Your query should not exceed one page which includes a Log Line (one or two lines summarizing your story). The Sample Query Letter on this website(there's a link at the bottom of this page) was created as an example of the kind of letter an unagented writer should send to Vice Presidents of Creative Affairs and Directors of Development. However, a version of it will work when you're querying Jackson Artists, too. Study it carefully. Adapt it for your own material. If you are convinced you simply can't do it alone and need a rep, I'll take a look at your material. Please SEND YOUR QUERY LETTER IN HARD MAIL, to the address listed below. Be sure to include your email address and a stamped, self-addressed envelope. If you send the material without sending a query letter first, IT WILL NOT BE READ.
Jackson Artists Agency
7251 Lowell Drive
Notice: As of June 2004 we are not accepting any more material, or new writers. That may change so check back periodically. We're simply overwhelmed with material. The guidelines I posted below are good for you to know, and to follow, when approaching any agency or production company, however.
GUIDELINES: If your script doesn't have a stamped, self-addressed envelope for its return, it won't get read. If it doesn't have a Writers Guild registration number on it, it won't get read. If it doesn't have a lightweight cardstock cover bearing the title of your screenplay, it won't get read. If it isn't bound with brads, it won't get read.
I urge you to go to "How to Write A Salable Script." You'll find the link on this page. Study the sample and the explanations before submitting your work.
To help you understand our preferences and needs, I've listed my favorite movies at the bottom of this page. Study the list. If you think what you have measures up, and you're convinced that it's professionally presented, query me. I won't, however, look at anything that would garner an X rating. It will take a powerful script to convince me of the merit in a hard R. Producers know that if Jackson Artists asks them to take a look at a screenplay or treatment, the quality will be above and beyond the norm and will be technically perfect.
Note: There was a survey done awhile back among film industry people--editors, lighting techs, everybody--asking them to list their all-time favorite film. Amazingly, nearly 70% of the favorite films listed were made before 1970. Another 18% were made prior to 1990. What does that tell us about today's market? Does Hollywood really have to ask why people aren't going to the movies the way they once did? About our own list. Two of these are television movies, but since everything is available today at your local video store, and since they were of such exceptional quality, we had to include them. Here goes:
A Fish Called Wanda, A Beautiful Mind, A Trip to Bountiful, Absense of Malice, All the President's Men, Amadeus, An Affair to Remember, Arthur, Babe, Baby Boom, Back to the Future, Beaches, The Bird Cage, Casablanca, Cat People (original), Charade (Audrey Hepburn-Cary Grant version), Chocolat, City Slickers, Class Action, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Cocoon, The Color Purple, Coming to America, Crocodile Dundee, Cujo, Dial M For Murder, Diary of Anne Frank, Dirty Dancing, Doctor Zhivago, Driving Miss Daisy, e.t., Enchanted April, The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill, The Eyes of Laura Mars, F/X, Foul Play, Francis, French Lieutenant's Woman, Fried Green Tomatoes, Gandhi (yes, we KNOW it took 18 years to get it made; it was worth the wait), Gaslight, Ghost, Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Godfather 1 & 2, Good Morning Vietnam, The Goodbye Girl, Greatest Show on Earth, Heartbreak Kid, Houseboat, Hunt for Red October, Indiscreet, Insider (the), Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (original & remake), It Should Happen to You (Judy Holiday), Jagged Edge, Jaws, Joan of Arc (TV-1999), K-9, Key Largo, La Bamba, La Cage Aux Folles, Lean on Me, Leave Her to Heaven (original), Life with Judy Garland: Me & My Shadow (TV), Lilies of the Field, Loch Ness, Love Story, Manhattan Murder Mystery (even if, like me, you're not a Woody Allen fan, this is simply terrific), Midnight Lace (Rex Harrison version), Midnight Run, Miracle on 34th Street, Mirror Cracked, Moonstruck, Mrs. Doubtfire, My Cousin Vinny, North by Northwest, Notting Hill, October Sky, The Odd Couple, On Golden Pond, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Overboard, Paper Moon, The Pelican Brief, Places in the Heart, Place in the Sun, Play Misty For Me, Postcards from the Edge, Pure Race (available on video only), Rain Man, Rear Window, Red Corner, Rocky, Selena (one of the best 'little' pictures ever made, in my opinion), Silver Streak, Silverado, Sleeping with the Enemy, Sleepless in Seattle, Sneakers, Something's Gotta Give, Somewhere in Time, Spitfire Grill, Steel Magnolia, Sunset Boulevard, Suspicion, Sweet Dreams, Talk of the Town, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Majestic, The Man Who Came to Dinner, The Robe, The Way We Were, Thelma & Louise, Throw Mama From the Train, Time After Time, To Catch a Thief, To Kill a Mockingbird, To Sir With Love, Tootsie, Transylvania 65000, Two Girls and a Sailor, Verdict (the),When Harry Met Sally, White Christmas, Witness, Witness For The Prosecution, Working Girl, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Yentl, You've Got Mail (a remake of the Judy Garland musical "In the Good Old Summertime", which was a remake of the Jimmy Stewart movie "The Shop Around the Corner", neither of which made my all-time favorites list!).
LinksHow to Write a Salable Script: with sample script page & explanations
Screen Writers News: Front page
Test Your Screen Writing Skills: