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Bono
10-05-2009, 11:15 PM
Going to have meetings coming up -- my writing partner thinks we need business cards to give them. Makes sense and then again, I just assume they give us cards and our contact info is our manager.

Do writers need business cards is my stupid/smart question of the day? My gut says no and it's a little weird.

joeld42
10-05-2009, 11:49 PM
I've got them, but I use them mainly for trading contact info with other writers, like at expo or something. I wouldn't offer them to a someone on the production side unless specifically asked. I don't do a lot of networking, though, so I'm probably not the most qualified opinion.

The way I see it is, it would be pretty tactless to offer your card at a meeting. But it would be worse if someone asks if you have a card, and you have to tear off a corner of the label from the bottled water you're drinking, and scribble down your number on that...

If I were in your shoes, I would continue with your assumptions, but print up a few cards just in case someone requests one.

-XL-
10-06-2009, 12:19 AM
I don't have them but have had enough opportunities where they'd have been handy that I'll be getting some printed at some point.

Most of the time your rep is going to be the goto point for them, they won't need your details and if they do their assistant can call your rep's assistant for them. Easy as pie and it can be helpful to have that buffer in place on occasion.

Still, people will ask for your details, occasions will come up (perhaps often) where it's easier or more logical for them to call you directly. No doubt some execs will want to send you material directly (email or regular mail). In all likelihood you'll also end up in meetings with filmmakers, actors, or other writers. In these cases you'll often find someone hunting out a piece of paper to write your number/address/email on. Every single time I remind myself how much easier it would be to just give them a card.

Weird? No.
Necessary? Not a bit.
Useful? Possibly.

I doubt I'd offer them up at the end of every meeting but on those occasions where someone asks for my details... I really can't see how it would make life anything but simpler.

Centurio
10-06-2009, 12:50 AM
It's business. Every business uses them. Do it.

mrjonesprods
10-06-2009, 09:22 AM
I'm not a fan of business cards. I personally think it looks amateurish. Just my personal opinion.

I also don't like them because there are times when I don't want an exec to have my personal contact information. In lots of meetings, execs will want to keep in contact about developing free work with them. The last thing I want is to be the bad guy and have to deal with that. I'd rather them just deal with my agents.

Alliebro
10-06-2009, 10:00 AM
I would think those presently with an agent or manager would not need them. But for those of us without reps who were miraculously granted our wish and get a meet with a producer, having a card to give makes sense. Yet even then only after said producer gives one of his own.

Seems there was a recent thread here (maybe somewhere else) dealing with this. It was advised not to embellish your card and just have your name, address, phone, e-mail contact info. One suggested writing in the title of the script in discussion on the back, as a reminder to the producer.

dmizzo
10-06-2009, 10:09 AM
It doesn't really matter either way - if you want business cards, no one is going to throw you out of a meeting for whipping one out. I don't have them. I don't know any working writers who have them. But I've been handed them by several aspiring writers at Starbucks. Draw your own conclusions.

Alliebro
10-06-2009, 10:29 AM
It doesn't really matter either way - if you want business cards, no one is going to throw you out of a meeting for whipping one out. I don't have them. I don't know any working writers who have them. But I've been handed them by several aspiring writers at Starbucks. Draw your own conclusions.


Gotcha, dmizzo. You repped pros certainly won't need them. But, as for the newbies, it's a different story. It could be useful to at least have them available. That is, not to thrust into everyone's face, but when the situation professionally presents itself.

grant
10-06-2009, 10:37 AM
This is from my consulting experience, not Hollywood, but...

Anyone who offers you a business card won't get weirded out if you hand them yours in return.

For some people it's almost like a handshake, if you don't return one it's weird. I wouldn't imagine dev execs are like this. That's more in stuffy old business.

So I'd buy the pack of print-em-yourself blanks, print out a few, but only hand them over if someone offers you theirs first. Maybe ask if they want yours before you whip it out.

Telly
10-06-2009, 10:54 AM
I don't have them but have had enough opportunities where they'd have been handy that I'll be getting some printed at some point.

Most of the time your rep is going to be the goto point for them, they won't need your details and if they do their assistant can call your rep's assistant for them. Easy as pie and it can be helpful to have that buffer in place on occasion.

Still, people will ask for your details, occasions will come up (perhaps often) where it's easier or more logical for them to call you directly. No doubt some execs will want to send you material directly (email or regular mail). In all likelihood you'll also end up in meetings with filmmakers, actors, or other writers. In these cases you'll often find someone hunting out a piece of paper to write your number/address/email on. Every single time I remind myself how much easier it would be to just give them a card.

