Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More Ways to Ruin Yourself in the Entertainment Business Before Getting Started

A loyal reader recently sent me this link on how to find anyone's e-mail address.

First off, I'm utterly skeptical about this claim. What if you are a privacy fiend who never uses their real name? This is certainly something I do. If you get my e-mail address, you'd better guard it with your life or I'll definitely repay you for spreading it around like a virus.

If I'm able to locate the CEO of Verizon and the student loan companies to tell them about their asinine policies & what a foolish idea outsourcing is through these methods, then I'll get on board. Otherwise, I'll stick to my own investigative methods.

Second, special rules apply if you are in or want to be part of the entertainment business. Read carefully:

Sending e-mail to a random person whom you don't have a mutual acquaintance with is not acceptable unless:

A) You do the same thing as that person (both are producers, writers, actors, etc.)
B) You are polite; AND
C) You do not make attempts to sell your screenplay, pass off headshots or send repeated unsolicited e-mails

We call this networking. I've done a lot of it since you have to in this business. I don't beg or plead w/anyone; I simply point out that I exist & based on my background, there might be some benefit in knowing me. If someone doesn't take it, then I'll remember that in the future but I won't waste my time w/further communications. They'll just get a shock later. Most people know better than to do this since today's intern could be tomorrow's famous producer/CEO/other high-level muckety muck. Also not smart to piss off an attorney.

If someone says "no unsolicited e-mail," do not (I repeat) DO NOT send your treatment, your headshots, advertisements, etc. to that person. Read company/individual policies carefully & if you want to be successful in this business, you'll follow them.

Aspiring writers: enough w/the unsolicited treatments & movie ideas!!!!!!!! Sending them to a company w/a clearly stated "no unsolicited material" policy is just shooting yourself in the foot. It's the same as an actor who walks onto a set with a diva attitude; it pisses people off. When I say "read the website, don't send this" than means

"Hey, you illiterate! You're pissing people off, I'm having to hear about it & thereby, pissing ME off because you think you deserve special exemptions from established policy. Contrary to what you may think, you are NOT God!"

No one's using your stuff since they don't want to read your idea, get the slightest bit influenced by it & then get hit with a lawsuit for copyright infringement. If you try this & win, you won't work in the business again. You'll just be known as that asshole trying to exploit unsuspecting companies. For this reason, smart companies have a "no unsolicited materials" policy.

Also, fan fiction is a total waste of time due to legal reasons. You don't own that copyright since it's what we in legal land call a derivative work, meaning it derived from someone else's labor. The copyright owners can take your fan fiction, create some great film or TV show & not give the fan fiction author a dime. This is perfectly legal since it's their copyright, not yours.

Take home lesson: create your own damn work with your own characters!!!!!! That way, you can own the copyright & you're not doing someone else's work for them. Use your creative talents to do something new, come up w/a new idea.

Yes, I know getting it isn't easy & there are some shitty writers out there who are in. My husband's insane friend does "Top 10" lists that are far better than the writers on Letterman have come up with. He tried to submit some of them & was rejected, likely for the same reasons.

* Side note: If you are a Letterman Top 10 list writer who'd like to contest this, I'll have my husband forward you these lists sometime amidst the conspiracy theory stories he also gets from said friend. Just give me your info & I'll make it happen.

At the end of the day, though it is what it is & this field is not the cake walk some people think it is. It is long hours, unsteady work/pay & you'd better have a passion for this. It's not playtime & it's not a goof off fest. Writing's incredibly hard, thank you. Still, if you are dedicated enough to get ahead I believe God/the universe helps those who help themselves.

Now to satisfy my furry psycho cat's attention whore tendencies.

No comments:

Post a Comment