To give a picture of how we engage with industry and pitch our winners’ scripts, our Director Ian Kennedy is sharing a week of his L.A. diary with us. He’s got meetings with major producers, organisations and other industry professionals to share with us, plus images from the scene. Today he meets the producers of Oscar-winners GET OUT and BLACKKKLANSMAN, plus THE MESSENGER and many other top films.
So, you know that moment where you’ve done a LOT of preparation for something, but you know that even more could turn out to have been necessary. Do you know all your script storylines inside out? Their focal characters, dynamics, loglines, suggested directors and leads casting? Their USPs and their writers’ credentials? Not easy with a slate as big and varied as ours. And what about the people you’re meeting? Have you seen all their work and press? Not easy when it’s a big company who make a lot of productions and have been doing it for many years.
So, you can do all the preparation you can, and still never feel like it’s quite enough. So you get up early and you practice your pitches some more, because you might need to fall back on one you weren’t expecting to, if they like or don’t like something for reasons your research could never have told you.
And then your meeting starts and everyone’s great with you and you realise that you and your team already got everything important in place by going about things the way you did long before the meeting was confirmed.
So that’s how today’s meetings have felt.
Doing our best over many years to be the best we can and do the most we can for our clients means that there are great people out there with goodwill for us, who help us in return, and the mutual trust we build up means that people you’ve never met who are successful and in demand are still ready and game for you to meet them and chat about what you do, because a mutual friend already vouched for you so they trust you not to waste their time.
Of course you’re also there to help them with their own priorities, they’re not going to indulge you and if you make a false step it’ll still count against you. But if you approach things positively, helpfully, professionally and try to always add value, then everyone can win at the same time.
That’s the backdrop to this morning’s meeting with Impossible Dream Entertainment, where Yvette Yates and Shaun Redick (pictured with me here, among the posters of their triumphant recent productions BLACKKKLANSMAN and GET OUT) and we spent an hour finding synergies between their slate and what we do at WriteMovies and TalentScout International Management, discussing our projects and theirs, and where we and they could potentially add the most value for each other.
I want all writers who submit to WriteMovies to know that we not only have the means to, but we actually promise to, put our winners’ scripts to producers who can make these scripts happen, and to do everything we can to make your script and pitch ready to get the result you’re looking for, when that happens. Sure, nothing happens instantly – I believe it takes a lifetime’s work to be an overnight success – but if you succeed with us, you will get exposure to successful industry producers who really are looking seriously at your pitch.
And who knows, I might have even better news for you soon. Thanks hugely to Yvette, Shaun, and Kathryn Nawrocki for vouching for us to them, and our founder Alex Ross for making this business and still putting us into the right conversations with the right mix of enthusiasm, readiness and wariness. It’s a challenge we relish and enjoy every day. Thanks also to everyone who entrusts us with their script so that, if we believe we can take it forward, we get to pursue that with everything we can.
Another string to this bow is my goal of growing our LA team this week to increase our presence on the ground here. Adding another seasoned head who knows how to get things done around here is never a bad idea in a business like ours. So I also really enjoyed today meeting another producer with a track record of getting things done, who’d expressed an interest in that. We’ve all got war stories from the ups and downs of our line of work. It’s great to grow our network with people who’ve made things happen, and if we can find that synergy and start making things happen together, then everyone can win. That’s how I like to do business, and the more contexts I do business in, the more I recognize that it’s really all about people finding the people they most want to work with to achieve their goals.
A final word about today goes to my Uber driver as I left the first meeting, who had just come from auditioning for Nickelodeon where he said his audition got a standing ovation. He told me he and his brother had already made a successful indie movie and were underway with another that has a strong social conscience and some powerful substance. Sure, that was just talk and anybody here can be full of it, but he was great company and I’d like to think he’ll go places (that don’t need him to keep an Uber job). We exchanged contact details because hey, who knows where the next great opportunity is coming from.
Here’s to making people’s dreams happen.