GUEST POST by Dominic Carver
How To Get The Most Out Of The London Screenwriters’ Festival
Essential Items You Will Need To Take:
- Your LSWF ticket – DUH!
- Your 250 business cards – remember these are your most important tool.
- An empty business card box – to put all those valuable business cards in which you will collect from other people.
- A copy of the schedule – print one off from the website the day before you go and highlight the sessions you most want to attend. The schedule will most likely change anyway, but at least you’ll have a basic one to refer to (There is a fantastic phone app this year that has the schedule, a map and a list of speakers included to help cut down on the things you need to carry. Download it now.)
- A map of Regents Collage – you need to know where you are going for each session.
- Several pens – in case one runs out, you lose one, or some thieving little git ‘borrows’ one.
- A small notebook – for the making of detailed notes about possible collaboration. You should always carry one anyway, to write down any ideas you might have.
- An A4 pad – for the writing of notes while listening to speakers.
- Ten copies only of the one-page pitches of the three projects you are going to take with you.
- Your three sixty-second pitches – do not read these out from your notes, they are only for back up.
- A fully charged spare battery for your mobile phone – you’ll be surprised how quickly it will run out.
- Your thoroughly researched speaker and delegate list – with pictures so it’s easier to spot people while you’re there.
- Mints – no one wants to talk to someone whose breath smells like a camel’s bum.
- Money – for the buying of sustenance and plying producers and directors with liquid ‘YES’ juice.
- A can of Red Bull – for the drinking of to keep your mind sharp should you suddenly find yourself flagging.
- A smile, a cheerful disposition and an eagerness to soak up every ounce of information and milk every networking opportunity.
- Remember your business cards, you’ll need them.
- Remember your one-page pitches, but only hand them out if asked for one.
- Don’t worry too much about missing a session if networking is going well, as the sessions are filmed and will be available on the delegates network after the festival.
- Don’t hang around people you know, go and mingle, talk to as many new people as possible.
- Be brave.
- Ask them about what they do and what they’re working on, show an interest in their work and don’t rabbit on about yourself.
- Take every opportunity to network.
- Stick to one drink in the evenings at the bar, so you can continue to network and don’t come across as a dribbling drunk.
- Buy people drinks; they’ll love you for it.
- Turn up early, go home late.
- Make as many notes about what you learn as you can – remember to write these out in longer form as soon as you get home from the festival, as they won’t make any sense in a months time.
- Be polite, friendly and professional at all times. You’re promoting yourself here.
- Follow up any chats after the festival with an email.
- Listen, learn, absorb.
- There is no such thing as luck, only hard work and persistence pays off.
Have a great time, enjoy yourselves and come and say hello.
Dominic Carver’s web home can be found at http://www.thescriptwriter.co.uk/ , his blog is at http://doms-world.blogspot.co.uk/ and if you are are on twitter, go follow him at http://twitter.com/DomCarver