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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Put Your Best Foot Forward

Hello, Wavers! Today I received my third phone message for The Script Department that was mumbly and incoherent with no name or phone number left. I dialed the callers back using the caller ID function in my voice mail but didn't know who to ask for. When the callers did pick up, they were as mumbly as their messages, didn't introduce themselves, didn't greet me warmly or thank me for calling back. Can you imagine how quickly I got off those calls? Do you know how much free information, advice and cheerfulness I dole out to callers who do the opposite?

While I'm on a roll, I have another beef as well - email addresses that are long, incomprehensible, hard to remember or spell and silly on top of all of that. I emailed a writer earlier this week whose email address was an approximation of this: Fundaddy? This is a writer who wishes to have a career in Hollywood? And that's his email address?

Wavers. When you communicate with someone in the industry, even if it's just to ask a question or get some advice, please, please, please be a professional. If you leave a message and have any hope of being called back, state your name and the date and time clearly. Leave your phone number behind too. Say it clearly and say it twice. Say thank you. Be polite. And if you have an email address that you use for your friends and family that is cute and funny (to you) like - DO NOT use that email address. Get a new one somewhere else. Ideally, it should be

Don't waste my time with mumbled messages. Don't irritate me when I can't find your information on your title page, your pages aren't numbered and your email address isn't cute it's stupid. In Hollywood, everybody is in a hurry. We want upshot, we want information, we want a name, a number and a great logline. Anything you can do to streamline that for us is not only appreciated, to do less than that is apt to make me hurry on to the next person because you're not putting your best foot forward.

I know this doesn't apply to 99% of you but to the 1% it does apply to, please do better. The silly email address topic does apply to many of you and I know for a fact. So take a look at your email address today. Is it simple, clear, easy to say and to spell? Or does it contain some kind of inside joke or allusion to your marital or parenting status or a hobby of yours? Because I like people and getting to know them - but not when I'm giving your email address to a producer and trying to act like a pro when doing it.

Okay, today's hand slap is over. Don't make mama cranky.

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anthuswilliams said...

I hate weird email addresses. Now that FUNNY PEOPLE is out, maybe you should just refer such people to that scene where Adam Sandler hires Seth Rogen:

Sandler: What's your email address?

Rogen: It's uh,


Sandler: Wow, I'm already starting to reconsider this.

Trina0623 said...

Another one I've noticed is people using their first name and the year they were born. Do you really think it's a good idea to advertise what year you were born? Trust me, Miss1989, there will come a day when you prefer to keep that to yourself.
Granted, I used my birth day and month, but no year for God's sake.

Nicholas said...

I'm going to send you an email about my email. Just to get your opinion on it.