Here’s a story I hear all the time….

A talented writer with great material gets signed by a representative.

This is a major victorybut it often leads to a crushing defeat.

Here’s what happens:

This rep (agent or manager) sets up meetings for them all over town.

It’s sometimes known in the business as “The Water Bottle Tour.”

It’s called that because everywhere you go, assistants are always offering hospitality, e.g., “Can I get you a bottle of water?”

You get the idea.

So, the writer meets with executives, producers, directors, stars, and more.

All these meetings with powerful people – it feels amazing.

Everyone is really friendly and gives the writer great compliments.

The writer is thinking:

“Finally – I’ve made it!”

But… the writer will make zero sales and get zero paying assignments.

Eventually, the writer’s rep says:

“You know, this isn’t really working out.”

And the writer is back to square one – writing spec material to rekindle interest around town, and hoping for another chance to meet VIPs, make sales, and get hired.

Except for one thing – it’s not square one.

It’s actually further back.

Because at this point, the writer no longer has one of the biggest advantages:

The element of surprise.

The Element Of Surprise

When you launch your career, get a representative, and start meeting decision-makers for the first time, you’re fresh, new, and shiny.

When you walk in the door the first time, decision-makers are hoping to be swept off their feet. They want you to be the solution to their creative problems, and they have plenty of money to spend if you are.

But if don’t convert that meeting into a sale, assignment, and an ongoing (professional) relationship… you’ve lost the element of surprise.

You’re not fresh, new, and shiny anymore. You’re someone they’ve already said “No” to once, and that makes it more likely that they will say “No” to you again.

Now, if you’re reading this and this has happened to you, don’t despair.

There’s a way to regain the element of surprise and “re-introduce” yourself if you’re careful and strategic about it.

 

If You Only Learn One Thing

Here’s what you need to understand:

You break in based on your writing.

But you stay in based on a complete different set of criteria for which most writers have very little training.

And whether or not you break in AND stay in has a lot to do with how you prepare to introduce (or re-introduce) yourself to Hollywood in the first place.

In other words, you need to prepare for what I call, “the launch.”

This is where my consulting services come in.

Are You Ready To Launch?

There are a variety of ways you can be ready to launch.

Typically, it requires having a minimum of two excellent scripts in the same medium and the same genre that have been vetted by professionals, e.g. producers, directors, agents, managers, working screenwriters, professors, script readers, etc. The more material you have, the better.

Other options include having excellent work in another area, e.g., a successful career as a stand-up comic, a best-selling book or series of books, a popular body of work as a playwright, journalist, or academic, or you’re a celebrity or you have a life story that has received national news coverage and significant exposure….

This is a really high bar and I understand that.

You might be thinking to yourself,

“Geez, if I had such great material, or if I was an already famous/successful person, I wouldn’t need your help to launch my career.”

For some people that is true. As I said in the beginning, my consulting services are not right for everyone.

Some people, however, still need strategic guidance.

This is because the launch has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with the complex social politics of the Hollywood jungle and the dynamics of high-stakes meetings.

You have to generate the right meetings, position yourself correctly, persuasively represent your abilities, and effectively sell your material.

And I have experienced this process from all sides.

As an executive,

I have taken over 3000+ pitch meetings, bought new material from and hired first-time writers, and supervised the production of 20+ feature films with multi-million dollar budgets.

As a writer,

I have sat on the other side of the table – where you are – gotten my own agent, taken meetings with decision-makers, and sold my own projects (e.g. my book deal with Random House).

As a consultant

I have helped many writers to break into Hollywood, sell scripts, get hired to write on assignment, get staffed on TV shows, find representation, and have lucrative, lasting creative careers.

 

My goal is to help you convert your launch into a water bottle tour, convert that water bottle tour into at least one sale and/or one job, and leverage that success into a career as a full-time creative professional.

What I Do And Don’t Do

I provide you with tactical training and strategic guidance in developing your network, nurturing VIP relationships, pitching yourself and your work, and crushing high-stakes meetings.

However, I don’t provide you with story or script notes, write your pitches, or introduce you to decision-makers.

If that’s disappointing to you, I understand. Many people come to me hoping I will make an introduction for them and so I want to be very clear on this point:

I don’t make introductions for you because that makes you dependent on me.

However, I will absolutely teach you how to make introductions and get referrals for yourself, and I have a proven track record helping writers to do just that.

I don’t “give you a fish” one time.

I teach you “how to fish” for the rest of your life.

What We Will Cover

1

Career Strategy

Identifying what you want (both short-term and long-term) and the steps needed to get you there.

2

Networking Strategy

Mapping your network, identifying feedback groups and VIPs, and determining potential/ideal representatives.

3

Personal Positioning

Online identity, handling Q & A about yourself, and positioning yourself as an expert in a specific area.

4

Project Positioning

Determining your priority project and handling project-specific Q & A.

5

Pitching Strategy

Premise pitch, genesis pitch, and comparison pitch development.

6

Meeting Strategy

Tactics for handling each of the five stages of successful meetings as well as techniques for pitch meetings, general meetings, creative meetings, and notes meetings.

7

Time Management

Creative process guidelines, writing efficiently, choosing top-quality experts, resources, and more to help you avoid wasting time and focus on the actions that make the biggest impact.

