Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Better Teacher

I just had someone comment about how I should make a list of D2DVD producer/ distributors who accept unsolicited query letters or scripts. I shot back a harsh comment, but let me follow up with this. There’s a couple of reasons why a D2DVD producer list isn’t going to happen from me in the foreseeable future. I may change my mind, but right now here they are:

I don’t need the competition.

I am too busy with my own stuff.

I am going to take a lesson here from Alex Epstein’s site – Complications Ensue – and impart some advice: Experience is a great teacher. I can make a list for you, but that’s not going to teach you how to survive in this business. You need to figure that out through experience. I will relate my experiences, but you need to get your hands dirty.

By having to go out and do the searches yourself, you’ll begin to see how to market yourself and your writing. And in this day and age it’s a lot easier then when I started. So in the interest of showing you where to find these companies – but not do the searches for you – here’s the following:

1. AFMA – The American Film Marketing Association and the AFM (American Film Market) has a listing of member companies on their site.

2. The “Done Deal” screenwriting boards lists production companies.

3. The Hollywood Reporter lists companies for the AFM, MIFED, and Cannes film markets. Find those issues and go over the listings. Same goes for Screen International magazine and Variety.

4. Log on to the VSDA website and look at the distributors attending. Look on those distributors websites and see if they do production deals.

5. Go to your local video store and scour the shelves for movies like what you’ve written. Rent them. Look at the production company’s credits. Write them down.

6. Send out letters to those companies that would look to be responsive to your material.

People talk about how they got their “lucky break”. Well luck doesn’t drop out from the sky – it’s created. Take out the term luck and use the term prepared. It’s a better indicator of what needs to happen from you – preparedness.

That means putting a few calluses on your ego and your hands.
That means having the right script at the right time.
That means having a library of scripts.
That means meeting people.
That means knowing who to send stuff to...

That means experiencing it yourself.

Experience is the better teacher.

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