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Old 07-20-2010, 09:36 AM   #51
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtbottle View Post
The only reason I used specific references is because I was asked for people without representation selling a script SPECIFICALLY. Listen, I know you think your **** doesn't stink but the reality is that I'm not dealing with low level readers and "dead at the company forever" is a crock of crap.

I'm really tired of you pussies who are afraid to try picking up a phone or sending out queries telling people it won't work. If I spent all my time listening to people say "it won't work" I'd have quit writing a long time ago.

I'm not saying you're method is wrong.

I'm saying you're full of Sh*t about the effectiveness of other methods because you've probably never tried them because you're afraid of rejection or maybe you have tried them and it didn't work for you.

But you know what? It's working for me and it will continue to work for other people. Believe what you want but new writers who don't do anything and everything they can to get read are just wasting a lot of time and energy hoping for that lucky one in a million break.
Personal attacks and name calling aside, I have a really simple question for you.

Are you claiming that a read at a production company off a cold query is handled at the same level as a read from a manager or agent?

Please respond to the question.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:54 AM   #52
MrEarbrass
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

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Originally Posted by dirtbottle View Post
Forget it. You're right. I'll just ignore 100% of my experience that shows by roughly a 3 -1 margin (verified by tracking every query I've made in 5 years) producers are more likely to read than managers, just because you guys say the complete opposite is the case. As for gatekeeper anger I wouldn't know. I get past them typically.

I'll also just ignore the fact that the SECOND CALL I EVER MADE TO A PRODUCER landed an 11k vs. 250k option without representation specifically because it's not a sale, and if it were it wouldn't be your personal experience so it wouldn't count anyway.

I'll just ignore all that because I didn't do it your way.

Clearly, I've not earned the goodhousekeeping seal of approval yet because I had the audacity to waste my time approaching producers so I'll just defer to your infinite wisdom on the subject since you all have done it so much more than me and already proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that in no way could it possibly lead to a sale even perhaps indirectly.

So let this be a lesson to all you beginners out there. I'm changing my mind to get on board here. Producers - the people who actually are looking for your material - WASTE OF TIME. DO NOT CALL THEM OR APPROACH THEM IN ANY WAY.

Instead, spend years of your life perfecting your craft then more years of your life pining and hoping and wheedling to get your work somehow into the hands of one of the big 4 so a mailroom clerk can read it and decide it's not good enough for him to advance.

Oh wait, forget big 4, because they don't sign new writers without having had something sold or a referral from a respected industry type like a big producer (again DO NOT CALL PRODUCERS).

So pine for mid-level. But not managers, because too many of them are also producers now, and we already know that producers are a waste of time.

So find some small level agent who runs his shop out of a starbucks who will agree to rep anything that hasn't been used to wipe someone's ass yet.

Good luck and Godspeed.
Your inability to distinguish between probability and absolutes makes any further discussion seem futile, and there's already plenty of good information in this thread that addresses your hyperbolic argument. Many people come to this board having decided that they've found a better way and ignore the advice of people who have been there. I wish you all the best.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:55 AM   #53
dirtbottle
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

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Originally Posted by SBScript View Post
Personal attacks and name calling aside, I have a really simple question for you.

Are you claiming that a read at a production company off a cold query is handled at the same level as a read from a manager or agent?

Please respond to the question.
I'm saying that who you get read by depends on who you manage to get it to. The point of my thread was to try and elucidate how I've gotten my scripts read by ACTUAL producers. Not their flunkies. How do I know I've been read by them? Well, they've called me back and we've discussed the material. They've pointed out my strengths and weaknesses, they've even said, "I like your writing but this isn't a fit for us at this time. But I don't mind if you reach out again when you have something you think I might like. Keep writing" They've even gone to lunch with me and become mentors. All from cold calls/queries.

Not everytime. But a lot of the times. Why? Because I wasn't afraid to reach out to them. To call them on their cell phone, to track down their e-mail and then be polite and professional and have a good concept stated briefly.

Now I know you will discount that that can happen without representation to levitate your script to the top of the pile (which I agree representation can help do) but the thing is that this has happened not just 1 time out of a hundred for me. It's happened more than 50% of the time with feedback and reads and two different mentors.

Christ one of the first non-friends I had read my Material was James Ivory. And this was five years ago from a COLD CALL and he was so cool about going over the script with me and giving me pointers etc.

In fact the most recent cold query I got a response and a read from was Sam Brown at Newline. Now you may think he's too small or not worth getting a read from but I would beg to differ.

And after he passed on that project I never thought I'd hear from him again so I fired off a thank you e-mail anyway, and he responded to say they're looking for tightly written big concept stuff - the bigger the better so if I had something like that down the road get in touch.

My point is that when you say I don't know what I'm talking about you sound like someone who's never ever tried it and don't know what you're talking about.

So take it from someone who's done it. It works.

Oh, and by the way, that option I got from a cold call? The association with that producer (not the option itself but a fluke "Hey I know so and so" four years later) is what led me to be in contact with the management company I just signed with. So, even if it wasn't a sale for me then it's still going to ultimately result in one in all likelihood since they're taking my latest script out wide and already have it at a major studio (unless this management company just signs crap writers for fun.)
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:58 AM   #54
dirtbottle
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

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Originally Posted by MrEarbrass View Post
Your inability to distinguish between probability and absolutes makes any further discussion seem futile, and there's already plenty of good information in this thread that addresses your hyperbolic argument. Many people come to this board having decided that they've found a better way and ignore the advice of people who have been there. I wish you all the best.
I feel the same way about you. Best of luck.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:01 AM   #55
dirtbottle
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

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Originally Posted by mrjonesprods View Post
Dude, is it fun to imagine we said stuff and argue passionately against it?

