You may know Ian Weinreich from Honest Trailers like my husband, or from his writing work on The Flight Attendant, Zac and Mia, Skylanders Academy, Mighty Med, and the American Patriot. In this episode, I sit down with Ian to talk about what it’s been like to write for two seasons on The Flight Attendant with Kaley Cuoco, the yes’s and no’s of Hollywood networking, what his writing process is like, and being ready before putting yourself out there. He shares his biggest tips for aspiring writers and actors alike, and gives us an exclusive peak into his upcoming work on Dead Boy Detectives. In this clip of the episode, Ian talks about landing HBO’s The Flight Attendant and the value of being ready & not rushing when you work in the entertainment industry.
Ian Weinreich: There’s enough out there now where you’ve watched something this week or you’ve read something this week, and I feel like that’s how you build, I don’t want to say, necessarily, friendships, but that’s how you build relationships in the industry. It might take a year or two or something, but then — I mean, I’ll be honest. The Flight Attendant came from — I had a spec going out. I asked someone if they would mind, before it went out, reading it, and if anything stood out to them that they could call attention to as, “Oh, there’s a problem here,” if they would let me know. They read it, gave me very nice feedback and very honest feedback. They liked it, and a year and a half later, they were staffing Flight Attendant and remembered me.
Sam Valentine: Wow.
Ian Weinreich: And remembered that script, and that’s how I was able to break out of kids TV.
Sam Valentine: Wow, that’s so cool.
Ian Weinreich: And that kind of changed everything for me. It came from — you know, it was a year and a half later, and it came from someone who I had a professional relationship with who knew I wasn’t coming to them for, like, to give it to their agent, eighteen months later remembered me and remembered that script. And I think I hope to do the same thing if I have the opportunity, and those types of relationships are what get — whether it’s acting or writing or, I’m sure, being a DP or whatever, those are the things where people want to help each other when they have those types of connections.
Sam Valentine: Yeah, I feel like that’s Hollywood in a nutshell, right?
Ian Weinreich: I mean, honestly.
Sam Valentine: [Laughs]
Ian Weinreich: This is very much my Hollywood moment.
Sam Valentine: That is the coolest! I love that.
Ian Weinreich: I mean, a lot of my — one of my best friends has a very similar story where it was just a friend of ours that we liked having him around and liked his sense of humor, had a show on Fox for a couple years, and we’re finally opening up staffing and just on a ski lift on a random ski trip we were on, I was like, “Hey, do you have a sample?”
Sam Valentine: That’s it.
Ian Weinreich: That was it.
Sam Valentine: But they had the sample, right?
Ian Weinreich: They had the sample!
Sam Valentine: Going back to our previous conversation —
Ian Weinreich: Yes.
Sam Valentine: — is if you were involved in these conversations, if you were at a point in your career where — actors often ask me about networking, and I’m like, well, how’s homebase, right?
Ian Weinreich: Mm-hmm.
Sam Valentine: What’s your craft? How are your materials? Before we go searching for people to send it to because that’s what people, once they get on your side, they’ll say, “Send me your stuff,” whether you’re a writer, whether you’re an actor, and if you don’t have stuff to send that’s good, you don’t want to be in those conversations yet. [Laughs]
Ian Weinreich: Yes, and I also think, to that point, and I’m sure this applies with acting as well, but not to rush.
Sam Valentine: Yes.
Ian Weinreich: Nothing drives me crazier than when someone sends me a script that I’ve agreed to read for whatever reason and six hours later I get: “Actually, you know what, I took a look at it and I added this thing here, and here’s a newer draft.” That’ll go on for, like, a week, and I’m just like, “I’ve read the first 30 pages, like, twice now.” I feel like take your time, get it in the shape you want it to be in before you start advertising you’re ready to — it’s sort of the same thing with that resume story I told you —
Sam Valentine: Yeah.
Ian Weinreich: — where it’s like instead of rushing into it I think, whether it’s stuff if you’re editing a reel or you’re editing a scene you were in, I think it’s the same thing where it’s like take an extra day. Most things take so long in this town anyway that unless it’s the one situation where you need it, someone’s asking for it, “I need it right now, right now, right now,” take a few hours and make sure it’s the right version. Make sure it’s attached to the email when you send it.
Sam Valentine: [Laughs]
Ian Weinreich: ‘Cause, yeah, that’s also a big “no” for me is when I get the email the next day like, “Actually, you know, read this one instead.”