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"They say it's all about whom you know. Here's how to know them." Part Four.

Paul Buscemi's Column for Monday July 9th, 2001. Buscemiarts@hotmail.com

For four weeks now the subject of the Monday column has been industry relationship building. I recently completed a course on that subject and have been using this column to share techniques and strategies for building your industry relationships - both from the course and elsewhere.

· Three weeks ago we covered some great techniques from the Flash Forward Institute's relationship course.
· Two weeks ago we covered some of Ross Bell's ideas on that subject from his lecture at that course.
· I also shared what I call the Karma-Method; a technique I use to help one's self without even trying.
· Last week, I elaborated on the Karma-Method and promised examples for this week.

Not only was I going to give examples of the Karma-Method, but also talk about something I call, Power-Advice and Free-Bees. I'm going to postpone all that until next week. Instead I want to let you know about a great relationship-building event on July 19th. So we'll save those final industry relationship-building techniques for next week.

As writer's we must also be salespeople. They call it "pitching" in this business but it's really likes sales, if you think about it. You're selling your script like a car or a refrigerator. Only difference is a script costs more and thus, the pressure is on to really be a good salesperson. Like any good salesperson you must know your product and impress your customer with it. Oh, there is another difference in script sales or pitches. Your customer is difficult to locate, to meet with, and often hard to impress.

Sometime back I attended a Spec Script Marketplace Pitch Session and was thoroughly impressed. There are several groups that organize similar events but I have only attended the Spec Script Marketplace and certainly would choose them again. The event only costs $109.00 which as I recall was at least half of what the competition charges.

This one night event allows you to pitch your completed scripts to some of the industry's biggest companies. Representatives from these companies are stationed at about 20 or so tables. At the beginning of the night you sign up with those you want to pitch with but be warned the sheets fill up fast. After the sign up process, you rotate from one company to the next, pitching your completed screenplays to them. If they like your script you will be asked to send it or a synopsis to the company.

When I attended, the Spec Script Marketplace some of the companies present included; Mandalay Pictures, The Steve Tisch Company, Valhalla Motion Pictures, Love Spell Entertainment, Further Films, Marty Katz Productions, Adam Fields Productions and many others.

The greatest part of it all is, you make invaluable industry contacts and if you work your relationship building techniques, they can be lasting contacts that you can call upon again and again. The next event is on July 19th from 6:30 to 9:30PM at the Doubletree in Santa Monica but you must call first to reserve your space. You can reach the Spec Script Marketplace at 310/396-1662

NEXT WEEK: Really.... I promise...to finally give you Karma-Method examples and also talk about Power Advice and Free-Bees. I swear!


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