Tenacity and Relationships: Takeaways from "Dissecting 'La La Land'" with Jordan Horowitz

June 06, 2017

Tenacity and Relationships: Takeaways from

By Roadmap CEO Joey Tuccio

Thanks to all that participated in Jordan Horowitz's Master Webinar over the weekend! So many of you emailed me after saying how inspired you were. I personally left the Webinar charged up with a clearer vision of how writers can break in. Roadmap is excited to talk with each one of you that attended the Webinar to help you take what you learned and apply it to your personal wants and needs! 

Jordan talked extensively about the trials and tribulations of getting LA LA LAND made, how to network, the importance of pouring yourself into your writing and reiterated how valuable relationships are in this business. (Note: One of the main reasons why he did this Webinar is because I interned for him 7 years ago and I kept the relationship going by sending him quality writers over the years. Build these relationships and cherish them).

I wanted to share 4 of the valuable insights Jordan talked about that I felt was worth highlighting to the whole community. 

Shadow Those More Experienced
Be humble and know what you have to work on to be a better artist. Find somebody skilled in that field and offer to help them (yes, even for free). Be their apprentice. Intern. Offer any help to be near them and learn from them. This is how a large number of creatives break into the industry. Ask what you can do for others before asking what they can do for you.

Passion is Infectious 
Jordan talked about how passionate Damien Chazelle was in everything that he did. It was infectious. People just wanted to be near him. BE HUMAN. This is one of the reasons why Roadmap urges our writers to do verbal pitches as much as possible so they can relay that passion to the exec. STOP HIDING! 

Drop Your Expectations 
This is probably the hardest to master, but lower your expectations. Enjoy the journey and the process. It took Jordan almost 7 years to make LA LA LAND. And he immersed himself in the process through the highest highs and the lowest lows. 

Write What Your Know 
This doesn't mean necessarily writing a story about a screenwriter. This means writing what really moves you. Be vulnerable. Be visceral. If you are struggling with a story, then most likely it's not really you. Live a full life and channel your emotions through your characters.That visceral connection to character resonates with executives. They can sense that immediately when reading.

One thing that personally really stood out to me was how important it is to be visible in the industry. You can't just hide behind your computer writing queries, submitting to contests and writing script after script after script. You have to step out of your comfort zone. You have to be visible. Don't be afraid to show your work. Don't be afraid to take chances. Jordan openly talked about projects that didn't go the way he wanted, but those projects prepared him for his next steps. If he hid, he would not be where he is today.

Roadmap values working with writers that are in this for the long haul. Be creative on how you get exposure. Find a guide and shadow them. I can't reiterate how important building relationships is in this industry. It's everything. 

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