In screenwriting, whenever you make a new relationship or contact, you are building up your contact equity.
In Hollywood, as in a number of businesses, contact equity is critical. The more of the right people you know, the more valuable your Rolodex is, and the more opportunities and power you have to “cash in on” in the future.
It doesn’t matter where you start, but immediately, be sure to track all of the professionals you meet in the film and TV business. This is a long-term plan.
- Create a system to track everyone you meet.
- Keep coming up with new ideas and building your stash of projects you have to offer.
- Periodically update your contacts with news about you that may be of interest to them.
- Track literary agents, managers, directors, producers, development execs, name actors, and more. Find ways to stay in touch with them over time.
Drop them notes, cards, or announcements, but also try to see them again at functions, whether it’s attending screenings, seeing them at Q & A events or on panels, or even taking them to lunch.
When you chat with them, make sure you’re working on something you can talk to them about. Consider doing a trailer of your movie to show people and that will also give you something fun to talk about.
The more initiative you show, the more value you will have in their eyes.
Be prolific in your output. Write screenplays. Write treatments. Have a huge stash of ideas. This is project equity. The more fully-fleshed out your ideas are, the better and the more equity they have for you.
Do all you can to establish yourself in their eyes as a professional that they would want to know. And eventually they may want to read your script and even offer you a contract.