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

Paul Buscemi's Column for Monday July 16, 2001. Buscemiarts@hotmail.com

Ahhhh! At last we talk about a philosophy I call the Karma-Method, as well as Power-Advice and Free-Bees (never miss an opportunity to create new terminology).
This is the final furious chapter in a series of columns (that have become a "novel-for-the-internet.") on relationship building within the entertainment industry.

Like any good movie series or TV mini-series, you really need to know what happened in "episode 1" to understand the significance of a revelation in "episode 4." I mean, for example: can one really comprehend the significance of the Kulp character ordering the launch of the Alpha-Omega nuclear warhead in the conclusion of Battle For The Planet Of The Apes - without seeing the introduction of this device in Beneath The Planet Of The Apes? Yes, complex "patterns are emerging."

But, I digress. Here is how our "patterns" emerged over the previous four weeks:

· Four weeks ago we covered some great techniques from the Flash Forward Institute's relationship course.
· Three weeks ago we covered some of Ross Bell's ideas on that subject from his lecture at that course.
· Two weeks ago I also shared what I call the Karma-Method, a technique I use to help one's self without even trying.
· Last week we discussed the Spec Script Marketplace - a great place to put relationship-building techniques to the test (as well as pitching skills).
· And now, the final chapter in this incredible saga....They Say It's All About Whom You Know V: The Wrath Of Karma!

Enough already! What are these methods anyway? (Godfrey-Daniels!)


About six or nine months ago, I made a concentrated effort to "give-back" to those trying to launch their careers in Hollywood BEFORE I had been given anything myself. You hear of people who have become successful in our industry and then make a concentrated effort "to give back" to those who are starting out or breaking in. These successful people give their time, their advice, and even their money to young or aspiring writers, directors, actors, etc.

I had encountered many instances of this. Robert Zemeckis, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg had all given a lot of their energy and money to make my former film school a better place for the students there. I have observed Writers Mark & Elaine Zicree, who have very successful writing and producing careers, give hours and hours of their time to help others jump start their careers. For myself, I have received great advice and the time of those like: Jeff Probst, Ross Bell, Josh Berman, John Ottman, Howard Klausner, Ryan Johnson, Rick Nyholm, and Michael Buhlman. Think about what a lawyer charges by the hour and you begin to appreciate the time someone in this business gives to you.

So having been on the receiving end of someone else's good deeds, I decided I should pass the good will on myself - and I should start right away. So I set out to give as much advice, time and free work as I could to others who, like myself, were set on launching their careers in this business. Most of this good karma work involved just listening to what others were working on, finding out where they were stuck, and then giving them any advice I could or in some cases, linking them up with people I knew who could help them solve their problem. In other instances, because of my production background, I helped others shoot scenes for their reels. I would also e-mail people with information from the trades which I knew they would be interested in. On several occasions I was told that if it had not been for my unexpected e-mail they would not have known of the opportunity.

A funny thing happened in all this. The more energy I put out toward helping others the more things began to happen for me. I expanded my roster of contacts for script submissions. I began to get meetings. And people began to ask: "what are you working on, Paul." And I told them and more doors began to open. Sure part of all this is just perseverance and not necessarily karma. However, when you stop stressing about your own agenda and focus on that of others instead, it is very freeing. And it does come back to you.

But what of Power-Advice and Free-Bees you ask? Well, I guess this column was only part one of the final chapter. Click in next week for: "They say it's all about whom you know. Here's how to know them, Part 5.1". (The final, final chapter in the incredible saga.)

c.pdb 2001


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