Earlier this year, I attended the Great American PitchFest, where in addition to fine-tuning my pitching skills, made some great personal and professional contacts.
Among the latter was a production company who was very interested in my fantasy-adventure. They ultimately passed, not because the script wasn’t for them, but because they’d found another project.
At the end of that email, they included the offer for me to stay in touch. This was in June.
Jump ahead a few months to last week. Sorting through old emails, I’d found that one and figured now was as good a time as any to reconnect. I sent a brief note reminding them who I was, asking about that other project, and if they were still interested in my script.
They remembered me, the other one was progressing nicely, and they definitely were.
A few days later, I had a very pleasant hour-long phone call with one of the partners (the other had a last-minute scheduling problem). We discussed my script, some of their other projects and a few related and not-related topics.
The call ended with them wanting to continue the conversation after the holidays, making sure the other partner would be on hand.
Will anything come of this? I don’t know, but for now, it’s very encouraging. Am I glad I sent that follow-up email? Damn straight.
Sometimes it feels as if the door gets totally slammed shut in your face, but there’s a chance they might leave it open for you just a little bit – enough for you to take advantage of it somewhere down the line.
Who wouldn’t rather have someone say “It’s not for us, but stay in touch” instead of just “Thanks, but no thanks”?
If you do get that open invitation, make the most of that time by working on something else. Your initial project may have gotten their attention or piqued their interest, so this way you can redirect all that nervous energy into your writing and be ready if they ask “What else have you got?” in that second go-round.
Be patient. And courteous. And respectful. A lot of these folks are working just as hard on their own projects as you are on yours. The last thing they need is dealing with a pushy writer bombarding them with emails.