Just Be Human.
By Joey Tuccio
You’ve spent a year writing your script. You’ve lost sleep writing around your day job hours, you’ve stressed wondering if your character is relatable enough. You’ve sacrificed your social life to write on the weekends. Nobody knows but you how much blood, sweat, tears and ANXIETY have gone into writing your script.
And now you’re about to take meetings with executives so you can sit them down and tell them everything about your script!
Pump the brakes! There’s an art to general meetings and it may not be what you think.
The quickest way a writer can shoot themselves in the foot and ruin any chance of that executive reading your script or wanting to pursue a business relationship is for you to spend too much time actually talking about your script.
I often set up writers on general meetings with executives. I occasionally get emails back from those executives saying how much they loved a certain writer. And it’s not because those writers spent 30 minutes giving the best pitch. It’s ALWAYS because the writer came in and was HUMAN (insert dramatic echo effect to drive this point home)!
Execs are inundated with pitches, calls and scripts to read. Often the LAST thing they want is to be pitched one more time that day. What they want is to connect with a human on a human-level. They want escapism from their job.
Hmm…wanting to connect with somebody on a human level? Wanting some escapism from your life? Kinda reminds you of why you go to the movies or watch TV doesn’t it?
It’s the same thing with general meetings. Go in and be prepared to talk about ANYTHING but your script. Don’t be desperate to pitch your script. Execs can smell desperation a mile away. A writer who seems desperate scares execs. Sensing desperation, executives think: Is this a writer that is going to be calling me every day to ask if I read their script? If I do want to pursue this script, is this writer going to be a nightmare to work with?
Don’t be that writer. Let the executive ask YOU to pitch your script instead of you coming in pitching full steam ahead without connecting with that executive.
Come in with questions. Engage with the executive. Do your homework. Show them you care about THEM and not just you want them to make your script or sign you. Stand out by taking a breath and being human in the general meeting. Let the executive escape from their hectic life and connect with you on a human level.
If you do connect with an executive on a human level and that executive trusts that you are “normal” and human, you have succeeded in that general meeting.