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Achieving Success

I love listening to Chris Lockhart teach about writing. To learn from someone in the field about how to be a better writer and how to present myself with excellence has been helpful. Additionally, this is one of the things that I learned from a great conversation between Mr. Lockhart and Richard Botto, the founder of Stage 32, about how to succeed in the field of film and television.

First, let me define my definition of success for this goal. I want to hear an industry leader fall in love with my idea. If I can sell my script, that is the cherry on the cake, but to pitch or share my idea with someone in the field who says, "I would watch that," is one of my short term goals and would signify success. Another, bigger dream, is to see my film at the Sundance Film Festival, American Black Film Festival, or Martha's Vineyard Festival. To be successful in the field, I need to speak my dream and work for it.

Here are a few of my lessons learned from this conversation:

  1. One of my biggest takeaways was - create a list of voices I trust and listen to them. listen to them. I have been curating a list of podcasts, you tube videos and resources for writers to capture some of the thought leaders in the field, or creatives that I enjoy listening to. This has helped me to consider some do's and do not's as well as hear success stories from leaders in the field.

2. Write! Chris Lockhart said, "Your greatest asset will be your scripts." And another thing he said that shocked me is that we need to write two features a year. I was able to write two feature films in 3 months so I am pretty proud of that, but I they need a lot of polishing before I am ready o share them with industry leaders. Writing and polishing happen quickly, I have a lot of ideas and I am giving myself permission to give them a voice; that will lead to my success.

3. Finally, my last takeaway was the value of networking. Last year I joined a group called Black Film Space and participated in a 60 day writing accountability group. I have met a lot of awesome writers who have given me feedback on my scripts and allowed me to share feedback with them. Some of the people in my cohort have films in production or in festival reviews. I have learned from them how to develop my characters, do pitch decks and think outside of my box of limited thinking. Also, I am going to utilize Stage 32, LinkedIn, Facebook groups and my KMP Entertainment Professional Development course to network with others who are emerging creatives in the field. My classmates give me feedback using the RISE method and push me to think differently, sometimes giving feedback that shakes me back from an unrealistic paradigm.

The pursuit of my film writing goal has not been easy, but it will be worth it when I achieve my goal of selling my script and seeing it produced. These three tips will be a constant reminder to take it slow and steady - but to keep my eye on the prize!

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