Weird? No.
Necessary? Not a bit.
Useful? Possibly.

I doubt I'd offer them up at the end of every meeting but on those occasions where someone asks for my details... I really can't see how it would make life anything but simpler.

Ditto on all counts.

The contact is your rep, however you can carry a couple just in case they want some personal info from you. Your card might come in handy if you meet a couple writers or industry folks in another arena outside a meeting lined up by your rep.

I wouldn't ever hand a producer my card after a meeting lined up by my rep, that's pretty silly. However, they'll usually hand you there's, be sure to snatch that up. I like to send a very brief personal thank you after the meeting via email. More times than not it strikes up another conversation online. Keep 'em talking and stay on their radar.

Good luck!

GreatOz
10-06-2009, 11:09 AM
They're good to have. I've exchanged many a business card with creative execs. Even if you have a rep, you want to build a personal relationship with these people.

Reps come and go...

I wait and see how the meeting goes. Sometimes you run across people who respond really well to your pitches and seem to be on your wavelength -- trading cards is a good way to get their email without actually asking for it.

Telly
10-06-2009, 11:26 AM
You know, this thread is going the way of all the other business card threads. Half of us carry them, half of us do not. This will go back for forth for another few pages until someone gets their feelings hurt and says something stupid.

Do we really need another one of these business cards threads? I think enough information to make a rational decision has been put out there for the OP.

Sinnycal
10-06-2009, 11:29 AM
If you're going to have business cards, do yourself a favor and make sure they're sleek, simple, and above all, classy.

Like mine. (http://i36.tinypic.com/2qdn2v7.jpg)

Seshatcub
10-06-2009, 11:35 AM
In my mind business cards are a good thing to have, but not to hand out unsollicited. I have business cards for my full-time non-screenwriting job and business cards for our boat. And when I'm ready to go out and do the screenwriting meet-and-greet, I'll have cards for that too. Different info on all of them of course, context dependent.

I find they're great when someone asks for my info. Instead of breaking out a pen and paper, or whatever, I break out a card and all is on it. I've exchanged cards at work-related events as well as boat shows with others wanting to stay in touch. I see screenwriting events in the same light.

What I would not do, as mentioned earlier, is hand them out to someone who hasn't specifically asked for my e-mail or phone number or address or any variant of that. Otherwise, the recipient will most likely fake a smile, but feel pressured, and get rid of it at the first opportunity.

Bono
10-06-2009, 12:02 PM
You know, this thread is going the way of all the other business card threads. Half of us carry them, half of us do not. This will go back for forth for another few pages until someone gets their feelings hurt and says something stupid.

Do we really need another one of these business cards threads? I think enough information to make a rational decision has been put out there for the OP.

Funny observation -- but that's how ALL threads here are like. I've learned to enjoy it.

And there's never enough information. I need input -- like Johnny 5.

I just can't imagine having a business card that says "writer". It just sounds weird. And exactly the only writers I know who have them are the Starbucks guys who hand me their card that says writer/director/editor/magician/plumber...

My friend Dave has one and of course the only time I saw he hand it out was to a waitress at Olive Garden who was an actress.

Maybe I'll get one that says BAD MOTHERFU*CKER

grant
10-06-2009, 12:11 PM
Funny observation -- but that's how ALL threads here are like. I've learned to enjoy it.

And there's never enough information. I need input -- like Johnny 5.

I just can't imagine having a business card that says "writer". It just sounds weird. And exactly the only writers I know who have them are the Starbucks guys who hand me their card that says writer/director/editor/magician/plumber...

My friend Dave has one and of course the only time I saw he hand it out was to a waitress at Olive Garden who was an actress.

Maybe I'll get one that says BAD MOTHERFU*CKER


I was thinking about WRITER/PERSONAL ESCORT...

Just to make it perfectly clear that I have no problems whoring myself out to the man.

-XL-
10-06-2009, 12:37 PM
I was thinking about WRITER/PERSONAL ESCORT...

Just to make it perfectly clear that I have no problems whoring myself out to the man.

