How to Prepare For and Nail a General Meeting (In Person and Online)

Hosted by Jeff Portnoy

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Jeff Portnoy

Webinar hosted by: Jeff Portnoy

Manager at Bellevue Productions

Jeff Portnoy is a literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Jeff worked at Creative Artists Agency, The Gotham Group and Resolution talent agency. Jeff’s clients include Ben Bolea, who wrote THE DUKES OF OXY, set up at New Line Cinema with Ansel Elgort starring and Michael De Luca producing; Richmond Riedel, who wrote BODY CAM for Paramount Players; Greta Heinemann, formerly a Producing-Writer on the CBS series NCIS: NEW ORLEANS who is now working as a Supervising Producer on the NBC series GOOD GIRLS; Kenny Kyle, whose hour-long drama spec ONE$ & ZEROE$ is set up at Fox 21 with Warren Littlefield and Noah Hawley producing; Matt Tente, whose feature spec GREEN RUSH is set up at New Republic Pictures with Will Packer producing; Savion Einstein, whose feature spec THE UNTITLED SAVION EINSTEIN COMEDY, is set up at Screen Gems with Kimmy Gatewood directing and Elizabeth Banks producing; Marque Franklin-Williams, a story editor on the Showtime/Lionsgate series THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLES; Jimmy Mosqueda, formerly a staff writer on the ABC series SCHOOLED, who is now working as a story editor on the CW series LEGACIES; Suzanne Keilly, previously a staff writer on the Netflix series WARRIOR NUN who is now working as a story editor on the Hulu series LIGHT AS FEATHER; Chris Thomas Devlin, whose feature spec COBWEB is set up at Lionsgate with Point Grey and Vertigo producing; Josh Golden, whose feature spec ROAD TO OZ is set up at New Line Cinema with Beau Flynn producing; Matteson Perry, whose hour-long drama TURN ON is set up at Warner Bros. TV Studios with Jim Parsons's That's Wonderful Productions producing; Mark Townend, whose feature spec AUGMENTED is set up at Warner Bros. with LuckyChap and Di Novi producing; Matt Leslie & Stephen J. Smith, whose feature spec SUMMER OF '84 was produced by Gunpowder & Sky and premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival; they are also currently writing ANGELS OF DUST for Impossible Dream Entertainment with The RZA directing. Originally from Massachusetts, Jeff received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film Production from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and studied Film and Television writing at UCLA Extension. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Whether you’re leading the creative charge as a screenwriter, in the trenches a director or cinematographer, behind the scenes as a crew member, or in front of the camera as an actor being great at what you do is only part of your job. We at Stage 32 preach that 50% of your job is excelling at your craft, the other 50% is networking and understanding how the industry works. It's simply undeniable, those who commit to treating their networking and relationship building as their job and keep on top of what's happening in the industry land more meetings with decision makers who can make an impact on their career. But the goal is not just to get into the room, it's to stay in the room. And that means you need to know how to be good in the room. And with more and more meetings going virtual and online, you must know how to prepare and have the skills ready for those situations as well.

General meetings are the first line of offense and defense for decision makers. As you know, most people in this industry - whether working in film, television or digital - want to find creatives and professionals they can go to war with time and time again. Their tribe. To become part of someone's tribe (and eventually form one of your own), you have to know how to nail the general meeting. It is crucial that you understand how to prepare. You must know who you're meeting with, what to wear, proper etiquette, the story of your project, the story of your personal brand (such an overlooked art), and know your pitch inside and out. Ultimately, you want to turn this general meeting into something much greater or assure that you're receiving a callback meeting. Their are many tried and true tricks for getting this done and we're going to bring them to you.

Jeff Portnoy of Bellevue Management is one of the most revered managers working in the industry today. Jeff was recently named been named by Variety as one of Hollywood’s New Leaders in Management. Prior to joining Bellevue, Jeff worked at Creative Artists Agency, The Gotham Group, Resolution Talent Agency and Heretic Literary Management. Along the way he has sold and set up projects to New Line Cinema, Lionsgate, FOX, Screen Gems, Warner Bros. and more. Jeff has been on both sides of the table for hundreds of general meetings and has learned exactly what makes a meeting successful and where many go south – and he’s here to share the do's and don'ts with you, the Stage 32 community

Jeff will teach you how to assure that you perform in your general meeting in a manner that makes you memorable. He will discuss everything from attire to how to carry yourself to how to make eye contact. He'll teach you how to prepare your pitch and convey it with the right amount of passion, charisma and energy. He’ll give you important guidelines on how and when you should talk in the conversation and help you understand if you’re talking too much or sending the wrong message. You’ll learn how to get notes from the other side of the table and how you should receive and respond to them. You will know the best way to pitch “you” and your brand so you stand out from other people taking general meetings with the same party. Jeff will teach you how to do research on the people and the company you are meeting with and how to use that information to your advantage (and not be creepy about it!) He will make you understand why the assistant and support staff can ultimately be your best ally. Finally, Jeff will go over the various types of meetings you’ll encounter in your career – from studios, production companies, managers, agents and networks and explain the differences so you’ll be fully prepared.

