Started my 9 to 5 this week. What a bloody drag! My life was completely sucked away from me- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I was also writing after work, trying to prepare for the London Screenwriters Festival. I though my brain was going to implode. Not sure I’m not cut for full time work. I don’t like the real world!
Lucky the job involves working with a bunch of really cool people! And I started the same day as another Aussie chick- Kristen. A new friend for me 🙂
Shifted to Linda’s (St John’s Wood) on Wednesday night. She kindly let me have her place whilst she heads to the USA. Amazing! What was even more amazing was that she lives right near Regents Park. Which was 20 minutes from the writing festival, where I spent the next four days/nights.
Went to a pitching seminar on Thursday. Run by an very saavy American lady- Pilar. Learnt how to sell my ‘brilliant’ idea. The seminar was at a university so it was like the first day of school- I got to make new friends! I met the lovely Clara, Andrew the entertaining Irishman and the enigmatic Tony, from Leeds. If we were still at school, we would have definitely been the ‘cool group!’
After the seminar finished, I had a choice. I had 2 hours in which I could work or spend time with my new friends. The old me would have worked, which would have been valid. But I heard Pilar’s departing comment resonate in my head, ‘make relationships.’ So I chose to spend the time with my new friends. We headed for food- discovered Chipotles. OMG, best Mexican ever!
Headed back to the university as the screenwriting festival was about to open officially. Had a drink, got our accreditation and chilled. It was so nice to talk about dorky writer stuff.
(I had to be creative with a pic this week, as I didn’t have a photo to add. So I’ve decided if my new friends were cartoons this is who we’d be: Tony- Tiger, Clara- Piglet, Andrew- Eeyore and Me-Winnie)
The next few days were so inspiring, learning about the industry, meeting new people and amplifying my passion for writing. The highlights were:
- Making new friends, who were excited by all types of writing
- Listening to chats from industry professionals, who offered handy hints. The most influential session was ‘negotiating’
- Learning how to create interesting characters, original films, writing to make an impact and the list goes on
The last session I went to on a whim. I was exhausted, hungry and basically wanted to just curl up in a ball, and sleep for ten years. But Clara, Andrew and me all trooped off. With a feeling that we needed to finish this thing. And I’m so glad we did. We walked into the session not really knowing what to expect.
This what we got- a film maker named Lance, who has been around for while but almost gave up on filmmaking as he was dreary of never getting where he wanted to be. He decided to take matters into his own hand and produced a beautiful film based on a very personal experience. As he shared his process with us, it was clear how passionate he was about being a filmmaker.
As he relived the story of his wonderful friend who’d had an incredibly tough upbringing, then died very young, my eyes started to well. He said after she died, he lost his dad that same week. He was grief stricken and needed time to refocus. Through a twist of fate he travelled to Greece, in search of some perspective.
During his chat, I felt in my heart where I needed to go. This weekend had made it clear to me what I wanted to say as a writer. And the direction I would need to head in order to achieve my goals. Basically there is no easy way- you can’t go around, you have to go through the hard work. If you want it bad enough, you will work to make it happen.
After the session with Lance, we had the closing ceremony of the festival. We then headed to have a drink with everyone. It was a great way to say good-bye to the people we met and talk about our writing plans. I also ran into a girl Allie, who I worked with on a short film in Melbourne, years earlier. That was the the third person I’d bumped into from my past, in one month of being in London. Weird but I love it.
This week I learnt how important relationships of all sorts are. It was a reoccurring line I kept hearing- ‘make relationships.’
A lot of people, are scared of the word ‘network.’ But networking is just about talking to people and having something to say for yourself. I can definitely do that. If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s talking. But it’s not just about talking. You have to listen and connect with the other person as well. Basically don’t be a dick, know what you are selling and just be yourself.
It was really clear when you met people who just wanted to sell themselves. You could have told them there was a elephant with rabies about to stomp on them and they would have just kept talking at you.
That was why it was so great to meet a bunch of people who are supportive, talented and also care about what you’re doing. Those are the people you want to connect with.
There was a session on negotiating where a lovely lady called Linda, who’s actually in the corporate world taught us about networking. She explained there are four different types of people (four different colours). We worked out who we were and then looked at a person we don’t get along with in life. It became clear they were either exactly the same personality or the complete opposite.
To work on this relationship we would need to compromise, and understand their strengths/weaknesses. Eg I am a red person- I trust my gut, am emotional, I find it easy to be open and love making friends. Whereas the person I struggle to get along with is a blue person- analytical, strategic, logical. Learning to understand this was brilliant because I now get how they tick and can learn how to build a better relationship.
Thinking about all I had experienced this week I walked home in the rain. I was truly happy. I had made new relationships of all types- friends, industry professionals, lecturers and teachers. I felt the rain on my skin and I smiled as I walked on.
What I did that scared me:
- Pitching my film to a Hollywood big wig in an Elevator- 45 seconds to sell your idea! Woah!
- Watching a band with Andrew and Clara on Saturday night. We sat, eating, enjoying a well deserved glass of wine and joined in singing the songs we knew. And tried to sing the ones we didn’t…
- Making new friends, who love what I love 🙂
- Developing my writing goals
- Eating Chipotle’s twice!
- Boring Office work
- The writer’s festival ending
- No sleep, me zombie
What I learnt:
- Making good relationships is very important. DO IT!