I got this question recently:
“When I’m perusing the The Hollywood Creative Directory (HCD) for production company employees to send query letters to, what types of job titles should I focus my attention on? I feel like those containing words like “creative”, “production” and “assistant to” are a good bet, but am I being too narrow minded? Should I ignore the big name CEO/Chairmen, on the basis that they probably don’t read any of their own mail?”
With larger companies in the HCD they usually do list titles and I do exactly what you’re doing. I look for a title like “Development Executive” or “VP of Development” or “Director of Development” or “Creative Executive” or “Feature Literary.” Any title with a word like “literary,” “development,” or “creative” in it.
If I can’t find a title like that, I will look for something as simple as “Producer” or “Executive Producer” where the person isn’t the CEO/President/Owner of the company. Those sorts of titles are usually people looking for screenplays.
Many companies in the HCD are small and will list the CEO/President/Owner and an assistant. I’ve tested this both ways where I’ve sent a letter directly to the CEO and where I’ve sent a letter directly to the assistant. I think in most cases the assistant is going to open the letter no matter who you address it to. I’ve never seen a dramatic increase or decrease in my response rate by doing one or the other so either method is probably okay.
Many companies in the HCD simply don’t list titles. In those cases I simply pick one and hope for the best.