Tips for Writing for Hollywood Without Living in Hollywood
If you’re a screenwriter and you don’t live in LA, odds are you’ll be making a trip — or many trips — to LA in order to take meetings. 26-year old screenwriter Bradley Jackson (@BradleyJackson) has written a great guest post on John August’s blog about how to make the most of such a trip. Speaking from personal experience, when I was in LA with the project 3rd Rail, we had eleven meetings in three days: we had our pitch, we had a borrowed car, we had a primitive phone-based GPS, we had a full docket of meetings all around town, and we didn’t have a clue as to how to pitch or what to expect. Bradley’s post includes a lot of useful advice for screenwriters who might find themselves in a similar situation, and I wish his post existed before I went. Here’s one of his tips (a short film he wrote and directed is also embedded below).
Don’t just talk about yourself. You’re there to sell yourself, but always ask people about their projects. Not only is it just good conversational practice, but also getting them to talk about themselves could lead to an interesting connection or opportunity. The only reason I optioned my screenplay was because last time I was in LA I had a meeting with a junior exec and asked her “What kind of projects are your company looking for?” She immediately responded: “Comedies in the 7 to 15 million dollar range.” I had just finished a lower budget comedy so I told her I’d send it to her. Six months later I had my first ever option check in my hand.