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6 ways breaking into Hollywood is a total nightmare

I moved to Los Angeles from Indiana about five years ago. I sold pretty much everything I owned, buckled up my overalls, hopped on my tractor, put a stick of switchgrass in my mouth, and headed for the big city where organic grass-based smoothies flowed like water and the streets paved were with actual sidewalk. I had one goal: to become a cast television writer.

And I’m still waiting because while there are a lot of things people believe about the film industry untrueThe general belief that it’s difficult to break into as a writer is shocking, heartbreaking, and fucking right. If you’ve ever wondered why so many writers are alcoholics, read on!


There is no codified way to break in

Before we really get into that, allow me to make one caveat: everything I write here is based on my personal experience. If you disagree, instead of contacting me to let me know your very important opinion, you should do something more useful, such as: E.g. eat a handful of toenail clippings or drink the liquid from hummingbird feeders in the neighborhood to theoretically increase your speed.

7;m glad we cleared that up. Anyway, one question I am often asked is “How do you become a professional screenwriter?” The answer is, “If you find out, please tell me – I’m also very hungry and cold.” Unlike most industries, there isn’t a single codified way to break in. There is no clear ladder for climbing. They don’t compose a resume, address it to films, and hope that you will be hired as a junior writer and promoted over a period of several years. As with pretty much any job, you get hired because of your connections. You don’t ask Pat Sajak, as my grandmother once advised me, to ask for help because he “appears like a nice man”.

6 ways breaking into Hollywood is a total nightmare - fool tweet by Pat Sajak about global warning and racism.

PatSajak / Twitter
He is not.

Screenwriting is like playing monopoly so nobody really knows how to do it and it destroys families and ruins friendships. There are thousands of ways people have broken in, but the “traditional” way to become a busy television writer is to become an office PA in a writer’s room, then get promoted to a writer’s assistant, and finally to a staff writer or take a few steps. The thing is, however, becoming an office PA for a writer’s room yourself is extremely breakneck, and even if you are do Hop on, you’ll make terrible money – which is a serious problem in LA where rent is the GDP of most of the island nations.

So many of the people who can afford to go this route are people who made connections by attending college in Southern California and having an opportunity to subsidize living in LA for a few years until they do earn an actual salary – which usually means coming from wealth. But even if you meet all of these criteria, there is no guarantee that you will become an employee. What if your show is canceled? Then there’s a good chance you’ll have to start over. I hope you didn’t want to own a property when you were forty! Because of this, many authors are trying alternative methods of penetrating, e.g. B. Query managers in hopes that they will be able to recruit or sell their script that way.

This is also why people did some crazy things to break in, like pay for a billboard to promote their script:

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