Tag Archives: networking

Short time between Blogs this time... mainly because this one was kind of forced on me. I had to write about this stuff.

Which is good because I’m not really writing anything right now. I came up with what I think are stellar ideas for the second and third episodes of my series... but I’m still waiting for the greenlight on the pilot which the Production Company tells me is going to happen. I will remain healthily skeptical just for my own mental stability until then.

I spend my time working around the house. The skylight on my roof blew off in the last big storm flooding my pool room and ruining my pool table and a TV and some other stuff. Plus I’m working on some other home based projects I neglected during my five month writing marathon. And I’ve been surfing the interweb...

It was on one of these adventures (and a subsequent phone call) that I knew I had another Blog that needed to get out.

So on this episode of Just When You Thought You’ve Heard It All, we’ll be discussing the stupefying things writers sometimes do to try and get into the industry. A warning, again, to all you new writers who think you have a new special idea to procure a short cut. Sorry. Doesn’t work that way. And there’s no idea you can come up with that dozens of desperate writers haven’t tried before you thought of it.

So... Let’s start with Craigslist and work our way to Marvel. I’ll bet that got your attention.

First up: A young writer posted on a screenwriting board how he didn’t understand why he hadn’t gotten any response to his ad on Craigslist for his latest Script. He’d put it up for sale and was wondering what went wrong. He thought it would be snapped up by a studio or at least get some offers. I refuse to make jokes at the expense of this writer and his choices because that would be piling on. But... just for anyone who thought he had a good idea... Craigslist is terrific if you want to buy cheap motorcycle parts or get your stolen bike back (as one of my friends did), but for screenplays? Not optimal.

It amazes me that people who want to do this can spend the time to write a script but can’t spend the time to find out how to correctly get it out there.

So, to that writer who was startled that he got no traction on his Craigslist ad, look up the words... query, screenwriting contest (Nicholl to be exact), literary manager, and networking. The information you glean from these will help you more than Craigslist.

Next candidate was a writer who was on a screenwriting board laying out a strategy of giving their script, that this writer had written with a particular actor in mind, to that actor’s father and asking him to give it to his son. Making sure the father told his son that the script was tailored for him.

Does this writer actually KNOW the actor’s father? Well, no. But somebody the writer does know kind of knows him and this writer was going to ask that friend for an introduction so said writer could give the father the script to give his son. Easy.

This isn’t networking. This is USING people. In the worst way. The chances are the actor’s father will tell the writer he can’t do this because I’m very very certain that this has been tried before, more than a few times, and the father knows better. And knowing some actors with high profiles, I’m also fairly certain that the overwhelming reaction to this would be some pretty righteous anger involving said actor. For USING his father this way.

Yes, Networking is the best way to get your work out. I know this for a fact because it’s how I got my work out originally. But I built friendships and real relationships with people before they ever read anything I wrote. Using people to get your scripts out never works. Ever. And again, it’s a desperate move.

And finally, was a writer who posted on a board he had a Marvel film script he’d written. Based on one of the more prominent characters in the Marvel Universe, he was sure they’d scoop it up if he could just get it to them. It was then that I was surprised that he was told by a large majority of posters that he should go for it and send it because “YOU NEVER KNOW”. He was elated by the support. A couple of writers with a little more experience came on and told him it wasn’t going to work, but they were shouted down as “Bullies” and “Trolls”. Amazing.

So, fascinated by the fact that all these supposed writers on this board were encouraging this writer to send his script to Marvel, I called a very good friend who works at Marvel Studios in the executive offices. You never know? Well, NOW I KNOW.

Marvel gets dozens of unsolicited scripts a week. Dozens a week. They are all routed to the Security Department who return them to the sender with a nice letter saying no one read the script and please don’t send any more.

He also told me that some really desperate writers were faking CAA and WME return addresses on their scripts so Marvel would think the Agencies sent them and read them. Every one of those scripts were also caught by the Security Dept who checks everything. DON’T DO THIS. THIS IS A VERY BAD AND STUPID THING. It won’t work and you will make some lists that you don’t want to be on.

My friend also told me that about 40% of the calls they get every day are from writers, actors, would be directors, and other people looking to work there. They are politely told thanks but no thanks. Unless they get a particularly obnoxious call, which unfortunately is not that rare, then they’re transferred to the Security Dept. My friend says he has no idea how they handle it, but it does get handled.

Marvel doesn’t fool around and neither do any of the big studios or big production companies. You can dream that you’ll be the one exception, but that ain’t happening. Ever.

