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Email Miscellany

I’ve noticed a trend in emails, lately– footers that are dozens of lines long. This is a bad trend. Don’t do it.

The end of your email should look like this:

Best,
[name]1
(###) ###-####2

That’s it. Done. Press send. Maybe put your email address, if you want to be doubly sure the recipient has it. But really, that’s redundant. They can just hit “reply.”

Here’s a list of things you don’t need to include:

  • Your Twitter account
  • Your Facebook page
  • Your Instagram feed
  • Your Linkedin account
  • Your website
  • Your reel on Vimeo
  • Your short films on YouTube
  • Your music demo on Soundcloud
  • Your physical address
  • A legal disclaimer you copy-and-pasted from someone else’s email

You’re a PA. (At least, I assume you’re a PA, if you’re reading this blog.) Not one of these things pertains to your job. They certainly don’t matter enough to include in every single email.

But what’s the harm, right? You want more Twitter followers and YouTube subscribers, and this is one way to get them.

The harm is, you look like you don’t know how inconsequential these things are. You look like you think, if the DP gets struck by lightning, the director will point at you and say, “You there! I’ve seen your reel, from the callsheet email you send every night! Get behind that camera and start shooting!”

And there’s more. Anyone over the age of 35 regards social media with suspicion. They don’t really understand the point. Twitter is for solipsistic navel-gazing, Facebook is for shut-ins pretending they have real friends, and Instagram is for taking pictures of your lunch.3

In twenty years, things will be different; no one will care because everyone will have grown up with computers. But while the Baby Boomers are still alive and Gen Xers are your immediate supervisors, socializing on the Internet will be considered something that children do.

As far as your website and reel go, again, this has nothing to do with anything, unless you’re applying to a department outside of production. If you’re in post, it’s safe to assume you eventually want to be an editor; an art PA probably wants to be a production designer some day. The coordinators of those departments are aware, and probably factor that ambition into who they choose to hire.

But if you’re an office or set PA? Name, number, hit send.

And the “THIS EMAIL IS CONFIDENTIAL” nonsense at the end? Don’t ever do that.

First of all, again, you look like you’re having delusions of grandeur. You  think your email is so important, someone is going to… what, steal it? I don’t even know.

Second, those disclaimers accomplish nothing. Most of the time, these things are unenforceable. “Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited.” Yeah, good luck imposing a unilateral contract.

Basically, when you add it all up, one (or all) of these things help you in no way whatsoever, but definitely create a negative impression. Skip them.

Footnotes    (↩ returns to text)

  1. Put your actual name here, in case that’s not clear.
  2. That’s your phone number.
  3. That last one is true.
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