The most common expression you hear in Hollywood is “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Every writer, whether they live in Los Angeles or in London, needs to get comfortable meeting people and building a screenwriting network.
Our Editor, Jeanne Veillette Bowerman, manages to navigate Hollywood from her isolated country home in Upstate New York, literally seven miles away from the nearest traffic light and no homes visible from hers. If she can do it, so can you!
There are two fundamental ways to grow your network in screenwriting: Online and offline. In today’s age of technology, as long as you have an online presence, executives can find you, and you can find them!
Top 5 Reasons to Network Online:
1. Writers tend to work in isolation. But online, you can develop a community of writers regardless of where you live.
2. You can take online classes and learn more about the craft and business of screenwriting from anywhere in the world. In your classes, you’ll get an opportunity to connect with the screenwriting gurus and other students.
3. When on social media, people share links to helpful articles. Twitter, Facebook, etc. can be an incredible learning experience to discover sites and resources you never knew existed. You can truly learn how to write a screenplay right from your own home.
4. Executives use social media too. When online, you can give the illusion of being in L.A. simply by connecting with them over the Internet. Often people will assume you live “close” simply because they’re seeing you in their social media feeds and online writing community every day.
5. When you do make that trip to L.A., “Let’s do lunch” actually happens with the people you meet online. People who live in the same town say it all the time and never follow through because they assume they can just reschedule it, if needed. But when you make a special trip to L.A. and ask for a lunch, drink or coffee date, people do follow through since they know you’ll only be in the area for a few days.
Despite the benefits of online networking, nothing compares to meeting writers in person. Once you’ve established your screenwriter’s network online, take if offline by attending pitchfests and conferences. Those connections you make, if handled correctly, can last a lifetime, even when you’re back home, far away from Hollywood. In our free download, Jeanne gives you tips on how to effectively take your online network and turn it into real relationships and make a great first impression when you finally meet in person.
Whether you’re a part of an in-person writer’s group or an online community, it’s essential to always be growing your writing network to new levels to succeed as a screenwriter. Jeanne’s advice can help you make the most of your writing network and turn them into advocates for you and your screenplays.