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If a prodco or agent wants to meet with you who pays for the flight, and hotel accommodations, the struggling writer who lives over 3000 miles away from California or the producer/agent who wants to meet you?
Guess who. (Sorry)
Wait-your-goats, John (got that from my 5 year-old).
If a prodco. solicits a visit, and it's not a white-slavery ring with a literary zing, then it's got to be an assignment. If they are that key on a particular writer and invite that writer out to hold hands over a power lunch, I'm not sure that the leverage is all one-sided.
That scenario is entirely unlikely, but if it were really on the up'n'up, I'd be testing that prodco. with a suggestion of a split. Writer pays airfare; prodco. pays hotel, car rental, etc.
If it's an agency that's taken a fancy to an unrepped, unknown writer and wants to have a face-to-face, don't spoil the date by talking money. The agency has all the leverage, so the writer pays the freight.
But the writer better make sure any call to travel that far is simon-pure and not the sick whim of some non-entity who wants to feel powerful by having a struggling writer come for an audience like a vassal to an overlord.
Depends on the Prod Comp. If disney or universal wants you you'll be flown first class and there will be a car to pick you up at the airport. If a middle or low level Prod Comp wants to see you then you will pay for your own standby flight and rent the economy car and stay at the Motel 6. Producers generaly just want to put a face to the name because it is such a personality driven business. They just want to meet and greet and see if they are even interested in you. It's like buying a lotery ticket but if they are willing to request a meeting your odds of getting lucky are good. Ask them what they expect from the meeting and if you feel it would be worth the money, spend it.
Check with an accountant - in most cases, the travel and lodging expenses (and part of the meals) for a business trip are tax-deductible.
You have to keep VERY good records - dates of travel, whom you met and what was discussed, etc.
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