First Contact

Cara writes in:

What are your thoughts on business cards, especially for a young person just starting out and looking to make contacts?  I am planning on coming to your meet-up next Sunday.  Are business cards appropriate there?  What about just in general?  Is having (and giving out) business cards standard, or will it make me look silly?  Lastly, if you are pro-BC, what specific information do you suggest putting on them (or leaving off)?

It’s been a while since TAPA addressed this, so here’s a quick refresher.

You should most definitely carry a few business cards with at all times, but especially if you know you’re going to be making new industry contacts. It’s a lot easier to give someone a card than say, “Here, let me get out my phone, and you get out your phone, and I’ll text you my number.” If you’re dealing with someone over the age of 40, there’s a 50/50 chance that text will be lost, anyway.

Your business card should be simple: name, number, email. Anything more than that is kinda pointless.

You’re a PA, sure, but you probably want to be something else, like a director or producer, right? Suppose you’ve got a great spec script, and you meet a manager. It’s probably not a good idea to hand him a card that says “production assistant.”

Conversely, maybe you meet a coordinator who tells you she wants to hire a new PA. Don’t give her a card that reads “writer/director/auteur.” She’ll roll her eyes and drop the card in the trash.

(Ignore this advice if you actually are a working director. Why are you reading this blog, anyway?)

In short, keep your business card simple and unpretentious. It should reflect who you are, as well as who you want to be.

For those who missed the original announcement, here’s the information for the TAPA meet up on February 23rd. Hopefully I’ll see you there!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

7 Responses

  1. Great read. Gotta disagree in one area though: age has little to do with whether or not a person is text-savvy in this business. Grandma might struggle with technology, but entertainment professionals are superior at this method of communication. In fact, many of my on-set/production business texts are with the over-40 crowd. It’s my go-to choice to make sure info is correct and received. All my humble opinion and experience of course.

    But I truly enjoy reading your posts & forward them often to people new to the biz or wanting to break in. Keep up the good work.

  2. I’ve found that if you put just the department in which you work the most or most want to work, then you can have some relatively future proof business cards. I work as a production secretary on features, but have line produced some short films, and am generally a production guy, so I like to put Film Production & Accounting on my business cards (and resume for that matter). I assume the same would probably work if you’re in costumes or camera or on set, etc. thoughts?

    1. That’s generally good advice, unless your goal is to be above the line. There’s not really any in-between steps for writers, and certainly not directors. “Art” can be everything from the art PA to the production designer, but if you put “writer” on your card, you better be a writer and not a writer’s PA.

Comments are closed.