Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Writing Week (Vol. 3) part 155 - The 3 Ps of Being a Client

Hollywood is closed. Until January 3rd, very little will be happening in Tinsel Town. People will be reading a lot of scripts, but in terms of deals and meetings, there will be next to none of that going on - especially officially. 

Because of the two week break at the end of the year, this is a difficult time to really break in. It is, on the other hand, an amazing time to get some major writing done. With the industry going silent for a bit, we writers - especially those of us who are still trying to get our names and work out there - have the perfect opportunity to polish off current or start new scripts. Managers and agents won't be clamoring for new material, and the buyers are out of town (or at least away from the office), so there's no pressure now to go to the industry. It's an amazing time to just focus and write.
That said, just to continue relaying my experiences to other hopeful scribes, I'll give you my year-end update. I spoke to my manager at the end of the day yesterday, and 2010 ended on a fairly positive note. There was some positive feedback from a production company, though again nothing concrete beyond that until after January 3. We also have a read at one of the studios over the holidays, which is great. Beyond those, my manager's also been in touch with a head of development at a company here in NYC, looking to arrange a general (i.e. meet and greet meeting) for me come 2011. All in all, a few nice things to look forward to after ringing in the New Year. 

One other important realization I had yesterday while talking to my manager, which I'd stress to anyone with or hoping for representation. Last week, I wrote a lot about being a proactive client. This week, I'll put on the other shoe and discuss being a patient client, a bit. I know that my manager's doing a lot - trying to set up meetings, determining if my ideas for other projects are already out on the market or not, building contacts for me. I might not hear from him, but in reviewing everything with him then, I was reminded that I don't need daily or weekly updates to know he's on the case. (Mark this under the category of "obvious, but bears repeating." If/when you have representation, just because they don't reply immediately or the meeting they're setting up doesn't happen in a day, remind yourself that they have your best interest in mind. I know my rep does, but I felt that such a crystal clear indicator of that was worth mentioning. If months go by, that's a different case. But representatives - agents, managers, lawyers - do a lot. Would you rather have them calling every hour to let you know there's no update, or out on the phone and in meetings trying to sell you and your work?

Proactive and patient - that seems to be the best way to go. And I'll throw in a final adjective to round out the "three Ps of being a client;" pleasant. Be pleasant to work with, to give notes to, pleasant in meetings, and to develop a script with. Saying "yes" or knowing how to say "no" in a kind way will make people want to work with and for you. It will make them want to protect you. As a writer, that can be invaluable. Proactive, patient, and pleasant. That'll do it.