Thus ends another episode of Just When You Thought You’ve Heard It All. My guess is there will be a few more down the road. But none of them will be original ideas. And none of them will work.

Follow me on Twitter @BobSnz



This question was posed on Twitter last week: Do you think you are a better writer because you started out as an actor?

Hmmm. Well, I have spent many more years as an actor (or trying to be an actor) than I ever have writing. In fact, I’m headed out next week to be an actor again after my first audition for a film in over two years actually netted me the part and caused me clear the cobwebs and dust off my SAG card.

It’s not a big part by anyone’s definition, but a funny little part in what I think could be a very funny film. I made the camera operator laugh in the audition and I believe that helped because his laugh had to be heard in the background. Couldn’t have hurt.

And it’s a nice situation for me. No other responsibilities except learn my lines, hit my marks, and make it real. I know my limitations and this part doesn’t get near them, so I’m just gonna have some fun.

But switching back to actor mode, and believe me it is a switch, got me thinking about the question. How much has my acting experience helped me as a writer?

I'll tell you. A whole lot. Maybe more than a whole lot.

Has it helped me write better dialogue? You bet. You still have to maintain the character you’re trying to write, it just makes it easier putting the right words together in the right order if you look at it from an actor’s (who is still playing your character) standpoint.

No actor wants wooden dialogue. No actor wants dialogue that no human would say. Yet I see it all the time in spec scripts. Dialogue so unreal it’s like space aliens wrote it. I’ve auditioned in the past for independent films or TV where I got the sides, (actor’s audition lines in script form as scenes or parts of scenes), and I've cringed at having to say what was on the page. Sometimes you just can’t. There’s no way to make it come out right because of the way it’s written. How then, you ask, did such bad dialogue get as far as an audition? Beats the hell out of me. Tell me you haven’t seen films or TV with dialogue like this. You just don’t want to be the one who writes it.

Actors LOVE great words. It makes them happy. When I was on the set of the film Jeff Willis and I wrote, “The Right Girl”, it made my year when all three leads told me, unprompted, that they loved the dialogue in completely separate conversations. They didn’t have to do that. They could have just ignored me, but they didn’t. The female lead hugged me out of the blue when we met and thanked me for such a great script. (See what you missed Jeff?) And one of the male leads remembered when we worked together as actors on a TV series episode. That was cool, considering I had a flea sized part compared to his. But it was an acting, then a writing connection. We talked about my transition to writer and he had a lot of questions because he's trying to do it too.

Acting experience has also helped me with constructing character in my scripts. Knowing how to define my characters better on the page. Giving characters more of what I think a good actor might look for in the writing to help them understand who they are. I don’t change story for what an actor might like, I just think it helps me build more life into my characters an actor can relate to.

I’ve always thought that writers should take acting and improv classes anyway. I’ve encouraged my writing friends to do it on more than one occasion. There are community classes everywhere. In LA you can’t walk (sorry, it’s LA, I mean drive) by a strip mall without seeing someplace that has acting classes.

I’ve also encouraged writers to get their butts on a film set as an extra sometime. Extras are the lowest of the low on the film production food chain. The guy that waters the plants on the set is higher. You should do it anyway. You’re on a set. You’re watching how films get made. You watch the people in the director’s chairs looking at the monitors and you can see yourself there someday. I did that. I started as an extra on films and worked my ass off to network, to get an agent, to get auditions, to improve my craft as an actor, basically the same route I eventually took as a writer. But I learned what making a film really entailed. I learned what goes on. How sets work. How films get shot. How BIG ASS 100 million dollar films get shot.

And when as a writer I’ve gotten to sit in director’s chairs at the monitors for films I’ve written, it’s a feeling you cannot describe. It’s a place I dreamed about... It’s... Stop it Bob... get back on track.

I’ve worked with actors who devoted their craft to learning everything they could about their characters to get them right. To do them justice. Watched and learned from them as they searched out even the littlest thing in the script to help them with backstory to bring a little more reality to their character. I've put those things into action myself as an actor. You don’t think this helped me writing scripts? Think again.

Every writer is always looking for an edge. That one thing more that can take them to another level. I think going to some acting classes and taking them seriously is one of those things. And you may well stink. Lots of people do. Acting, or acting well, is a very hard thing to do. Acting in front of a camera with all those people standing around waiting for lunch is even harder. But I don’t know a writer who wouldn’t grow from the experience. Gain insight. It’s all part of investing in your career.

