Brooks Elms
Screenwriter / Social Media Ninja

 

Brooks Elms

Screenwriter / Social Media Ninja

Los Angeles, CA

twitter @BrooksElms
 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I'm a master of conversation. I've connected with people through 20 feature screenplays and a dozen social media accounts. I love listening to people, letting the container open up, and hearing their truth deepen. And I enjoy questioning ideas to find deeper clarity.

I love listening to people, letting the container open up, and hearing their truth deepen.

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

I made a skillion short films as a kid. Went to NYU film school. Made a few indie feature films. Won a screenplay contest, signed with UTA and became a working Hollywood screenwriter. And in the last ten years, I've also gotten progressively more involved with the online space, culminating in a particular fondness for Twitter.

 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

In screenwriting, they just get tired. It's a game of attrition that's only won be people who intrinsically love the craft, whether they get paid or not.  For social media, the people that shine have their own sense of style and authenticity.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

For social media, I advise and run the accounts for several indie filmmakers. It's particularly fun when they're in the throes of crowdfunding or playing a festival. In screenwriting, I've got all sorts of projects cooking from a Hollywood alien invasion flick that's in production now, to a gritty indie love story set in my hometown of The Hamptons.

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

Directing movies. I love social media. I love screenwriting. Although I LOVE directing. When I was 22, I was on the set of my first feature with more than 40 cast and crew members standing around as we shot a huge scale soccer sequence -- that sort of thing can be a lot of pressure for some people, especially at that age. For me, I was home.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

The wheels of Hollywood turn SOOOOOO slowly. That can be insanely frustrating. And yet, that's one reason I adore social media -- it moves at a blitzkrieg pace and never, ever stops.

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HOUR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

Well, that's what I pay for the Chinese foot massage place around the corner. So that'd be nice. Although I always feel bad for the low wages they're getting and so I tip them $20 on top of the $20. Does that ruin my answer?

 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

Ideally I would have told myself to get involved with my men's group earlier, because that's made such a profound impact on my life for personal growth and for raising the quality of my relationships. But I know what I was like back in the day, and that younger guy would have told my current self to F off. Sometimes you just gotta let things flow as they go.

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

I went through a period of about 20 years DEVOURING insights from masters. I just couldn't get enough. And now, it's not like I have all the answers - because I'm still learning all the time, but I'm far less enamored by experts. Or to put it another way, I'm now equally enamored with almost anybody. For example, I learn as much from my 9 year old son's expertise at being himself, as I would sitting with somebody like the Dali Lama or Stanley Kubrick or Bob Dylan.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I want to help people kick ass on social media. My specialty is Twitter. And I'm a battle-tested veteran of the Film & TV world so my bread and butter is indie film crowdfunding and when they hit festivals. But I'm also open to social media teams from other fields, if I love the brand. Would be fun to work with a company that crafts a great stout beer, or I'd be LOVING LIFE doing social for a UFC fighter, or any MMA brand because I'm a huge fan of the sport. I even worked on The Ultimate Fighter TV show for season, out of sheer joy.

 

WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?

Right now I'm working with a guy who's film is playing the Cinequest film fest. I helped him devise a strategy of traditional and digital PR. I advised on the market positioning of his film, the key art, and the trailer. I'm blowing up his Twitter by following a ton of targeted accounts, and engaging with kindred spirits that follow back.  I connected with the festival PR person to make sure we're maxing their resources. I'm partnering with the other filmmakers that share his screening slot so that we can pack the houses together. And I'm the point man for all the questions and any social fires that come up along the way. It's a total blast! 

 

WHAT IS YOUR RATE? 

If you're picking up what I'm putting down, we'll find a number that fits your budget. Although in general, I prefer to tie the fees to concrete metrics of some sort, like new followers, or sales or something. But because the largest benefit I deliver is the unique quality of my advice, experience and enthusiasm, the number needs to also include compensation for those premium intangibles.

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Any way to start the conversation is a good way for me.

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

By feeling the fear.

 


This member profile was originally published in March 2016.