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Old 04-06-2018, 11:31 AM   #11
cvolante
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Default Re: Any way for an amateur writer to do this not in LA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronaldinho View Post
It's certainly possible, but it's stupid.

There are a variety of companies which exist primarily to rent furnished apartments to people here medium-term for entertainment work.

The problem is, the way episodic TV is going (shorter seasons, more shows) you basically want to be able to shift as quickly as possible from one show to the next. It's no longer "well, okay, I'll work for 30 weeks and then take 20 weeks off, come back for next season."

A friend of mine was staffed on an Amazon show. Great! But they wrote the show 7+ months ago, recently wrapped, haven't aired, and nobody knows if/when season two will happen. So she's already on another job. It makes no sense to wait.
"Stupid" is kind of a strong word.
I see nothing wrong with traveling back and forth...

Isn't that why they invented airbnb?
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Old 04-06-2018, 12:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: Any way for an amateur writer to do this not in LA?

Yeah, I guess "stupid" is perhaps slightly stronger than I intended, but I think you're underestimating the challenges.

The thing is: sometimes getting a job in this business is about being able to take a meeting tomorrow. If a showrunner decides he can afford to add a story editor and the other three candidates can meet tomorrow or the day after and you can't meet until next week, there's a non-trivial chance that by next week he'll have already decided and moved on from the story-editor-hiring mind space. He's already made his decision because he's already seen three good candidates and isn't inclined to wait for you. He's got 1000 other things to do.

The people I know who are working regularly in television are basically shifting into full-on job-hunt mode the instant their writing room closes. They're prepared to take a meeting at the drop of a hat and they're prepared to start work on Monday. I

Also, staff writer and story editor jobs pay well on a weekly basis, but not particularly on an annual one unless you're working all the time. One of the challenges facing TV writers with short seasons is that you have to stretch those good weekly checks over more non-working weeks.

In TV, the decision-making happens fast. In features an OWA might hear pitches over the span of 2-3 weeks (or longer!), and then spend another 2-3 weeks (or longer!). TV shows often staff up (particularly the lower-level stuff) MUCH faster.
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Old 04-06-2018, 02:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Any way for an amateur writer to do this not in LA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronaldinho View Post
Yeah, I guess "stupid" is perhaps slightly stronger than I intended, but I think you're underestimating the challenges.

The thing is: sometimes getting a job in this business is about being able to take a meeting tomorrow. If a showrunner decides he can afford to add a story editor and the other three candidates can meet tomorrow or the day after and you can't meet until next week, there's a non-trivial chance that by next week he'll have already decided and moved on from the story-editor-hiring mind space. He's already made his decision because he's already seen three good candidates and isn't inclined to wait for you. He's got 1000 other things to do.

The people I know who are working regularly in television are basically shifting into full-on job-hunt mode the instant their writing room closes. They're prepared to take a meeting at the drop of a hat and they're prepared to start work on Monday. I

Also, staff writer and story editor jobs pay well on a weekly basis, but not particularly on an annual one unless you're working all the time. One of the challenges facing TV writers with short seasons is that you have to stretch those good weekly checks over more non-working weeks.

In TV, the decision-making happens fast. In features an OWA might hear pitches over the span of 2-3 weeks (or longer!), and then spend another 2-3 weeks (or longer!). TV shows often staff up (particularly the lower-level stuff) MUCH faster.
is it realistic to work a whole year, or most of it? In my situation for example, the pay isnt enough for a year. Definately not enough to move out there for. The weekly is fine though so if I could get say 40 weeks worth of those checks I'd be good. Is it likely that a new writer gets staffed that much?
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:43 PM   #14
JoeBanks
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Default Re: Any way for an amateur writer to do this not in LA?

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Originally Posted by jeanpaul View Post
is it realistic to work a whole year, or most of it? In my situation for example, the pay isnt enough for a year. Definately not enough to move out there for. The weekly is fine though so if I could get say 40 weeks worth of those checks I'd be good. Is it likely that a new writer gets staffed that much?
depends on the show. if the writer is under contract with a show that has wrapped its current season, the gap between that time and the time that the show gets picked up for another season (and, ideally, the writer's own option for another season) can be shorter or longer -- often several months longer.

under the new MBA, if the writer is in limbo too long, waiting for the option to be picked up but not able to take another job in the interim, the network/studio has to pay them:

"Limitation on Span of Work for Writer-Producers Employed on Short Season Series and Additional Compensation for Work in Excess of Span
Writers at the producer level on TV staffs who are paid on an episodic fee basis will have a cap of 2.4 weeks of work per episode. For example, ten episodic fees pay for up to 24 weeks of work. Weeks in excess of that cap are paid at the writer’s individual weekly rate, computed by dividing the episodic fee by 2.4. These limits will apply to contracts entered into on or after May 2, 2018 and will apply to series with episode orders of 12 or fewer episodes on broadcast networks, and 14 or fewer episodes on cable and digital platforms. Additionally, these rules will apply only to writers guaranteed less than $350,000 in a year, excluding script fees."

but again, this just all speaks to Ron's original point that all of these waiting games and opportunities are best dealt with by being in LA and available to make the best of situations as they come at you.

and if a writer can't live in LA on even a staff writer's entry-level salary (which is more than subsistence based on my own time out here), perhaps the TV writing game is not for them
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Old 04-06-2018, 07:42 PM   #15
cvolante
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Default Re: Any way for an amateur writer to do this not in LA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronaldinho View Post
... but I think you're underestimating the challenges.

Also, staff writer and story editor jobs pay well on a weekly basis, but not particularly on an annual one unless you're working all the time. One of the challenges facing TV writers with short seasons is that you have to stretch those good weekly checks over more non-working weeks.
.
Right. I think we have different life goals, but thanks for the insight.

Last edited by cvolante : 04-06-2018 at 08:23 PM. Reason: It sounded sarcastic. Didn’t mean it to...
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:47 AM   #16
cvolante
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Default Re: Any way for an amateur writer to do this not in LA?

BTW, there was a link going around on Twitter a few months ago detailing TV writing salaries so people could get an idea. It had everything from EPs to assistants.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:42 AM   #17
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Default Re: Any way for an amateur writer to do this not in LA?

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Originally Posted by cvolante View Post
BTW, there was a link going around on Twitter a few months ago detailing TV writing salaries so people could get an idea. It had everything from EPs to assistants.
I believe you are referring to this (these):
http://variety.com/2018/tv/news/tv-w...cs-1202674759/
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