And who knows, maybe someday you’ll beat me out for a part or we’ll be acting on the same project. Stay away from the breakfast burritos at craft service though... not a good idea.


Follow me on Twitter. @bobsnz

Let’s get something out of the way first... What networking is NOT.

Networking is NOT meeting someone in the industry and instantly asking or expecting them to help you succeed. That’s trying to USE someone. And surprise!!! No one has the deep secret desire to be used that way. No one.

Networking is NOT going to an industry get together or party or screening with a script under your arm to give out. Or with business cards to give out (unless someone specifically ASKS).

Networking is NOT going on some screenwriting board or twitter and after having a known writer answer your question or comment on something you said, using his/her name to as a reference to try to get your script read. (This has happened way more than once and again, SURPRISE, producers, agents, and managers check references.)

Networking is NOT expecting anybody to do ANYTHING for you.

It IS all about building relationships and your skill as a writer. Period.

We’ve all, in our lives, built relationships with people. Emphasis on “built”. Friends who are lifetime relationships. Friends who for any number of reasons end up being temporary relationships. Friends you make and lose touch with, but still have meaning to you. You can quantify every one of these. You care about them. If it’s a true relationship, they care about you. Even business relationships work this way. You know the person you’re dealing with and trust them because that trust has been BUILT. It’s not instant. It’s a bond that takes time and effort and sincerity.

And that’s where I lose a LOT of screenwriters. TIME? I don’t have time. I want my script sold now. My mom loves it and thinks it should get made. Have you seen the crap that gets made? My time is now. EFFORT? Hey! I just spent a good part of maybe a month writing this script. You have no idea how much effort that was. Effort to get someone to help me? No way. They should want to help me because they’re already there and I’m not. SINCERITY? I don’t have the time and I don’t care about them. What about ME???

I’ve been to the industry gatherings and parties and screenings. I’ve seen the best and worst of networking. I’m not surprised that the best networkers and most sincere people are usually the best writers. They have made the effort to understand what it takes to be successful beyond having written great scripts. They are at these things to foster good relationships within the industry. To meet people, not to USE them. To get to KNOW people as people, not as things who can help them. And if that ends with them getting some mutual business benefit from it at some point, great. If not, great too because you’ve still got maybe a friend out of it.

When you network correctly, you have to throw your ambition out the door for a while. Not in a calculated way either. Really toss it. Network to learn. Network to grow. Network to build your circle of friends.

Again. You need to get to know people as people. I know this sounds ridiculous on the face of it because you’re thinking, well... duh. But a lot of writers forget that successful writers and producers and agents (well, some agents) and managers are just people. With lives and interests outside the industry. Nobody just wants to talk business all the time. Nobody. And nobody in the industry is dying to help you. They just aren’t.

Successful producers and writers and directors and agents and managers all have their radar on, watching for people who would try and use them. They have to. It happens more than you could ever imagine. The second they even get a whiff of that you can see it in their eyes as they glaze over with the thought, “Not again”. I’ve seen it. Hell, I’ve experienced it both ways. Don’t think I didn’t make some horrendous networking mistakes in my young career when in my stupid ego induced state I thought some people were living their lives just to help me. It wasn’t until someone who loved my writing pulled me aside and set me straight about making an ass out of myself. And luckily, I listened instead of letting my ego rule (and ruin) everything.

And my eyes have glazed over when I've been confronted by writers who wanted my list of contacts the first time I met them. And no, I didn’t give it to them.

Networking is a slow dance. With someone who doesn’t want to dance with you at first. They’ve seen it all and they don’t like what they’ve seen. So you don’t walk up and grab their ass and pull them on the dance floor to dance to YOUR song. That never works and can hurt you in ways that can kill a career. You sincerely get to know them over time so that when their song comes on they don’t mind when you ask them to dance.

Oh… and you still have to have a great script at the end of the dance.

Follow me on Twitter. @bobsnz

I read a script the other day. A script a friend of a friend asked me to read. The premise was pretty good. A solid idea.  The execution of the premise? Oh boy. Mostly not there at all with some passable hints of ok here and there. Spelling was atrocious. Dialogue nobody on this planet would say, ever. A LOT of exposition.  People telling people things they would already know to inform the audience. The worst kind of exposition. For a first script it was a pretty standard try.

