How best to get your work out there?

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  • How best to get your work out there?

    Hi everyone,

    I used to write screenplays and read a lot of advice on writing screenplays and participated in online writing forums but that was years ago.

    Before I plunge back into it, I would love some advice since I’m rusty and would like the most up to date info.

    I have an idea for a TV series that I think is intriguing, original, and topical. I’m working on a detailed outline.

    What would be the best way to get this on screen? From what I recall, it’s almost impossible to interest prod cos.

    I don’t want an agent. Kris Rusch has written so many blogs on the dangers of agents. Here’s just one:

    https://kriswrites.com/2022/04/27/bu...ngs-attorneys/

    So I’m thinking the best way would be to write a pilot and enter it into contests. Nichol winners have said even being a quarter finalist has got producers interested in their work.

    So which would be the best, most prestigious contests for teleplays? Yes I googled but I want YOUR recommendations. No point wasting money on the lower tier contests that don’t get you read by prod cos.

    How else can I get prod cos interested? Many people have said sites like the Blacklist are a waste of money and/or an outright scam.

    Where can I download for free the software and template for teleplays so I can write it in that?

    Re contests, this one was advertised on Done Deal:

    http://amazingloglinecontest.blogspot.com/

    But the last winner declared was in 2016 and I see no way to enter it now. Are there any legit logline contests around, ones that will actually have the winners’ scripts read by prod cos?

    Is there any other way to get read? I apologize for asking so many question, but as I said, I’m just getting back into this. I will now start reading the threads in these forums again.

    Thanks so much for any help.
    Done Deal Pro
    Administrator
    Last edited by Done Deal Pro; 05-19-2022, 05:36 AM. Reason: Fixed font and a couple of other little things so a little easier to read.

  • #2
    The person you linked to who says “no agents” is a novelist. There’s no realistic path to selling a tv pilot without having representation.

    Honestly, selling a pilot as an amateur writer is almost impossible. TV pilots for new writers are samples used to get a rep who then uses them to help you get a job on a TV show. When you have some experience, you can get a shot at writing pilots.

    The other path into TV is to work on a show as an assistant, and hopefully impress the producers into giving you a script and eventually hiring you.

    If you're not in LA or willing to move to LA, TV probably isn't a realistic career.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
      Honestly, selling a pilot as an amateur writer is almost impossible.
      ...
      If you're not in LA or willing to move to LA, TV probably isn't a realistic career.
      Still, it is rewarding and satisfying to complete a script, any script, including TV pilot scripts.

      There's good reason for you to write scripts, crossword, because the practice can only make you better at it.

      Go ahead and enter contests, query production companies, and hawk your projects around town. What have you to lose? Only, be ready with a thick skin for the hailstorm of rejection you'll endure.

      That said, you never know: your idea(s) may be "The Next Big Thing." Go for it. Write on.
      “Nothing is what rocks dream about” ― Aristotle

      Comment


      • #4
        This once was a duplicate post of the above. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
        Clint Hill
        Member
        Last edited by Clint Hill; 05-23-2022, 07:42 AM.
        “Nothing is what rocks dream about” ― Aristotle

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JeffLowell View Post
          If you're not in LA or willing to move to LA, TV probably isn't a realistic career.

          I think you're right, but I thought I'd throw a devil's advocate argument into the mix. I was talking to a showrunner a few months ago, and she mentioned that after all the writers' rooms went virtual because of the pandemic, some showrunners got really comfortable working that way. According to her, some of them (though not many) were planning on keeping their rooms remote and that this could open up some TV opportunities for non-LA residents. I'm skeptical, but it made me wonder if anyone else has run into this line of thinking. I don't want to give anyone false hope, especially myself. I've already made peace with the notion that leaving LA meant I'd never work in TV again. Perhaps it's time to reconsider?

          Comment


          • #6
            It remains to be seen how Rooms will operate in the future. The pandemic did have the nice side effect of levelling the playing field for out of LA writers. I know someone in the room on a network show who is doing it from home in Jamaica and her showrunner likes the virtual room and intends to continue that way. Other showrunners want to control your every waking moment and want people back in rooms asap. It would be a shame if rooms going back to in person cut off opportunities for those who can't move. One issue with zoom rooms is that some showrunners have been more reluctant to hire first time staff writers as they feel they can't train them properly via zoom and can't supervise them, so they hire people who have staffed already or maybe promote an assistant who knows how things work. Also, it's a bloodbath out there with all those cancelled shows writers looking for jobs in addition to everyone else and there being very few this staffing season.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Northbank View Post
              Other showrunners want to control your every waking moment and want people back in rooms asap.
              Or, you know, some people want their staff to be involved in actual production of the show, which happens in person.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, absolutely, was really just on about the actual room itself not being on set which has its own COVID protocols and is often not in LA.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I get that some showrunners liked the remote rooms. I ran one during the pandemic, and there were elements I liked. Not getting covid, for example. Not commuting. Etc. Maybe during pre-production, some people will stick with it.

                  But once a show is in production, the showrunner has to be there. The job is a thousand meetings with different departments, supervising the shooting, and squeezing in writing. Every other person involved in the production will be there, so it would be pretty weird to have the writers not be.

                  I've run four series out of NYC. But most of the writers had LA based agents, were staffed through LA, and moved out to NY when the show went into production. I did promote some assistants that were NY based, but most of them had also worked as writers assistants in Los Angeles.

                  It sucks, but the reality is that unless you make your mark as a writer in some other field and the jobs come looking for you - like you're a big time playwright - Los Angeles is pretty much a requirement.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Northbank View Post
                    Yes, absolutely, was really just on about the actual room itself not being on set which has its own COVID protocols and is often not in LA.
                    In comedy, the writers work where the show is shot. In drama, not always... but even then, the writers will travel back and forth to the shoot to supervise.

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