BE ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 242: I'm thinking about sending business postcards (In addition to phone calls) as a follow up to a resume.

The question continued: Is this a good idea? If so, are there things I should keep in mind when doing so?

The person who asked this is an editor. Many actors have postcards, (their headshot photo) that they send when they have announcements or to stay in touch.

Postcards are one way to stay in touch with people. They are a more costly way. I say that because you have to pay to have them printed and mailed. Many people's follow-strategy is email, which is free. That said, emails aren't always opened and postcards are usually seen. You have to decide if the investment is worth it.

Two things I want to address:
1. Why the follow up postcard after sending the resume and making the phone call? Is this a "cold-call" resume sending/call/postcard? If it's cold resume, the postcards are just as cold. The only difference is that after a resume and a phone call, the postcard would be the 3rd contact from you. Still, you know my feelings about putting a large percent of your "work" into pursuing cold leads. I'd rather see you strategically go after 10 jobs than pursue 100 jobs cold. You'll have better results.

2. What to put on a postcard? The same contact info you'd have on a business card and resume and then you have more freedom with the image. Perhaps, something that is unique to you and what you do, something personal (a cute picture of "you" in an edit bay with "your dog"), or a beautiful image that they would put up to look at. My allergist's postcard, to remind me it's time to come in, is a picture of a desert island with a palm tree and a clear blue ocean surrounding it. I have this postcard up in various locations and think of him, and my clear sinuses, every time I see it.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com



entertainment industry coach question 243: When calling my network, what do I ask these people I may have only met once at an event?

Ask for anything but work! If you just met them once at a networking event, they don't know you well enough to hire you yet. There is always the chance though, that you'll catch them on a day when they are looking to hire, so ask a question that shows you're looking for work, without actually putting them on the spot. For example:

"I met you at [insert the name of the networking event]. I thought that perhaps you could advise me on other worthwhile organizations that I can join to meet [insert classification(s) of people who hire you] who hire [insert your classification], such as myself."

Now the person knows you're looking for work in your classification, yet you didn't put him/her on the spot. If they are interested they'll offer. If they aren't, at least you've given them something they can say YES to.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

entertainment industry coach question 241: How often should I call my list?

Call your list as often as you have "new news." Anyone can call and say "I'm available," or "Just checking in," but those types of calls are 1 in sometimes 100 (especially if you're calling someone who is listed as working in a production report).

Your objective is to deepen your relationship with the people on your list. In fact, I'd rather change your question to read: "How do I deepen my relationships with the people I know?"

The reason I did that is because there's a distinction that your mind makes when you refer to a "list" as opposed to referring to "people."

So, how do you deepen your relationships with the people you know? Here are a couple of suggestions:

1. Ask a business advice question that requires a call back to answer (a question regarding an area where you're stuck, or that will help you further your education).

2. Share "new news." This can be job related or personal. People relate to people they share common interests with, so don't be afraid to get personal.

Don't have any interesting personal stuff to report? Sounds like an opportunity to do something exciting, to tell people about!

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 240: What are the hours on a television show and can they be flexible?

The hours on a television show vary from show to show. They also vary depending on the length (1 hour drama vs 30 minute comedy), the genre (sitcom vs drama), and the budget (shows that can't afford overtime and meal penalties, will most likely finish earlier).

Can they be flexible? That depends on your reason for needing flexibility, your relationship with your boss(es), and the ability for them to continue production without you.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 239: What percentage of women have children and keep working in entertainment?

I don't have statistics for you nor do I believe a statistic like that exists. The question is, are you a woman who wants to have children and maintain your career in the entertainment industry?

If so, then that is your focus. Find other women in your field of expertise, who also have children. Ask them how they've made it work. The more women you talk to, the more educated your decision can be.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 238: How can I help my husband get work when I'm not in the industry?

That depends on your skill set. If your husband isn't working and he has the talent to be working, he needs help in a number of possible areas:

1. networking
2. marketing
3. selling
4. maintaining relationships
5. follow up

I have coached many couples, where the wife acts as her husband's manager. You also may want to read books on the industry so you have a better understanding of the business.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Sunday, October 25, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 237: What does it mean that I shouldn't work with animals or kids?

It's more of an industry joke because animals and kids are so cute that you get upstaged.

Nothing to cause you any worry. If you're up for a part with an animal or kids, have fun!

