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Old 05-26-2010, 01:12 AM   #1
Greenwood
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Default "The meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

Did the phone meeting thing before several times, but have a face2face coming soon. She's the head of development @ Rainforest films.

Are dev execs a different animal? My past meets have been w/ reps for the most part.

Definite no-no's, or dare I say, do-do's? (lol)

I'm sure there are other threads on this topic in the archives, but that can be said for virtually every thread. Trends, habits, taboos etc change fast in this game so maybe it's time for a fresh meeting thread.

So give up the goods...
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: "the meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

See this thread:

http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...ad.php?t=50787

Had intended on writing an elaborate (and extensive) post on the topic, at some point, but unless somebody comes in and finishes my new script while I'm sleeping, it ain't gonna be this week.
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Old 05-26-2010, 02:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: "the meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

Thx, xl.

Any input on any differences or experiences with development heads? Anyone?
I noticed a lot of talk about notes, biz cards, etc. My iPhone has become my new note book, would checking my phone periodically be okay?

I would find it laughable if a cellphone addicted industry like Hollywood would have a problem with taking/reading notes on my phone.

We've already discussed possible assignment work over the phone -- any other advice on discussing assignments?
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: "the meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenwood View Post
Any input on any differences or experiences with development heads? Anyone?
Sure, they're a different animal to agents/managers, but they're still looking for a lot of the same things, mainly if they feel you're someone they could work with (i.e. someone they could spend time interacting with; someone they could go to bat for with their bosses/the studio etc). Expect 90% "getting to know you" stuff, 10% "you pitching them/them pitching you", and as SBScript said in the other thread, know "nothing's going to happen in the room, on that day, out of that conversation." Just enjoy it.

Quote:
I noticed a lot of talk about notes, biz cards, etc. My iPhone has become my new note book, would checking my phone periodically be okay?

I would find it laughable if a cellphone addicted industry like Hollywood would have a problem with taking/reading notes on my phone.
Personally, I'd make a point of it at the outset if that's your plan ("I'd best write that down. I don't know what I'd do without my iPhone." etc etc). There's nothing that pisses me off, or puts me off my stride, more than an exec toying with their phone during a meeting. I give them the same courtesy I expect, i.e. their full attention, and wouldn't want them to incorrectly assume otherwise.

Quote:
We've already discussed possible assignment work over the phone -- any other advice on discussing assignments?
Sounds obvious but write everything important down. Even if it's just a couple points, or a title, write it down. Admittedly, I have a shoddy memory, but even if I didn't I get pitched so much stuff that without my notes I'd be in trouble. Plus, things happen, projects stall/fall apart/are taken off the market, only to reappear in a few months. It helps if you've a scrap of paper with their thoughts on to refer to when they contact you 3 months after because the project has now become a priority.

If you're in any doubt, ask. "Are you thinking more OCEANS or MISSION IMPOSSIBLE?" You don't want to come away unsure of the direction they're looking to go ('cause if you're prepping a full take that can be weeks of work).

Movie references are your friend. "It needs an amazing reversal scene like the restaurant scene from NIKITA. She thinks she's there for a birthday dinner and..." "It's mentee, mentor, but sinister. Kinda like Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas in WALL STREET. That dynamic." It's a shorthand people understand.

Careful of the things you badmouth. You might want Michael Bay to come down with leprosy of the groin, or think FURRY VENGEANCE was the biggest POS that's ever been anywhere near the vicinity of a cinema, but for all you know Bay is their kid's godfather and FV was their pet project they worked for years to get off the ground at their previous company.

Know it's likely that they're also speaking to a number of other writers about the same job. It might be one, it might be twelve. Some might give you a heads up, others will keep it under their hat. I tend to get that info from my reps. Don't let it deter you.

It's okay if you get a little nervous pitching. They're used to it, and you'll get better with practice.

Over-prepare. Over-prepare. Over-prepare. And expect to throw it all out when they tell you they were planning something slightly different.

And, because he addresses it much better than I can, an older post from Tao on "Getting the Gig":

http://messageboard.donedealpro.com/...ad.php?t=31095

Last edited by -XL- : 06-13-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 05-26-2010, 07:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: "the meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

Both of the links provided were useful, thanks. But like the one about whether or not you should bring a bottle of water and a change of shirt (!) to the meeting, it's not particularly appropriate in my case. And I doubt mine's so unique.

I'm 3000 miles away from L.A., so any initial business is going to be through email, possibly phone or maybe even Skype or something.

Now, a lot of the courtesies and strategies would be similar, but there are significant differences. Even the prodcos ought to realize they're limiting themselves if they only deal with locals.

I've searched but haven't found a thread for "out-of-towners". If you're any more than 500 miles away that's out-of-town -- a visit isn't really practical. So that means the rest of the world. The great big world.

One of the best things about this board is how those in the business take the time to come back and share their experiences.
  • Are there any out-of-towners here who got business remotely? Obviously, I exclude those who simply deferred to an agent who was local, because few of us newbies have one. If you have a moment, what special situations were you able to work out in order to get your material produced, or at least to the option/rewrite stage.
  • Alternatively, are there any prodco types who can share their experiences with any exceptional out-of-towners they've had to deal with.

Thanks then.
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Old 05-26-2010, 04:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: "The meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

Catcon,

I'm a "outsider" too. My meeting w/ the DOD @ Rainforest is due to the fact that RF is based in Atlanta where I live but also has offices in L.A. I have a couple of L.A. meetings that don't have concrete dates yet, but I plan on going in August.

I've done several phone meetings in the past and based on the great tidbits from XL, it seems like there's not much of a difference verbally. Just a "get to know you" followed by a quick run down of your other work.

Which is my favorite part, especially with potential reps, but while they may be "judging" your pitches, you get a chance to gauge what their interests are too.

-XL-

Thanks again for your input, bro. And I definitely agree with the whole "be careful who/what you badmouth". The industry is pretty small when you think about it, and everybody seems to know everybody.

However, I think that's why 70% of what comes out of that town is garbage... Everybody's kissing everybody's ass. The only people getting any honesty (albeit sometimes innacurate honesty) are the ones trying to break in. Everyday I see a movie, trailer, etc, that makes me think "I know if I wrote that and submitted to ANYONE in hollywood as new writer that would be a pass." But hey, that's the breaks.
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: "The meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

Go. Be yourself. Don't read notes off your iPhone. Bring a few index cards if you have to. Have fun. Don't overthink it.
xoxo
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Old 06-09-2010, 01:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: "The meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

If they are studio based it doesn't hurt to know of a couple of films in the vault you might want to write the remakes of. I did a couple of rounds of meetings where everyone was asking me that before I got a clue and figured out some possible remakes.

Try not to vomit or poo yourself.

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Old 06-09-2010, 07:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: "The meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wcmartell View Post
If they are studio based it doesn't hurt to know of a couple of films in the vault you might want to write the remakes of. I did a couple of rounds of meetings where everyone was asking me that before I got a clue and figured out some possible remakes.

Try not to vomit or poo yourself.

- Bill
Yes, what Bill said. Especially the last line.
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Old 06-09-2010, 07:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: "The meeting" share stories, tips, etc...

Quote:
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Try not to vomit or poo yourself.

- Bill
I actually did vomit not once, but twice, during a meeting with a financier. I was able to make it to the bathroom both times.

They were very gracious given the circumstances. Needless to say, I didn't get the financing we were after, but to this day we talk and have a good laugh.

Don't eat vietnamese food for lunch.
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