Saturday, March 6, 2010

The LA Conundrum: Favors and Screenwriting

One of the hardest things to adapt to as a screenwriter in LA is that your future success depends on asking people for things. And, if you’re anything like us, you HATE asking people for things. Maybe it’s pride, maybe you have issues with giving up the reigns to your own destiny, maybe you don’t want to be a pain in the ass. But you hate it.

We’ve been trying to convince ourselves to just shut up and do it, thought We look to born and bred Angelenos for inspiration. These people will contact their entire email address book for the smallest of favors! They have been incubated by validation in a world that runs on it.

Dear Everyone I know,

Will you pick which head shot you like best?
Will you pick the carpet in my living room?
Do you think my bio is too ‘new agey’? (YES)
What is the best way to get to Santa Monica from the Valley?

These questions are seriously common for a lot of people around here. Asking for help and validation in every life decision. And we’re not advocating that you BECOME this way. HELL NO. But emulate them in the smallest way. As a screenwriter, you’re going to have to.

Don’t be afraid to ask people you know to give you notes on a script. And don’t be too apologetic about it either. THIS PLACE RUNS ON FAVORS, AND THEY’LL BE HAPPY TO ASK YOU TO RETURN IT SOON ENOUGH!

Plus, the people you reach out to for help will certainly ignore your request. At least at first. And that is where PERSISTENCE comes in. It is quite possible that the royalty of Hollywood writers/actors/douchebags are unremarkable in every way, except for there ability to be PERSISTENT without being ANNOYING.

How do you do this?

Fuck if we know. We tend to retreat much too often to be considered annoying.

But it’s something you have to do. Don’t be afraid. Charge ahead, bravely into the world of favor asking and willing reciprocation. Take people to lunch. Pick brains. Make real connections, and maybe you'll meet some not-so-flaky people (let's face it, that's as good as it gets, in any city...)

Lead by example! Volunteer to read your friend's scripts. Write good notes in a TIMELY FASHION. Make yourself invaluable to the people you know, and maybe they’ll pick up your call or return your email next time.

Until then…keep trying.


Jonathan K said...

That reminds me. I'd like to return the favor of giving notes on a script. Feel free to send one my way.

Scripted Wit said...

haha, we were making more of an LA-centric point, but thanks for the offer. Maybe we'll send one over soon!

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