Thursday, March 22, 2012

Working in the Screenwriter Fast Lane

-Written by Kelly Anelons

If the internet is a superhighway, then social media is that weird HOV lane. I used to drive alongside that luxuriously wide lane with its own toll booth and wonder, "How do I get over there? And where will it take me?" One night, many, many tweets ago, a good friend of mine, who is a best-selling author and a social media sorceress, coaxed me into turning my quirky emails into a blog about my screenwriting adventures. I hired a website designer, who asked me a simple yet career-changing question, "Do you want coordinated Facebook and Twitter pages for the blog?" I hit my indicator, happily honked my horn and swerved into the virtual HOV lane. It was luxurious. It did move faster, but where did I want it to take me?

The next goal on my business plan was to find a Next Level Person, that mythical being who would help me to prepare my scripts for the Hollywood mosh pit. If you don't yet have a business plan, make one today. I wasn't sure how social media would help me achieve that goal. Like any lost driver, I simply followed another car that seemed to know where it was going. The 3 AM Screenwriter (@justinwhedges) was a great example of how to navigate Twitter. From him and the venerable @jeannevb, I quickly learned the rules of the road and made a few of my own:

On Twitter:
1. I choose a few new voices in my TL that I really enjoy and introduce them properly on #FollowFriday.

2. I always use good manners, especially when discussing people I hope to work with someday.

3. #followback is for lazy Sunday drivers and I can't stand Sunday drivers!

4. I never confuse effusive tweeting with entertaining tweeting.

On Facebook:
1. I protect my FB friends with all the levels of security that The Zuck allows me.

2. I am a very picky friend...see On Twitter #3.

A very busy producer told me that, after a long day, it's tough to read one more script from yet another unknown writer, but it's a piece of cake to Google the writer's name. If he likes what he sees, he'll crack the pages. I've set strict rules for everything I write online in order to keep my online identity consistent whether on my own blog, Twitter, Facebook, the 3 AM Screenwriter, or SMWriters. For the savvy screenwriter, social media is more than a toy or a way to create buzz; it's a virtual portfolio that's accessible to every producer, studio, director and actor you could ever dream of reaching.

Kelly Anelons is an American screenwriter and social media whiz, whose recent project "Master's Key" took fifth place in Final Draft’s 2010 International Screenwriting Competition and was named to the “Top 25 Comedies” in the 2010 PAGE Awards. You can find her on Twitter HERE

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Social Media Takes the Stage

Despite how quiet our site has been the past year, Rachel Langer and I have been hustling at our own careers, using every social media platform you can imagine... and some new ones unexplored.

I urge you to check out Stage 32, an amazing platform for everyone in the film community, from makeup artists to editors. Follow them on Twitter too: @stage32online.

Speaking of Twitter, the tried and true blue bird still needs exploring. 

Today, Debbie Ohi @inkyelbows tweeted out a link to her amazing post The Writer's Guide to Twitter