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Old 08-20-2019, 08:39 PM   #1
Friday
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Default How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

Maybe, you're meeting a manager for the first time that's considering signing you. Or maybe, you're taking your first general meeting.


Any tips on what to consider when making a good first impression? What things to say, not say. How should you dress? Do you go to any shops to get the best look?
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

i've never met with reps myself but hearing them speak on panels and from other signed writers, i think they want to know that you have professional-level ideas coupled with professional-level output. a number that seems to come up frequently is being able to generate at least two new saleable things (feature, pilot, whatever) every year, consistently.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

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Originally Posted by JoeBanks View Post
i've never met with reps myself but hearing them speak on panels and from other signed writers, i think they want to know that you have professional-level ideas coupled with professional-level output. a number that seems to come up frequently is being able to generate at least two new saleable things (feature, pilot, whatever) every year, consistently.



Hmmm. Interesting. Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

Not giving off weirdo writer vibes seems to help with producers in my experience. Project flexibility and being open to change and not being precious with your ideas.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:32 PM   #5
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Default Re: How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

Your LOOK: Try to look like your character without looking like you're TRYING.

Example: I just wrote John Wick (in my fukkin wet dreams) I'm wearing all black to meet a rep. I have a 5 0'clock shadow, I look hungover, but I'm sharp, I'm entertaining. In other words "I'M HIM! YOU ARE MEETING JOHN WICK. RIGHT NOW." To the rep (or exec). That's kinda what they want to feel like, like they're meeting a dynamic celebrity. These people are used to celebrity and big dynamic personalities. If you wrote a black comedy, dress like Spike Jones or Wes Anderson. Feel me? Look at Tarantino. He's a nerd, but he's fukkin sharp. Be sharp.

Let them drive the convo, overall your job in this meeting is to answer the questions they ask. But first, YOU drive it (confidence... says "I'm good in a room. Bruh, I ain't nervous."). Drive it for exactly the first 60 seconds. Then let them take over. If they're trying to sign you, THEY are pitching YOU (i.e. "Here's what I can do for you. But, take your time and think about if I'm what you're looking for." To that, you say "Ok cool, great sitting down with you!")

Backing up: Questions they'll ask.

1) What was your inspiration for this script (have a rad backstory).

2) What else you got (have several ideas you can rattle off. Doesn't need to be actual ideas just, I'd like to write something that deals with ___, ___, and ___." All of these ideas are in the same or similar genre as the script they dug.

3) What are your favorite movies/what movie do you wish you could have written and think you would have nailed it.

4) Are you interested in TV? If so, got any ideas?

Generally, just don't be weird and nervous. If you don't have an answer don't panic and say stupid sh!t to fill the air. Just say, "I don't have that yet." But say it with conviction as if it's not a problem, like "No worries, I'll/we'll figure it out."


Off the top of my head...
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

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Originally Posted by Satriales View Post
Not giving off weirdo writer vibes seems to help with producers in my experience. Project flexibility and being open to change and not being precious with your ideas.

1000% THAT!
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

Ps... every meeting starts with small talk (RAPPORT!).

You say sh!t like "Got any travel plans for the summer?"

They're like "Yup, going to Spain in a month."

"Ahh, cool, love it there, check out Tickets restaurant if you get a chance. Awesome food. Top 50 best restaurants list, but you gotta book way out. Highly recommended if you're a bit of a foodie."

Them "I am, any other good restaurants over there."

You "Yeah, check out Diver XO. Place is nutz, super rad spot. Excellent chef!"

This goes back and forth for the first 5-ish minutes before you get into real sh!t.

Around this time they'll say... "So anyway, yeah... loved the script."
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

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Originally Posted by GucciGhostXXX View Post
Your LOOK: Try to look like your character without looking like you're TRYING.

Example: I just wrote John Wick (in my fukkin wet dreams) I'm wearing all black to meet a rep. I have a 5 0'clock shadow, I look hungover, but I'm sharp, I'm entertaining. In other words "I'M HIM! YOU ARE MEETING JOHN WICK. RIGHT NOW." To the rep (or exec). That's kinda what they want to feel like, like they're meeting a dynamic celebrity. These people are used to celebrity and big dynamic personalities. If you wrote a black comedy, dress like Spike Jones or Wes Anderson. Feel me? Look at Tarantino. He's a nerd, but he's fukkin sharp. Be sharp.

Let them drive the convo, overall your job in this meeting is to answer the questions they ask. But first, YOU drive it (confidence... says "I'm good in a room. Bruh, I ain't nervous."). Drive it for exactly the first 60 seconds. Then let them take over. If they're trying to sign you, THEY are pitching YOU (i.e. "Here's what I can do for you. But, take your time and think about if I'm what you're looking for." To that, you say "Ok cool, great sitting down with you!")

Backing up: Questions they'll ask.

1) What was your inspiration for this script (have a rad backstory).

