The Helpful Reviewer

Networking

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

In order to have a successful career as a screenwriter, a very important step is to get noticed so you can get a manager, an agent, and eventually sell a script. But for that to happen, you can’t just stay home and keep typing away at your computer. No. What you need is to network.

Networking is essential in the entertainment industry. It’s the main way to get noticed, meet other professionals in the area, and start making the necessary connections to get your scripts read and (hopefully) produced.

Everything from working on film/TV sets, to writers’ meet-ups, to industry networking events, to film festivals, and even social media count as networking. Just getting out there, meeting people and making contacts are key steps to jump-start your screenwriting career.

So what are some important tips when networking, to make sure you’re optimizing your resources and making the best decisions for your career?

  • You need to get out there. Writing is a mostly a solitary endeavor, but in order to break into the industry and get your scripts made, you need to meet other people in the industry who can help you get noticed.
  • Remember that at first you’re just making contacts and connections. Don’t overly or overtly solicit or push a sale. You want to make contacts that will last a lifetime.
  • Attend important and relevant film festivals, networking events, and writers’ meet-up groups and don’t be afraid to socialize.
  • Remember you’re there to learn and get to know people.
  • Don’t overly pitch your story. Almost every story has been done before, and it’s all about your take on the material/idea. So don’t sell something you can’t deliver.
  • Research production companies that produce scripts similar to yours, and send query letters.
  • You need to be active on social media, and connect with other writers.
  • Try to find a mentor who can help guide your writing until you are successful enough to get a manager.
  • Listen, but also remember to speak your truth, and never agree to things you don’t believe in.
  • Remember to follow up, but never push. It’s easy to get blacklisted too.
  • Make sure you have at least a couple of scripts under your belt. Normally if someone is interested in something you’ve written, they’ll ask what else you have, and expect for you to have at least 3 scripts total, to make sure you’re not just a one hit wonder. They won’t wait months for you to write something else. So don’t waste a potential good opportunity.


Cody Smart

Cody Smart

Reviewer

Cody is an independent writer and script doctor from Santiago, Chile. She attended the prestigious Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where she double majored in English Literature and Linguistics, with a minor in Dramatic Literature. She moved to L.A. and got her MFA in Screenwriting at the New York Film Academy, Universal Studios location, while at the same time working at Sony Pictures as a reader and story analyst. She also received two Certificates from UCLA, in Development and Producing for Film and TV.

Aside from her years of experience as a studio reader, she’s a judge for multiple script and film competitions, has written some award-winning short films and feature film scripts, she’s been working as a script analyst and doctor for years helping writers take their scripts to the next level, and is currently the head of the coverage department at Story Data.