Now, if you're producing or directing a piece with kids in it, there are laws to be aware of as well as union rules. Animals can be more temperamental than some A-list stars, so don't under budget your time.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Saturday, October 24, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 236: How do I get onto a studio lot?

For what purpose are you trying to get on a studio lot? I ask because it's the first question someone will ask when you make the request of them. Security has changed considerably in the last decade.

If you want a set visit, you need to find someone who is working on the set or someone who knows someone who is working on a set.

If you want a pitch meeting, those are harder to get. It doesn't sound like you're represented or you wouldn't be asking me about this. Do you know someone who believes in your project pitch enough to get you in the door?

These are the most simplified answers I can give you in a blog with the little information you gave me.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 235: Is now a good time to reach out to people with the holidays coming up?

The holidays are not here yet... And... what are you reaching out for? Any time is a good time if you have a genuine purpose for reaching out. On top of that it's a great time to send a holiday card.

Choose Thanksgiving to reach out to people to whom you are grateful for hiring you, or helping you.

Choose the December holidays to send your well wishes to contacts and their family.

Chose the New Year to give a short and fun recap of your year and wish them a happy, healthy, successful new year.

My opinion, is an actual card versus an e-card is more personal. However, if you don't have contacts' addresses, personalize your e-card.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 234: How do I get a job as a PA?

There are different ways to get a job as a PA. The best way is always through other people. Let everyone you know in the industry or connected to the industry, know that you want to work as a set PA.

Another way, is to send cold resumes to productions in prep. It's one of the only positions where people take chances on people they don't know, if their resume is strong.

If you don't have a strong resume, do free PA work on short films, web series, and indie films to build your resume and relationships.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 233: Should I seek interviews at prod. companies for work in films in pre prod or currently in prod to start?

To start? Absolutely. Breaking into the entertainment can be done in many ways. If you are interested in development, interning or assisting in a pre-production office can be very educational, and a great way to create relationships.

If you're interested in production or post, working as a set PA is a great way to learn how the different positions work as well as gain an understanding of what they're shooting and how it fits into the post production process.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 232: Once I get a mentor, what am I going to talk to him about?

I get this question all the time because people who want mentors worry that they won't know what to talk about once they get them. Worry, in this case, comes from two things:

1. Lack of preparation

2. Jumping ahead of yourself

When you decide on a mentor, do your research and design questions that you want him or her to answer. Once the questions are answered it will lead you to take action and the next conversation will pick up from the results you had based on his/her advice. And so on and so on.

By "jumping ahead of yourself," I mean, you haven't even had a first mentor conversation and you're already worried about what you're going to talk about down the road. When you meet a friend through a mutual friend, find that you get along really well, and make plans to go out to lunch, do you worry about what you're going to talk about three months from now if the friendship blossoms? I sure hope not.

Mentorship is no different. Like friendships, let the relationship happen naturally. Trust that you will always do your pre-conversation work of designing "next-step" questions, and will therefore, know what to talk about.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Monday, October 19, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 231: As a recent film school grad & writer/director, is an agent a must to sell a 1st script I want to direct?

Nothing is a "must" in this industry, including an agent. Is it beneficial to have an agent with connections out there shopping your script? Yes. That said, how attached are you to directing your script? Once you sell it to a studio, you directing it, can be a deal breaker. As a recent film school grad, you have no proven track record. The chances of a studio taking a risk on a first time director with no industry experience, especially if big name talent is attached, is not as likely as you making and directing your first film yourself.

Before you set out to direct your first film and invest your time and money, possibly other people's money, you want to get industry feedback. Not feedback from your best friends and family members, feedback from mentors who are development assistants, or other screenwriters who've actually sold something.

The reason I suggest this, is because thousands of people make movies every year and because it's their material, they don't see the flaws. Again, if you're going to invest your time and money, you want to have a good idea that the material is strong, that there's a market for it and you have a plan for it, should it not get into any festivals (as well as plan for when it does get into festivals.)

Agents are always looking for exceptional talent, and you may be it. If that's the case, agents are waiting for you. If you are anything less than exceptional, getting an agent can be challenging and time consuming when you're first starting out. That time and energy may be better spent on making your movie yourself. Then when it's a huge hit, the agents will find you !

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Sunday, October 18, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 230: How am I supposed to change my perspective on something I hate doing?

This was a question I received about yesterday's blog entry on procrastination. What the person is referring to is where I wrote:

3. Change your perspective on what you're doing. In general, people don't procrastinate on things they enjoy doing. So, how can you turn something you don't enjoy into something you do? If you need ideas, let me know.

