I received some good news on the writing front yesterday. A production company is actually reading my screenplay.
I had sent out the screenplay or query letters in January this year to a small group of production companies and agents. I wish I hadn't, as I've since learned a lot about proper formatting and have done a major re-write. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. However, the truth is no one has probably read it. Unknown, unrepresented scriptwriters have a very difficult time getting read (indeed if my experience is any indication they have hard time getting acknowledged, none of my prepaid reply postcards were returned).
I had originally been told not to follow up sending the script with phone calls, that if no one had bitten after the original letter they weren't going to. But after going through a screenwriting consultant I learned that there is nothing wrong with that follow up call, that after a few months it's okay to phone them up and say "Hey, I was wondering if you had a chance to read my work, or if you know when you might have the opportunity to go through it." I was also told that Hollywood gets so many scripts that they are geared to say no. And after a couple of phone calls if you are get a variety of excuses, they are probably not interested.
I've read that something in the order of 100,000 screenplays get written every year, when you start to think about how many movies are produced each year, and how many of those are by established writers, it all begins to look a little daunting. But daunting or not I gave the production company that I had the greatest hope for a call a couple of weeks ago. Long story shorter, I called again yesterday as they had indicated a release was required, and they were already reading the screenplay. Granted it was the old version but when I told them about the re-write and correction of the formatting problems they asked for the updated version to be emailed to them.
Now I can't get too excited as they've already told me they are not interested in doing another movie of this genre right now, but it is a step. And who knows where that step may lead. Perhaps with some very valuable feedback, or perhaps a point in the direction of someone who might be interested in that genre. In the mean time I'll probably continue to check my email, oh about 300 times a day.