Tripp Stryker continues his week of setting you guys straight. The Bitter Script Reader returns on Monday.
You know how Steven Spielberg got started? He snuck onto the Universal lot, found an empty office and acted like he belonged there. He carried himself like a winner and bluffed the guards and anyone who would have been in a position to stop him. He didn’t say “Gosh, I’m not allowed to walk onto this lot unauthorized! I’d better politely go away!” He said, “Fuck this, I’m walking on and I DARE you to throw me off!”
BAM! A few years later, he’s directing Jaws. Nuff said.
M. Night Shyamalan was once just a lowly guy in the industry who’s directing credits consisted of one little-seen movie, and a film for Harvey Weinstein that had such a contentious production that it didn’t get released for three years and then made less than $290,000. Worse, he pissed off Harvey. That was a career-killer back then.
Guess what happened? He wrote a script that was awesome and flat out said, “Not only will you pay me $2 million for this, but you’re gonna let me direct this and you’re gonna let me do it my way. Those are my terms.” If Night had polled the people on Done Deal Pro about his negotiating strategy, there would have been no shortage of people calling him a clueless dipshit who had no idea how the business worked.
That script: The Sixth Sense. $600 million globally, bitches! That’s taking control of your own destiny.
When I was looking to build my career, I didn’t sent lame queries in envelopes. I didn’t email agents with email addressess I pilfered from Done Deal Pro, either. I went straight to the source and got a meeting with a very solid agency. I won’t say which one, just that it can be abbreviated to three letters, and none of those letters are A or C.
This guy happened to be one of my dad’s oldest friends. Now I wanted to get there without Dad’s help, so I didn’t have him put in a word for me or anything. I didn’t call ahead – I just showed up at the office and said, “My name is Tripp Stryker and I’m hear to see my agent.”
Reception called up and the agent’s assistant knew nothing about this meeting. I said to put me on the phone and very convincingly told the assistant that he was going to put me through to my agent or else likely find himself out of a job tomorrow when his boss read in the trades that I went to a rival agency. That got the agent on the line and once he realized it was me, I was ushered up. All it took was, “I’ve got the next big thing. It’ll do for romantic comedies what The Matrix did for sci-fi.”
I walked out of that office about an hour and a half later with representation. The script was optioned within a week. It never got made, but I got assignment work off of it. Enough to keep me well-paid for years to come.
It can happen – and I didn’t have to go through a reader to get my agent.
All it took was confidence. This business rewards winners, people who not only believe in themselves, but stake their reputations on themselves.
Believe in yourself.
Wanna tell Tripp Stryker how good his advice is? Shoot him an email at TrippleThreat69@hotmail.com
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