The way to change your perspective is to give yourself other options. For example: The majority of the people I speak to at events say that they "hate networking." Then after 3 hours with me at my "5 Keys to Your Success at a Networking Event," they discover how fun it can be and strategies for overcoming their "networking obstacles." They change their perspective.

So, how do you change your perspective?

1. Get outside of yourself: find someone who's had success doing what you don't like to do and listen to their perspective on it. Find out what makes them successful at it. Hearing someone else's positive take on it gives you a new perspective. You have to choose to take it on as your own, though.

2. Brainstorm with people outside of the industry on what you can do to make the task you don't like enjoyable. I suggest outsiders because they have no experience with the uniqueness of the business from an artist/craft person's perspective.

3. Ask yourself over and over, "what would make it enjoyable?" Keep asking until you get an answer. Right now you've made a decision that it's not enjoyable so there are no other options. In other words, you've cut off the possibility that it can be any other way. So what if it were enjoyable? What would make it that way?

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Saturday, October 17, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 229: What's the cure for procrastination?

The cure for procrastination is different for everyone, but I'll give you a few prescriptions to try:

1. An accountability and reward system. Find a partner or group where you build in rewards for results. You'll have people supporting you, as well as a reward for a job well done.

2. Schedule it and tell people. Your reputation is key in this industry, so if you tell people you're going to do something, to maintain your reputation, you must follow through. I call this "throwing your hat over the fence."

3. Change your perspective on what you're doing. In general, people don't procrastinate on things they enjoy doing. So, how can you turn something you don't enjoy into something you do? If you need ideas, let me know.

4. Have a greater cause than "you." Yes, doing the "business work" can lead to work for you, and that may motivate you sometimes, but if it's not enough, what else could it lead to? Can you be setting an example for your kids (a role model)? Can you commit to a charity donation that is important to you, and therefore you must get the work to make the money?

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Friday, October 16, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 228: Any advice for Showbiz Expo tomorrow?

Yes:
1. Meet lots of people (and by lots I mean set a goal for yourself before you go, and DON'T leave until you reach it... and feel free to surpass it.)

2. Represent yourself well (when meeting new people, stick to subjects that show you in your best light.)

3. Be curious (never judge a book by it's cover. Unless someone is TERRIBLY strange, give them the benefit of the doubt and listen to what they have to say.)

4. Be clear on what you need (should someone ask how they can help you, have an answer ... other than "I need work." Ask for something that someone just meeting you can say YES to.

5. Take notes on people's business cards so you'll remember who they are, and what to follow up with them about.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Thursday, October 15, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 227: Is it cliche to talk to A-list celebrities about their favorite movies?

It's only a cliche if it's not being discussed organically. Would I meet a celebrity and lead in with "What's your favorite movie?" No, I wouldn't.

This conversation has been coming up a lot with me lately, the whole "how do I talk to people at a higher level than me?" Somewhere in your brain you've made a decision that people who can hire you, or celebrities, or whomever, are different than you, your friends, and your family. The only difference between you and them are the opportunities they've had.

If an actor meets a nice woman and is having a pleasant conversation, then learns she is a casting director and suddenly turns white and forgets how to speak, that's a problem.

What I'm getting at is, you KNOW how to talk to people. You talk to your friends, family members, neighbors, so... maybe you need to take a step backwards and look at the conversations you have with them. Literally, pick them apart, and see how you generate conversations with people you're comfortable with.

Then re-read my blogs on creating rapport. Once you get comfortable creating rapport with people, you'll be able to organically have the same types of conversations you have with your friends, with anyone, no matter where they are in their career path.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit, www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 226: what's an avoidable mistake at a networking event?

I'll admit, no one specifically asked me this one. It's in answer to what I witnessed last night at a networking event. Here's the scenario:

Successful speaker stays after the Q & A to talk to attendees. One attendee off handedly introduces himself and brings up that he'd worked on the same show as successful speaker, as a PA, then says, "I just wanted to say thanks for coming," and tries to walk away, when successful, confident, speaker attempts to re-engage him by asking him what he's doing now.

HERE'S THE MISTAKE:

Attendee gives him a list starting from being fired from mutual show, onto failed attempts at work, leading to producing his own project which lead to 4 lawsuits, and now he's working with a famous actor's son on a project.

HERE'S HOW TO AVOID MISTAKE
Just start with "I'm working on a project with _____ son." Then talk about why you're excited about it.

