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What It Takes

What It Takes

How To Pitch: You Had Me At Hello

By Callie Oettinger | Published: July 22, 2016

Jerry Maguire“Hello,” worked for Jerry Maguire, helping him win back his girl.

For pitching, if someone says, “You had me at hello,” it means you’ve won a place in the trashcan instead of in that person’s heart.

The pitch below is an example of a recent “Hello/Hi” pitch sent to Steve. It’s followed by a mark-up pointing out areas to avoid if you find yourself making similar pitches one of these days.

Hi,

My name is Xxx Xxx and I am the social media manager of Xxx Competition. Established in 2012, we are one of the fastest growing Xxx competitions and I am getting in touch to see if you would like to join us in some cross-promotion over the summer/autumn.

2016 is a big year for us, as we have already announced the 1st winner of the new Xxx, Xxx Xxx’s ‘Xxx’, and as the film goes into production we are busy expanding our Judging panel for our new Xxx category. Leading lights of the TV industry join our existing Feature and Short Script Judges, Xxx, Xxx, and 22 other Oscar, Emmy, Cannes, and BAFTA winners, to make up the most distinguished panel of judges of any screenwriting contest in the world.

Our competition is all about launching new writing careers. Xxx is unique in that our objective is to get winning scripts into the hands of those who can get them produced. Proof of our commitment can be seen in our alumni successes. Xxx was a winner with ‘Xxx’, which was produced as a feature starring Xxx. This year, Xxx, a 2013 winner went on to win this year’s Xxx.

We want to create more winners, and to do that, we want to reach out to as many new screenwriters and filmmakers as possible. We’d like to talk to your followers and tell our followers about you.

We’re open to any cross-promotion ideas and we can offer discounted competition entry rates, Facebook mentions & Twitter tweets, Instagram contests, original articles, and email blasts. We would be happy to reciprocate by promoting your announcements and events, so do get in contact if you feel like there could be an opportunity for us to work together.

Thanks for taking the time to read this email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,

Here’s the mark-up: (more…)

Posted in What It Takes
13 Comments

What It Takes

What It Takes

Would you read the next sentence?

By Shawn Coyne | Published: July 15, 2016

10. There is an internal landscape, a geography of the soul; we search for its outlines all our lives.

9. Amerigo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice; vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonor her.

8. It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.

7. They shoot the white girl first.

6. I first heard Personville called Poisonville by a red-haired mucker named Hickey Dewey in the Big Ship in Butte.

5. Don’t look for dignity in public bathrooms.

4. The grandmother didn’t want to go to Florida.

3. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

2. Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.

1. Justice?—You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law. —

(more…)

Posted in What It Takes
18 Comments

What It Takes

What It Takes

Hug the Sh*t

By Callie Oettinger | Published: July 8, 2016

There’s a scene in Fredrik Backman’s book My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry when Elsa, the main character, recalls a piece of advice from her grandmother:

Granny always said: “Don’t kick the shit, it’ll go all over the place!”

Why should this advice matter to you?

While Granny never out and out says it in the book, the unsaid yin to the yang of her advice would likely be:

Hug the sh*t.

Sh*t in this context is anything that gets in the way of what we want to do, anything unexpected that pops up and has us exclaiming “sh*t” or “shoot” or whatever your word choice is for such situations. Smells a lot like Resistance. The trick is to turn the sh*t around, to use it for good. Think fertilizer instead of nuisance.

In this post, examples of sh*t come courtesy of the recent ebook giveaway of Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t. (more…)

Posted in What It Takes
18 Comments
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