Tag Archives: success in hollywood

How to Succeed In Hollywood

supermoon

Bruce Edwin is CEO of www.StarpowerManagement.com and founding publisher of The Hollywood Sentinel. A writer, producer, and entrepreneur, he represents over 10 billion dollars worth of deals in the areas of fine art, real estate, movie studios,  stars, and motion picture among more.

EliteConnections

He gives here his free article on How to Succeed In Hollywood, as his way of giving back to actors, models, bands, singers, writers, and others pursuing success in Hollywood, with a good moral perspective–for free. In this issue, Bruce gives advice to aspiring screenwriters.

How to Succeed As a Screenwriter In Hollywood

1, Know your place and pay your dues by showing respect until you make it big. Until you are an Oscar nominated or Golden Globe nominated or winning screenwriter, realize that the production companies, producers, and directors don’t need you, you need them. Don’t act like you are doing them a favor by sending your material or trying to get them to receive it.

EdgarCayce

2, Be prepared and follow directions given. When a producer or production company has agreed to look at your work, don’t argue or delay. Have ready exactly what they want, which may include a logline, 1 page synopsis, a 10 page or more treatment, or the full script. Don’t ask them if you can send more than what they ask for, and definitely do not send something not asked for without the OK. This is a good way to get rejected before you even get your material read. Send a query letter first. Do NOT send any logline, script, treatment, or synopsis without getting permission to send it first.

martinbruinsma

Have everything ready right away, so that when they ask for it, you are prepared to send it and send it quickly. I had one screenwriter send me a full script, after I told him to only send me a one page synopsis. That is quick way to get rejected. If one cannot follow directions on a simple document to send, one can not be expected to follow directions on a more serious and detailed matter like revising a script to someone’s specifications that is paying them. Follow directions.

HarrietSchock

3, Don’t ask questions before you get an offer. After they are looking, or even before they agree to look, don’t ask them questions, which could waste their time and annoy them, when your foot is barely in the door. A writer recently asked me– when I was going to read some of his work, what the difference was between an agent and a manager, in addition to about a half a dozen other questions, which I simply had no time for. Had he actually researched The Hollywood Sentinel Archives site at www.TheHollywoodSentinel.com, he would have read my description of this first question. This is not a question to bother a producer, agent, or manager with. We don’t work on commission for no money down to educate people for free. O.K.–actually I DO educate people for free, but I am a rare exception–and even I have limits. Until you have a contract offer, don’t hit up agents, managers, or producers with questions or you could kill the deal.

Choose2BPositive

Also, when someone is looking or considering looking at your deal, it is not the time to ask them about their percentages, films funded, etc. If you don’t trust their expertise, don’t contact them to begin with, and when you do contact them, asking money questions prior to them even saying they are interested in not appropriate, unless again, you are already a top winning or top nominated screenwriter, in which case you will already have a top agent or top manager, which would mean you would not be asking the wrong questions, the agent or manager would be asking the questions for you, in the right manner.

4, When opportunity knocks, answer the door and don’t send them running.
One writer had a handful of scripts I was strongly considering representing. I sent him a short contract, and he told me that he needed over month to get back with me to ‘consider’ our deal. He claimed he needed several weeks for his attorney to look it over, and at least several weeks for him to film a webisode, which would include an extra week or so for camping. I told him that was fine, but that I would probably not be interested in giving him more than 10 business days, and that if he considered our business a priority, he could rush his attorney a bit, get a faster one, or cut his camping trip short, if he got no reception in the woods. He refused, and so I rescinded any and all future interest since he did not jump at the huge opportunity we were giving him. He was shocked, even though I gave him ample time to change his mind and move quicker. Over a year has passed, and no one has heard of this guy since, and my guess is, probably never will. When you have an A-list deal fall on your lap, do all you can to make it happen as fast as you can, and show them that you are eager, and appreciative. If you delay, you may delay your success forever.

5, Thank the person!
If you get a call, visit, or e-mail from a top producer, agent, manager, or director, thank them for their time! My first test of whether or not I will deal with someone, is their manners or lack thereof. I have major investors– worth millions to sometimes even billions of dollars, that graciously thank me for my time, simply because they are classy ladies and gentleman, and are highly cordial and polite, when in fact, I should be the one thanking ‘them,’ and I always do. So when a writer hears from me, and does not thank me for my time, or show gratitude, I automatically lose all respect and interest.

6, Use the persons name, and address them as Mr. or Ms. unless they tell you to otherwise.
Show respect. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, I often experience some other scenario that tops the rest in all manners of ridiculousness. As an example, another writer recently contacted me with no thank you, and actually instead of calling me by any part of my name, addressed me as the letter ‘B’! Not only is this lazy, it’s foolish. Pretend you are communicating with the person face to face. Show respect, and use their name.

7, Don’t give orders. If you are trying to get someone to do something for you, or to communicate with you, or return your communication, ask them, don’t order. Most rich or powerful people have worked very hard to get where they are at, and a part of that freedom they enjoy is not having to take orders from anyone. So, if someone gives them an order, especially when that person is trying to get a favor out of ‘them,’ they can generally forget a deal ever happening. Ask, don’t demand! And that’s an order! (LOL).

