Click here for Done Deal Pro home page
Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > Business > Business Questions and Advice
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-17-2019, 03:07 PM   #11
DDoc
Regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 246
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

Thank you for that post, Will.
DDoc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2019, 03:07 PM   #12
Done Deal Pro
Administrator
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: West Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,686
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdmccaskill View Post
I have not worked in Hollywood, but I have friends in the industry, who tell me the are living in hell, you spend 4 years learning how to write or direct, and you get out and don't write or direct because you have to eat

I blame film studios for not having programs for recruiting kids straight out of college
Ah. So via friends who tell you about what their life out here is like, you are making these blanket comments. Okay. Well, I don't know what they are doing or who they are working for, but it's a shame to hear they feel like they are living in hell. Truly. The fellow assistants I've worked with in various capacities and in various situations did well, ultimately enjoyed their jobs and learned a great deal & advanced themselves in various cases. Not every day was perfect for any us but many more were than were not. Don't know what to say.

On the other hand, friends of mine from USC got out of school and were sure they would be directing, writing and/or producing. My roommate and I decided we needed to work & eat, yes, but also wanted to be a part of it all regardless. He's now a high level, amazingly paid cable network executive who has been thanked a few times on TV at the Golden Globes. His shows have won GGs. And though again, I'm far from any big success, I still don't regret any of my work nor do others I know. Sure some folks have bad experiences and again that's terrible to hear. But not all do, is all I would like to fairly note from first hand experience being out here for 30 plus years. It depends on who you talk to and how many you ask, ultimately. Where are (quite a few of) my film school classmates who didn't just get working, as assistant? I don't know.

But as always, up to "you," how you want to approach it all. Do what makes the most sense to & for you.
__________________
Will
Done Deal Pro
www.donedealpro.com

Last edited by Done Deal Pro : 10-19-2019 at 08:59 AM. Reason: Polish of text.
Done Deal Pro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2019, 06:18 PM   #13
Northbank
User
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 127
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdmccaskill View Post
you spend 4 years learning how to write or direct, and you get out and don't write or direct because you have to eat

I blame film studios for not having programs for recruiting kids straight out of college
Honestly, this gets worse. So because your friends went to film school they are entitled to a career writing or directing? What are studios supposed to pay these kids to do? There's no guarantee of writing or directing just because you went to film school. wtf.
Northbank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2019, 07:28 PM   #14
EdFury
Member
 
EdFury's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: California
Posts: 758
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdmccaskill View Post
I have not worked in Hollywood, but I have friends in the industry, who tell me the are living in hell, you spend 4 years learning how to write or direct, and you get out and don't write or direct because you have to eat

I blame film studios for not having programs for recruiting kids straight out of college
Oh please. Gimme. Gimme. The studios have no responsibility to do anything for anyone. Assistant jobs are the corporate mailroom jobs of the film industry. They are starting at the bottom. It's tough. The pay is crap. The hours are long. You work your way up. You network the right way, you do a great job, you can move up. You can get read.

You get roommates. You eat Raman. If you want this bad enough, you live through it. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes being smart. It takes listening more that speaking. Writing for a living is a long game.
EdFury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2019, 08:21 PM   #15
kdmccaskill
User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 72
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

Quote:
Originally Posted by EdFury View Post
Oh please. Gimme. Gimme. The studios have no responsibility to do anything for anyone. Assistant jobs are the corporate mailroom jobs of the film industry. They are starting at the bottom. It's tough. The pay is crap. The hours are long. You work your way up. You network the right way, you do a great job, you can move up. You can get read.

You get roommates. You eat Raman. If you want this bad enough, you live through it. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes being smart. It takes listening more that speaking. Writing for a living is a long game.
Entry level Asst. on Wall Street straight out of U. Penn make 70 Grand a year, Entry level Asst. in Hollywood straight out of USC, make 30 Grand a year, you don't see a problem with this
kdmccaskill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2019, 09:36 PM   #16
KitchonaSteve
Regular
 
KitchonaSteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 442
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdmccaskill View Post
Entry level Asst. on Wall Street straight out of U. Penn make 70 Grand a year, Entry level Asst. in Hollywood straight out of USC, make 30 Grand a year, you don't see a problem with this
Every business has its perks:
  • Wall Street = Money
  • Politics = Power
  • Medicine = Health Care
  • Law / Law Enforcement = Legal Advice and help with sticky situations
  • Construction/Contracting = Home Improvements
  • Publishing = Books
  • Farming = Food
  • Fishing = Fish
  • Entertainment Business = Screenings/mingling w/Celebs/Access to Creatives.
I have friends and family in all of the above fields and have worked in three of them. My lawyer peeps have advantages when their family members do stupid things on the wrong side of the law. I've had situations where I was able to make certain law enforcement references that kept me from getting into legal trouble. My Mom's younger brother is a hospital administrator and she got excellent care, well outside the coverage of her insurance, when she had a health incident. I have another friend who's a hedge fund manager and he's rich as Fµ¢k. I'm in the entertainment biz and I've had the opportunity to hang with celebs, meet my writing and directing heroes, and been able to work as a creative artist.

