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Friday, March 13, 2009

Q. I'm a student headed to a film festival where a short that I directed was accepted. I'm also headed out to LA later this year. Though I've directed several short films, I don't want to put "Director" on my card because I'm realistic. My aspiration is to become an editor, but again I don't want to simply write, "Editor" because I don't want to limit potential jobs when out in LA.

Right now it says my name, then "Freelance Film Production." However, I don't want to alienate possible TV or other jobs. A friend of mine has "Film & Video Production," but that sounds too long to me, and I like the word freelance, but simply "Freelance Production" sounds awkwardly vague, but maybe it's not. Maybe I'm over thinking it?
I think that until you have a job, your business card doesn't need a job title. Anyone you give your card to presumably knows that you're just starting out and you'll take any job that will get you moving forward.

Cards are cheap to make. In this specific case, I would spring for cards that give your name, phone, eddress and website, and the name of your short. Hand these out to everyone at the festival.

In general, when you get back to town, I would suggest you make a card that has your name, phone, eddress, and website on it. Then you can put a short bio or resume on your website, and update it as you have more accomplishments. Most people will Google you, anyway.

My own cards have my name, eddress, website and phone number. And a logo belonging to my loanout company. I got rid of the loanout company's name, and my mailing address, a few years ago. I'm wondering about getting rid of the logo.

You could write "editing" instead of "editor" if you don't want to imply that you are already an accomplished editor. You could be cute and humble about it and put "aspiring flunky" on your card. My screenwriting prof Lew Hunter's card, if I remember correctly, said he was a "Ritor." I think I might have seen one that said "part-time ninja assassin," unless I'm making that up, which I do more and more these days. But I think it's cleaner to put only your name and contact info.

Q. In regards to writers with no produced credits yet- should we just have contact info or have a "writer" title so people remember us after they meet us and remember what we do?
Concentrate on making more of an impression than that! If they can't remember who you are after a meeting, your card is the least of your problems.

On the other hand if you think someone you're handing a card to might not be able to remember you, then scribble something on your card as you hand it to them. That gives you flexibility on what you write ("writer" / "would be writer's assistant" / "you have beautiful hair"), and the recipient is also more likely to remember your face, because seeing the scribble reminds them of seeing you scribble it.
Q. And if you have a website with samples of your writing, should you write on your card that that info is available or should you just have the website and let them figure it out?
Definitely don't print on your card, in teeny tiny letters, that there is information available on your website. 'Cause, duh.

The card is just, only, solely, to provide a point of access.

I'm not crazy about the idea of putting writing samples up on the Net. I don't want people reading my stuff without my knowing it. I want them to have to send me an email asking for a PDF. Then I know they're supposed to be reading it, and I can call them later on. You can put your credits and bio up on your site, though. Check out my poker crony Heidi's site.

Remember, you want them to interact with you as much as possible. The card is there to help them reach you, not to provide all the information they need so they don't have to contact you.



Thanks for this post, Alex. Definitely something I was wondering about.

In regards to writers with no produced credits yet- should we just have contact info or have a "writer" title so people remember us after they meet us and remember what we do?

And if you have a website with samples of your writing, should you write on your card that that info is available or should you just have the website and let them figure it out?

By Blogger David, at 11:49 AM  

Isn't it possible if you don't have a title on your card that someone might forget what the person does? Especially in a stack of cards? "Is he the writer or was he the aspiring editor? I can't remember."

Great post topic.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:52 AM  

Thanks for the tips!

By Blogger Karen, at 2:51 PM  

Lew's card does say "Riter." It's also gold with a rooster logo.

It gets your attention.

By Blogger Eric M, at 5:19 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

By Blogger OJ (not that one), at 10:01 AM  

This may not be particularly helpful, but I was once told of someone who had "or an amazingly lifelike imitation" under his name on his business card.

(Re-posted because of a glaring spelling mistake.)

By Blogger OJ (not that one), at 10:07 AM  

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