Are you a movie producer or other entertainment professional searching for a stellar script? Or a savvy screenwriter eager to have your work produced as a feature film? If you answered “yes” to either question, then be sure to check out the InkTip online network. After signing up on the InkTip Website, entertainment professionals have exclusive access to the best selection of screenplays on the Internet. In addition, an InkTip Membership Executive will be assigned to your account and will personally work with you to help find out what you need.
InkTip is also a valuable tool for screenwriters, whose work will be viewed by some of the hungriest producers in the business. To date, more than 80 feature films have been produced from scripts and writers who were found through InkTip. Whether you’re looking for that next big script, or are eager to jump-start your screenwriting career, InkTip can help.
MM recently spoke with InkTip founder Jerrol LeBaron about this innovative company.
Kyle Rupprecht (MM): How did InkTip get started? What need were you trying to fill?
Jerrol LeBaron (JL): Well, during my short stint as a screenwriter, there were gigantic gaps in the film industry that were calling out to me. It’s difficult for entertainment professionals to find and read scripts from new writers, and even when they try, there are legal obstacles. So their standard response has simply been to not accept any new writer’s material. I designed InkTip to make it fast and easy for entertainment pros to find both proven and unproven writers and scripts, all while minimizing legal risks.
Now, with the InkTip’s new Web 2.0 Website up, we’ve streamlined our services, making it even easier for entertainment pros to find what they need.
MM: Some of InkTip’s most obvious benefits are to screenwriters; what are some of the biggest ones? How does it also benefit movie producers/directors?
JL: Well, InkTip is in the unique position of catering to both screenwriters and entertainment professionals, so through the years we’ve had to evolve to successfully serve both. The obvious benefit to writers is that instead of relentlessly throwing your scripts to a bunch of producers and reps who may or may not be interested in your materials, we have created a marketplace where the producers and reps come to you. We give writers the exposure and access that they need. Along the same line, we also offer e-newsletters to our writers that contain brand new leads and calls-for-scripts from production companies—outlining exactly what it is they are looking for. So we remove the guesswork and give writers the information they need so that they don’t waste their time or anyone else’s.
We benefit producers, directors, agents, managers and name talent by making it easy and fast for them to find exactly what it is they are looking for, while protecting their interests. A director could be looking for something so specific, like an action/adventure that takes place in three or less locations with a female lead and a giant spider for a co-star, and if it exists, we will find it for them.
MM: How many movies have been made through InkTip?
JL: We know that at least 85 films have been produced through the InkTip network; more than 50 of them are listed on IMDb. Some of InkTip’s facilitated featured films include San Saba (starring Vivica A. Fox), Long Lost Son (starring Chase Crawford), I Want to Marry Ryan Banks (starring Bradley Cooper), Johnny Was (starring Vinnie Jones), Outrage (starring Michael Madsen), and How Did It Feel? (starring Blair Underwood).
Through InkTip in 2008, Masiela Lusha, actress and CEO of Illuminary Films, picked up On, Cupid!, Angel Hair and Yellow Rose of Savona to top off Illuminary’s five-film slate. Also, last year, Jessica Biel produced Hole in the Paper Sky, a short she and her producing partner, Michelle Purple, found through the InkTip network.
MM: InkTip also has its own magazine. How does the printed version of InkTip differ from the online version?
JL: The magazine is a publication that we distribute to entertainment pros every couple of months, and that is funded by the writers who list their titles in the mag. Nearly 4,500 professionals subscribe to the magazine and thousands more receive it via e-mail, so it’s a great way for our writers to get even more exposure for their work. InkTip Magazine is kind of a way for producers and other pros to take InkTip offline. Plus, we get great feedback from them all the time, telling us that they look forward to receiving it and like being able to take it with them on business trips or just to the bathroom. It’s definitely garnered a lot of success for us and our writers.
MM: What’s the best piece of advice you would offer a burgeoning screenwriter who wants to place a listing on InkTip? What qualities do you think all the produced InkTip scripts share?
JL: The best piece of advice is to keep writing. When a writer has multiple scripts to their name, it makes them that much more likely to have success. That said, there is no one quality or characteristic shared by all of the produced InkTip scripts, and that is the exact reason why we work so well. Every producer has his or her own taste, and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Fortunately in Hollywood, a writer can hear a thousand “nos,” but all is takes is one “yes.” So, if you have several scripts with different styles and subject matter, you are opening the doors to more and more producers.
MM: How do you see today’s climate in Hollywood—both with the recent labor disputes and the current financial situation—helping up-and-coming screenwriters? There are many who believe that today is the day of the indie moviemaker—do you agree with this? Why?
JL: Well, it is tough to see the entertainment industry go through such a difficult time, but it has definitely opened some significant opportunities for independent filmmaking. Regardless of the economic climate, people always want to see movies, and even if the big studios are slowing down on productions, the distributors still want content. It’s a great time to produce good movies.
MM: How do you see the company changing in the future? What plans do you have for it?
JL: I can’t give away too many secrets, but suffice to say, InkTip is going to be expanding quite a bit in 2009—both online and off. It’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting year.
MM: Anything else you’d like to add?
JL: Just a sincere “thanks” for holding this interview. And to anyone reading this: If you want to learn more about how we do what we do, there is a great InkTip Explained video up on our homepage at InkTip.com.