8, Answer your phone, and answer blocked calls
. Any time someone that wants me to do something for them spends their time telling me about how they did not answer my call, because they don’t answer blocked calls, not only wastes my time, but sends me the signal that they are either A, control freaks, B, paranoid, or C, have bill collectors after them. I have told this story over and over, but unfortunately, it is one that needs repeating. Atlantic Records called me one time from New York, and the publicist there told me, “Bruce, record labels and film studios, we all call from private, blocked, or even dummy numbers. So if you want to be successful working in Hollywood in the music and film biz, answer private calls!” I thanked this person for that advice, and always took it. And it was true. Every film studio lot I have had an office at, has phones that we had to use through the studio that had automatically programmed private or dummy numbers. For those clueless about dummy numbers, no–its not a number to call dummies or for dummies (LOL).

A dummy number is a fake number that shows up on a caller ID when a studio exec calls someone outside of the studio from that studio based phone. Film studios and record labels use dummy numbers, or blocked ID’s. This has been this way for ages, and is to protect producers and top level industry people from stalkers, etc., and also so we can better control our communication and ‘roll calls’ without interruptions we don’t want, controlling communication on our terms. So, answer your phone, and always answer private calls or numbers you don’t know and don’t complain about it. Complaining about this does not impress anyone, on the contrary, it will only show that you have no experience in dealing with the entertainment industry.

Those that are even bigger control freaks, will sometimes try to call studios execs, agents, managers, or record labels back from their line and block the call, then tell us how they are blocking their line because we always block ours. Duh! No, don’t do that! Again, if you want someone to help YOU, do you want to make it more difficult for them to reach you, or less difficult? Do you want to act like you have a bigger ego than they do, or do you want to act humble? Which brings us to number nine…

9, Lose the Ego! A big ego in Hollywood generally means that you have major credits but have a drug or alcohol problem combined with anger issues, or in most cases with a big ego–NO major credits, and the person is trying to compensate for their lack of talent or accomplishments. In either case, being a jerk is no longer cool–not that it ever really was. So–lose the ego. When The Bible teaches that ‘the Meek shall inherit the Earth.’ I say– “The Meek will inherit Hollywood.” This does not mean to be a pushover or weak, I’m just telling you–lose the ego–do not be an egomaniac. Be cordial, and cool.

The days of egomania are over.
I actually saw an actor once with a shirt that read– It’s all about me!” No– it’s not. It’s all about the other person. No one cares what’s in it for you–they care about what’s in it for them self. That means, you need to think outside of yourself, and let the person know what THEY are going to get out of you, working with you. And in a way–you are thinking of yourself–because that’s the only way it will really work anyway. It’s called karma. Do unto others as you have them do unto you. The few greater evolved in Hollywood, will actually care about you, and even more so, will care about society as a whole. IF you are at that point–congratulations. IF not–strive for that. It’s where it’s at.

10, Be educated. Read Syd Field’s book Screenwriting.  Have a great script that is properly formatted.

11, Make sure that it and your treatment, synopsis, logline, and query letter are perfect, with no errors. Copyright your script with the Library of Congress. WGA registration isaccording to at least one attorney–not necessary, but copyright registration with the Library of Congress is

12, Don’t insult others when you are dealing with them. I had a writer I was going sign not long ago, and he ended up calling one of my producer clients names through me, because she put him in his place–through me. Instead of being humble, and acknowledging her power, he chose to act like a baby, insulting her through me. I did not relay his insults, instead, I just dropped dealing with him, which is probably why is last agent dropped him too. Be calm, cool, level headed, and have an even temper.

Be slow to anger, and quick to forgive. This guy had major talent, but we would not deal with him because he’s basically just a jerk that can’t control his temper when he doesn’t exactly get his way. No one wants to deal with anyone like that, and generally–they won’t. And don’t insult others. This writer was insulting not only a client of mine–but a person I care for a great deal as a friend. Bad move. I will also choose my clients or friends over any stranger–especially an adversarial one. Keep that story in mind, and if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, try not to say anything–at least not unless you would say it to their face. Be cool.

If you have any questions or comments, you can address those to me at the front page of this site.

You can read many more of my answers on How to Succeed In Hollywood at my new Quora page, here below at:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Bruce-Edwin-1

This content is copyright, 2016, Bruce Edwin, Hollywood Sentinel, all right reserved.

Saving Drama for the Silver Screen

The Huntsman Hollywood SentinelWelcome to the newly revised Hollywood Sentinel! This online magazine is a creation that we are very passionate about, as we are passionate of all of the arts in general. The Hollywood Sentinel is the only magazine on the planet that covers all areas of the arts, features ‘only’ the good news, is seen by every star in its pages, as well as many more of the world’s most powerful people, and is created by working professionals in the entertainment industry. It is also unique in that it infuses a spiritual message in the publication, something lacking in most other entertainment publications. And, it serves as a voice to fans, to those aspiring in Hollywood, as well as an insider tool for top, A-level VIP’s and moguls.

