On Thursday, March 24, 2011, the Writers Guild Foundation’s Writers on Writing series presented an evening with Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award winner Diane English at the WGAW’s Los Angeles headquarters, moderated by Los Angeles Times television critic and novelist Mary McNamara.
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Pee-wee Herman has been popping up on talk shows and at surprise live appearances lately to promote his new HBO special, The Pee-wee Herman Show on Broadway. Seeing Pee-wee is always a treat, but it was equally delightful to catch up with Paul Reubens, the man behind the iconic character, at a SXSW panel in Austin.
Best known as the writer of the original cult horror film, Ginger Snaps, award-winning writer-producer Karen Walton has developed original and adapted film projects in almost every genre with top producers in Canada, the UK and the American studio system for almost twenty years.
“In order to get on a show as a staff writer, you must understand your voice. Your voice is your calling card as a writer. Your voice is what separates you from the masses.” – Jennifer Grisanti (TV consultant/author)
If you’re an aspiring television writer, trying to get staffed this season or perhaps you’ve got an original pilot (or two) you’re shopping, understanding the business cycles can be helpful in planning and executing your strategies.
This is not an industry, or a career, where work can be half-assed. If you choose not to treat this like a professional career, YOU WILL NOT HAVE A PROFESSIONAL CAREER.
You don’t have to travel the world to have a smorgasbord of life experiences. You can have an infinitely rich life—full of fascinating characters, conversations, interactions, adventures, relationships—without ever leaving your hometown.
Don’t blame writers for a dearth of originality. They’re busy writing, developing, and pitching the most creative, engaging stories they can… but they don’t get to decide whether those stories get made.
I’m not saying every screenwriter must live in Los Angeles. I’m saying every TELEVISION writer must live in Los Angeles. Until you bite the bullet and move, you WILL NOT BREAK INTO TV.