Producing : Make a Resolution to Pay it Forward in 2016! by Jacob James Henry

Jacob James Henry

Make a Resolution to Pay it Forward in 2016!

A few days ago, I met up with someone I met through Stage 32, way out here in Osaka Japan, screenwriter Sylvester Pilgrim. We had only exchanged a couple of messages on Stage 32 before setting up an intro chat. I found him to be is a highly skilled writer with a great sense for suspense and drama, a good ear for conversational dialogue and setting and in possession of a fist full of short stories along with apparently tons of other ideas he is in the process of developing. Although I am still fairly new to the screenwriting/producing game, I think I have a decent ear and eye for certain elements of story and production. In our meeting, I gave some feedback and suggestions and (well-deserved) praise for the samples of his work he asked me to read. Based on his reactions, I believe he found my suggestions quite useful, and will inform his rewriting or rethinking of drafts of his pieces. In turn, I have become very interested in working with him to produce his first short, an adaptation of one of his wonderful shorts--it is in the thriller/suspense genre, a new territory I have been wanting to delve into. I had no expectation of any of this prior to our meeting. During our chat we both noted how, particularly at this relatively early stage in our careers, networking can be at times frustrating, particularly living far away from the U.S. The vast majority of those who want to "network" want to know what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. People ignore you if your bio doesn't make them salivate with the juices of opportunism. This is understandable, to some extent, however... I decidedly took a different tact with our meeting--I wasn't really concerned with what I could get from him: I just kept my ears open to find some inspiration in his talent, skills, drive, body of work, etc. and then just chatted and shared a few things I thought would be helpful for him. It cost me nothing but a cup of coffee and a couple of hours. To be honest, if Sylvester's work hadn't been so strong or developed, I wouldn't have had the time or inspiration to get further involved at this point, give that I am working on a couple of shorts and a feature screenplay myself. But just meeting and chatting, again, cost nothing. This post is just to shout out to Stage 32 for facilitating meetings like ours and to challenge others in the community to make 2016 the year you try giving first, rather than trying to take. PAY IT FORWARD, and things will work out. All the best! Jacob

Richard "RB" Botto

Love this post, Jacob. Absolutely love it. Thanks for sharing, my friend.

Joe Orlandino

Indeed. Great post. There are some very talented people out there and the landscape is changing by the week. I believe in the next 18-36 months we will witness (and be part of) a sea-change in the indie film industry. Prepare for it by networking. And remember to question authority.

Richard "RB" Botto

Couldn't have said it better, Joe. Also couldn't agree with it more. The active, the progressive and, of course, those who treat networking as a job, will win the day.

Daron Jenkins

Excellent advice Jacob. I alway live by the pay it forward mantra and encourage everyone to do it as well. There's incredible energy that is created when you do and it will come back to you...:)

Jacob James Henry

@RB - Not at all. I hope to make the most out of the Stage 32 experience by trying to be valuable to it.

Jacob James Henry

@Joe Oelandino. Thanks much. What sort of change are you referring to-distribution, production, or..? Either way, yes, no doubt about the shifting landscape and subsequent opportunities and pitfalls.

Jacob James Henry

@Daron. Thanks. indeed. Karma is is like a bipolar Santa Claus on steroids

Sylvester Pilgrim

It was great meeting with you Jacob. As I had said, I'm always willing to network with people to "see what we can create together" rather than the mentality of "what you can do for me".

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