Here's what I did say that got you all hot and bothered...

IMO, querying hollywood production companies is a waste of time. .
And here's what I said:

You're wrong.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:06 AM   #56
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtbottle View Post
And here's what I said:

You're wrong.
And yet you couldn't prove otherwise.

Good luck. I hope you update this thread after your manager helps you become a better writer and a cold query lands you a sale.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:17 AM   #57
Rantanplan
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Why all the negativity here? Most of us who have cold queried production companies have gotten reads, and for some types of scripts (namely indie) it's actually the best approach. Doesn't Kid Charlemagne specialize in cold calling producers and hasn't he been quite successful at it?

Good for Dirtbottle for having the balls to do it! I really don't see what's wrong with querying producers and I agree some of them can be much more responsive than the typical rep. I've had producers of 200 M budget films listed in the Top Ten Highest Grossing Films of All Time take the time to politely pass on a cold query, whereas 99 percent of reps, whether the top of the heap or people with not a single listed sale, don't even bother to respond with a quick "no thanks."

I say use all approaches available that are within your comfort zone and go for it.
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:23 PM   #58
Geoff Alexander
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtbottle View Post
I'm saying that who you get read by depends on who you manage to get it to. The point of my thread was to try and elucidate how I've gotten my scripts read by ACTUAL producers. Not their flunkies. How do I know I've been read by them? Well, they've called me back and we've discussed the material. They've pointed out my strengths and weaknesses, they've even said, "I like your writing but this isn't a fit for us at this time. But I don't mind if you reach out again when you have something you think I might like. Keep writing" They've even gone to lunch with me and become mentors. All from cold calls/queries.

Not everytime. But a lot of the times. Why? Because I wasn't afraid to reach out to them. To call them on their cell phone, to track down their e-mail and then be polite and professional and have a good concept stated briefly.

Now I know you will discount that that can happen without representation to levitate your script to the top of the pile (which I agree representation can help do) but the thing is that this has happened not just 1 time out of a hundred for me. It's happened more than 50% of the time with feedback and reads and two different mentors.

Christ one of the first non-friends I had read my Material was James Ivory. And this was five years ago from a COLD CALL and he was so cool about going over the script with me and giving me pointers etc.

In fact the most recent cold query I got a response and a read from was Sam Brown at Newline. Now you may think he's too small or not worth getting a read from but I would beg to differ.

And after he passed on that project I never thought I'd hear from him again so I fired off a thank you e-mail anyway, and he responded to say they're looking for tightly written big concept stuff - the bigger the better so if I had something like that down the road get in touch.

My point is that when you say I don't know what I'm talking about you sound like someone who's never ever tried it and don't know what you're talking about.

So take it from someone who's done it. It works.

Oh, and by the way, that option I got from a cold call? The association with that producer (not the option itself but a fluke "Hey I know so and so" four years later) is what led me to be in contact with the management company I just signed with. So, even if it wasn't a sale for me then it's still going to ultimately result in one in all likelihood since they're taking my latest script out wide and already have it at a major studio (unless this management company just signs crap writers for fun.)
You know what's really funny, Dirt, you are doing exactly the same thing with me that you are accusing others of doing with you.

When I was starting out (as a writer) I did the following:

I cold called
I cold emailed
I cold faxed
I went to pitch things
I hit up my friends
I made conversation with strangers and then turned those conversations into connections
I went to speeches, seminars, and lectures, and approached presenters and got reads that way

I would say, that I did pretty much everything.

I then got a manager

I then got an agent

And, they put me in rooms all over town that I could never get in myself.

Then I started working in development

Then I sold my first project as a producer

Then I became a manager

And I now can tell you, with absolute certainty that a cold query will be so much less likely to ever be read at a high level than a repped script, that it is literally laughable to suggest the opposite.

But, I know this makes you angry. So, I won't be responding to your posts anymore.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:31 PM   #59
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Sometimes the worst ideas are the ones that lead to the greatest successes. -- some guy who got lucky when, by a bizarre reversal of Murphy's law, his ridiculous plan managed to wank out a puddle of win
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:50 PM   #60
Terrance Mulloy
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

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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!
You won't get past security. Some of them have giant men standing around out front, waiting for people such as yourself to show up. And if you're not on the appointment list - forget it.

And if by some miracle you do get past them and make it inside, you'll be asked to leave immediately.

No matter which way you play it, it's a very bad idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjonesprods View Post
IMO, querying hollywood production companies is a waste of time. There are so few examples of that ever leading to a legitimate sale out of the hundreds of thousands written annually to production companies. Compare that number with how many more sales have resulted from a writer sending a query to a manager who took their script out and sold it. I guarantee the numbers aren't even close. And the truth a lot of people probably don't want to admit is, if you can't get an agent or manager - your work probably isn't ready to be read by production companies anyway.
This pretty much hit the nail on the head. The cold hard truth.

I totally dig the whole hustling route. I would never have landed my manager if I didn't email someone unannounced - but querying managers/agents is a different kettle of fish to actually turning up to someone's workplace unannounced. From a business perspective it's not only unprofessional - it's borderline creepy. And most producers with major studio deals won't accept anything unless it comes from a manager or agent anyway, so it seems like a waste of time.

I hate talking absolutes with regards to this buisness - mainly because I have a very limited experience working in it myself - but I really think any writer who is not repped should concentrate all their efforts on writing a great script that will attract a manager or agent - before worrying about producers, etc. I have managed to forge relationships with a couple of big producers - at least to the point where I can email them about a specific project - or just to touch base - and they always respond back to me. Now that could never have happened without the help of a manager or agent. They got me in the door. That's part of what their job is. That said, I would never just turn up to their workplace unannounced.
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