Chapter 8: Make Luck Happen!
You need a lot of luck to make it in the movie business. How do you get lucky? Is success really just a matter of luck -- chance? Or can you lure luck your way? Here are some tips.
Many have asked me how to get started in animation, and how to prosper in it creatively and financially. Dare I mention luck?*
I believe I have had plenty of that, and I couldn’t expect anyone to profit from my tales of lucky incidents that propelled me. But perhaps a definition of luck would be useful: Everyone, at one time or another happens upon an opportunity. The vital difference occurs in if or how a person perceives the opportunity, and how he or she reacts to it, grabs it and runs with it.
Many things seem to come out of the blue, a pure chance of being in the right place just as a door opens. But without preparation for that chance event, you will not be the one who will be beckoned inside.
What is luck anyway? Luck can often be manipulated - given a little nudge. After all, you just can't sit around half your life waiting for luck to bless you.
You can be a complete no-talent idiot and still win $500,000,000 in a lottery. You don't need any advice from me to do that - just incredible, and highly unlikely pure one-in-a-gazillion-chance, naked luck. Theoretically, any dummy can do that. But actually, having luck in breaking into the profession of your choice can be a lot harder if you don't make moves to make it happen.
Here's how to make luck happen:
1. Be good at what you do. Do what you must do to get good. Watch, learn, practice, produce. Be ready. It takes work.
2. Make yourself known. Find an outlet. Become a name. Get in print, or on the net. Let your abilities, your accomplishments be out there.
3. Put out feelers. Don't hide. Write letters. Put up a web page. Send email. Make contacts.
All of the above are really the same things. You want to get yourself in a position where you could be the person sought after. It worked for me when I was just past 20, when I was drawing jazz cartoons for no money in an obscure jazz record fan magazine. It gave me stuff in print with my name on it, and people at UPA happened to see it. You never know who will see something that is out there. Today, similar luck can be prompted on the internet. What you want to set up is a situation where someone looking for talent will find you.