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Old 06-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #1
sjn1973
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Default Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Fellow DDers,

Have you ever shown up to a production company unannounced, with no appointment to pitch your script?

Some prodcos are on studio lots so you need appointments. However, others are simply in office buildings. You can walk right through their front door...

Assuming you know who works there (via personnel directories found in IMDBpro and HCD Online), WHO should you ask for? The President? Or mid-level guys like the Director of Development or CE? Or low-level guys like assistants?

What's the recipe for success?

Thx!
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:04 AM   #2
Shot Across the Bow
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

I would advise you not to go this route.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

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Originally Posted by Shot Across the Bow View Post
I would advise you not to go this route.

Agreed. You might as well eat an ice cream cone laced with cyanide.
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Old 07-17-2010, 03:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

I make a phone call to a big name every couple weeks to see if I can get an assistant to accept a logline. Usually, "no unsolicited" is the response. But once, a big-name director's assistant said to send in the logline. I emailed the log, then she replied with, "you should send this to the director's agent so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle." I forwarded the email and the logline to the agent (after researching) and never got a response. Asked assistant to give the agent a heads up...no response. Gave up hope. Should I send the script to the agent without a request from him? I think not. In my experience. Cold calls are a waste of time.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

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Originally Posted by MontanaHans View Post
In my experience. Cold calls are a waste of time.
I'd have to disagree with you there. Pretty much everything I've ever generated in this business has come from cold calling. You just have to get past the gatekeeper which usually means doing a little research to find the right contact info of the actual person you wish to talk to. It's out there if you look hard enough. Then be polite and have something quick but effective to say and ask a question at the end of your spiel to keep control of the conversation.

As for just showing up... can anyone say RUPERT PUPKIN?
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

balls my friend...if you can pull it off, you're better off in selling on wall street...you'll certainly make more money...

anyway, i would imagine if you're gonna walk into someone's office and interrupt their business, your pitch had better be stronger than death...or at least as effective as this sales pitch and probably half as long: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suRDUFpsHus

good luck at your next meeting
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Regarding: Showing up on prodco doorstep unannounced -

I only read the first page so sorry if I'm just repeating what others have said. I think I'm finding myself surprised by my own response here. I'm not sure if it's the current market conditions (which have been crap for a couple years now) or maybe the fact I've been sick for a couple months now and have a different perspective on things. But, I don't have nearly as much problem with this idea than I would have even one year ago.

In fact, giving it a shot once won't hurt anyone or anything. All the paranoia I keep hearing about the sky falling, being blacklisted and ruining it for other writers is hog-wash. Try it once and see what happens. If you get thrown out on your arse or security is called at least you tried something 99.9% of us don't have the cajones to try. Personally, I would never do this, but I'm not you and I've seen crazier approaches than this work. Some dude in a chicken suit handing out scripts in front of CAA got the him a meeting. Another guy in a UPS uniform hand delivering his own script to producers, got him a meeting.

These are true stories and there's several more like it. I'm sure 99% of the time it fails, but again, in this market and economy where even the most seasoned, experienced working writers are starving, I say, do whatever it takes to get that script into anyone's hand that can jump-start your career, by any means necessary. Again, I'm too chicken to do that kind of stuff and would advise normal routes, but look around. How is that working out for us so far? Not as good as you might think.

Do what you need to do, but don't forget to update us when you do it.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

I have this idea about waiting outside a prodoco for one of the workers to back their car out, then I move by on roller skates and get struck by said person's car, scrapping my knee badly and while they quickly shove me in the backseat and drive me to the nearest medical centre as fast as they can I lye back pitching various concepts and projects. It's a master plan.

Where are your offices based at, Geoff?
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

I'd do it! After showering and shaving, since I live 3000 miles away from them there in L.A. and it'd be quite a trip on spec...

It'd be great to have the opportunity. For now, I just have to be inventive and drill through the web for an email address to Development. And if this particular prodco has one of those rare sites inviting submissions, you might consider that vs. a visit, but if you decide otherwise...

The real question is what would you bring, as a leave-behind? A one-sheet, loglines/synopses, maybe even the script as PDF on CD or USB just in case you get lucky. Multiple samples. List of credits, your website address, a "business card", list of contest wins. A cover letter to leave just in case they can't see you.

I'd be ready for anything.

Don't forget a hanky to wipe down your shiny forehead before you go in. Nothing like the "shines" on a warm day.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:44 AM   #10
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjn1973 View Post
Fellow DDers,

Have you ever shown up to a production company unannounced, with no appointment to pitch your script?

Some prodcos are on studio lots so you need appointments. However, others are simply in office buildings. You can walk right through their front door...

Assuming you know who works there (via personnel directories found in IMDBpro and HCD Online), WHO should you ask for? The President? Or mid-level guys like the Director of Development or CE? Or low-level guys like assistants?

What's the recipe for success?

Thx!
Dont. Ever. Do. This.
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