After nearly a decade online, we decided it was time to re-vamp our look, upload speed, and smart phone capabilities. We are pleased that this new design does the job, enabling us to now bring The Hollywood Sentinel to you not only every Monday, but at times, with even daily new content. So, visit us often, explore the site, check out the back issues, and tell your friends and loved ones to read us too. There is truly a wealth of information and creativity in these pages, and we promise you, it will keep getting better, and better. You can always contact us via the contact box on the site, and for those of you that want to really do something great for yourself or your business, you can call us at 310-226-7176 to discuss advertising. Thank you for reading, and enjoy the new issue!

Letter from the Editor

By Bruce Edwin

The greatest things can be ruined by people that like to create problems, or have a negative attitude.  And people with the most potential can have that potential destroyed or stifled by those around them who create such drama, and havoc.  Having been a model and talent manager for over a decade, and now also a film producer and art dealer, I see time and time again, good people with good intentions and good deals or great talent, ruined by contact with the jealous, oppressive, or otherwise just nuts.  In fact, I have stated over and over, that one of the top 3 reasons people fail in Hollywood, is because they are surrounded by or are around at least one person who is jealous, invalidating, bullying, or psychotic. Getting rid of these people that are not only deal killers, career killers, and dream killers, but also health and life killers, is oftentimes, no easy task. They will often get their claws into a person so tight, fighting like mad to not let go, that they will make a person bleed, at least emotionally, before they can be flung off. Michael Jackson was surrounded by such parasites, and one of them ended up behind bars for a short while. And we all know how it turned out with Michael Jackson.

My first job as a film producer, talent manager, and art dealer is, after examining the deal, to research who is connected to it, and their level of honesty, integrity, and sanity. I have had to walk away from many great talents that could have been stars, and many multi-million dollar deals, because they were contaminated with toxic people that had evil intentions. When a person or business is under the influence of someone with evil intentions, or who is crazy, they will not prosper, they will fail.

The old adage of how one bad apple can spoil the bunch here rings true. It has been proven that our condition in life is generally reflected by the top 5 people we have relationships with. If your top 5 people you spend your time with are poor, mean, struggling, and negative, chances are your life will be like that too. However, if one’s top 5 people they surround them self with are happy, positive, successful, and always progressing, then that energy will generally rub off on you, and your life will often take that upward trend as well, as long as you model their behavior in good ways, and make it your own, applying the positive aspects to your own life and work.

One musician I recently met, who is talented, admitted to me that she was ‘jaded.’ This is another word for bored, tired, and lacking enthusiasm, or having a bad attitude or bad outlook on things in a certain area. I knew immediately she would most likely not be someone I wanted to deal with. After a short conversation, she rudely turned down an idea I had to get her work to some top, star musicians I know that could have helped her. She also later wrongly stated that I accused her of something that I did not accuse her of, but merely asked her about, during my investigation of her work. In other words, her sense of reality was distorted, because she was stuck in the past, dwelling on one area that made her ‘jaded,’ which caused her to not be able to handle current reality, and to lie. After less than 60 minutes, I knew I would not sign her, whereas had she not been so crazy, I know I could have helped her greatly.

It is true that ‘we are our own worst enemies’ when things are bad. If bad people are ruining one’s life, one has to realize this, admit it, and take responsibility for it. It is ultimately our decision of who we allow around us. So if someone is killing your dreams, you need to stop looking at them, and look at yourself, for letting them in. Be prepared to get away if they are too crazy and refuse to straighten out. And if you are not involved with them to begin with, don’t even waste your time–life is too short to deal with needless drama and problems you don’t have to have.

Be your own best friend, and demand that those around you live up to your expectations that you set for yourself. And make sure that you live up to them too. Be a person that keeps their word, that looks for the positive, that focuses on the good, that has a ‘success’ oriented attitude. Avoid dwelling on the past, and becoming ‘jaded.’ The world has enough problems, and enough jerks.  And if you are really that bored, you can turn on the news and watch all of this from a distance, in the form of a politician.  You don’t need to bring it home. As I say in Hollywood, “The only drama I want to have is on the silver screen!”

Snow White and the Huntsman

The fantastical world of Snow White and the Huntsman expands to reveal how the fates of The Huntsman Eric and Queen Ravenna are deeply and dangerously intertwined. Chris Hemsworth and Oscar® winner Charlize Theron return to their roles in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, an epic action-adventure in which they are joined by Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain, as well as director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Producer Joe Roth (Maleficent, Alice in Wonderland) once again leads the team in a new tale in the legendary saga.

Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Emily Blunt), suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly huntsmen—including Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain)—only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: Forever harden your hearts to love.

When Freya learns of her sister’s demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she discovers Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkest force it’s ever seen. Now, their amassing army shall prove undefeatable…unless the banished huntsmen who broke their queen’s cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another.

This content is copyright, 2016, The Hollywood Sentinel, all world rights reserved.