2) What else you got (have several ideas you can rattle off. Doesn't need to be actual ideas just, I'd like to write something that deals with ___, ___, and ___." All of these ideas are in the same or similar genre as the script they dug.

3) What are your favorite movies/what movie do you wish you could have written and think you would have nailed it.

4) Are you interested in TV? If so, got any ideas?

Generally, just don't be weird and nervous. If you don't have an answer don't panic and say stupid sh!t to fill the air. Just say, "I don't have that yet." But say it with conviction as if it's not a problem, like "No worries, I'll/we'll figure it out."


Off the top of my head...

Boy. You're really doing double duty today. You have your Career Coach hat on today. Nice.


To the question of what's your favorite movies, I always feel like I have to give the answer that they'd want to hear. I.e. movies that make me sound smart, rather than actual movies I love. Kind of like when Sharon Stone claimed Shine was her favorite movie.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
Maybe, you're meeting a manager for the first time that's considering signing you. Or maybe, you're taking your first general meeting.


Any tips on what to consider when making a good first impression? What things to say, not say. How should you dress? Do you go to any shops to get the best look?
coming from experience of sitting in hundreds of meetings (not industry)
  • wear what is comfortable and makes you feel good about how you look. you're the only one that can determine that. if you're comfortable with what you're wearing you won't LOOK awkward.
  • do give the host a compliment, smile and walk in the room and shake their hand with enough firmness that they feel it, but not TOO much that they FEEL it.
  • look them in the eyes when they speak to you (especially when you shake their hand) and try not to look away or drop your eyes. look directly at them.
  • try not to jump in and interrupt them. listen carefully to what they're saying and offer a thoughtful response.
  • do not BASH any movies, writers or producers. do not. you don't know who this person knows or what their relationship is with them.
  • engage (eye contact) with everyone in the room. no one wants to feel excluded form the conversation. focus on the person speaking. wait your turn to speak and speak clearly, and you might have to slow down. i'm from Connecticut and i speak really really fast.

    i gave a presentation for 13 VPs of a company and my boss had told me over and over to SLOW down. when i finished the presentation with probably 50 people in the room, the EVP said, that was the fastest presentation he'd ever seen. the point? you'll be jacked up, so you might get a little hyper from nervousness.
  • Shonda Rhimes has good advise, practice your pitch (or your "talk") at two-times speed and with loud music and you should be able to deliver no matter what happens in the room. even if someone breaks your train of thought.
  • research the person you're meeting with, it might make an opportunity for you to compliment them on their work and show your respect for their craft. find something interesting just in case.
  • don't fidget, no toe-tapping, leg bouncing, no hand ringing. bring tissues in case you SNEEZE. sit up straight, don't slouch. wear clean underwear.
  • be inclusive. be attentive, be sincere, and most of all, be yourself. relax and enjoy the moment. you've worked hard for it and you should enjoy it.
  • bring a notebook, just in case you want to make a note. pull it out have it at the ready. turn your phone off and do not take it out. leave it in briefcase.
  • ask people for their business cards.
  • shake their hand at the end with two hand (i do this when i feel i connected well with someone) THANK THEM, and tell them you enjoyed meeting with them and you're looking forward to seeing them again.
  • make a cheat sheet or index card on each host that you're meeting with. get to the meeting early, run through their index card so you feel comfortable that you know who you're meeting with.

that's a good start.
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Old 08-20-2019, 10:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: How do you make a good impression on that first meeting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Friday View Post
Boy. You're really doing double duty today. You have your Career Coach hat on today. Nice.


To the question of what's your favorite movies, I always feel like I have to give the answer that they'd want to hear. I.e. movies that make me sound smart, rather than actual movies I love. Kind of like when Sharon Stone claimed Shine was her favorite movie.
Ha! Career coach mode engaged!

Nah, just be honest. There's no right or wrong answer. Feeling like there is will make you nervous and sound weak. Don't try to please them. Just be you and own it.

Here's my answer (but be confident in it like it's the RIGHT answer and you don't care if they disagree):

THEM: What are your favorite TV shows to watch? GoT?

ME: "Nope, crap TV. Like Charlize Theron. That's her favorite sh!t to watch (and yes, I will cuss in a meeting). Speaking of her, Hot Ones is my fave show right now, I'm binging it. Seen it? She was on it. Great episode. I dig how it breaks down celebs to their raw/true self and makes them more honest by stripping them of their celebrity, because they can't take the heat, literally. When your mouth is on fukkin fire, your mouth is on fukkin fire, famous or not, we all feel pain the same way. Also, anything about chefs or music. Pretty much crap reality TV. But, that's not what I write. I tend to write dark fukked up stories, centering on redemption."

There is no wrong answer, there are only UNINTERESTING answers. An uninteresting answer is something you'd expect to hear. I'm not saying do it like me, if you love GoT, say so. Just don't pretend you're something you're not, because then they won't know how to sell you.
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