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Paul Buscemi's Column For Monday May 7, 2001. Buscemiarts@hotmail.com

Those voices from the carpal tunnels are back. You can hear them and their hymns of encouragement. As month four concludes and the first third of the year is complete, I wanted to update you on what's worked and what has not in the launch of a writing career.

Last week, I talked about some methods of career launching that have helped me in my journey this year (see column for April 30, 2001 for more details):

1. Attending Flash Forward.
2. Milestones.

Creating new relationships and building on existing ones has also been a key ingredient in the success of the past four months. Adaptability too, has been helpful as new opportunities and challenges have presented themselves this quarter.

Building industry relationships sounds great but where do you begin? Even after attending film school years ago, I found myself starting over in my relationship building. Here are great starting points for any networking quest:

1. The Scriptwriters Network (www.scriptwritersnetwork.com).

A great organization that offers an informative newsletter, monthly meetings and various specialty groups that meet regularly. If I had not joined this group I would have never learned about Flash Forward.

2. Pitching Seminars.

There are several different organizations that offer opportunities for writers to pitch their finished scripts to various production companies. Last year, I attended a Spec Script Marketplace event and pitched my work to ten different companies - some of them quite notable. I have yet to sell anything I pitched that night, but I made some valuable contacts, which have endured. That alone was worth the price to attend ($99.00). You can request information on Spec Script Marketplace by e-mailing them at scriptmarketplace@compuserve.com.

3. Classes and Events.

Some people I know have taken writing classes solely to network or test the strength of a completed script. That sounded like a great idea to me, and one I'm sure I will do before the year is out. I have also attended several different one-night events these past four months and talked about some of them in the column. Like the longer seminars, you learn new things and meet more people, both of which have been helpful in:

4. Getting a Recommendation.

In the pursuit of representation, your best bet (for most agencies) is a recommendation or introduction from someone they already know. More on that, next week.

Networking and building new industry relationships is particularly fun for me. You hear what others have done and are doing. That experience often lends valuable insight. That's how this column was born, as an extension of that and a forum to find the answers to YOUR writing career questions. That just happens to be the subject of next week's column.



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