On the heels of yesterday’s announcement that Amanda Parham landed management at Anonymous Content, we’re excited to announce our second huge success story from the round of meetings that our 2013 Fellowship winners had out here in LA last week; Rob Haffey has been signed by manager Melinda Jason of Conspiracy Media!
Haffey is a senior at Drexel College and he plans to move to Los Angeles this summer to pursue directing and screenwriting. For more info on Haffey’s winning project, see our announcement here. Below is our brief interview with Haffey:
Rob: Interning at production companies definitely helped prepare me for taking meetings. I was able to form ideas about how these meetings are conducted by observing the way producers interacted with visiting writers. In general, meetings seem to be fairly laid back. They are more akin to a first date than a job interview. It’s just as much about seeing if you’d like to work with the other person, as it is about them seeing if they want to work with you.
Rob: The question that came up time and again was: “What inspired you to write this script?” I think it’s crucial as a writer to do some self-exploration and figure out why you are drawn to write what you write. If you are able to clearly articulate why you wrote a particular script, the project immediately seems more layered and developed. Nobody tells stories simply to tell stories. Find out what draws you to storytelling. It’s different for every person.
Rob: I was surprised how helpful and accommodating everyone was. People want to help you succeed.
Rob: Absolutely. I think it’s impossible to be a writer and never face some level of discouragement. It’s daunting when you compare the number of people who want to be screenwriters with the number who actually succeed at it. I think ultimately hard work and a little luck will lead to success for talented writers.
Rob: An extensive portfolio of work is absolutely essential to succeeding as a screenwriter. You can land meetings, but you better have a ton of backup projects if the first one doesn’t gain any traction. Without fail, the people you meet will ask, “what else you got?” The key is to be constantly writing and working on the next thing. A killer portfolio is free, just put in the time! It will pay off in the long run.
Rob: Build an online presence. Write projects that you can shoot cheaply by yourself or with some friends. Hands-on filmmaking is a great way to improve your writing. You can figure out what it’s actually like to translate written words into video images, which in turn allows you to write with a greater understanding of the reality and limitations that will come into play when your script is eventually made into a movie. Having video projects that you can send to new contacts is a great way of helping them remember who you are. It allows you to simply and easily introduce them to your creative work. More than anything, write stories that you are passionate about, stories that make you fidget in your chair when pitching them. Passion is infectious, and it makes every project more attractive.