Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Fisherman tends his nets before he goes after the next movie for Maine

I spend a tremendous amount of time reaching out to people in the media business, telling the story of Maine and why Maine is wonderful place to produce a media project.

Getting a response is rare and when you do get a response you need to protect that contact and make sure that you develop a healthy relationship with them without sending too much information and, in a sense, over fishing the contact.

I rambled around my house the night after Christmas. My two youngest children were visiting their mom and my oldest was visiting friends. With a little time to myself I grabbed a beer and sat down with my computer and began the monotonous process of checking contact information for media industry decision makers and sending notes to each one.

It reminded me of how my mom used to force me to write thank you notes after Christmas each year. Who wants to do that? It is one of those things that you dread doing and then feel much better after it is done.

In the title of each email I wrote: “A little guy from Maine looking for advice” In the body of each email I wrote “I am a film advocate for the State of Maine ( We are trying to pass additional media incentives and I am wondering if your company offers any type of assistance for this type of advocacy.”

I sent the emails one by one. I deleted the ones that were undeliverable while I saved the deliverable addresses in my blog contact list.

This small time internet phishing is very much like the process that the hardworking fishermen of Maine do and have done for hundreds of years. I was tending my nets, looking for holes, mending them, navigating to where I thought the fish would be and throwing the nets overboard to see what I could catch.

I went to bed after midnight and I let my emails to the trawling. In the morning I had an email from an important member of the motion picture industry. We exchanged emails and set up a conference call. His organization is willing to mentor me and others in Maine as we sail through the rough economic waters ahead and try to have a positive impact on every citizen, business and town in Maine.

It feels good to use the same work ethic that Maine fisherman use everyday as I try to be a part of making a non-traditional industry a tradition in Maine.