Saturday, October 17, 2009

How Do You Get Past the All the "No"s in Hollywood

No, No, No, No, well, No, okay, no, no again. Really, another No? That's right. In Hollywood, you get used to hearing "no" a lot. It's actually expected. And when a "yes" comes along, it takes a little bit to register. Wait, was that really a no? Hmmm. Do I dare believe I heard a "yes"? Maybe -- as I slowly begin to race toward that yes, heartily embracing it's potential for rocking my world. 

That Yes may even turn to a No, but you feel pretty damn good even getting that initial Yes. 

I hate to break to you, but you may as well get used to hearing "no" in Hollywood. It's a knee-jerk reaction. No, I won't fund your film. No, I don't like your script. No, you can't have that actor. No, you aren't invited to that premiere. No, you can't get in that party. No, you aren't accepted to that festival. No, you didn't get that job. Just face it: No is a popular word and Yes is what you will be chasing the rest of your career. When you get them, you better cherish them for another one may not come around again for a long while. 

So how do you deal with all the "No"s? You just do. You let those countless "No"s roll off your back and you try to learn from them. Why did he or she say no? There's a reason for everything. And if you can hone in on that reason, you may be able to focus on why you aren't hearing the elusive "Yes"! Or maybe that person is just a tool. Could be the case. You never know.

If you let them, the "No"s can also be very inspiring. Every time I hear a "No," I get fired up. I think, "What the hell do I have to get a 'yes' around here" -- alright, get your heads out of the gutter... And I buy that revealing dress (just kidding; wanted make sure you were still paying attention). In all seriousness, I work even harder and I set out to keep making more quality films. Boy that sounds really boring. But it's the truth. 

Each day, I think of new stories. I write. I read books and magazines and the news. I watch a crap-load of movies and TV shows. I troll the internet (again, minds out of the gutter, please), and I look for inspiration for new kick-ass ideas that can translate to the big screen. The key is hearing that "No" and kicking that negative energy right on out of your living room. Just get it out. Don't accept it. 

Remember: All it takes is ONE (IN THE BIGGEST LETTERS POSSIBLE) YES! That's right. Just one "yes" is all you need. You may hear five million "no"s but that one "yes" could be number five million and one! Just keep at it and keep getting better. 

Pangofilms (see Comments) makes a great point. Don't take it personally. That is the most fundamental step to dealing with "No"s. Filmmaking is a business. And not everyone is going to like your work. That is a fact. So get comfortable with that fact and find your audience who does like your work and cater to them. 


Anonymous said...

And don't take it personally.

Jane Kelly Kosek said...

Yes Pangofilms. That is absolutely key.

Schmucks with Underwoods said...

Then there are the half-No's. People who read the script, meet you, only talk about themselves and you are sitting there thinking, 'When will the conversation get round to my script?' and their reader likes the script but they haven't read it, they like the script but their partner hasn't read it OR they just wanted to invite you in to meet you and well... pass. In some case a No can stretch over months and you've invested some money meeting all these people who eventually pass.

I was getting a whole string of No's on another project and then I met a producer who said that he'd read it, loved it and wanted to do it. I had to pinch myself. I was so used to hearing a No I couldn't quite believe the Yes!

Recently it took me a year and 50 passes (many of those read the script), 5 non-respondents in order to get a producer to commit to another project of mine.

Hey, I'm cool with persistence but this game takes SO long and one wonders at certain points, where am I in this race? Have I just got off the starting line? Am I halfway there? 3/4 of the way?

I have the producing partners now. My next challenge is getting 'names' to attach. Had about 5 'names' pass so far. The merry-go-round starts again not to mention having had finnaciers come and go etc etc etc

Jane Kelly Kosek said...

I hear you Schmucks. It's a miracle any movie gets made. Truly. But, they do and if you hang in long enough, you will most likely get yours made. You really need to be obsessed by movies in order for the business to make sense.