Choose your poison/passion!

HTH,
__________________
Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

-Steve Trautmann
3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast
KitchonaSteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2019, 03:50 AM   #17
StoryWriter
Member
 
StoryWriter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,132
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

"Entry Level Jobs, Employment in Wall Street, NY | Indeed.com
https://www.indeed.com › q-Entry-Level-l-Wall-Street,-NY-jobs
Entry Level jobs in Wall Street, NY. $25,000 (4242) $30,000 (3480) $35,000 (2629) $50,000 (1528) $65,000 (843)"

This is one of the first things that pops up when you search "Entry level assistant -- Wall Street.

There's plenty of drones who manage to make it through four years of college. (There's also those who use their time wisely and network -- and Will clearly makes that point.)

Some people can tell stories and don't even have to go to college. Some people could go to college for a lifetime and still bore us with screenplays as dry as stale crackers.

Why would entertainment companies pay good money for stale-cracker stories and stale-cracker-story writers?
__________________
"I just couldn't live in a world without me."
StoryWriter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2019, 10:30 AM   #18
EdFury
Member
 
EdFury's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: California
Posts: 758
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdmccaskill View Post
Entry level Asst. on Wall Street straight out of U. Penn make 70 Grand a year, Entry level Asst. in Hollywood straight out of USC, make 30 Grand a year, you don't see a problem with this
Nope. I'm surprised it's 30 grand when there are hundreds who'd do it for free to get a foot in the door. Nobody owes anyone anything, especially college graduates. If you want to make more money, go to U. Penn and work for Wall Street. Getting into the industry you choose means living with the way they do things, understanding it, sacrificing to get what you desire, and working within that system smartly. That's what everyone else who has succeeded has done.
EdFury is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2019, 12:55 PM   #19
Vango
User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 128
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northbank View Post
You literally have no idea what you are talking about yet feel entitled to make absolute declarations of what people should and shouldn’t do. You could have said “interesting, I would have thought in the digital age etc. Would love to hear from those with experience” but no…

The digital age has simply made it easier to send queries, not to get read. Queries get deleted when they used to get thrown in the trash.

When was the last time a producer asked to read your work? Well, if you are the writer’s assistant on a show or assistant to an agent/producer/manager then you are 1000 times more likely to get read if you used the job to be more than a secretary. If you used the job to learn the business (given you have all the resources imaginable – information, scripts, and the network you build by talking to 20 other assistants every day). You will have given your script (which you improved by learning on the job – hearing good notes, bad notes, reading good and bad scripts, following and reading the evolution of a script from idea to episode or wide release or going into turnaround etc.) to your assistant friend at an agency/management co/production co/studio/network/streamer/wherever and they will read it because they have worked with you and the way they get promoted to agent/manager/exec is by showing a good eye for talent and bringing in a great script. At that point yes, you either have it or you don’t but the same script as a query probably doesn’t get read because that’s the nature of queries.
Interesting points. I will say though that nearly every query I've sent out to a producer has been read and the script has been requested. So they do get read. This year I was 6/10 on those, and had the producer email me after requesting a phone call. Maybe it's different for representation. With Will's help, I have a dusted off my query letter and will send to representation as soon as I find the time to do some research on people. All of this is very time consuming, very draining, and takes time away from my writing, my work, and my family, so having real life connections while working as an assistant helps. Researching those 10 specific people took me almost one month. I may be a snail, but I did not just send out random emails.

I will also say that I think the original poster has one key valid point -- connections without ability do not mean much. Working as an assistant to a director is fantastic, because directing is a hands on gig, a visual and communicative medium. But if you're running errands 50 hours per week, doing tedious stuff for a pro writer, you might be picking up connections, and a few skills along the way, but I agree with the OP, you might be wasting valuable time. However, maybe this job permits flexibility, and gives you the time to write.

Some people want to be involved in production or be a part of the studio system, and I think being an assistant can help there. Some people start wanting to be writers, and they realize they would rather discover talent, or do something a little more active. I know this is common in the publishing (book) world, where people with English majors who want to write end up becoming agents or working for publishing houses, after they realize "okay, I might not make any money as a writer for the next decade or two."

I started writing for money when I was 13, so about 17 years now, and I still feel like I haven't completely hit my stride yet. I can't offer the advice that you have and some others about the industry, but as far as writing, all I can say is focus on the work. The work will still be there when you're dead. Kafka and Fitzgerald died thinking they were failures. They poured their hearts into their work, and thankfully, we can treasure it all these years later.
Vango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2019, 01:07 PM   #20
Vango
User
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 128
Default Re: PSA To All Film Schools Students and Graduates

Quote:
Originally Posted by Done Deal Pro View Post
Okay....
I’m still slogging away on various fronts and possibly will until I die.
As long as you leave behind something you're proud of -- whether that's your work, your kids, your personal philosophy -- then you've done a great job, leaving the earth in a better place than it was before you came into it.

A lot of your rich experiences seem to be in directing. I hope that we can all see one of your directorial masterpieces one day.
Vango is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker