Sunday, March 06, 2011

Are you taking a meeting? READ THIS FIRST!

This is a short one but maybe the most valuable advice I have given since don't park in Les Moonves' space. When you are lucky enough to get a meeting with a producer or story editor or writer or agent or executive… always ALWAYS…

GOOGLE THEM BEFORE THE MEETING!
Now that we have such a thing, it is inexcusable to go into a meeting not knowing exactly who the person is and what he has done. Maybe there are articles where he’s quoted. You get a sense of his viewpoint, his interests. Imdb his credits. The more you know, the better prepared you are, the easier it will be to impress.

And the reverse is true. When someone blunders into a meeting unprepared, since we all know how easy it is to Google someone, right away that person is branded as a dolt – which he is.

And executives and producers?

Same for you.

If you’re meeting a writer or director, imdb him first. I wrote a spec screenplay a few years ago that resulted in a meeting with a young executive. He complimented me on the writing and wondered what I had been doing because this was an amazing first effort. He was a tad embarrassed when I told him I had written one or two things before that.

I’ll leave you with a great Hollywood story (or tall tale). I believe it was Billy Wilder who said it. Late in his illustrious career he took a meeting with a young executive who asked, “What have you done?” Wilder supposedly leaned in to him and said, “You first.”

GOOGLE THEM BEFORE THE MEETING!


More on this tomorrow but did you notice the book cover on the right?  I know the author personally and can tell you it's a GREAT book.  And the ebook version is only $2.99.  Click on the cover or here.  Thanks on behalf of the author. 

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ken,
Don't forget to update your bio to include... "Published Author"!!! Congrats...
Corey

Sebastian said...

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed:

BioShock: Rapture

*snicker*

Max Clarke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Max Clarke said...

Congratulations on the ebook. Will buy it once I find the software that will let me read a Kindle format book on my Mac.

Are you going to record an audiobook?

About Google. It used to be that if you Googled people, you were snooping on them. Glad to see times have changed. These days, it's more a sign of respect for what they've done.

That"You first" story is often told about Fred Zinnemann. Same situation, he was meeting a hotshot director or producer who had no idea this was the guy who directed A Man For All Seasons.

Cap'n Bob said...

I just ordered the book. It'll make a nice change from the Kindle I've been reading lately--Tarzan, Conan, and westerns.

Tod Hunter said...

Great story about Billy Wilder.

In the interest of helping validate its oral-tradition roots, I will point out that when i heard it it was John Frankenheimer gracefully asking the new-college-grad executive to go first.

My feeling is that we can probably gather a list of names going back to Charlie Chaplin on this one.

--t

Roger Owen Green said...

You're right, of course, but even the imdb has been known to be wrong, now and then.

Mac said...

Congratulations on the book! I was unsure at first but as you personally recommended the author, I'm in. That Billy Wilder story is a corker.

Phillip B said...

Thanks for the book, and may it be the first of many in this delivery format. Friends and family have pushed it to the low 4-figures on the top sales list!

One of the top awkward moments of TV was when a young fellow - totally unaware Mission Impossible was ever a TV series - interviewed a really cranky Martin Landau at the premiere of the MI movie. A simple "get a clue young man" might have done - along with a Google reference....

Yahswe Sukuyugi said...

That's great, in fact, it's difficult to be on Google search engine.

Gary Pratt said...

Just bought your book - looking forward to a great read or refund :) Congrats on getting it published!

Hey, I thought the book would be personally autographed! Guess that was too much to expect for $2.99...

Alex said...

Is it worse to show up not knowing who they are or to show up and repeat incorrect information from IMDb or Wikipedia?

Carson said...

Congrats on the book! And you are right about Googling. I had a meeting with the Sr. VP of Development at MTV. I called her assistant the day before to confirm and asked who else was in the room. Then I googled all three. I found out their college majors, their passions and, as it turns out I grew up one town over from one of the execs and we both attended the same university. The meeting went very well indeed.

Chai said...

Just bought the book. It better be entertaining.

analee said...

Thanks for the advice but actually im just in a low level living standards and the persons whom i should met is not as expert in web net searching but your advice is very relevant and useful to this modern world.

Charles H. Bryan said...

And for those of you who have a little fear of being Googled:

www.reputation.com

Get those embarrassing photos of you at the Bieber concert off the web!

cadavra said...

I've always believed it was Zinnemann, the punchline being that the kid kept calling him "Zimmerman."

I've also heard a similar tale with Shelley Winters. When asked what she'd done, she supposedly reached into her voluminous purse, pulled out both of her Oscars, slammed them on the desk, and hollered, "THAT'S what I've done! What the fuck have YOU done?"