Peter Hanson has written a great article for Script Magazine featuring ten tips for talking to Hollywood. Whether you’re writing a query, making a cold call, or pitching your script in an actual meeting, these tips will help you present yourself professionally and effectively. (And they’ll help keep you from making an ass out of yourself.)
The movie business is just like any other private club, and once you learn the secret handshake (metaphorically speaking), you can get in the door.
The following tips are applicable to every possible interaction you might have with Hollywood professionals. You can use this advice for a cold call to a production company, an in-person approach to an executive or producer at a film festival or pitch fest, or even a Hollywood meeting.
Until you’ve got a produced movie or a hot spec script upon which to pin your reputation, it’s best to assume nobody in Hollywood has heard of you yet; accordingly, every contact you make is an opportunity to create a wonderful first impression.
Remember that you’re always one conversation away from a career, so treat every interaction with a Hollywood professional like it could change your life—even though, as you’ll learn from the all-important Tip No. 10, the last thing you want Hollywood professionals to realize is how desperate you are to break into screenwriting.