Monday, July 25, 2011

How to get Benderspink to read your screenplay (Offer Closed)

Note - this offer is now closed.  It successfully raised over $8,600 for the Heart Foundation.  

Benderspink represents screenwriters as well as producing their own films.  They were behind the Oscar nominated 'History of Violence' as well as a pile of other successful films - 'The Ring' & 'The Butterfly Effect' are probably my favourites. (They were also behind 'Cats & Dogs' if you prefer family films)

Do you want them to read your screenplay?  Well, thanks to Daniel Vang & friend-of-the-blog Joe Nienalt, you have a chance to skip a gatekeeper or two.

If you wonder why Joe Neinalt's name sounds familiar - he's the writer who picked up a six-figure deal to write a movie to be filmed in Russian - despite not speaking a word of the language. (I had a chat with him here when the deal was announced.)

Here are the details from Joe:
Several years ago my grandfather Bob Coppola died due to heart disease. Ever since then I have made it a priority in my life to support the American Heart Association. This year I'll be participating in the annual Pierce County (WA) Heart Walk in an effort to help raise funds for this great cause. Heart disease and stroke are the nation's #1 killers.

I'm partnering with Daniel Vang of Benderspink to give you the opportunity to join the fight against these killers and get your work considered by a top management/production company in the process.

Daniel has agreed to read at least the first 25 pages of your work if you make a $25 donation to the American Heart Association and the first 50 pages of your work if you make a $50 donation. If your work catches Daniel's eye he will read on and potentially pass it up the chain to his bosses at Benderspink. It's Daniel's job to find new voices that Benderspink can break and new projects for them to produce. That voice and that project could be yours.

Daniel will consider both feature length screenplays and television pilots. If you don't have a script ready now you can still make a donation and we can arrange to submit it when it's ready.

Make your donation at my personal donation page on the American Heart Association website via this link: <link redacted - offer now closed>

This is a win/win, folks

After you make your donation, just drop me an email (or contact Joe directly if you are know him) and you'll get instructions on how to submit your work to Daniel.

Since it's a good cause I'll pitch in as well and match the first ten donations from here.  So if you donate $50, you'll have the first 50 pages of your work read ... and the Heart Association will get $100 total ($50 from you and $50 from me).  -- Edited to add:  The first ten donations have been matched - together we raised $1,350.  

The walk itself is on the 15th of October, so I'm guessing the offer closes around then. There are no guarantees though - it might close earlier ... especially if poor Daniel gets swamped.  I guess you should just donate early to be on the safe side.

Good luck,


Some notes:

  1. Figures are in US Dollars
  2. The USA may have put a man on the moon - but they still haven't figured out the concept of standard paper sizes.  So make sure you reformat the page size to that quaint 'US Letter' before you send your screenplay in.
  3. If you want me to match your donation then leave the 'Matching Gift Information' section blank on their form.  Just email me the receipt and I'll match the first ten gifts.
  4. After you've made the donation just email* me at '' (with your name & gift amount) & I'll sort out the details with Joe.
  5. I'm not reading the screenplays at all.  It's entirely between you and Daniel.

* PS:  I know that some people religiously believe that putting email addresses in a format like ' MacHarwood (at) gmail (dot) com ' will fool any spam engine into not recognising that it is an email address .. but seriously?  Spam engines are solving captchas now -and they are so hard I'm not getting half of them.


  1. BTW: Daniel doesn't have enough time to give full notes/coverage - but if he passes he says he'll try to give some comments as to why/what was lacking as opposed to just the generic pass (this was at Joe's request, this is pretty big, too...a bread crumb on the trail at least).

    If he's interested in your work I'm sure he'll be in touch directly.

    Somebody politely asked about Daniel's role at Benderspink. He works for one of the top guys there -- Chris Bender -- and Daniel has a direct line to the company's head of production as well. It's Daniel's job to find new writers for the company to launch and new projects for the company to produce - if he successfully does this then he moves up the chain.

  2. Hi Marc, I accidentally stumbled on this blog but it's a wonderful piece! Is this option still open despite the age of the posting? I'm asking on behalf of someone I know who might find this useful.


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