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Old 03-27-2015, 08:23 PM   #1
mogo
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Default Producers, would you hire a writer who doesn't live in LA?

Say you find a great writer. You really like a spec he wrote and have something else in mind that he would be great for. But he lives in Montana, or Nevada, Georgia. Or wherever.

I ask because this is just about the only industry I know of that hasn't embraced Skype :P (or so I'm told) I'm sure there are good reasons. But as a freelance copywriter, I can get work from everywhere. It doesn't matter where I am from or where I live or who I know. What matters is the copy I produce.

So it seems odd to me. Of course, my impression could be totally off or I'm being fed bad info. Then again, maybe not.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Producers, would you hire a writer who doesn't live in LA?

For whatever it's worth since I'm not some established producer, but sure. I work with guys all over the U.S. and also one in England currently. They all have feature scripts I like or have liked; and I like their writing. Been doing lots of notes for some of them over the years. (Just finished reading the latest draft of a supernatural horror script from the guy in England.) I'd hire them to work on anything I ever had the money to bring them on for. Not a problem with that in the world.

Now, if it was for a TV show, then that would be different. But for feature scripts, I don't care ultimately. It's about their writing skills. We can talk on the phone. Chat via Skype. Or just e-mail all day long about things. Mostly the latter.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:14 PM   #3
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Default Re: Producers, would you hire a writer who doesn't live in LA?

I agree, Will. It works for me and my producer. Worked for William Goldman too.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:47 PM   #4
DangoForth
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Default Re: Producers, would you hire a writer who doesn't live in LA?

I'm a writer who's definitely not in LA, and who's been hired by producers. I'm making a living. Not millions, but not bad. It happens.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:07 PM   #5
mogo
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Default Re: Producers, would you hire a writer who doesn't live in LA?

Very interesting, thanks!
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Producers, would you hire a writer who doesn't live in LA?

This question seems to be popping up more and more. Seems like people keep asking until they get the answer they want.

What I've picked up is this:

Can you sell a script and not live in Los Angeles? Sure.

Can you be a working writer and not live in Los Angeles? Sure.

Can you start a screenwriting career from outside of Los Angeles? Uh...

People in this town love meetings. They're willing to Skype and Video Conference, but that's after a certain level. People who are unknown quantities, they want to meet face-to-face. This is an industry of relationships. Who do you think a creative executive is going to be more likely to hire: someone who has come into their office and met a few times or a person they've only met through teleconferencing?

But at the same time, if you have an incredible piece of writing, that can trump everything.

So you can live in Los Angeles or you can write something better than anything anyone in Los Angeles has written. Your choice.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Producers, would you hire a writer who doesn't live in LA?

Maybe… Location alone is not a factor - writers come from all over the world these days let alone US. That said...

Does the writer have credits? Has the writer ever worked on assignment? If both are a no, then I personally think it is too risky since my reputation is riding on the success of the assignment as much as theirs.

Exception - if the writer wrote the original script and it is good enough to do something with then of course, I'd get them at least one guaranteed step to go with the option - it's the right thing to do and most financiers would agree with that.
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Old 03-30-2015, 04:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: Producers, would you hire a writer who doesn't live in LA?

I've been querying managers in LA as I'm visiting in May and am currently unrepped. I have a sole feature credit in a horror/thriller being released this year and it was an assignment off the back of an option on an action/thriller spec.

So far, no bites.

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Old 04-01-2015, 04:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Producers, would you hire a writer who doesn't live in LA?

Thanks for the insights!
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