Home » Archives » January 2008 » Suspicious Advice
[Previous entry: "Sending In All the Ninjas"] [Next entry: "Kitty Was a Light-Weight"]
01/12/2008: Suspicious Advice
Gentle Reader Richard writes in from London, asking about the prospects for British writers attempting to break in the US feature or television writing business. I'm sorry, Richard, but I just don't know. I can give writing advice, but Getting A Job advice isn't really my field. I can tell you, in general, that I don't think US show runners would have any cultural concerns about hiring a British writer. We could easily remove all those extra 'u's and the jokes referring to famous soccer players. The fact that I've never worked on a staff with a Brit writer makes me think that this is unusual, though. Now, I have the notion that feature writing is a more international game. Certainly there are successful feature writers who don't live in the US, after all.
Richard also asks about the kind of jobs an aspiring screenwriter might do here in Los Angeles. As I've discussed before, the job of Writers' Assistant is one of the very best ways to work yourself into a writing gig. Look to this blog, the entries of Oct. 12th and 14th of 2007, for a detailed discussion of the joys and perils of this job. Note to Gentle Reader Megan in LA -- these entries should also address the questions in your letter -- thanks for writing.
Obviously, Writers' Assistant is a very hard job to get. That's why I recommend applying to any fellowship or contest for which you're eligible. That's how I got my start.
Richard, you may also want to consider trying to establish yourself overseas. If you had an agent there in London, and maybe a TV gig or a bit of BBC radio play writing, it would help make you salable over here, I would think.
But again, I want to remind all the Gentle Readers out there that this isn't my area of expertise. I'm here to talk about nuts-and-bolts of screenwriting, and anything I say about job-getting should be viewed with suspicion.
ALSO... thanks to Gentle Reader Lilia who sent me a strike/holiday gift, and to Doria for the holiday card! I'm still sorting through piles of recent mail, so don't worry if you haven't seen your letter referenced yet.
Lunch: scrambled eggs with onion