Monday, November 30, 2009

Chasing people

Daniel writes: I sent an agent my pilot after he requested it. He responded almost immediately to acknowledge that he got it and say that we'd talk soon. Two weeks went by and I didn't hear anything so I followed up and he apologized and said he hadn't found time to read it yet. I then let four weeks go by without hearing anything from him before sending another e-mail reminding him of how appreciative I'd be to hear his feedback. That last e-mail I sent was about four weeks ago and I still have not received any kind of response. Do you think I should just give up on the notion that this guy might actually read this pilot at this time? Any chance he read it and deemed it not worth responding to?

What should I do differently in the future when I have someone's permission to send them a script? For example, should I have sent another follow-up after another two weeks instead of waiting a month the second time around?

I don't think you did anything wrong here - but unfortunately you may have to let it go. Yes, it's possible that the person is a flake and never read nor wants to read your script. It's also possible, like you said, that he read it and didn't like it and doesn't want to bother telling you that. It's not really a matter of when to send the email or how many times to follow-up. It's a matter of whether they will actually read your stuff, and whether they love it or not.

You do need to be proactive and persistent (without being annoying). Sometimes it can take a couple reminders to get someone (even a close friend) to read a script. I know it's frustrating, especially when that person offered to read and seemed really enthusiastic about it. But it's kind of like some point, you have to realize that he or she is just not that into you and move on.

The thing is, when you find the right agent or manager for you, you won't have to chase them down. They will chase YOU down because they love your work and can't wait to get out there and start convincing everybody in Hollywood that you're the Next Big Thing. You'll be a "pursuit." You don't want to have to pester someone into being your rep, because if they don't already love you, they're probably not going to do a very good job of getting you work.

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samuel.x.killer said...

one thing you may want to try is call his office and check with his assistant. the assistant won't say whether his boss has read or even will read the script, but if he knows his boss has it and you ask him to take a look, chances are he will so he can try and impress the boss. even if he doesn't like it, you can offer to take him out for a drink and get some valuable industry feedback. if he doesn't think his boss would like it, it's better his boss didn't read anyway. not sure how many assistants would do this, but it wouldn't hurt to check.

Dan Williams said...

Donald Trump kept writing letters to Bonwit Teller, trying to buy their site so he could build Trump Tower. I think it took, like, three years. So I don't think the time element should matter to you. What matters is your attitude that, as long as it takes, you're in it till you win.

You could send greeting cards, a bottle of wine, flowers. You could offer to bring over lunch. Just hang in there, never give up, keep writing and keep putting it out there. Donald Trump, by the way, wrote a book called, "Never Give Up," which I first read at the library and then bought from Amazon. I intend to read some pages from it every day and to carry it in my knapsack. Attitude is what creates the win.

japhy99 said...

We've all been there, Daniel. It's all about trying to stay on the radar without pissing someone off and then, when your heart tells you it's probably a pass, move on.

Stick with it. said...

I had the same problem with a pilot I wrote. I was brushed off in the same way. It's frustrating when people won't give you a definite answer, but it happens. He probably has other material he is making a priority, but that's not a knock against you--just your current position. Keep working and if he doesn't read it, maybe somebody else will. He's not the be-all and end-all.