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Ian’s L.A. Diary, Tuesday March 3rd 2020 – meeting Impossible Dream Entertainment

Ian’s L.A. Diary, Tuesday March 3rd 2020 – meeting Impossible Dream Entertainment

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.


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.

Ian’s L.A. diary, March 2nd 2020 – preparing for a big pitching opportunity and growing the WriteMovies team

Ian’s L.A. diary, March 2nd 2020 – preparing for a big pitching opportunity and growing the WriteMovies team

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.


MONDAY

Ian Kennedy and Kathryn Nawrocki

With Kathryn Nawrocki at the historic Culver Hotel

A lovely warmer to our week began over the weekend with a meal at the historic Culver Hotel (lots of fun industry connections, especially from THE WIZARD OF OZ, Charlie Chaplin and John Wayne) with Kathryn Nawrocki, a former WriteMovies winner who has been a great support for us over the years. As well as setting us up for a meeting with producers of acclaimed recent hits, she gave some really thoughtful contributions to our slate of scripts and how we’re currently presenting them. Huge thanks to her for her kindness, connections and positivity!

The start of the week is a great chance to check in on upcoming meetings, firm up the details and logistics, and rearrange any that need it – people are busy here so confirmed meetings often still get reshuffled! Amazing how much time that can take up when you’ve got a lot of other appointments and locations to juggle with, but it’s the info you need first so you can know your schedule and what else is going to be possible. Learning to keep communications brief and clear is key, and it’s what everyone expects from you as well.

Next up, a check on where we’re at with our planning and preparations. First bit of that is reaffirming our goals for the week, our priorities and focus. It’s way too easy to be a head-down worker, get straight into the little jobs that are ongoing or waiting in your inbox, and lose the bigger picture. For me, this week is about affirming an ongoing presence here in L.A. that is highly visible to the industry and to achieve the kind of conversations that will lead to our scripts getting optioned and produced. To make that happen, it goes without saying we should go into all meetings prepared and crystal clear about the people we’re meeting and their work, us and our relevant scripts, and what we’re looking to achieve.

It’s easy to only look at things in terms of yourself and what you’re trying to achieve – but nearly always, it’s only by helping someone else achieve what they’re trying to, that you’ll achieve a deal that works. So you have to get a feel for the slate, priorities and values of the people you’re talking to, and use your human intelligence and networks to get the info you need. Of course, we’ve been pooling our team knowledge and colleagues and networks to do just that for a long time before any of this week’s meetings were confirmed.

So while I’m doing the above I’m liaising with our team to firm up the sharpest, clearest pitches possible as we confirm the most suitable of our scripts for the upcoming meetings. Every new thought or bit of research can change our approach to this and the reference points that will be the best to use, so this kind of thing I like to manage as an ongoing conversation, keeping a short summary of the things I need to memorize in an accessible location as I do.

Standard Hotel

Many Hollywood hotels have varied spaces that can be great for meetings, like The Standard’s pool area here. The lobby and restaurant there both have good spaces to bring people as well – we were one of several industry meetings taking place casually in those spaces today.

We’ve been given huge amounts of great tips and insights over the years so it’s important to process that into easy-to-access summaries and checklists too. So easy to miss the one crucial thing that could make or break an opportunity. For example: “So what’s your ‘big trailer moment’ in this story?”

Meanwhile, a top priority early this week is interviewing candidates to be a new voice on the ground in LA for us. Today that process started very promisingly. Quietly optimistic that we can get someone with the right skills and credentials in place by the end of this week – watch this space!

 

IN TUESDAY’S L.A. DIARY…

Find out how Ian gets on in his next meeting with acclaimed producers, and further interviews to join the WriteMovies team!

WriteMovies Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest now open!

WriteMovies Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest now open!

We may be nearing the end of the last contest of our 20th anniversary year, but we’re already looking to the future. We want to continue the successes of 2019… So we’re announcing that from today, the WriteMovies Winter 2020 Screenwriting Contest is now open!

The Grand Prize for the winner of this contest is $2000, and that’s not all. The top three scripts will all receive a year of free development from our industry professional script analysts, helping them hone their work into the best shape possible, and we will then provide guaranteed pitching to industry!

So if you’re looking to get your work out there at its maximum potential, this is the competition for you. Let WriteMovies use its twenty years of experience helping you with your screenwriting!

And keep an eye out for an upcoming announcement about our next genre award. With both our Sci-Fi and Fantasy Award and our Horror Award proving popular among you guys, we’re looking to continue this series of prizes that celebrates great writing of all kinds!

Click here to visit the main contest page where you can submit your script, with Standard entry prices lasting until Sunday 12th January!

Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest – One Week Extension!

Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest – One Week Extension!

You guys spoke and we listened – and as a result, we’re keeping the Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest open for an extra week, giving you until October 20th to submit your scripts to the competition!

We know that you guys have written a lot of great scripts, and one of the best things we get to do here at WriteMovies is read them! But when a deadline is coming up and you’ve got some last minute changes to make, it can be easy to overrun and miss your chance.

Well, we don’t want you to miss out – and we don’t want to miss out either! We always have a blast with the judging process for our contests, and we’re looking to get the best scripts we possibly can.

That’s why we’ve decided to extend the contest by a week. We’re here to champion great stories and great writers, and this extra week means more time for us to find them!

So make sure you use it wisely. Get your script to its maximum potential and then submit by the end of Sunday October 20th to get it into our hands – and hopefully, into the top three!

And don’t forget that, as ever, by buying a script report from us you can get free entry to the contest – as well as invaluable feedback from an industry professional!

The Fall 2019 Screenwriting Contest is nearly at an end – but it’s not over just yet. Click here to visit the main contest page and enter your script!

CARAVAGGIO – Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner!

CARAVAGGIO – Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest Grand Prize Winner!

From our highly competitive Spring 2019 Screenwriting Contest, one script rose to the top of pile to win our Grand Prize: CARAVAGGIO!

Based on the tempestuous life of the Italian painter, this television pilot caught our attention with its strong concept, engaging main character, and commercial potential. Congratulations to its writer, Alasdair McMullan, for winning the competition!

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