Yes, yes I lied. Its been longer than a week and I’ve not put anything up. On top of that all the words below aren’t actually about getting a commission either. But there’s been nearly big things happening for me, and I wanted to get it all down here. Unforunately, its not over yet, so I’ll probably being doing an update to this is the hopefully near future. Anyway, this is all about getting an interview as a freelancer. Enjoy!
(Actually having read through this, which I wrote about a week ago the situation has already changed a lot of maybe I can get two more of these messy posts up about it.)
So I’ve got a thought experiment for all you lovely people. Picture yourself as me, devilishly handsome, charming and mysterious, and (desperately) trying to get into games journalism. Okay, have you got that? Good.
Try and think of a really good idea, framed around an interview with a game developer. You’ve got the pitch all sorted and now comes the problem, who do you contact first, the interviewee or the editor?
Without the editors approval, you can’t exactly say which publication you are writing for, or that you are writing for any. So any request for an interview is going to look a bit weak, as all you have to say is that you’d be looking into the possibility of conducting an interview. Oh and did I mention that interview requests go through a PR firm and rarely if ever the studio or individual directly? That means you have to make it look good, interesting and most importantly valuable to them to get anywhere.
Going in there with a vague and unconfirmed idea isn’t the best way of getting very far. Even worse, what if they do like the idea and are totally willing to set up the interview, only for the editor to reject the pitch in its entirety.
So, I think we’re agreed that this isn’t the smartest idea. Obviously we’ll email the editor first, get the pitch approved and then go in for the interview request.
What could possibly go wrong?
Oh right, the exact reverse of what I just described, and a situation I currently find myself in. Having spent a week or two in correspondence with an editor convincing them my idea was worth exploring, only to have the PR firm decline the interview.
Now I’ve had to go back to the editor with alternative options and clumsy apologises. I’m hoping I can still do the piece, but there is a strong chance this won’t be able to take off any further without some possibility of an interview.
Trying to stay positive on this one, but it feels like this aspect of games journalism is well, a bit broken. There’s no right way to approach the situation unless there is something obvious I’m missing. (And if there is, please don’t tell me, I’m not sure my ego couldn’t survive it.) This is especially true of people like me, new to the game and without all the necessary contacts that can help assure an interview.
Anyhow, I know this isn’t what I said I’d write about next but, oh well. Hopefully my next piece can be how this all came out fine and I’ve got a nice shiny bit of writing to do. Either way I’m sure I’ll think of something else to complain write about.
I promise one day these updates will be slightly more positive. I know the last post was a bit bleak and this one is a thinly disguised explanation of my current, rather awkward situation, but it will get better. Or at least more cheerful. Hopefully.