Someone called my office to submit a project. I explained our script submission process to the caller and gave her my email address. She sent a logline and synopsis five minutes later. Cool beans, right? That should have been the end of it, right? Of course not. That would be too much like right. The caller called back to tell me that she already submitted a logline back in September of 2014. Okay, my bad. I didn’t get to it. I let her know I wasn’t aware of her previous submission, but I’d be sure to take a look at what she just sent to me. She reiterated the fact that she sent it back in September. Um, was she looking for an apology? Obviously, we didn’t get to it.
Maybe fifteen minutes later, another person called asking to submit a project. I gave her the same instructions as the previous caller. She informed me that she was at lunch at the moment and asked if I would mind texting her my email address. Uh . . . YEAH I mind.
First of all, it is not the company’s job to put in work in order to read your stuff. Secondly, as if I want some stranger having my cell phone number! Her request was very unprofessional. Why couldn’t she wait until she was in a proper setting where she could break out pen and paper to take dictation of my email address? Was she under some kind of duress to call that very minute? Like, did somebody have a gun to her head? She easily could have waited to make the call at a time when she was better prepared. It would have saved her from looking unprofessional and amateurish.
Most people in Hollywood wouldn’t have put up with that kind of foolishness. They would have told her to call back when she had her shit together. I tend to be on the nicer side of the fence. I was kind enough to ask for her email address so that I could shoot her an email, then she would be able to get my email address that way. I wrote down her email address with the intention to email her. Eventually. The manner in which she approached the company didn’t incite me to email her quick, fast, and in a hurry. I would have gotten around to it. Eventually. Lucky for her, she called back later that day to get my email address.
I warn you, don’t conduct yourself like these callers. You will annoy the hell out of us and land yourself on the “Do Not Read” list.
Here’s how to get Hollywood to take your phone call:
- BE CONFIDENT
Don’t call there stuttering and “um-ing” all over the place. Speak in a calm, self-assured manner. Know what the hell you’re talking about or earn an Oscar pretending like you do. If you’re told to submit a logline and you don’t know what a logline is, don’t be all, “What’s a logline?” That’s a red flag. The person on the other end of the phone line is thinking, if you don’t know what a logline is, chances are you don’t have a grasp on screenwriting yet. That won’t make them eager to read your script. Google is your friend. Use it.
- BE PROFESSIONAL
So, that happened. Like, in real life. Minus the atom splitting request. But, yeah. Really, dude? A ‘lil sumthin’ sumthin’? And what would that be? Have a purpose when calling. Are you calling to find out about the submission process? Are you calling to get an email address? If so, have a pen and paper ready to write down information. Make sure you’re in a quiet environment. Nobody wants to hear your loud television or barking dogs in the background.
- BE PATIENT
Don’t call with an attitude because the company hasn’t gotten back to you about the script you sent months ago. In this business, it’s normal not to get a response from a production company, agency or studio. The correct thing to do is to follow up with the company after a reasonable amount of time. The turnaround time is usually around six to eight weeks, but it varies with each company. If the company has more submissions than they can handle, the wait time can be even longer. At the end of the eight weeks (or whatever they tell you), feel free to follow up. If they still haven’t read your submission, don’t get an attitude. That will only get you put on the dreaded “Do Not Read” list.
Wait about a month to follow up again. That’s a good amount of time that keeps you from being annoying. If they still haven’t read your script, don’t take it personally. They aren’t ignoring you. They have piles upon piles of scripts waiting to be read. Chances are they don’t have a large enough staff to read the scripts in a timely manner. If they tell you they’re going to read your stuff, they will. Eventually. Be patient. Don’t be an angry stalker. It’s not a good look.
So, that’s the trick. Act like you have good sense when calling Hollywood and they’ll take your call and read your stuff. Eventually. LOL 😉