I like this advice from Jeff Nathanson:
It took me well over a decade to realize that general meetings are only general if I allowed them to be. And so, I changed my approach. I figured as long as I’m putting on a clean shirt and meeting with people who have the ability to hire me, I might as well try like hell to get a job.
I started to prepare for every general as if it would be my last. I would tailor a short pitch for specific executives (even when I was told not to pitch an idea). I would do my research, find out what movies they had in production, what scripts they were struggling with.
I asked questions, tried to cut through the general conversation and discuss passion projects. I asked studio executives about obscure titles they had in their library. And suddenly I started walking out with scripts under my arms, books to read, magazine articles they had optioned.
This approach makes even more sense in the age of Zoom. You need to be able to move pretty quickly from chit-chat to what you’d like to write, be it a property they control or something of your own.
This isn’t the time for a full pitch, but rather to frame an idea. “I really love heist movies. I’m working on one set on a super tanker. I’ve gone deep down the rabbit hole of research on it.”