How to Move Forward After Getting a "No"
No matter what role you play in the entertainment industry (actor/writer/producer/etc), rejection is part of the process. We all hear “no” constantly, but what do you do after?
I will guide you through easy steps on how to handle a no, and how to take new chances.
First, let me introduce myself. I am a young Danish girl, who wants to be a screenwriter. At the moment I am not writing anything new, I’m simply rewriting my finished scripts. Other than that I'm an active member here on Stage 32 I want the community and our fellows in there to talk and make connections with each other. I live by the notion that the more we share, the more we learn. When I am not writing, I try to find new energy by working out. I have the same dream as all my fellows, and it is my goal to go to film school in the US soon. Now to the subject.
We all spend hours trying to make our script, production, music, editing, etc. perfect. And what do we do after? We try to get in contact with people inside the industry. We are so proud of the work we have created and are sure that a person inside the industry will pay attention. But nothing is easy as it looks.
You decide to send your work to a film company or a producer. After a while, you receive a mail where it says that they don´t want your work, or they simply just say “no” because they can. And what do you do from there? Here are my tips.
1) Taking Direction
Try to look at your work, and see if there is something you could do differently, if so, try to write it down, and put it in your work, and see if that works.
2) Stay True to Your Dream
Never let a “no” or no response ruin your passion and your dream. There is no one who will get a “yes” the first time they try to get in touch with a person or a company inside this industry. If you get a no doesn’t mean you don't have the talent or the right product, it simply means you have to try again and try to find a new way in.
When you have looked at your work and changes what you think was wrong (if there was something at all) and you have accepted the “no” you got, you can move to step 3.
3. Find Community
Reach out to your fellows right here on Stage 32! Stage 32 is not just a place where people have the same passion, it’s the largest platform for us who wants to be in the industry or maybe is already in it.
Make a post in one of the lounges and ask your fellows for advice or ideas on how to move forward from that “no”. There are many members on Stage 32 who have experienced the same things as you, so why don’t share it with each other and support, and advice one another?
4. Learn & Seek Feedback
If you still haven’t found a new solution, try to attend different webinars or pitch sessions where you can get feedback from people who know the industry and ask them how you can move forward. - there is always a solution, you just have to find it.
5. Get Inspired
If you still don't know what to do look up different stories from people who also got a no but still stand. It’s not a bad thing to ask people for help or advice, no matter what. Even if you are in the industry you still ask your colleagues for help or even ask them to look at your work to get other eyes on it. Because sometimes we need other people’s opinion to make our work perfect.
Take me as an example:
I applied for our movie school in Denmark, and our media school. I have put so much work into this application and I had attended in so many things, written a screenplay, and was so proud and sure I would get in because of my enthusiasm for this. But I got rejected both places, and I was sad, yes, and I didn’t understand why I got rejected. But it didn´t stop me from writing or connecting with people around the world.
I found out I have to find my way, and I can now see that there is nothing more I can do in Denmark to get where I want, so I have to find another way, and maybe that way will pay off, or maybe it won’t, but I have to try.
We can’t just sit and wait for people to see us and our work, we have to fight for it, and when we finally have it, then we deserve the knowledge from the world because we did it.
I wish you good luck with your work, and remember: We aren’t flawless just because we get a “no” the first or the second time we ask!
Share your story, and make it okay to get a no, and to take chances!
About the Author
The thing I love about screenwriting is that there are no rules about how a story has to be, it is a unique way to create something that other people can watch. I'm a self-taught screenwriter, based in Copenhagen. When I write, I write something that inspires me to create a fictional story,...