Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's who you know.

Isn't it? I've worked on shows where a friend of a friend of the producer got a writing gig when there was a stack of great specs sitting on the desk. Wankers.

But here's the dirty little secret. if you want a career, it isn't who you know, it is what you write. Because all the 'important' people you know will come about because they love what you write. If you can't write worth a damn then you are soon found out. I worked on a show where the new exec producer brought her sister on as a writer. Handed her the Christmas ep as her first commission. It was a train wreck of a script. I know because I had to re-write it . Exec producer was sacked by that time. Who you know might get you an in. Staying in requires a lot more.

Networking is one of the most important aspects of this industry, but you can never forget that you have to back that up with product. If you are related to, sleeping with or have incriminating photos of producers then that might get you one shot. But to have an actual Gods honest career you have to build up contacts who know and trust you. That means showing them you have talent. And you can't fake that. No producer is going to hire you just because you are a nice guy. It helps. But if you don't perform you are out like K-fed or that C4 womens Sumo wrestling programme. What happened to that by the way? Anybody?

5 comments:

Good Dog said...

Years back, friends would want to get work at the animation studio. I'd have to tell them to submit a showreel, simple as that. Given the studio's incredibly high standards, they had to be really good to get in. If they royally screwed the pooch, it'd make me look bad.

The again, the producer decided I needed a couple of assistants on some series work. They were so bloody useless I told her to get rid of them.

By the way, just started rereading Thom Taylor's The Big Deal about Hollywood's Million-Dollar Spec Script Market. Absolute hoot.

The epigraph for chapter two is:

It's not who you know. it's who knows you.

--The Genuine Success to Hollywood Success

Good Dog said...

Or even The Genuine Secret...

Trying to watch Life on Mars and type at the same time... Sorry.

Phillip Barron said...

Damn it, I need talent too?

This is getting ridiculous.

English Dave said...

''It's not who you know, it's who knows you.''

That should have been my post title! Dammit! lol

thom taylor said...

Actually, I saw the slogan on a T-Shirt once in Venice Beach. So good, I had to put it in the book...
cheers,
Thom Taylor