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You and your best friend have just road tripped all the way from Ohio with the VW Jetta packed to the brim and visions of champagne and caviar dancing in your head. Your BFF Mandy is going to be an extra until someone notices she’s the next Rachel McAdams, while you’re going to be the next Scorsese and rock everyone with your brilliant art house film about female empowerment in a small Sudanese village.
Slow down. Before you swagger on stage to accept that Oscar, you’re going to want to brush up on what is known as the informational meeting. Yes, you’re going to want to call up every person you know in this town and set up a time to talk to them. That includes the line producer you met in the Coffee Bean, your uncle’s friend who edits trailers for all of Jerry Bruckheimer’s flicks, and that chick from high school who supposedly dated Jon Stewart.
It may not seem worthwhile right now, but these are the same people who may be able to recommend you for that dream job later. The more you learn about the various facets of the Biz by taking the time to meet FOFs (Friends of Friends) the better off you will be in the long run. Sure, Jason’s friend Cassy seems like a snot, but she works for the president of production at Buena Vista (that’s Disney, in case you didn’t know, sport). So ask her out for coffee already. You never know when that huge opportunity is right around the corner, and it’s hard to find the time if you’re too busy drafting your Best Director acceptance speech.
What do you do in the meeting? Ask questions. Lots and lots of questions, most of which should revolve around the person with whom you’re meeting. Everyone likes to talk about themselves, after all. You’ll get your chance one day.