 

 

"A wealth of information. Gave me a lot of things to think about - especially with the tips on reading the room. Your description of how to pitch myself and my story were game-changers. Off to practice now."

- Sonia H.

 

"What fabulous advice, Jeff, thank you!" 

- Greg M.

 

"Yep, now I know why I haven't been securing a second meeting. I have seen the light and the err of my ways."

- Veronica G

 

"The dress code discussion was very helpful, I never knew what I should wear and now I do!"

- John S.

 

What You'll Learn

  • Eye Contact
    • Understand how this works, when it's important to have eye contact and when you should look away
  • Dress Code and Physical Appearance
    • What to wear to a meeting, why it matters, what it says about you
  • How to Prepare to Pitch Your Story/Script
    • 5 essential tips for making the pitch successful and how to incorporate them seamlessly
  • Passion, Charisma and Energy
    • Why is this important? Can it ever be too much?
  • How and When to Talk
    • Discussing dominating conversations
    • How do you know if you're talking too much
    • How to know if you're losing the room
  • Getting Notes in the Room
    • How to consider other people’s ideas
    • How to address feedback
    • How to address criticism
  • Humor and Likeability
  • How to Pitch "You" - Your Biography
    • What you can do to stand out from the pack
    • What are managers looking to know about you? 
  • Research You Need to Do for the Meeting
    • Understanding the types of research you should do on the person you're meeting with
  • Support Staff
    • Understanding their role.
  • Meeting Types
  • We will discuss the differences between these meetings and how to prepare for each
    • Studio / Network / Production Company
      • General Meeting
      • Specific Meetings
    • Management Company / Talent Agency
      • Signing Meeting
    • All Entertainment Industry Companies
      • Job Interview
  • Q&A with Jeff

 

About Your Instructor

Jeff Portnoy is a literary manager at Bellevue Productions. Prior to joining Bellevue, Jeff worked at Creative Artists Agency, The Gotham Group and Resolution talent agency.

Jeff’s clients include Ben Bolea, who wrote THE DUKES OF OXY, set up at New Line Cinema with Ansel Elgort starring and Michael De Luca producing; Richmond Riedel, who wrote BODY CAM for Paramount Players; Greta Heinemann, formerly a Producing-Writer on the CBS series NCIS: NEW ORLEANS who is now working as a Supervising Producer on the NBC series GOOD GIRLS; Kenny Kyle, whose hour-long drama spec ONE$ & ZEROE$ is set up at Fox 21 with Warren Littlefield and Noah Hawley producing; Matt Tente, whose feature spec GREEN RUSH is set up at New Republic Pictures with Will Packer producing; Savion Einstein, whose feature spec THE UNTITLED SAVION EINSTEIN COMEDY, is set up at Screen Gems with Kimmy Gatewood directing and Elizabeth Banks producing; Marque Franklin-Williams, a story editor on the Showtime/Lionsgate series THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLES; Jimmy Mosqueda, formerly a staff writer on the ABC series SCHOOLED, who is now working as a story editor on the CW series LEGACIES; Suzanne Keilly, previously a staff writer on the Netflix series WARRIOR NUN who is now working as a story editor on the Hulu series LIGHT AS FEATHER; Chris Thomas Devlin, whose feature spec COBWEB is set up at Lionsgate with Point Grey and Vertigo producing; Josh Golden, whose feature spec ROAD TO OZ is set up at New Line Cinema with Beau Flynn producing; Matteson Perry, whose hour-long drama TURN ON is set up at Warner Bros. TV Studios with Jim Parsons's That's Wonderful Productions producing; Mark Townend, whose feature spec AUGMENTED is set up at Warner Bros. with LuckyChap and Di Novi producing; Matt Leslie & Stephen J. Smith, whose feature spec SUMMER OF '84 was produced by Gunpowder & Sky and premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival; they are also currently writing ANGELS OF DUST for Impossible Dream Entertainment with The RZA directing.

Originally from Massachusetts, Jeff received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film Production from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and studied Film and Television writing at UCLA Extension.

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