Why the hell won’t you help me get some freakin’ meetings?

Every week I get two or three emails or Facebook messages that ask me for some kind of help. Mostly they want me to help them find an agent or manager, but sometimes they ask if I can give their script to a producer, set up meetings for them, introduce them to an actor I may have met, or give them my contacts. Ok, even more than that they’d like me to read their script or watch their film.

I’m sure every person who works in film in any capacity gets these emails every once in a while from people who don’t live in Los Angeles, or just don’t know many people who work in the business quite yet, so all of you may feel free to just email this to friends when they ask.

Here is a list of reasons why I’m really just no help at all, and why most of your friends, who have good intentions, are also no fucking help:

  1. We are trying to help ourselves already, and it is a constant battle.
  2. We have worked really hard to make the contacts we’ve made, and we cherish them. Not that we don’t want to help others, and will if we can. But refer to number 1 again.
  3. There is a certain amount of clout that we carry with our contacts, and if we introduce people who aren’t already making money to those contacts, it is usually a waste of time for our contacts. Sure, if an agent has said, “Do you know anyone who has a new script and is new and doesn’t know anything about the business yet?” we would recommend our talented friends.
  4. I get paid to consult for films and filmmakers. So watching your film and reading a script for free is hard when I have 10 sitting right here that I’ve already promised I would watch or read, or I’m getting paid to watch or read.
  5. Most of my contacts wouldn’t even take a meeting if I called and said, “I just met the most talented filmmaker and you have to fucking meet them!”
  6. It takes a ton of time to send out emails to people who are even looking for new talent, I’m too busy writing this.
  7. 150 people a year ask me to introduce them to people that can help them. If I tried to help all of them, not sure anyone would want to take my phone calls anymore.
  8. If you haven’t already proven yourself in some way, it is a nearly impossible phone call to have with someone or even an email to write. If you have a couple of great scripts, but you haven’t won any major awards for writing, or haven’t had anything produced yet that people have paid some attention to, you’ve gotten some press from, it’s way too hard to even start a conversation about you. And once you have those things agents, mangers, and producers will come to you.
  9. Which brings me to the fact that if agents, managers, and producers aren’t coming to you, then they’re not likely to do much for you to begin with. They need to feel excited about getting you, and they prove their excited about you by seeking you out and asking to work with you. If they don’t do this by themselves, they’re probably not that interested and won’t have the passion to throw behind you and your stuff, so what’s the point anyway?
  10. The fact that you don’t have these contacts yourself already just proves that you haven’t made enough of a name for yourself yet for those contacts to seek you out.
  11. Half of my contacts won’t even call ME back until I have another film that everyone pays attention to again.
  12. We were going to ask YOU if you could hook us up with some meetings with agents, managers, and producers.
  13. Refer to number 1 again.
  14. I hate it when these end on number 13.

Yeah, you get it, we are having as much difficulty as you are… even if we aren’t.

Posted on March 17, 2011 in Blogs, Indie Girl Q&A With Heidi Van Lier by

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  1. Joe A on Thu, 17th Mar 2011 10:42 pm 

    Really? I’m not even sure Heidi Van Lier has an agent or manager. She’s charging people to read scripts and watch films based on what criteria exactly? (Other than that she can bamboozle people into giving it, which like a lot of other snake oil salesman in town, is worth something I guess.)

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  2. Heidi Van Lier on Fri, 18th Mar 2011 3:33 pm 

    Yay! A bitchy comment!! Finally!

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  3. Ralph M on Fri, 18th Mar 2011 4:20 pm 

    Hmmm? Maybe she should teach gym.

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  4. Mark Bell on Fri, 18th Mar 2011 5:25 pm 

    Now you’re officially a Film Threat writer, Heidi. Until someone gives you shit, you’re just passing through.

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  5. Heidi Van Lier on Fri, 18th Mar 2011 5:40 pm 

    Yep, I’m feeling rather official, thanks, Mark!

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  6. Heidi Van Lier on Fri, 18th Mar 2011 6:10 pm 

    And those who can’t teach gym, write screenplays.

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  7. Don R. Lewis on Fri, 18th Mar 2011 6:42 pm 

    Don’t steal Wildman’s thunder! He gets the most snark out of ANYONE here!

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  8. John Wildman on Fri, 18th Mar 2011 8:53 pm 

    That’s right! Until you’re the object of a profanity laden hate fest courtesy of some octogenarian comedy legend, you don’t get your Film Threat card punched.

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  9. Joe A on Sat, 19th Mar 2011 3:30 pm 

    I wouldn’t say it was that bitchy, more observational:) Actually, as I thought about it, I realized Heidi is on the Slamdance selection committee, hence getting paid to watch films and read scripts. This would put her in a completely different category than a true snake oil salesman like Bob Hawk. Therefore, I retract bitchy comment….

    So, you don’t get a bitchy comment after all.

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  10. Heidi Van Lier on Sun, 20th Mar 2011 1:29 pm 


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