We spoke. I told the writer the truth, in my eyes, what was wrong with the script. I started by telling the writer how good I thought the idea was. How I wish I’d thought of it. Then I started in, I think gently, to tell the writer how off the mark the script was and why. I didn’t get very far when the writer interrupted and said, “You’re hurting my feelings. Why are you so mean?” I am NOT KIDDING. I may have laughed for a split second. “Seriously?”, I said.


I was flummoxed. Never heard this one before. He went on to explain that all his friends and family thought the script was great and would be a wonderful film. All he had to do was get it to an agent or studio and let the nature take his predetermined course. Why was I being so mean? Just because I was successful, I didn’t have to lord it over him. Why couldn’t I just read it and pass it on. Or NOT read it and pass it on. This was his honest thought process.

I said, “Is this a joke?” I was trying to think of which writer friend of mine would have put him up to this and how I was going to get them back.

He assured me it wasn’t a joke and I said, “You know, I went easy on you. A reader would have just thrown your script in the trash and never said anything to try and help you. A producer wouldn’t have been that nice. This is a tough business and you have to be tough with it.”

He said, and I kid you not, “I understand it’s a tough business, but you’re not a producer and this isn’t business so you could be nicer and more respectful.”

It was about then I started picturing in my head the walls of this young man’s room, lined with participation trophies and ribbons that told him he was a winner no matter where he’d placed in anything he participated in. This person had never been told he’d didn’t win. He expected a participation trophy from me.

He didn’t get one. I told him to grow up. I told him the real world didn’t give out participation trophies. That he’d have to measure up to industry standards or be left behind and that meant listening to honest constructive criticism and leaving his “Feelings” at the door. He honestly didn’t understand. You could hear it in his voice. This isn’t the first time I’ve run into this out there.

I told him I wasn’t sending it anywhere. I told him if he did send it out he was going to hear a lot worse that what I said. And that he didn’t even let me finish and tell him how he could fix it, although I don’t think he has the ability now. I told him I was going to delete his script from my computer and I would take my mean old self as far away from him as I could. I wished him... I don’t think I wished him anything... I just ended the call.

I’ve said this before. I was given a tremendous amount of help and advice when I was first starting. Help from some amazing pros who didn’t have to, especially considering where my stupid ego was after selling my first script out of the box. But they did. And I listened and I learned and I made mistakes and I fixed my mistakes. Because I had that kind of help.

So in this vein, I also visit some screenwriting boards and butt in when I see something I can comment on that I have experience with. Some young person had posted that you HAD to put camera angles and POVs and camera pans in your scripts so the director knew what you wanted to do. This WAS the industry standard and that Syd Field’s book was the way you HAD to do things or you wouldn’t succeed in Hollywood because they knew if you were using Syd’s book or not by the way your script read. He was “the industry’s guru.”

I have a lot of friends who are writers. Most of which who are better than me and have more experience and there wasn’t one of you that wouldn’t have commented on this. I did. I said that wasn't true. I didn't sugarcoat it, but I wasn't nasty about it. And was met with the same kind of crap I got from the writer on the phone. That I thought I was some ego maniac big shot writer who was trying to tell them what to do. And in a mean way. If he was wrong why couldn’t I sweetly tell him with a private message or something instead of embarrassing him. He came back and said some snotty thing like “My Bad”.

So I answered it like this, “No, not at all. You're learning. You're anxious to get going in the industry. You're eager. You're motivated. Those are things that will help you move forward. Don't change that. When I was first starting I also was free in giving out advice because I was excited about what I thought I had learned. I was wrong. And I got shot down because I gave advice without the industry experience or screenwriting work history to back it up. Plus it was erroneous advice because I didn't really know crap. You're just starting. My advice to you? Read scripts from films you like. Read bad scripts to see what people did wrong. Read any scripts you can get your hands on... Then write write write. Learn the business end of screenwriting. If you want to be screenwriter, that means you have to be an independent businessperson. Just writing a script is the beginning. Keep going and I wish you nothing but success.

And it started an avalanche of comments from a bunch of wannabe writers on another thread dedicated to complaining about how experienced writers thought they knew soooo much. And how they never liked the loglines people posted and were probably stealing them and never said anything positive (meaning what they wanted to hear) and on and on...

What it taught me was... never again. I’m not reading friends of friends scripts anymore. Just not. I’m past done doing that. I’m not visiting that screenwriting board anymore either. Doesn’t mean I’m done giving back, just going to be more careful and selective.

When you write and want honest feedback leave your ego and feelings at the door. Tough to do, but every writer I know that’s successful does it. Why? Because you'll learn something. You'll get better as a writer. But mostly because if you don’t, you won’t survive.

