Last week, we brought you Part 1 of this invaluable article. Here’s the rest. Whatever you do, don’t lose this. Bookmark it! Print it out and file away!
We mean it:
Networking is an anxiety-provoking, but necessary activity for anyone aspiring to Hollywood jobs (or any job). It’s especially difficult for writers, who aren’t known for being outgoing and comfortable around large groups.
Knowing what to expect from the experience will, in itself, reduce the stress involved. As stressful as making new friends in large gatherings in a not-so-friendly town can be, I hope considering the following advice will help reduce your anxiety.
9. Don’t hand a business card to everyone you meet.
You don’t want to come off like you’re selling yourself to everybody. Don’t be pushy or loud. Definitely have cool looking business cards with all your contact information on it.
If the conversation goes really well with a particular contact, and you’re both writers, or if you’re talking to an agent, director or producer, end the conversation with, “let’s stay in touch.” Give the other person your card. If he gives you his card, even better.
10. What if you’re talking to a celebrity or well-known producer?
If you’re talking to someone you’ve heard of, remember your preparation. Talk about their films (always being positive.) You might want to ask a question. Better yet, ask a specific question like, “I really liked that film, I was wondering how you were able to get close enough to film that rhino?”
Remember, no matter how new to this you are, you want to come off like an working professional: you want to give the impression “you’ve been writing freelance screenplays for a while.” Don’t ask them to take a “selfie” with you, or autograph a book.
Act like you’re used to seeing celebrities like them. Don’t come off like a tourist. You may have to practice this in front of a mirror before the event.
11. Don’t hand your script to anyone at the event.
Even if the person you’re talking to asks if they can read your screenplay, don’t give it to them at the event, even if you have a trunkload of scripts in your car. This sends a message that you’re desperate.
The best case scenario would be if you have an agent or manager, tell your contact you’ll call them in the morning and have your agent send over the script. If you don’t have representation, just get their business card and send it over in the morning, or email it.
12. Make sure you know how to follow up on the first meeting.
When you get home, write a few things on the back of the business cards you collected. Just some personal or business details or something interesting they said, to remember each person by.