What Others Say

Dean DeBlois
"Working with Stephanie is an invaluable, transforming experience…. She helped me hone a compelling pitch, while discovering effective ‘selling points’ along the way."

Dean DeBlois

Oscar-nominated writer/director, Lilo & Stitch, How To Train Your Dragon
Iris Rainer Dart
“Stephanie Palmer has helped me get ready for meetings I aced, not only selling book ideas to publishers and TV ideas to networks, but Broadway musicals to producers.”

Iris Rainer Dart

Best-selling author of Beaches
Tom Benedek
“There really is a craft to oral storytelling (pitching), and Stephanie shares invaluable advice for mastering this essential component of show business survival.”

Tom Benedek

Screenwriter of Cocoon, Free Willy
Wernher Pramschufer
"Stephanie Palmer is a consummate professional with a profound knowledge of how to successfully pitch your ideas into the market. Her insightful guidance on pitching our film identified certain issues which led to a rewrite of the script. So successful was the result that we have secured an "A" list director and major financial backing for the film. I rarely give testimonials but Stephanie is so good at what she does it would be a crime not to let everyone else know."

Wernher Pramschufer

Producer, Tolkien & Lewis
Ying Liu
"I hired Stephanie for a pitch contest held but the Motion Picture Association and the Chinese International Copyright Expo. As a result I won Special Prize for best story and a trip to Screen Australia. My script got an offer. Later I was offered a screenwriting job by a prominent Chinese director. Stephanie's career advice was very helpful. She advised me how to position myself and it was very smart. I would recommend her to anyone. She's very pleasant to work with and I felt quite comfortable with her."

Ying Liu

Screenwriter
Chad Feehan
"Stephanie gave me wonderful tips on presenting both myself and my material to potential buyers and representation. After two weeks, I signed with a fantastic manager and within two months, I had dozens of meetings with production companies and studios."

Chad Feehan

Writer, Southland, Rectify, Ray Donovan
Julie Austin
“Stephanie has the inside information you need to know to clinch the deal. Don’t let that baby face fool you, she is wise beyond her years, and is only a tough critic because she really wants you to win. I highly recommend her consulting services.”

Julie Austin

Author/Speaker

How The Consulting Process Works

First, you’ll send me a brief application and answer a few simple questions.

I do not work with everyone who applies to work with me to make sure I am able to significantly impact the career of each client.

Also, I encourage you to ask me any questions to make sure we are a good fit and the expectations on both sides are clear.

If we agree to work together, you’ll pay the fee, I’ll send you a detailed questionnaire and we’ll set a time for an initial Skype videoconference session to get to know each other.

From that point, the process lasts 8 weeks.

The goal is to help you prepare the ingredients you need to launch.

Starting with our initial meeting, I’ll give you homework assignments on a weekly basis. I will also include free access to all my online courses to facilitate your ability to do the assignments.

Further assignments will be sent via email and can be returned via email or posted online on a secure website (depending on the assignment).

When you turn in your assignments, I’ll evaluate them, give you any notes I may have, and send you your next assignments.

My goal is to help you develop:

  • A specific career strategy
  • A detailed networking strategy
  • At least one short pitch and one complete pitch you can deliver without notes at a moment’s notice
  • An “Answerbank” containing answers to questions you anticipate being asked (both personal and professional)
  • A clear plan for your next steps.

Finally, at the end of the 8 weeks you will have a 60-minute mock general meeting with me via videoconference where you’ll use all of the launch ingredients you’ve been preparing and practicing.

What Does It Cost?

Let me put everything on the table right away:

My consulting package is not right for most people.

It takes a lot of time and energy (both yours and mine).

So I’m really only looking for a certain kind of client for whom I can deliver maximum value.

The fee is $5,000.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s your policy on confidentiality?
I keep everything we talk about and everything you send me completely confidential.
How much money can I expect to make as a film/TV writer?
You can learn how the money works in film/TV writing by watching my free video training: The Film And TV Writer Compensation Report
Would you represent me as an agent?
No. I do not produce projects and I’m not an agent. It’s important to me that you retain all rights and ownership to your projects.
Do you work on commission?
No. I do not work on a commission or a percentage basis. And just to be clear, if you sell a project or get a job at any time, I do not receive a commission of any kind.
What’s your refund policy?
I don’t offer refunds for consulting. If you’re not sure whether consulting is right for you, I highly recommend getting my courses. They contain the advice I give most often to my consulting clients, one or more of them may be all the help you need, and they each come with a 30-day money-back-guarantee.
What if I have questions that aren’t answered here?
You can Contact Me and ask me whatever you like.

Application And Availability

Currently my consulting slate is full.

However, spots do open up from time to time. I’d be happy to put you on the Waitlist. I will get in touch as soon as a spot is available.

Thanks for reading this page.

My goal with consulting is to help the people who are at the right point in their careers to benefit most from my services.

If you are unsure about whether consulting is right for you, there’s a good chance that you may be better off working through one or more of my courses which contain the advice I give most often to my consulting clients and come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

However, if you are sure that consulting with me is right for you, then I absolutely encourage you to apply and I look forward to getting to know you better.

Stephanie PalmerThanks,

Stephanie