I had an opportunity last week to work for Sherwood Oaks College in timing story and script pitches writers were giving to agents, managers and producers.
Seth Jaret, of Content Engine and Jaret Entertainment, was one of the Hollywood insiders students pitched to. He also produces how-to “Drive and Talk” videos for his site as well as posts commentary about many aspects of the business.
What a great idea – how to use that drive time in the car – please don’t text, instead, talking and driving is safer as long as you don’t have to fiddle with the smartphone cam much! And productive, as you saw if you watched the video above.
I like how Seth edits the piece about secrets to entertainment industry success. I like the repetition of the three ideas and the joke about using the word “fucking” but bleeping it out. The way he presents the information is also classic: tell is what you’re going to tell us, tell us the info, then tell us what you just told us.
Even for people like me, with our challenged attention spans – and isn’t that everybody these days? – I really got what he said.
And, like he says, these three “Fs” are crucial. Probably not only in Hollywood, but certainly there. They are:
Follow through — if you promise somebody something, like sending off a treatment or script, do it. Don’t promise to do it if you can’t do it. It’s simple but people violate this all the time.
Follow Up – this one really struck a chord with me. Writers, well, most writers, I think, are introverted. They feel that if you’ve requested something they’ve written and then they’ve taken the time to actually send it off, that should be all that’s required.
Seth rightly makes the point in the video that “follow up is what makes following through matter. People won’t read something you’ve submitted until you’ve followed up (it’ll just sit there on someone’s desk).”
Same thing with a job interview, a request for an media interview, a date. (How many of you finally went out with someone just because he or she was persistent enough to keep asking – and what if it worked out? Persistence pays.)
The third F: Get out of your own fucking way. By this he means don’t self-sabotage. If you do the first two Fs correctly (follow through and then follow up), this third F takes care of itself.
Don’t question a Yes, especially in the business. I mean, they are so rare, just realize that and STFU!
I do realize that persistence to just below the point of being annoying is a fine line. I was the recipient of this tactic as a PR Director and I can tell you, at least from the PR-tasks buying realm, it does work. But it helps to be nice and it helps to be funny while still being persistent.
For the introverts out there from one of you: realize that you have something valuable, and that is why it was requested in the first place. Keep that in mind, especially while you’re following up, and the process is a bit easier.
And – if you don’t have or can’t develop a thick skin, you probably shouldn’t try Hollywood anyway.
What have been your experiences, especially on follow up, and how has that worked for you?