May 14, 2014
On the advice of a mentor, I showed up to AFM in 2011 to figure out if - after producing my first feature - I really wanted to be in the film business. And boy, AFM is a place where the "business" part of film is undertaken. The education portion of the conference is jam-packed with Studio professionals and everything seems to be geared towards "How to Break in to Hollywood" which might as well be an entire conference on "How to Win the Lottery." A lot of the advice dispensed - while from extraordinarily successful Studio and Agency executives - was so far from the reaches of the people in the audiences, it was, at times, nearly comical.
Then Stephanie Palmer took the stage. She had been the Director of Creative Affairs at MGM, and before her 35th birthday, had heard over 3000 pitches from the best in the business. Her experience led her to write "Good in a Room," and she had been asked to the stage to address the finer points of pitching a film project. Now, you can imagine that a person who now makes her living as an expert on telling clear, concise, compelling stories would be clear, concise, and compelling on stage. She was all those things, and more - she connected directly to the heart of what everyone in the audience really needed: a tool for taking their project to the next level. Her ability to explain how pitching is valuable not just to "getting the meeting" but to the writing and creative process resonated profoundly with the audience. I wrote down everything she said (and her speaking style allowed me to easily capture the ideas and the language she used) and sent it to all the filmmakers in my address book.
She has a new ebook - which she is giving away for free! - "How to Take A Hollywood Meeting." And even though the title suggests this is about "Breaking in to Hollywood," it contains invaluable information for creatives on how to move projects forward by getting other people on board.
She, and her website Good In A Room, are an exceptional resource to screenwriters and the filmmaker community at large.
Connect with her @goodinaroom.