Image of Purple Office Production - Logo


Don’t Be Afraid of Hearing No
June 3, 2024

It’s one of the shortest words in the English language – and one of the most dreaded. The word “no” echoes through the ears of countless numbers of creators and producers pitching their shows in one of the toughest film and television markets in recent memory. It’s a word that serves not only as a constant reminder of the Sisyphus challenge of getting a green light, but also, if we’re not careful, a door to self-flagellation about not being smart enough, talented enough, or bold enough to make it in this industry.

To many, rejection is a door slammed shut, a bridge burned, a dream deferred – or defeated. But not Cheryl and me. More and more lately, we’ve been seeing every “no” as an invitation to level up, to find another gear, to throw the throttle down.

Why? Because within every conversation, regardless of its outcome, there’s at least one golden nugget of insight. These insights offer more than a viewport; they can kick the doors open to a deeper understanding of the craft, the market, and, most importantly, oneself. It’s a perspective that demands resilience, yes, but also a profound shift in how rejection is perceived.

With this mindset, Cheryl and I go into every meeting with the dual aim of securing an opportunity and extracting as much wisdom as we can. We devour every question and comment for the purpose of stress testing potential weaknesses or assumptions in storytelling, and strengthening the foundation upon which the project sits.

So, here’s our golden nugget of insight from this conversation: don’t fear the “no”. Invite it in, sit with it, maybe offer it a cup of tea. “No” doesn’t need to be the last word in your story. They can simply be the first two letters of the first word in your next scene, a springboard for levelling up, nailing the next pitch, getting the green light and achieve the dream you’re striving for.

Be kind and stay weird,