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Old 09-11-2019, 02:38 PM   #1
socalwriter1
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Default Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

I’m talking specifically of people like entertainment lawyers, casting directors, finance people, etc. who have significant contact and work in the industry but who are not producers, actors, directors, agents/managers, etc.

And I have no “bridge” to them, they don’t know me from Adam. Their names were in some article I read online.

In the past, I’ve emailed them and asked for their advice on how to break in or if they knew of anyone who might be interested in my action script. (I would start out with something like, “Hi, I noticed that you were the casting director on Mega XYZ film and would like to get your advice…”)

I know that this is blunt and why should they respond to someone whom they don’t know but if I’m not that blunt, what’s my alternative?

Thanks guys.
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Old 09-11-2019, 05:35 PM   #2
figment
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Default Re: Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by socalwriter1 View Post
I’m talking specifically of people like entertainment lawyers, casting directors, finance people, etc. who have significant contact and work in the industry but who are not producers, actors, directors, agents/managers, etc.

In the past, I’ve emailed them and asked for their advice on how to break in or if they knew of anyone who might be interested in my action script. (I would start out with something like, “Hi, I noticed that you were the casting director on Mega XYZ film and would like to get your advice…”)
I understand the need to network and put yourself out there -- but you may want to rethink asking a casting director or finance person (that you don't know, through email) for advice on how to break in.

I don't know that a casting director would have the power or inclination to hand a random script that has no financing, or greenlight, or reps, to an actor or director. Never say never, but it doesn't really work that way.

Turn it around, and you'll see it doesn't add up. If an aspiring casting director emailed you as a screenwriter out of the blue and said, Hi, I was wondering if you had advice for me on how to break into being a casting director? You wouldn't really have advice for them -- because why would you?

So the "alternative" is to query managers, enter contests if you feel that placement would give you a leg up, networking, trying to get reads and reps and feedback... all the boring and tedious stuff that makes us all want to slam our heads into a wall.
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:36 PM   #3
socalwriter1
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Default Re: Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

Okay, I think you're right. Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:15 PM   #4
Bono
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Default Re: Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by socalwriter1 View Post
I’m talking specifically of people like entertainment lawyers, casting directors, finance people, etc. who have significant contact and work in the industry but who are not producers, actors, directors, agents/managers, etc.

And I have no “bridge” to them, they don’t know me from Adam. Their names were in some article I read online.

In the past, I’ve emailed them and asked for their advice on how to break in or if they knew of anyone who might be interested in my action script. (I would start out with something like, “Hi, I noticed that you were the casting director on Mega XYZ film and would like to get your advice…”)

I know that this is blunt and why should they respond to someone whom they don’t know but if I’m not that blunt, what’s my alternative?

Thanks guys.
So what happened from past experience?

Honestly, I take it the other way -- most people won't respond, so what's the harm but wasted time on your part?

Maybe you query some of those people like you would a manager --- yeah wanna read my script -- love your advice on this or that...

I think asking people that work in industry but aren't the reps might be a great idea actually.

Can you query an entertainment lawyer directly? Don't they read scripts sometimes or any read deals?

As someone who just had luck finding someone that liked my TV Pilot when I wasn't even trying but just asking their advice, I think this is actually a good way to approach stuff sometimes. Talk to anyone who may know someone. Why the hell not?

I met guy at party who works for Roc Nation -- he knows all the celebrities and reps, you know?
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by figment View Post
I understand the need to network and put yourself out there -- but you may want to rethink asking a casting director or finance person (that you don't know, through email) for advice on how to break in.

I don't know that a casting director would have the power or inclination to hand a random script that has no financing, or greenlight, or reps, to an actor or director. Never say never, but it doesn't really work that way.

Turn it around, and you'll see it doesn't add up. If an aspiring casting director emailed you as a screenwriter out of the blue and said, Hi, I was wondering if you had advice for me on how to break into being a casting director? You wouldn't really have advice for them -- because why would you?

So the "alternative" is to query managers, enter contests if you feel that placement would give you a leg up, networking, trying to get reads and reps and feedback... all the boring and tedious stuff that makes us all want to slam our heads into a wall.
I agree. I don't think you'll get the results you're hoping for and it kind of paints you as an amateur. Best bet is to just focus on your writing.

Are you in LA or NY, because there are tons of other, more efficient, opportunities to network.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

bono, zero results so that's why I thought I would get your guys' comments before continuing. (probably won't be based on the comments) but glad to hear of your luck... love to hear success stories.
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Old 09-12-2019, 11:17 AM   #7
Bono
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Default Re: Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

My luck was asking someone who I thought did one thing in the film business (say critic) but now is a producer... stuff changes, people change, old contacts become more useful...

People from old script contests you mad....
More successful friends...
Your pilates trainer knows Sorkin....

whatever...
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

Quote:
Originally Posted by socalwriter1 View Post
I’m talking specifically of people like entertainment lawyers, casting directors, finance people, etc. who have significant contact and work in the industry but who are not producers, actors, directors, agents/managers, etc.

And I have no “bridge” to them, they don’t know me from Adam. Their names were in some article I read online.

In the past, I’ve emailed them and asked for their advice on how to break in or if they knew of anyone who might be interested in my action script. (I would start out with something like, “Hi, I noticed that you were the casting director on Mega XYZ film and would like to get your advice…”)

I know that this is blunt and why should they respond to someone whom they don’t know but if I’m not that blunt, what’s my alternative?

Thanks guys.
There are two things this industry hates. Fear & Desperation. These kinds of Emails reek of desperation to these busy people who look at their Email for work related correspondence. You haven't gotten any response for good reason. They aren't in business to help you.

Keep querying. Enter the contests that count. Network the right way, building relationships, not asking strangers to help you get where you want to go. Screenwriting is the hardest of all the writing disciplines to succeed in. It takes everybody years to break in. Just don't give up.
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Old 09-17-2019, 01:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

Yeah... gotta agree.

Asking "How do I break in?" screams "MY SCRIPT SUCKS! I'M WASTING YOUR TIME!"

I'm mixed on this. Meaning, try anything and everything you can think of, but DO NOT frame it that way.

OFFER SOMETHING OF VALUE!!!!!!!!!! ALWAYS!!!!!!

That is critical. I'm not seeing the value component in your email, instead I'm seeing "Hey, want to fix a problem that has nothing to do with you?"

Yup, FEAR meets DESPERATION is a bad look. Imagine approaching dating this way.

Here's some 100% honesty (I'll look like a pig for admitting this, but hey, it's the fukkin truth, real life, and they were all consensual encounters). The reason I was able to fukk 15 stupid hot chicks in 3 months wasn't because I was desperate, it was because I was confident. They WANTED to fukk me. I didn't have to beg. And several times *I* was the one who said "No!" and they pursued ME. Follow?

***Disclaimer. It was a phase I went through. I've repented. I'm straight with Jesus. RELAX! HA! And yes, I've had STD screenings, I'm clean. Moving on... lol

But, the point remains. Confidence is attractive to EVERYONE! People in this biz are terrified to lose their jobs. Essentially you're saying "Hi, will you risk your job for a complete stranger?" The answer is ALWAYS gonna be "Hell no!"

POINT: Figure out what your VALUE is before emailing anyone else. Then state it.

Good luck!
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Seeking Suggestions for What to Ask When Contacting Industry Execs Cold

All this seems so obvious now (after reading these responses).

Thanks guys.
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