How to “Give Good Meeting” to Launch Your Entertainment Career
Everyone in Hollywood tells you how a dynamite script is the most important thing needed for success in this business. But there is another somewhat secret part of the equation that can make or break you in this business. And that is “THE MEETING”.
First, here are the easy but too often overlooked tips to giving a great meeting.
Make sure to dress appropriately. All creative talent can go with the following outfit: clean non-ripped jeans, a nice collared shirt, and no flip-flops. Further, always be clean-shaven (or at least trimmed) and showered, but no heavy cologne/perfume.
Be on time. There are no excuses – if you are going to be late, call in advance.
Be prepared. Do your research and find out what the company does. You want to be prepared to have something to say and a little research goes a long way in accomplishing that.
Do your reading. Read a couple entertainment industry books to get a sense of the terms, entertainment business, and general overview. You never want to be caught unfamiliar with a term or expression and get marked as being “too green.”
Figure out what kind of meeting is it
There are several different types of meetings. Your first job is to figure out what type of meeting it is:
The General Meeting – this is just a get-to-know-you meeting.
The General/Project-Related Meeting – this is usually where the person has not met you before and wants to get to you know you but also wants to talk to you about a potential project.
The Project Meeting - this is where the person has met you before and is bringing you back in to talk about a specific project. Usually, the person (or your representatives) have sent you the project first. Thus you should be prepared as the person you’re meeting will want to know your general thoughts and ideas on the project.
The Pitch Meeting – this is where you have had a meeting with the person on the project and you are being brought back in to pitch your detailed take for the project. (Also, you will generally be pitching the bosses.)
Each meeting has a separate set of rules and pitfalls to avoid. Thus it’s important to know what kind of meeting you’re going to before you go to it.
For all these meetings, there will be a certain amount of chit chat involved. But chit chatting is important because it gives insight about who you are to the person with whom you are meeting.
So know your answers to these questions:
What inspired you to be in the entertainment business?
What are your favorite movies, books and/or TV shows and why?
What have you seen or read lately that you loved and why?
What is the one project in which you would have loved to be involved?
Be yourself and answer the questions honestly. BUT you should have answers. You never want to say anything vague like “Oh, I haven’t seen anything recently” (because that means you don’t have an answer at all). Therefore, the best thing you can do is answer truthfully, and people will appreciate your honesty.
Follow-up to a meeting
No matter what type of meeting, you should always send a follow-up email to thank the person for meeting with you. The email should be short and funny and nothing too pushy. Start off with the basic line of “Thank you for taking the time to meet with mem.” Then insert one funny line about the meeting or something that happened. End with “And looking forward to finding something to work on together.”
In conclusion, you’ll know you aced the meeting when that person reaches out to you after your meeting and tries to find a project on which to work with you.
If you want to learn more detailed insider knowledge about how to ace a meeting, check out Rachel Miller’s Special Report Taking a Meeting: Whether You’re a Writer, Director or Any Other Creative Talent You’ll Need to Know How to Give Good Meeting at http://wwwShowMeTheScreenplay.com