How to Submit a Screenplay to Netflix
When you think of the film industry, you likely think of the big box offices and the productions that everyone knows about. Your mind likely immediately wanders to the big-name celebrities known on the world stage.
The movie and TV industry is so much deeper than that though. There are screenwriters, editors, and producers for any movie or TV production at any given time. There are also streaming services like Netflix where you can pitch your ideas.
If you want to learn how to submit a screenplay to Netflix, you should consider the step-by-step guide below. You can learn to connect with others to build the portfolio you need.
Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide on How to Pitch a Script on Netflix
The step-by-step guide below will help you learn how to submit a screenplay to Netflix. You need to have confidence, develop an effective script, and network with other professionals.
Write an Excellent Script
You must have professional writing skills to learn how to submit a screenplay to Netflix. Your story should be captivating, exciting, and emotional to appeal to potential audience members.
You must never submit a mediocre script, as you want to showcase your best work. Keep the storyline original, ensuring that you never copy someone else’s work.
Continue working on your Netflix script submissions until you cannot go any further. You do not want to overdo your story, providing too many boring details.
Proofread and Review Your Script
You need to proofread your script soon after finishing it. Hold yourself to high standards, ensuring that the screenplay is free of grammatical errors. Make sure there is a flow to the storyline and that it makes sense.
Reach out to your agent or your loved ones when in the review process. Let them read through the screenplay and ask for honest advice.
Listen to your loved ones’ critiques, but hold firm to your confidence. Use the constructive criticism given to you by your agent and make any necessary changes.
What Types of Scripts Does Netflix Look for?
There are specific factors Netflix executives look for when reviewing Netflix script submissions. Learn more in the outlined sections below.
Try to stick to a specific genre when submitting a script to Netflix. The executives seem to prefer screenplays with a clear storyline and theme.
Most screenwriters report that Netflix leans towards comedies, dramas, and romances. Consider the types of storylines that do the best on the streaming platform.
Consider Intellectual Property
Netflix also wants script submissions that will attract its audience members. Ultimately, the executives want the views.
Consider intellectual property when coming up with a screenplay idea. Think about the video games, books, and historical events that already exist. Expand on those characters and themes in your screenplay.
Develop a Strong Character
Finally, Netflix executives prefer a strong character in the screenplays you pitch. Some of these team members share that they think the people are more important than the plot.
Audience members can connect with characters on a deeper level. They will cheer for them and cry with them. Ultimately, the audience will want to know what happened to these characters in the end, keeping them hooked.
Get a Hard-Working and Experienced Agent
As mentioned above, when you want to write for Netflix, you can get your agent to review your scripts. They can provide you with constructive criticism so that you reach a deal.
You have to find a Netflix-licensed literary agent to submit your script to the company. Netflix will not accept screenplays that you personally send them.
Benefits of an Agent
The most obvious benefit of working with an agent is to get your screenplay submitted. As mentioned, Netflix does not accept unsolicited pitches.
Your agent will also provide you with constructive criticism. These professionals know what Netflix wants, meaning they can advise you on the changes you need to make.
Agents also want to work on your long-term and short-term goals with you. They should discuss your future plans with you, allowing them to more effectively fight for you in this competitive business.
Keep Moving Forward in the Competition
You need an agent to learn how to submit a screenplay to Netflix. Sometimes, it can prove overwhelming to find someone.
It is a competitive industry. Agents are busy with other screenwriters and often are unable to take on any more clients. Your first “no” should not be a reason to give up on your search.
Review an Agent's Personality and Experiences
When you get your first “yes,” do not rush to a contract or agreement. If you do not work with the right person, you may lose focus on your goals.
You need to find an agent you can trust that will listen to your concerns. You need someone honest and informative, who will always provide a realistic perspective.
Ask to see an agent’s portfolio when you first meet with them. Look at their previous experiences and ask about their success rates. Consider the types of clients they worked with in the past.
