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Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

Rejection notices aren't bad enough, but what really infuriates me is when I don't even any reply at all.  The least a producer could do is answer me!  What do you think, DcH?

J. R. from Texas

This week's Answer: 

RSVP 0r End Up on My List!

J.R., I'm glad you contacted me.  I'm purposely responding to you in order that you don't have to shoot off the infuriated graph.  How is Sue Ellen?  Or was she the one who was shot?  Come to think of it, I think you're the one who was shot?  Then, how can you be writing me now?  Oh.  Not that "J.R." from Texas, huh?  I know how disconcerting it can be to not receive any response when you've contacted a producer.  Producers can be so... so... unresponsive.  Especially when they don't want to respond.  Be that as it may, I have several suggestions about how to deal with such problems that might be of some aid.

After you've sent something to a producer and you don't even get so much as a reply, it's important to not fall into a victim position, and, rather, stay proactive just like you were when you proactively sent something to the producer.  Here's what to do:  When you don't receive a response, you proactively don't respond to their lack of response.  When you check your e-mail or mail box or fax or answering machine or climb to the top of your house for signs of smoke signals, if you don't see any response from the producer, immediately make a strong, deliberate commitment to...


You could even make a list of these producers who haven't responded and do a daily ritual in which you become meditative, visualizing these producers, affirming deeply within that your are not responding to their lack of response.  You could even go further in your quest for "proactivity" and write them all, declaring that you are notifying them in a very proactive way that you will not be responding to their lack of responses.  And don't take another lack of response from them without doing something about it.  Continue your vigilant and vivacious lack of responding back to them.  Make sure they know you're not just taking this lying down and are deliberately not responding to their lack of responding to your lack of responding to their lack of responding.  If that doesn't satisfy your new proactive personality, you may want to phone the PNRP's (Perpetrating Non-Responsive Producers) and tell them that you're calling them to put them on notice that you're intentionally not responding to their lack of response.  If that doesn't do the trick, you can always show up unannounced.  (Never announce yourself if you're there to state your intention to not respond.  Announcing is too close to responding, and you don't want to be seen a responder nor an announcer.  Which reminds me of that famous saying:  "Neither a responder nor an announcer be.")  When you're in the producer's office, you can make your lack of response clear to his secretary or executive assistant (secretary).

Or his security guard.

DcH                                                                   related cartoon


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