It was 9.30am and many hopefuls gathered at the Pitchmart event. After registration I sat with other anxious writers around a table making small talk, when the quietest member of the group decided to share his experience. He adamantly stated that Hollywood lived up its own rear and unless you are willing to oblige to its way of thinking you are doomed to fail. We all fell silent and listened intently. He went on to explain his angst.
Somewhat ten years ago when he first arrived in tinsel town he was hopeful like any other novice. After pitching his ideas to industry experts he was immediately on the defensive when they gave him feedback. He showed no sign of adapting his script or being flexible. Instead, he was argumentative and stubborn. The word quickly spread about this aspiring screenwriter who thinks he knows it all, and he was quickly tainted by a terrible reputation of aggressive behaviour. For almost ten years he had not been able to infiltrate the industry or even get a job as a cleaner. It’s a small town he exclaimed and there is no getting away. A decade later, he hoped that no one would recognise him, or if they did, they were at least willing to forgive his past transgressions. His voice began to croak as he warned us newcomers not to get into battle with industry personnel. It will never be worth it.
I saw genuine repentance in his eyes, but I wasn’t sure if that was enough for Hollywood to forgive and forget. Remember to put your ego aside before you embark on such a venture. If you make it in Hollywood you could always revive your ego and give as good as you get.
However, a smart electric attitude is quite different. If you don’t get your script sold you will certainly get noticed for the right reasons, and make some friends. Just remember that when your work is critiqued by an industry person, don’t react, instead take a moment to think, and then respond, demonstrating a flexible approach.