopera: Carmen" for MTV, which marked the acting debut of Beyonce Knowles; 2002's family film "Like Mike" for 20th Century Fox; and the urban romantic comedy "Brown Sugar" for Fox Searchlight Pictures. Elliot's next film, "Just Wright," is currently shooting in New York. The romantic comedy stars Queen Latifah, Common and Paula Patton, and will be released in theaters in 2010.