Network with as Many People as Possible
Take the time to network with as many people as you possibly can. You want to reach out to other screenwriters and to those individuals who work for Netflix.
Attend screenwriting events throughout your area. Go to conferences to improve your craft.
Do not be afraid to reach out to small-time film producers who want new ideas. Provide them with other screenplay ideas you want to offer them. Ask if you can use their completed films in your portfolio.
Develop a Portfolio
You have to develop a portfolio if you want to learn how to submit a screenplay to Netflix. Make sure there is an image of yourself and at least one example script in the package.
You should also provide a link or a copy of a film that used your screenplay. The individuals you network with will see how your scripts play out on screen.
Finally, provide other writing samples in your portfolio. Pitch the ideas that you have for screenplays, even if they are not done, to the individuals you meet.
Develop a Strong Social Media Following
Not all of your networking has to be virtual. You can reach out to other professionals in the screenwriting industry using social media.
If you have LinkedIn, you can easily connect with other individuals. Post information on the feed concerning your area of expertise, which will make you look like a trusted professional in your field.
If you have Facebook, connect with individuals in screenwriting groups. Ask them to review your scripts, providing constructive criticism them also.
On Instagram, you can share short videos of films made by individuals using your script. Post images of you working behind the scenes or attending conferences.
Develop an Online Presence
Social media is not the only digital tool you can use to network with others when you want to write for Netflix. Search for forums and blogs made up of other screenwriters.
When you join a forum, you can provide constructive criticism to others. Ask them to review your ideas and for any other tips for success.
You should also try to create a digital portfolio with the creation of a website. Provide pages that are about you, your resume, and your experiences.
Approach Licensed Netflix Agents
Finally, if you want to learn how to submit a script for Netflix, you need to connect with licensed Netflix agents. Some screenwriters break the rules every day, especially if they have a brilliant idea in mind.
These individuals usually have a much higher sense of confidence. Their ideas are unlike any others that Netflix executives know about. The screenwriters provide detailed scripts that are some of the most professional in the industry.
How to Break Through
Sometimes, these screenwriters can break through to Netflix executives themselves by talking with big-name stars. They may ask celebrities to read the screenplays. These famous individuals could also act in a short feature film about the script.
Sometimes, these celebrities have their own production companies. Reese Witherspoon, for instance, allows aspiring film producers, editors, and screenwriters to pitch their ideas. If she likes them enough, she may present them to Netflix or another platform.
How Much Does It Cost to Pitch a Script on Netflix?
You need to be willing to put up some of your own money to submit a script to Netflix. The streaming service accepts the screenplays for free, but they must look professional.
Some individuals report spending upwards of $85,000 on their scripts. This budget was low, as someone played the role of director, editor, and cinematographer.
How Many Literary Agents Work with Netflix?
It is impossible to find literary agents for Netflix. The streaming service uses its executive team and screenplay buyers to review pitches.
Netflix does work with an agency called Maria Campbell Literary Associates. This company only looks for books that could turn into movies or television shows.
How Much Does Netflix Charge for a Screenplay?
You will not have to pay anything to learn how to submit a screenplay to Netflix. Keep your work professional to reach a potential deal with the streaming platform.
If your Netflix script submissions get approved, you may start receiving royalties. It will depend if your screenplay makes it to the motion picture screen.
Does Netflix Accept Screenplays?
Netflix does not currently accept screenplays unless requested. You have to work through a licensed agent or executive to begin.
The agent you work with should already have a relationship with Netflix. They will refer your screenplays to the streaming platform, helping you secure a deal.
Do Screenwriters Get Royalties?
After you learn how to submit a script to Netflix, you have to wait for a decision. Eventually, your screenplay could become the beginnings of an original movie or television show.
Screenwriters report that, on average, they get paid #375,000 for their scripts. Some individuals make as much as $3,500,000!
Pitch Your Script to Netflix
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