By Hammad Zaidi | December 20, 2011

Last week discussed five strategic career moves for you to do before today, so now we’re going to go over five moves not to make until the first week of January, 2012. While you can disregard these tactical moves and continue doing what you’re doing, you should at least consider the fact that these moves are solely meant to position you and your projects in the best light to propel your career forward in 2012.

Set Up Meetings For January, 2012
One mistake commonly made is to set up meetings for the first week of January during the last two weeks of December. Unless you’re close friends with the person you’re meeting with, most first time meetings set for early January will be canceled, or at least postponed.  One reason for this phenomenon is because almost nobody wants to meet with new people or consider new projects on their first few days back to their daily grind. Most film professionals like staying in their comfort zones, especially when they return from having just experienced two to three less hectic weeks in December. Thus, the smart move would be to contact them in the middle of the first week in January to set up a time to meet. Doing so will ensure your project is deemed to be a fresh, new 2012 possibility. However, trying to set up a 2012 meeting at the end of 2011 will make you and your project feel old and tired.

In the event you can’t wait until January and you want to reach out to some film professionals this week, only do so if you already know them and if your intention is to say hello and wish them a happy holiday season. Of course, you can tell them you’ll contact them in early January to set something up.

Set Up Pitch Meetings Before Your Project Is Ready To Submit
Setting up pitches before your project is completed is a really stupid idea. Whether it’s a screenplay or treatment you need to finish writing, or a short of feature film you need to finish editing, putting an unrealistic time line on a creative project will usually trigger doom.

For example, if a film professional wants to see your project in early January, but you know you need until late February to make it the best if can be, you’re sabotaging yourself and your project by promising it by early January. Trust me, a rush job by any other name is still a rush job. The better move would be to tell your interested party that you’d love to meet with them in January to tell them about your project, but the project itself won’t be ready until March. This way, if the project is ready early, the film professional will remember you as being someone who delivers the product before your “promised by” date. Simply put, it’s better to be known as someone who delivers on time, as opposed to turning in a rush job.

Copyright Your New Projects In 2011
Since today’s column focuses on “things not to do,” please be clear that unless you’re submitting your project for sale this week or next week, you should not copyright it until the first week of January 2012. If your project is a screenplay, treatment or TV bible, a 2012 copyright will make it feel fresh and new. Additionally, if it’s feature film, documentary, TV pilot or any other filmed entertainment piece, having a 2011 copyright will make your project seem one year old as soon as 2012 pushes 2011 to the past tense.

Thus, waiting 11 days from the publishing of this article will make your project seem 365 days younger. Since “fresh and new” are two words you want industry professionals to use when they describe your project, utilizing this tactic is a very simple way for you to place your project in its best light for possible sale.

Contact Investors On The Status of Their Possible Investment With You
Having been an investor myself, the last thing investors want this time of year is to have you call them and ask them if they’re going to invest with you. As stated in an earlier point in this article, the only purpose to contact your possible investors this week is to wish them happy holidays. Furthermore, don’t think you need to remind them of tax benefits tied to investing before December 31st. Remember, they did something right to be in a financial position to be deemed a “credible investor,” so they’re well aware of whatever tax benefits they may receive by investing in 2011.

Also, should you contact your investor(s) this week, make sure you don’t forget to ask them how they are and how their family is doing during the holidays. If you ask them about your investment, but fail to ask about their family and the holidays, I assure you they will not invest in your project.

Give Up
The holidays are magical time for some, a merciless time for others, and hence an equally emotionally charged time for all. Thus, this is not a time to make rash decisions for your career or your projects. Besides, no new projects are being bought, or have been taken on since before Thanksgiving, so this certainly isn’t a time to judge your progress. You should take this time to “unplug”, relax and refocus yourself for 2012. However, if you still feel glum out your future at the end of March, three months into the New Year then make a move that you feel is right for you.

Okay, everyone. That’s what I’ve got for you today. I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and I hope all of you are gifted everything you desire. I thank you for lending me your eyes and look forward to borrowing them next Tuesday when we do our “2011 Year-End Review.”

I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Cosmo Inserra says:

    Thanks Ric Romero Not really anything outside of common courtesy here. It sounds like you are an investor who may have been shopping around too much, maybe with some un-professionals. I personally have never heard of people doing business after the first or second week of December nor do I recall ever having to remind anybody not to call during the holiday? But then to offer such junk like “don’t make meetings before your projects are finished” and call it serious advice? Who are you writing to? high school media class kids? I really do think the majority of this ” advice ” yeah…..well anyway not to slam you or anything. But seriously don’t tell people to call potential investors and inquire about the well being of their families. That is just creepy and bad advice. Unless it’s your family or a really close friend don’t call them until second week of january. That would be a page from business 101. You have a great opportunity to offer good advice to millions of people so I think before you wrote this you should of taken your last bit of advice which is the only good one I can see in your thousand words. ” give up”

    No offense

    Just sayin.

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon