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Old 04-25-2003, 10:38 PM   #1
elephant1978
 
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Default TV staffing season

Hey all. I need some info on the basic process of Television staffing season. All I know is it's supposed to run between May and June.

But, how does it work? Are there specific start and end dates? How quickly do shows staff--I mean, will most of the positions be filled in the first week of May? Is there any way to find out which shows are staffing?

I'd appreciate any info anybody has. Thanks.

Ele...
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Old 04-26-2003, 12:33 AM   #2
Steve
 
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High level staffing is going on now. The real frenzy begins when the networks announce their schedules. That's usually mid to late May.
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Old 04-26-2003, 03:27 AM   #3
Keymaker
 
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Default Sunject:

The most important thing to know is that you really, really need a connected agent or manager (preferably agent). There are so many out of work mid-level writers right now juking for the same jobs, it's really tough for an unrepresented/uncredited writer to get in the door. REALLY tough. Not to rain on any parades...

You asked about the process, I would say the first move is to get representation if you don't have it already. And if you do, your agent will answer all these questions for you and position you properly when the time is right.
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Old 04-26-2003, 02:11 PM   #4
elephant1978
 
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I realize that a connected agent is helpful, but that's a route that I won't be able to pursue in the next couple weeks. I was hoping somone could shed some light on the process--for those who won't be working through an agent.

I have a close friend who is very important in TV who I believe is willing to make some calls for me. However, he will be out of town until staffing season starts and I can't get any info from him. But I should get my spec read.

That's why I was wondering what I can expect. What is the process? And is there anything else I can do to prepare?
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Old 04-26-2003, 02:18 PM   #5
Steve
 
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it's really hard without an agent. If you have any personal contacts who can get you read by a showrunner, that's your only route in. Obviously you want to have a really good spec, preferably two. If you're not sure if the spec is ready, hold off on pursuing the contacts.
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Old 04-26-2003, 02:32 PM   #6
elephant1978
 
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Steve,

I know of at least one show that I can get to the showrunner. In fact, I met him myself. But I know my contact has connections everywhere. Anything's possible.

And I have complete confidence in the spec. It's top notch.

Do you think it would be easier for a new writer to get a staff job on a new series than an old one?
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Old 04-26-2003, 02:37 PM   #7
Steve
 
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one isn't easier than the other. It just depends on which shows have openings at staff writer level.
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Old 04-26-2003, 06:02 PM   #8
Keymaker
 
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Default ele

Elephant,

I admire your tenacity. Please do keep us posted how it goes.
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Old 04-27-2003, 05:41 PM   #9
JeffLowell
 
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Default staffing season

It's a numbers game - get it to as many people as soon as possible and keep getting it out. But other people are right -- start pursuing agents, and don't stop until you have one. I've had to staff shows -- the avalanche of scripts coming in right now is unbelievable. The odds of an unrepresented writer getting any kind of serious read right now are next to nothing, no matter how important your friend is...

Here's the attitude you're going to run into (fair or not): "How good could this script be if the guy can't even get an agent?" If the script is great enough to get you a job, it's more than great enough to get you an agent. That should be your equal, if not your greater, focus.

Jeff
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Old 04-27-2003, 05:57 PM   #10
elephant1978
 
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Default Re: staffing season

I appreciate everybody's input. All helpful.

I understand how useful an agent is in this process, but won't the trials of finding an agent take a while? Wouldn't staffing season most likely be over before I get an agent?

My plan is to have my contact get me as many reads as possible and if nothing happens from it--then pursue agents. I just figured that I don't have the opportunity to get an agent before the season ends. I actually suggested this to my conact and he is confident I don't need an agent yet. Some of you may be thinking this guy is nuts, but I assure you he's legit.

Jeff--

You said you have experience in staffing. Do I have to wait until the fall season is anounced to get my material out? Once I get the material out, how fast can I expect a response?
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