I was thinking HACK but then WHORE might open up more opportunities for paid work.

beejay
10-06-2009, 03:16 PM
for entertainment


looks like crap, is crap
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YBxeDN4tbk

and of course the American Psycho scene
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoIvd3zzu4Y

Celtic1
10-06-2009, 04:20 PM
I have them, but I kept it simple, just my name, phone number, email. Saves them the trouble of having to write it down. I got 100 of them cheap at zazzle.com , but you can get a decent biz card cheap almost anywhere

www.talesfromtheworkingclass.com (http://www.talesfromtheworkingclass.com)

Fortean
10-06-2009, 05:37 PM
Indispensable in China, as everyone wants to exchange their business card with you, (good to have both English and Chinese language versions, and best if both versions are on the same card).

How about film festivals?

One meets all sorts of possible business contacts at them. Any thoughts, or experiences, regarding business cards at film festivals?

Ulysses
10-06-2009, 06:24 PM
Most of the time your rep is going to be the goto point for them, they won't need your details and if they do their assistant can call your rep's assistant for them.

So you'd rather need your rep's business card, not your own.

I'm not a fan of business cards. I personally think it looks amateurish. Just my personal opinion.


Don't writers have 110 page long business cards? Also called scripts?:party:

Takezo
10-06-2009, 06:43 PM
There's no harm in having a business card.
If you don't want someone to have your innermost numbers and email, make up a business card with a "shell email" or "shell number" (as in to a "burner" cell-phone").

Your cards should never have your personal address on them.
Just a tel number and email address.

You will never know who you run into--like a huge, huge studio executive during a poker game or party. And rather than scrawling your info on a napkin, shooting them a personal card will be a nice touch.

If you are ever dealing with Japanese producers/agents/talent... business cards are an absolute must to have.

T

-XL-
10-06-2009, 06:44 PM
So you'd rather need your rep's business card, not your own.


Might be having a brain freeze but that sentence didn't make sense.

Ulysses
10-06-2009, 08:45 PM
Might be having a brain freeze but that sentence didn't make sense.

It was a play on words. And it's been cold in the last few days, so it's just natural.

I meant, instead of giving out your own contact information, you could give out a card with your rep's information.

In a way, you could say that you don't carry your own business card, but your rep's business card.

-XL-
10-06-2009, 10:52 PM
Ah, okay. I see. The use of the word "rather" threw me. I read it as an indication of preference -- as in which business card you'd rather need -- and couldn't tell if you were asking a weird question and had missed the question mark.

I get what you were going for. The likelihood is that even if your rep didn't set up the meeting (which is usually the case) the exec would know them by name (or at the very least by their company name) and already have their number. If I had to start giving out my reps' information to people I'd be a little worried about how plugged into the industry the person was or, even worse, how plugged in my reps were.

Barnum
08-13-2010, 02:01 AM
Aren't 3D business cards are all the rage these days in Hollywood?

NikeeGoddess
08-13-2010, 08:03 AM
Aren't 3D business cards are all the rage these days in Hollywood?... like scratch n sniff cards use to be.

DavidK
08-13-2010, 06:04 PM
3D business cards and hologram business cards have become very passe.

If you want to be up with the play, get cards with the embedded GPS chip. Using a free downloadable iPhone app, you can track the person to whom you gave the card. This enables you to coincidentally encounter them a couple of weeks later to ask how they enjoyed your script. Where and how cleverly these encounters are exploited is limited only by your imagination.

TheCleaner
08-13-2010, 06:52 PM
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Ravenlocks
08-13-2010, 09:18 PM
Somewhat different situation, but I have business cards left over from when I was actively doing freelance writing. They have my name, home base (city and state, not home address), phone number and email, and after lots of deliberation I put "Freelance Writer" on them so folks would remember what I did. I've heard plenty of arguments against putting any type of "writer" on your cards, but what swayed me was the "for" argument that if folks are collecting a bunch of cards, they might come across yours later and not remember where you fit in professionally. So it's on there.

I don't hand out my cards unasked unless someone is handing me their card and seems to expect me to reciprocate, but they've come in handy plenty of times when people have directly asked for my contact info. Of course, I have no rep.

How about film festivals?

One meets all sorts of possible business contacts at them. Any thoughts, or experiences, regarding business cards at film festivals?
When I was covering film festivals on assignment for a magazine, I collected quite a few business cards from various attendees. I can't remember if any of them were from screenwriters, though. But if you're a writer/director promoting a film, I'd think they might be a good thing to have (just a guess that you might fall into that category).

The more promotion the better. I went to see one guy's film screen when I hadn't been planning to, only because he showed up at the initial press conference to plug the film and hand out promotional materials to the press. It worked. I got interested and went to see it and wrote about it later.

Now I've derailed the thread.