Follow Bob on Twitter @bobsnz

Been a little bit since my last blog. Lots of stuff happening. Finished a brand spanking new, kinda based on a real thing, comedy script spec I love with a new writing partner that I love writing/working with. Multiple trips to LA. Surprising meetings with studios. Meetings with some people I want to work with and meetings with people I never want to see again let alone work with. Meetings with cool friends I cherish. New life on a dark/comedy pilot I thought might go away, which is a good thing because it’s a killer concept. Other projects seem to be moving forward, one in particular is speeding, and loads of people I respect are asking/demanding to read the new spec.

Some personal family health hurdles to get over, which they did and received a Gold Medal for. Thank You God.

Life is good. I know you didn’t ask, but I need to announce it from the rooftops.

Now, let’s talk about being the Exception.

You know, those writers who dropped their script into the lap of a sleeping star on an airplane and it was made into a hit film. Or the writer who put their script into a pizza box and delivered it to CAA and got signed. Or the writer who slid their script under a restroom stall to that big director who made it his next film. Or the writer that got a star map, printed a dozen scripts, and threw them over the walls and fences at the Stars homes and the bidding war for the script that ensued afterward. Or the writer who made like he was delivering a singing telegram to a producer and ended his song by handing his script to the producer and the joyous celebration the two of them had afterward.

Yes, these things have all happened... the results didn’t, but the writers did make fools out of themselves trying these desperate and really unprofessional ways to get their work read.

There has been nothing that hasn’t been tried unsuccessfully, many times. Nothing. You may think it’s original, but it’s not. I have heard the stories from people who have been subject to this loonyness. It amazes them, it frustrates them, it pisses them off. In Amy Poehler’s new book, she talks about this invasion of personal space with an example of the time she was asleep on a subway in New York and someone dropped a script in her lap, waking her up. She was not happy. She was not nice. And I don’t blame her.

Who wants their personal space invaded? No one. Yet some writers seem to think this is fair game because once they heard a story from someone or another who knew a guy who knew someone who gave Coppola a script on a plane and it got made. This is how urban legends live on, because people need them to be true to justify their desperate actions.

Do people throw their software ideas over Bill Gate’s fence. Or their design ideas for a new Tesla under Elon Musk’s bathroom stall? Hell no. Why is this industry any different? Well, because it isn’t.

What the writers who try this craziness don’t realize is that producers buy writers as much as they buy writing. Why do you think they want to meet with the writers before they buy or option anything? To get a feel for who the writers are and if they can work with them. You know what they think of writers who do these over the line things to get their script read? Not a hell of a lot. The line, “Get off of my lawn!” comes to mind.

Hollywood as a business is amazingly risk averse right now, as if you couldn’t tell with all the sequels, remakes, and comic book films. One of the things they are really averse to is the uptick in law suits from writers who are sure their idea or script was stolen. That’s why no one will take any script that hasn’t been requested or brought to them by someone they trust. It’s too risky and they’d be flooded with scripts. They get enough scripts the right way as it is. Why do you think it takes so long to get a read once you’ve sent a requested script?

But... But... you don’t understand, Bob. I’m going to be the exception to the rule. It’s going to work for me because I’m brilliant and my script is brilliant and my film needs to be seen by audiences everywhere.

I can't tell you how many times I've read or heard this attitude. And then when their script get no traction, it's always everything but the script's fault.

I will say what I always say and will continue to say, GREAT SCRIPTS FIND A WAY. They don’t always get made, but they can make careers. If you’re not getting traction from your script from querying or reads or contests or sites like the Blacklist, you need to take a hard look at yourself and your script and face the fact that maybe it isn’t the people rejecting the script, but the script itself. Every writer has had to face this. Every writer who is a success now. What did they do? They didn’t get mad and feel sorry for themselves or blame anyone else. They pulled up their big boy/girl pants and wrote another one. And another one, working to get that one great script to get them noticed. Work.

You aren’t going to be the exception because there are none. You hear a story about some writer who sold his first script for big money? Chances are he spent as much or more time networking and querying to get it read and then was GREAT in the room. And as I’ve said previously, networking is nothing more than developing genuine relationships with people. Something that takes time and effort. Expecting someone with contacts to do something for you out of the blue is not networking. It’s insanity. Networking is work. Just like querying is work. Sites like the Blacklist cost and not a little. You have to invest your hard earned money for maybe no results. It’s what screenwriters do when they understand the business they’ve chosen. When they don’t understand, they throw scripts over fences.

