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Old 06-28-2010, 04:38 PM   #11
Travis Fields
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

I don't think most Writers try hard enough to market themselves...but this is a highly risky route.
You'd better be in your most charming, most harmless mode to even consider it. Even then, I can't recommend it. You'll probably considered rude at best (you'd want people to set up an appointment
to come to *your* office, wouldn't you?) and crazy at worst.

People are always worried Aspiring Artists are crazy (which is more than a little ironic, since so many Successful Artists are crazy) and trying this route greatly increases the odds people will stick you in it.

Of course, you never know...

I bullshitted my way onto a commercial once, and by a freak fortuitous coincidence I got away with it and walked away with about $1k. But I pissed some people off and realized I'm just not built to do that sort of thing on a daily basis. So I haven't tried it since.

I'm sure there are stories about people selling scripts through some crazy-improbable meeting, though.

Actually...

Isn't there one about the broke screenwriter who rear-ended a car in front of him? And the screenwriter had no insurance, no cash, nothing, and he offered a script he had in his trunk in lieu of payment? And it sold?
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

I'm not sold on all the negativity about this approach, if one's earnest, courteous and prepared.

Here's just one example of cold-call success I've read about (albeit an actor, as opposed to a writer):

Quote:
"Bridgewater had produced and directed his own version of The Fisher King radio sequences for a UCLA directing course. In order to get the tape into Gilliam's hands, he disquised himself as a Fed-Ex delivery man and handed it to Gilliam in his hotel room. "I didn't say anything, just knocked on the door and delivered the tape. "Three days later, Terry called and I've been coaching actors ever since."
Stephen Bridgewater

But nobody's suggesting this writer go so over-the-top!
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Old 06-29-2010, 08:35 AM   #13
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

I went into a big prodco in Manhattan asking to drop off my script (I was young and stupid) and they were quite polite, as if they get the request a lot, but advised me they only accept agented scripts. The only other time I made a delivery in person was to an agent (also NYC) who I had queried and who specifically requested the script.
Sorry, no funny stories about the experience...
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Last edited by Mario_C : 07-06-2010 at 09:55 AM. Reason: spelling errors caught!
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Old 06-29-2010, 10:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Quote:
Originally Posted by catcon View Post
I'm not sold on all the negativity about this approach, if one's earnest, courteous and prepared.

Here's just one example of cold-call success I've read about (albeit an actor, as opposed to a writer):



Stephen Bridgewater

But nobody's suggesting this writer go so over-the-top!
Don't compare apples to oranges.

1: This Mr. Bridgewater apparently wants to be an actor and drama coach. Not a writer. It does make a difference.

2: He didn't walk into a production company to pitch a script; he delivered a package.

Catcon, when everyone else says this is a bad idea, maybe you should consider why they're saying that.
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:08 PM   #15
EJ Pennypacker
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

If you said you were ROBOTARD then you'd get in without a problem.

EJ
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:53 AM   #16
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Someone actually attempted this at a prod co I worked at for some time. Result? It freaked us all out a bit.

You want to look eager to work, not "bodies in the basement" crazy...
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:47 PM   #17
Jaco Bean
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Before the July 4th Holiday, one aspiring writer came to our office to deliver a pizza. (This is a high level talent agency, not a the last day of middle school, so we typically cater elsewhere.) Anyways, fully dressed in a Frankie & Johnnies uniformed attire, he made the way through the offices, and delivered a pizza to my previous boss. Inside the "hot bag", or whatever they're called, was a pizza box, which he delicately sat on my desk for her.

"Don't worry about the tab, it's been picked up", he said as he quietly backed away.

Thinking, "This is her pizza, and not mine", I quickly grabbed the box and spun back to her office. It had the same feel of large pizza, minus the grease dripping on the bottom.

I sat it on her desk, opened the box, and inside...

... A 116 page screenplay, 3 page query letter, and a small "Thank you" note.

The guy's name was added to a "cautionary" list... not a black list for a writer, but more along the lines as "do not let them enter the property". The pizza box was added to the recycle pile, the brass brads were re-used for a client's freshly printed screenplay, and the other pages, well... kept the shredder hungry for a few minutes.

The moral of the story, even if you are going to come costumed, please let the people know beforehand who, what, and why you're coming.
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Old 07-16-2010, 06:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Quote:
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   #19
MontanaHans
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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   #20
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Default Re: Cold Calling Production Companies--In Person

Quote:
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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