WHY ON EARTH would you lead with a list of failures? Who would want to work with you after that? No one who's asking what you're working on knows about all that stuff, so you don't have to share it like it's some scarlet letter!

Please, people, when meeting new people, share what you're passionate about, NOT what's wrong with you, your life, and/or your career! No one wants to work with Debbie Downer (SNL reference)

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 225: how do I manage a crew that was given to me not chosen & resent that I'm here?

Well, that doesn't sound like a fun situation, however, I always say, "Acknowledge the purple elephant in the room." Call a crew meeting to discuss the obvious situation; you were forced on them. Then, hit them where it counts the most- their livelihood. In a professional way, explain that it may not be the situation they desired, but it's the situation they've been given. So they have two choices:

1. They can all keep acting the same way, and no one will have a good experience
OR
2. They can view this as an opportunity. They should remember, that whomever is normally in your place, may not always be working (this being case and point), therefore, if this should prove to be an enjoyable work situation, it may prove in the long run to mean more work and opportunities for them. Why? Because, you will have the opportunity to hire them again as well as pass on recommendations for them to your colleagues, who have opportunities for them.

One of the biggest mistakes crew people make, is being loyal to a fault. I'm all for loyalty, in fact, I demand it, but if they were SO loyal, they should have left when their "person" was fired or not brought on. They chose to stay, so now they have an opportunity to expand their relationship with you and your people.

Their choice: lemonade out of lemons or moldy lemons.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Monday, October 12, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 224: how long should my directing reel be?

There's no exact time frame, though the average time is between 2-5 minutes.

The purpose of a reel is to show you have talent in your classification. Search the internet for other people's reels in your classification to see what they are doing (preferably working people. you can usually find their reels on their agent's websites, or their own) and model the ones you like.

Another tip is to think long term. If in 5 years you want to be directing romantic comedies and you have 3 shorts that are all different genres, you may want to consider doing shorts that are romantic comedies, because:

1. The more you show in your genre, the more it proves you're an expert

2. You get better with each project so you want your best work to be in the genre you're targeting

3. You'll be creating relationships with people who enjoy the same type of work you do

The objection I get to this is, "But I can direct anything and I want people to see that so they'll hire me." My answer to that, is that early on you will be hired based on the relationships you create, so it really doesn't matter what genre is on your reel, what matters is how well you can sell yourself. LONG TERM, it will matter what genre is on your reel, so target the types of films you want to make.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Sunday, October 11, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 223: should my business card include my PO Box?

Entertainment industry business cards should include your:
1. name
2. Classification (only 1 unless you're a writer/director. There are a few other exceptions. The point is, if you write a list of different things you do, you will be seen as a jack of all trades instead of an expert who can be trusted. If you do various jobs, get separate business cards for each classification).
3. phone number
4. email address
5. website address (if you have one)
6. YES a PO Box address is fine. I do NOT recommend home addresses!

If you have a graphic for your branding, that's great.

NOTE: leave white space for people to write notes about you. If you have a two sided card, be sure one side is matte finish so people can write on it without a Sharpie.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com

Saturday, October 10, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 222: with my film degree & shorts no paid credits, do I include non-film work on a film production resume?

No, it makes you look green. The key is to have a neat resume so people can immediately find what they are looking for. Columns achieve that purpose. You don’t want to give them any reason to pass you up in their large piles, so dates are not recommended, nor are any classes that may make you appear “green.”

1. Put your name, classification (director in your case), and contact info at the top
2. Underneath, start 3 columns. The first, the name of your project (you don't have to list it specifically being a short if you don't choose to, nor does it matter that you haven't been paid), next the production company, and third, would be the producer. (note: these column headings change based on classification. The person who asked this question is a director)
2.5 IF you have any other entertainment industry experience other than directing that can beef up your resume you can list it in the same column format beneath your primary goal. For example: if you've been a 1st AD, or a PA that shows your set experience. Some DPs who have lesser known DP credits, also list blockbuster OP credits.
3. List any awards
4. List any Special Skills (that pertain to your ability to direct OR make for interesting conversation that would cause someone to say, "Hmm. interesting skill. I want to call him and ask him about this.")
5. Education if you went to film school or if you went to a recognizable school where there is a large alumni base (it may be a way to connect with someone who went there)

Remember, if you're just starting with a lean resume, you will not be getting jobs based off of it, you'll be getting jobs based off the relationships you create. The resume is just a way for someone with whom you've started a relationship, to be able to formally catalogue you and your contact info.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com

Friday, October 9, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 221: how many movies do I have to watch of someone's before I ask them to mentor me?

