Film Courage: You said something really interesting and I think I’ve brought this up in prior interviews before. But I read an article about how extroverts and sometimes narcissists do much better in job interviews versus introverts and people who would actually be more well-qualified for the job don’t come across well when they present themselves [before a prospective employer].
I’m imagining that’s the same with pitches because I think a lot of people (and this is probably why they are such great writers) is that they are so internal. They are so worried about things and over-thinking that they don’t make the best impression, however, they might actually be the best person for the job. So that sounds like a common thing with pitching. Maybe people who are great show people don’t have the material to back it up versus the ones that are more shy or mousy (someone who is less of a show person)?
Kathie Fong Yoneda: Writers in general (most of the writers I’ve met) are a little bit more introverted. They are used to working by themselves. Writing is a solitary thing unless you write with a partner. But you know, it’s kind of a solitary thing. It’s hard for them to express everything verbally. In fact I think it’s probably more terrifying for them to be able to talk about themselves than it is to talk about their scripts as well. I think that is one of the things I always have to tell writers, if you don’t feel comfortable in who you are, what you should do is write your own little personal story or outline of who you are.
As an example, one of my favorites is I used to do the interviews for the Disney Internship program. And there is a guy there from UCLA and he had the most interesting story about himself. And I said “Tell me a little bit about yourself” because that’s usually how a lot of us start off. We will ask people tell us a little about yourself so we can kind of ease you into before you are doing the pitch.
And he was so funny and he just said “Well I grew up as a military brat. And I was born in Germany and I spent five years there and then I spent four years in Thailand (you know my dad was transferred to Thailand) and then I ended up in the Philippines and anyway (he says) here I am now at UCLA and this is my fifth year at UCLA and it’s the longest I’ve ever spent anywhere at one time.” And he says “But you know, my favorite thing is I can translate any movie or I can read subtitles” and he named off all the languages that he had learned. And I thought “What an interesting guy!” He has such a beautiful worldview…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
CONNECT WITH KATHIE FONG YONEDA
With over 25 years of industry experience, Kathie Fong Yoneda has worked for such prestigious studios as Paramount, Columbia, MGM, Universal, 20th Century Fox, and Disney, specializing in story analysis and development of live action and animated projects. Her career includes executive positions with Walt Disney, Touchstone, Island Pictures and Walt Disney TV Animation where she has evaluated more than 18,000 submissions (Read more here).