Networking When You Don't Know Anybody

Networking When You Don't Know Anybody from Pipeline Artists - Symposium on Vimeo.

Forget getting past Hollywood’s gatekeepers ... how do you even reach them in the first place? In the entertainment world, all you hear is "Network! Network! Network!" and the path ahead tends to be filled with closed doors, cold contacts, and more roadblocks than places to step.

This presentation will help clear a little space.

Beth Szymkowski, Executive Producer of Hulu's teen-horror drama, Freakish, will give practical tips and examples from her own life on how to meet people who can help you break in. Knowing what it’s like to go from zero contacts in the writing world to a full-blown career, she understands the agony of an introverted writer being told networking is the key to success. She'll explain how you can build relationships in a way that doesn’t involve completely changing your personality—or becoming a shameless social schmoozer.

Topics covered:

  • How to tell when you’re ready to put yourself out there
  • Contests as a way in
  • Peer groups for emotional support and more
  • How to make first contact with someone on the inside
  • Dos and don’ts of contacting established writers
  • Maintaining relationships

[Recorded April 5, 2022]

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Beth Szymkowski created and executive produced both seasons of the Hulu teen-horror drama Freakish.  She’s currently developing a series with Westbrook Entertainment and has recently written projects for Snap and Nickelodeon. She’s written feature-length screenplays for Lionsgate, Disney and others, and created and executive produced all three seasons of AwesomenessTV’s first scripted show, Runaways, which was nominated for a Streamy Award for best drama in 2012. She then novelized the series for Dreamworks Publishing. She started her professional storytelling career as a journalist in North Carolina after attending Duke University. She later worked for Gannett, winning a national award for investigative reporting. She taught math for journalists at University of Southern California before transitioning to screenplay writing.

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