Follow me on Twitter...... @bobsnz

I’m constantly amazed by attempts at what they think is networking by writers trying to break into the film or TV business.

A few Sundays ago at about Nine PM (at night!) my cell phone rang with an LA area code. Now, on Sunday night I do have a tendency to not answer my phone if it’s somebody or a number I don’t know. But this time… I answered it.

On the other end was a female voice that said, “Hi Bob, I’m sure you don’t remember me.”, then proceeded to give her name. She was right. “You acted in a film with my son about ten years ago.” She then named the film. That didn’t help either. I remember the film (I just got a 4 cent residual check from it), just not her or her son.

My answer of “Uh. Ok.” didn’t faze her in the least. She plowed ahead.

“Well anyway, we were watching a Hallmark Christmas film last night. You know, the one with the Elf.” (Yes, I know it.) “And we saw your name on the credits. Are you the Bob Saenz who wrote it?”

This then became one of those moments where you can say, “Nope. Must be another Bob Saenz. Sorry.” and hang up the phone and go back to watching Punch Drunk Love on cable with your wife.

OR… you can say, “How the hell did you get my number? It’s Sunday Night. SUNDAY NIGHT!”

OR… you can say, like I did, “Yes, that was me.” and open a Pandora’s Box of requests from the owner of the phone on the other end.

That night’s requests from a woman I do not know:

1. Can you please give me your complete list of contacts/producers that I can send my script to? (Uh… no.)

2. Who could I possibly get to read my script and then get it to people who would buy it, make it, and cast it with the actors I have in mind, and pay me a million dollars, all immediately? (ok.. this wasn’t exactly what she asked, but this is the subtext version)

3. Why aren’t you jumping at the chance to help attain my dreams? (again, subtext)

4. Help me Obiwan Kenobe you’re my only hope. (begging is so ugly)

I was polite, firm, and because my wife was sitting in the room, understanding. I told the woman about the Black List, InkTip, Trigger Street, and Zoetrope. Places to post her script and get feedback, if she wanted to pay or trade reads. Again, she didn’t understand. Why wouldn’t I just give her my contacts or read her script?

I excused myself, thanked her for calling, and hung up knowing it wouldn’t be the last call, tweet, or email on the subject and she wouldn’t be the last one to try this. She wasn’t the first either.

There’s an art to networking. Well, not so much an art as an integrity. Only if you want to do it right. And doing it right is the only way it works.

Networking is all about building honest relationships with people. Yes, they are people in the business you wish to be in. Yes, they may have some influence (unlike me who at this point in my career, have little). Yes, if you have something of value to offer they may take a chance and help you. But this all happens after they LIKE you. And getting people to like you isn’t something that instantly happens.

It’s about developing friendships and relationships that are meaningful to all concerned. It doesn’t mean you have to hang and party and name your children after them. It can purely be on a professional level, but it does mean the person you are trying to network with doesn’t think you’re trying to USE them to get what YOU want. A one way street that only you go down.

It means that sometimes when you communicate with people you’re networking with it has nothing at all to do with you.  You call to ask how they are. You ask about their family. Their accomplishments. You read something about them or hear something about them and send a congratulatory Email, because you are GENUINELY happy for them and expect nothing in return.

When I was acting, I met all kinds of people on set. All kinds of sets. Film. TV. Commercials. Industrials. I developed relationships through friendship before the topic of my writing ever came up and sometimes waited until they asked ME if they could read my work. Or asked me to pitch my scripts (which, thank you most always led to reads). And yes, of course I asked people to read or asked to pitch, but only after it was clear there was no one way street.

I’ve met all kinds of people online. Directors, other writers, editors, DPs, Producers… at IMDb, DoneDealPro, Twitter, even on Facebook… and developed real lasting friendships. Real honest friendships.

Have these friendships led to successful work relationships? Yep. Some have. Some have been amazing (I won’t name any names Jeff Willis) And in some cases, I have tried to help people I've networked with because I WANT TO. Something friends do for each other.

Networking takes time. It takes being genuine in your efforts. It takes patience. It takes not being selfish.

I have true meaningful relationships with people in the film business that started with networking and grew to be so important to me that if I never had any business relationships with them, I would still want them to be my friends. You all know who you are.

OH… one more thing. If your scripts aren’t GREAT, networking doesn’t work no matter how well you do it.