Learn The Business

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Learn The Business

It's time to switch roles from writer to business person and educate yourself about who's who and what's what in Hollywood.

Learning about the industry should be an ongoing process for all writers. Here are a few tips to get you started:

• Read the trades (Variety, Hollywood Reporter)
• Keep track of fellow screenwriters. Subscribe to magazines like Written By and Creative Screenwriting.
• Surf the Web. Visit the home pages of your favorite movies.
• Watch television programs like E! and others that cover show business
• Learn the names of the major players—heads of studios, influential agents, and other powerbrokers.
• Look up movies you love on IMDB and find out who produced them (see tip #88).
• Learn who just sold what to whom through subscription services like Done Deal Pro (http://www.donedealpro).
• Read screenwriting blogs.
• Get a job in the industry, even an entry-level position.
• If you live in L.A., get out and socialize. Go to screenings, workshops, coffee houses, and parties.
• Study show business history.

Develop a system for keeping track of everything you learn. Create a file of the people you research or meet. Include their position and contact information, their credits, some biographical notes, and their connections to other people. Be equally diligent about keeping track of assistants and low-level executives. You never know where they may end up some day.



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