There is no magic number. While I HIGHLY encourage you to do your research on people before asking them to mentor you, my concern with this question is to make sure that you're not using it as a procrastination method. If you're not, fantastic. Watch at least two, for a business and guidance mentorship. If it's a creative mentorship you'd want to watch as many as possible because if the person refers to something pertinent to the craft in a specific movie, you want to be able to say you saw it.

Never lie about seeing a movie that you haven't. Use it as an opportunity to say that you were waiting to watch it until after you spoke so you could get directions on what specifically to look for.

Back to the business and guidance mentorship. Because it's more about business advice and guidance, you won't really be talking about the films, you'll be talking about how the person got the jobs and maintained a career.

Most people will tell you that it was luck meaning they had talent and an opportunity. Don't fall for it. Dig deeper. Successful people aren't always aware of or are too humble to admit, that they are doing something right. I know PLENTY of talented people who got a "lucky opportunity" and then went straight back to the struggle grind. There is more to it than talent. They are doing something right that has to do with their work ethic, attitude, and more than likely going the EXTRA mile. Find out what they did on that extra mile... that's where the gold is.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Thursday, October 8, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 220: how does a film student in India get training/internship from US DPs?

Because you're a cinematography student in India, I would suggest that before you reach out to get an internship/training with a "famous" DP, as you put it, you reach out to them for advice and guidance. Here's how you do that:

1. Make a list of questions for DPs that you want to learn from. For example:
What should I do to get the most out of film school?
What do I need to know about getting an internship in the United States?
What can you tell me about the business side of the business?
What are the questions I should be asking and don't even realize it yet?

2. Make a target list of the DPs you would want to answer these questions.

3. See if they are on Facebook and research how you can contact them (one way is through the Cinematographers Guild).

4. Once you know you have a way to reach them, write them a letter telling them about yourself, requesting a business mentorship where you can contact them by email 3 times to ask them questions about how to get the most out of film school and prepare for your future career. Include that you will follow up with them (if you have contact information), or that you don't have anyway to follow up with them but how they can reach you by email.

5. Mail the letter, and follow up.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, the Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 219: what do you do when you've achieved all your goals?

This question came from my And...Action! teleseminar today. I liked it because I interpreted it to mean that this gentleman, had set certain career goals for himself years back and is now living those dreams. And still, he was on the call, asking this question.

My answer to him was to come up with new goals, however, at this point, he doesn't have to put the label "goals" on them. I suggested he come up with things that will make life even more fulfilling. Challenges, new adventures, unimagined ideas. Now is the time to perhaps give back, and if you already do, give differently.

And while you're doing that, make sure you continue to use your tools; maintaining relationships, staying current with technology, so should circumstances change, you'll always be in the position to maintain your career stability.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, the Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 218: "are you concerned that the content of your movie is going to make people rethink having kids?"

This was a question asked of Viggo Mortensen tonight at the Q & A after a screening of THE ROAD, I attended. I chose to address it, because we are all in this industry to tell stories. The choice of stories we tell vary. I didn't know anything about the movie I was going to see, and without giving any spoilers, I'll just say, it was not a movie I would have chosen to see had I known the content. In fact, about half way into it, I asked my friend, "why would anyone choose to tell this story?"

And then Viggo came out and spoke. And his answers about the depth of the relationships, and the choices that we make, and how people all over the world (not to mention in some of our own back yards) live desperate lives everyday. Did the movie make him sad? Yes. Did it also give him an ironic sense of hope? Yes. I didn't fully get the hope, but perhaps that was just the state I was in today.

I guess I chose to blog about this because no matter the subject of the story, or why people choose to tell them, they have their reasons, and I respect them for it. I'll never see a Saw, even though a good friend is the DP, but some people get something from it. What I really took away from tonight was the gift of hearing a passionate artist talk about his craft. I'm always encouraging you to get mentors. This is why. As sad and bleak as I felt after the movie, I was uplifted by hearing his passion, and passion's what keeps me going.

Final note: Viggo answered the question by saying that he personally would not be influenced by the book or the movie on his decision to have kids. That's not an exact quote, but I'm sure the woman who was filming him on her phone will have it up on YouTube tomorrow. (Not cool in my opinion by the way. Keep that up and people won't feel comfortable volunteering their time to come speak to screening audiences anymore... I'll get off my soap box now.)

