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A New Direction for The Gibbons Update

Table of contents for Advice

  1. A New Direction for The Gibbons Update

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about things lately – and one of them is this: I’m changing directions for this site.

At the beginning, I thought it would be cool to start up a column about all “tech things Hollywood”… kind of go into reviewing gadgets and equipment and applications that were somehow related to storytelling in Hollywood and the business. I had a lot of areas to cover, from reviews on applications like Final Cut Pro to cool new gadgets to trends in post production in Hollywood.

But guess what I discovered? There are about 100,000 blogs out there about gadgets and equipment and applications. And while they might not have had the hook of looking at things from the inside of Hollywood and how they worked within that purview – it turned out, for me, that my column was just too close to thousands of others. Heck, you can’t swing a cat (or dog or inanimate object) around without hitting a great blog or site about gadgets and cool products. I mean there are literally hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of websites and blogs about gadgets – and there were so many good ones (from Endgadget to Gizmodo, etc.) it’s hard to keep track.

So the blog sort of sat and became mostly a Twitter file… of all the things I was doing day-to-day in the business. Pitches, meetings, prep work, development updates…

And then, the other day, I realized that I’ve been giving out advice to lots of people about lots of things related to this industry of mine – TV and film and new media… and it suddenly struck me that a blog about things I was actually more interested in on a personal level might actually be interesting to others. I mean, since I’m handing out info and advice to newbies anyway, plus giving thoughts and suggestions to writers, directors, executives and the like, why not encapsulate them all under one website?

The Plan

So that’s the plan. I’ll start with my own meanderings and tips and advice, and add to it from there, with other guest bloggers. I literally know hundreds of really well-qualified, “the business” savvy professionals who like helping others. I see many of them on panels at seminars I’m in or attending. Or in mentoring programs the Producers Guild runs for its members. I run into people everyday who would have some great little piece of advice to give to someone on the way up – or in transition from job to another in the industry, or just plain good old information that’s interesting on several levels.

And that’s just what we’re going to do. I’m going to start by asking 100 colleagues or so for a quick paragraph or three about how they got started in the business – it’s fascinating seeing all the different paths people have taken to get to where they are now… and we’ll go from there. I’m also asking certain key people to think about guest blogging or adding to the mix of advice, on every level.

Advice and Experts

Some of the areas we’ll cover: creating and writing for television; developing projects from books, scripts, magazine and life rights of people; prepping a project to pitch; pitching a project in TV and film; how to break into the business; how to figure out what your project will cost, from rough sketch ideas to full-blown budgets; how to move from one area in the business to another; how to get on a writing staff; how to sell your show or film or online project; how to get into the online world with your project; advice on a stuck career; advice on how to get ahead; networking techniques; story structure; the selling seasons at the networks; how to pitch, when to pitch what not to pitch; how to land a killer job; how to get, keep, and deal with agents and managers (or become one); pitfalls to avoid; specifics on genre (how to produce one-hour dramas or a single camera comedy or a sitcom or an action film, etc.).

Some of the types of people I’ll try to snag into writing here: producers, directors, writers, production executives, below-the-line production people (make-up, hair, DPs, costumers, grips gaffers and Teamsters, etc.), agents, managers, creatives, techies, post production gurus and all things post, production geeks, bigs shots, moguls, company presidents and first year PA’s… Hopefully somebody will have something to say to some of you about things you want to know about.

It’s a big list and a big group of people. You’ll find in this business that there are strict rules and no rules at the same time. You’ll hopefully be amused, enlightened and entertained, all while we get to help some of you. Let’s see how that all works out. But first, we’ll start with something pretty easy for many on my “advice hit list”: How did you get started in the business, and what advice would you offer someone trying to get in and build a career?

Please send ideas for columns and requests for specific advice. Tell me how we can help you and I’ll see who I can come up with to answer your inquiry. Or, just read and let me know your thoughts.

See you ’round the blog!

Posted in Career Advice, Hollywood.

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