Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Preparation + Opportunity = Luck ...and how it worked out for Jeff Palmer's "The Sleeping Deep"

As we've mentioned before, there's no real magic formula to success in this business. I mean, that's as far as we know... but that's easily said by a couple of hard working idiots who are on the outside, looking in. If there is some secret formula and it's NOT found at the bottom of a chilled can of Budweiser, please shoot us an email: and We'll keep it to ourselves, we swear.

Mystery methods aside, there are definitely things that you can do that will ensure a better chance of getting lucky. But you have to remember that, as they say, luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. So, you better be prepared and you better put yourself in a position to find opportunities. How do you do that? Well, read, listen and watch as many blogs, books, podcasts, radio shows, TV shows and films on the industry as you can. Always be learning and always, always, always ask questions when you find yourself in a position to ask questions. That will put you on the path to being prepared, knowledge is everything. Opportunities? They're far and few between, especially for those on the outside of the industry, looking in... which is most of us. Chances are, you're not going to run into too many studio executives, managers or agents in your daily life and if you do, how would you know who they are? Not only that, they don't really want to talk to you, anyhow. So, where are those opportunities? Well, the low hanging fruit is in the festivals and conferences.

I recently received an email about Jeff Palmer's "The Sleeping Deep" and I'd like to share it with you. They say this goes live tomorrow, so I'm not sure if I'm breaking news here or not, but whatever... Do you remember Jeff Palmer? Click here and check out the interview that we did with him almost a year ago. He had just won the top prize at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival for his script, "The Sleeping Deep". It's a great interview on the writing process: how he entered the festival and what happened after the fact. Since we interviewed him, it looks like the script went on to get produced. I'm not exactly sure how or who the players are and I may reach out and try to do a follow up interview, but the point is - he put himself in a position to get an opportunity. He entered, attended and won the festival. Then, that presented him with more opportunities and that's how this all works. Keep putting yourself in those kinds of positions and build and leverage each one to find more and more opportunities and make sure you're prepared to jump on them when they come your way.

So, what are you doing to put yourself in a position to get new opportunities? Are you doing all you can? Check out the trailer for the film and remember that this was just an idea in a fledgling screenwriters head not too long ago...

The Sleeping Deep - Official Promotional Teaser from FlickerPictures on Vimeo.


John Chance said...

Nicely put! Preparation + opportunity = luck no s*#t! It really is a luck game, and it is a case of talking to everybody! Lots I'm sure will (pretend to be bigwigs at fests but you can call them on this and you'll soon find out if they can back it) but there may very well be that somebody who caught your work or likes what he is hearing - whether that be at a festival or in email.

At the same time musicians are like filmmakers (i always say to my music friends) we have to literally whore ourselves to get noticed and make a splash because everyone else is too. It's sucks but it's true. And it's even harder if your not the social type. I know many writers are (so maybe you know someone who can do the talking!) Also, musicians and filmmakers are no different. Both difficult industries to get noticed in, you could be working gigs until your 50 years old and work a job in town and the dream may not happen - but determination and what will be..will be. As the saying goes. If it's meant to happen it...will.

It's determination overall and most importantly that this is something you enjoy doing! I don't care how old i will be (if it ever happens) because i LOVE doing what i do and i make nothing doing it! (Got screwed along the way too read those contracts folks!) Your heart has to be in overall everything. Then at the end of it at the very least - you are a success unto yourself. For writing that script or making that movie. (Or that album for that matter) What bothers me is there are so MANY really bad films and talentless folks out there that i feel they (knew) people in the business - or are related in someway (honestly wouldn't it explain so many bad films?) - i mean how can a film be bad if you literally have so much money involved it's almost impossible to destroy and make a bad job of it?!

It's the same in music why are there so many bad acts forced down our throats with the luck of expensive advertising (and some kids buy music that they just don't know any better - the Internets right there as the worlds biggest library for decent music!) and yet friends i know and so many acts i see struggling their way up might not ever make it because they don't live in say London or know anybody in the business?

Waiting for that fleeting opportunity like say in that eps of 'saved by the bell' when i manager happens to be walking past your window heard your music and wants to sign you a 6 album deal ... It just doesn't happen. And you learn this painful truth pretty quickly, and it comes down to you.

You have to do everything, people maybe too busy in their lives to help you out (you might be lucky if you do have these people) but people can let you down, the one person that can try his/her hardest is only you. Try everything! Talk to everyone and you might come up trumps! At the same time practice,practice,practice! On films, scripts etc it's all a learning exercise.

The rest is all of below; timing, destiny, planetary alignment, or luck indeed. Whatever you believe in. In essence it's probably a little bit of all of them.

John Chance

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