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Old 12-10-2015, 05:08 PM   #1
HairyOtter
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Default How important are internships for aspiring writers?

Hello!

I'm a Senior studying Screenwriting and my last semester is coming up. I'm debating whether or not I want to take another internship.

Honestly, I'm not looking forward to another semester of long hours without pay and was thinking about how I could use the free time to work on my writing. However, I don't want to get shafted after I graduate for not having taken another internship. I've been at my current internship, a small but reputable production company of a well-known actor for ~7 months but still couldn't land a paying internship at a bigger studio. Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 12-10-2015, 06:11 PM   #2
JoeBanks
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Default Re: How important are internships for writers?

is the internship in LA?

from a craft perspective, there's little you'll probably learn on the internship that you couldn't learn elsewhere (although writing script coverage has benefits if you get to do that)

from a career perspective, it could range from "no help at all" to "invaluable" depending on where you intern and for whom.

but as a writer, the most important thing is to just always be writing
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:49 AM   #3
HairyOtter
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Default Re: How important are internships for writers?

Thanks for your input!

So right now I have two options. Both are smaller companies with decently big deals at major studios, so definitely some potential for growth. However, they also both have a rough commute, around an hour each way to the other side of town.

Option A is just once a week. This would allow me to have a full day off and give me plenty of time to work on writing. However,

Option B is twice a week, which would give me a lot less time to write but a better connection for getting a low-level job in one of the agencies (UTA, Gersh) after I finish.

Honestly, I'm leaning towards Option A right now. It would give me more time to write, which is what I want to do, while still allowing me to get some more experience and add it to my resume. Still, I am just looking for more opinions to make sure that this isn't just my laziness telling me this is a good idea!
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:01 PM   #4
slupo
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Default Re: How important are internships for writers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HairyOtter View Post
Thanks for your input!

So right now I have two options. Both are smaller companies with decently big deals at major studios, so definitely some potential for growth. However, they also both have a rough commute, around an hour each way to the other side of town.

Option A is just once a week. This would allow me to have a full day off and give me plenty of time to work on writing. However,

Option B is twice a week, which would give me a lot less time to write but a better connection for getting a low-level job in one of the agencies (UTA, Gersh) after I finish.

Honestly, I'm leaning towards Option A right now. It would give me more time to write, which is what I want to do, while still allowing me to get some more experience and add it to my resume. Still, I am just looking for more opinions to make sure that this isn't just my laziness telling me this is a good idea!
One day of work vs two days of work per week makes that much of an impact in your writing output? Yes you are being lazy.

Take the job that will better your career which sounds like Option B.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:04 PM   #5
ducky1288
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Default Re: How important are internships for writers?

I would take an internship while you can because now after that big lawsuit, companies will only do them if you're getting college credit.

But that's something you can put on your resume' in case you want to get an assistant job somewhere. It shows you have a basic understanding of how things work in town.
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Old 12-11-2015, 05:19 PM   #6
Alfred Parker
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Default Re: How important are internships for writers?

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Originally Posted by slupo View Post
One day of work vs two days of work per week makes that much of an impact in your writing output? Yes you are being lazy.

Take the job that will better your career which sounds like Option B.

I'm gonna go out on a limb since the OP identified as a current student - and surmise the other 3 days are filled with classes. But that's just me reading between the lines. So I get the 1 day gives 1 day off... 2 days fills the week part.
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:22 PM   #7
HairyOtter
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Default Re: How important are internships for writers?

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I'm gonna go out on a limb since the OP identified as a current student - and surmise the other 3 days are filled with classes. But that's just me reading between the lines. So I get the 1 day gives 1 day off... 2 days fills the week part.
This is correct. I have classes and work the other three days!
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Old 01-04-2016, 07:31 PM   #8
juunit
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Default Re: How important are internships for writers?

I'm guessing I'm probably too late on this, as you've likely already had to make your decision. But, working at new places and meeting new people is always a good idea. You've got no idea which person may be the one who in some roundabout fashion gets your work where it needs to go. The story of how I got my current job requires about five minutes to retell it in full.

It's also worth pointing out, as you've already discovered it seems, that one internship typically does not lead you to paid work. So you need more, and if you can do those while still in school with a roof over your head and a meal card, then that's a good idea.

Additionally, I wish I had known before I got out here, that practically every position wants you to have agency or management company experience. Especially if you want to get a job on a development desk at a studio for example, you need to be coming off a high-profile and relevant desk. So maybe look in that direction instead of focusing on studios and production companies. For what it's worth, I struggled to find paying full-time work until I worked at a management company. After that, things opened up.

I wouldn't worry too much about the disappearance of unpaid internships though. Some places require college credit. Dare I say, the majority still do not. I've seen a number that offer it "if you need it." And of course, there's the rare place that *gasp* actually pays their interns for their time.
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