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If you want to derive income from writing for Hollywood, but also must stay close to your family in Butte, Bangor, or Bethesda, it can be done. It is possible—and not prohibitively difficult—to make Hollywood contacts without living near Hollywood. The information age makes it so. All you need is a phone, Internet access, an email account, and motivation.
When considering a move to Hollywood, weigh your reasons. What type of screenwriter do you want to be? How do you like to network? If you must network face-to-face, start planning your move to Hollywood. If your responsibilities are only to yourself, if your only mouth to feed is yours, and you most aspire to write for major Hollywood, get thee to Hollywood!
To break into Hollywood, it helps to be in Hollywood. Move there, if you can (and if you can stand it), and you will be able to meet more industry contacts than if you just visit periodically. If you don't want to move to SoCal, it's okay. You can market yourself to Hollywood via mail, phone, fax, and email. Being a writer today gives you the flexibility to realistically work anywhere you want.
Get face-to-face with people whom you initially contact remotely by planning a Hollywood business trip periodically—at least once a year. Try to schedule several meetings before you go. Perhaps, go to Hollywood to attend a screenwriting conference. Networking and self-promotion are essential to success in any artistic field.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|