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 217: How do you make money in this business?!?!?

He went on to discuss that he is the "King of the freebies." Well, there is lots of money to be made in this business, and the industry is also ever-changing which means that less money is being divvied here and more is being taken over there...

What this means to you, King, is that you have to be creating relationships with people who can hire you for money in conjunction with doing the freebies. In a past post I listed reasons why freebies are right for some people. What's important to remember is while you are working on freebies you MUST be building relationships with people who HAVE money, otherwise you get dubbed "The King of the Freebies."

This is what coaching does. You learn the strategies to target the right people, get in the door, make a great impression, maintain the the relationships, get first paid job, market it, get hired for paying jobs from that point forward.

I don't normally plug my events in this blog, but literally my "Greenlight Your Career Bootcamp" happening in Los Angeles, October 24-26 gives you the tools, strategies, and blueprints for exactly that. So, if this is the next step for you, which it sounds like it is, contact me for more information and how you can get a discounted rate.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, the Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Sunday, October 4, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 216: How do I make it as a filmmaker in NY?

The same way you make it anywhere else, including Los Angeles. The difference is, you have to work harder to find the entertainment community. When I lived in NY, I could be walking down the street next to an investment banker, an accountant, a magazine editor, a shoe designer, a PR person, a florist, a hotel manager, a taxi driver, and on and on...

In LA, you can be walking next to the same people BUT, the people are ALL 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. NY is big, and not revolving around the entertainment industry the way LA revolves around it.

So what that means for you, is that to be a filmmaker, you need to:
1. work on your craft
2. build your resume and reel
3. join entertainment industry networking groups
4. get mentors

Plenty of amazing filmmakers come out of NY, so take advantage of the fact that you are in a city where incredible talent is accessible.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Saturday, October 3, 2009

entertainment industry coach question 215: What books do you suggest for a beginner in the entertainment industry?

Obviously, my own And...Action! (you can buy it on Amazon or my site www.theGreenlightCoach.com). My book is about building the business side of your entertainment industry career.

And if you're looking for books on your craft, I suggest you go to Amazon and put in the keywords for what you want to do: directing films, screenwriting, acting, costume design, production design, script supervising.

There are books for everything and if there isn't, let me know and I'll have one of my people write one.

I feel that books are a very personal thing. I have my favorites for acting, writing, directing, producing, Hollywood biographies, etc., and if you really want to know what they are, I'll share them with you personally. Just email me. However, I think as a coach, it's my job to encourage you to seek out the authors who speak to you.

I do, on occasion, plug someone's book if I've thoroughly enjoyed it and feel it will help (and especially if I've met the author and think he/she is cool) Like: currently I'm reading "Think Outside the Box Office" by Jon Reiss. It's the "Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing for the Digital Era." So if that's your thing and you want to support a cool guy I met at the DV Expo, check it out!

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com

Friday, October 2, 2009

question 214: How do I know which clips to use for my reel?

I get this question a lot. I usually like to discuss the client's objectives before giving an answer so we can tailor the reel to the direction the client wants to go in.

Because I don't know you, what you want to do, or how you want to market yourself, I'll give you some basic tips:

1. Decide what type of work you want to do and choose clips that reflect that
2. Choose only GREAT clips (you only get one chance to make a first impression)
3. Use current clips whenever possible (definitely nothing over 15 years old, hair styles and wardrobe always give it away)
4. Put recognizable talent up front so people immediately see you can work with name talent
5. Show range within the type of work you want to do
6. Keep the clips short and the reel length current and consistent with the marketplace
7. After doing the previous 6, get feedback from people before duplicating. Sometimes we fall in love with our own work but it doesn't necessarily sell us the right way.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

Thursday, October 1, 2009

question 213: What is a blog?

This was asked of me from an older generation of camera operators, who were interested in the topic I was presenting on yesterday, yet, unclear on what a blog actually is. Here is the definition of a blog:

blog (a shared on-line journal where people can post diary entries about their personal experiences and hobbies) "postings on a blog are usually in chronological order"

I'd like to add "professional experiences" to that definition because it ties into the topic I was discussing.

Free resources for setting up blogs are www.blogger.com & www.wordpress.com (there are more, those are just the two I use)

Do your research before starting a blog, with the end in mind. While it was easy for me to set up this blog on blogger, many of the marketing strategies I have access to are only compatible with Wordpress.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com