Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

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  • Friday
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    Have any of you applied to this fellowship? And without the optional letters of rec?

    Leave a comment:


  • wsaunders
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    Application is up

    Leave a comment:


  • killertv
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
    the idea that someone who is able to muster up two industry references, as a bare minimum, has "access" is (from what i've seen) probably vastly overstating that term.
    This, and Joe's last two posts, is the most real truth there is. I've worked for people who would write a letter of recommendation but might not be able to pass along a script that would make a difference. The town has gotten a lot more competitive. assistants are fighting for a freelance script on their shows, literally for the scraps.

    Originally posted by wsaunders View Post
    I have a question, I have a DP friend who has agreed to sign whatever I write, but he doesn't have a letterhead. He's done work on a NBC show though. I'm not exactly sure what to write, or what to put for letter head.
    I don't think you need letter head, but if he can put whatever his work address is (something on a studio lot preferably) and whatever his most recent, high profile project is (if it's the NBC show, great). I would suggest he (you) say something speaking to the professional level of your script in his opinion. I wouldn't get into character/story, but noting that it reads like something he would shoot. I'd then have him speak to your character, your temperament and vouch for you as someone that he'd recommend to his professional contacts.

    What they're looking for is someone with industry experience who says you're not crazy and will help you with a call if they had a chance. Sometimes it matters who they are, but mostly it's just to make sure they can put you in a room with someone and have the best possible chance that you could get the same result from them, too.

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  • Celtic1
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    First, congrats on your placement (Final Draft). As for the letterhead, if he's an independent contractor I'd use his name/position at the top (glorified stationery). Maybe under his signature an IMDB link. I think it's a gatekeeper tool but then again, i'm not sure what they even do with the letters. I would imagine they don't even look at them (except to see you have them and qualify, check that box) until it got down to the finals. Lot of paper to read in addition to scripts. Could be wrong...maybe someone who knows more on Universal will chime in. I never submitted to them. Good luck with this and Final Draft. Too bad a high placement doesn't count for a referral....that would save you some ink.

    Leave a comment:


  • wsaunders
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    I have a question, I have a DP friend who has agreed to sign whatever I write, but he doesn't have a letterhead. He's done work on a NBC show though. I'm not exactly sure what to write, or what to put for letter head.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    the idea that someone who is able to muster up two industry references, as a bare minimum, has "access" is (from what i've seen) probably vastly overstating that term.

    two of the members of my writing group have been showrunner assistants/script coordinators on several basic cable and network shows over the past five years. they have more than enough contacts (including names you would probably recognize if you are a genre TV fan) to write those recommendations if a program required it.

    they would also be the first to tell you that this "access" has not really meant much more than a periodically steady paycheck and some valuable experience in the trenches. they are both trying to make the jump to the next level (an actual staff position) just like everyone else. still trying to write the one thing that lands a manager/agent and meetings during staffing season. the truth is it's just really ****ing hard, wherever you are.

    and, for better or worse to people outside of LA, there are hundreds of others in the same boat every day and hundreds more arriving every year to jump in the pool. so, ultimately, Universal can afford to impose this qualifier because the odds that they're missing out on some undiscovered talent in Nebraska or Wisconsin or wherever is on balance less than the likelihood that they'll find someone just as equally talented out of LA, or New York, or Austin.

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  • Celtic1
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    I hear your argument and live in L.A. but...why say you're looking for people who don't have access? I forget which one i got recs for last year but they were clearly saying "this is not for new folks nor a training program...this is for people who are working in the industry..." To say you're giving people without access a shot but requiring "industry" refs is the same as saying "we are looking for writers with diverse voices and different perspectives. All applicants must be from the Beverly Hills area."

    I would imagine it's more of a "vetting" (popular word these days) to make sure you're not a nut job before you make it near the door. If someone vouches for you then at least there are two people who think you're capable.

    That said, I called my references last year, wrote their letters for them and then they printed on their letterhead and signed.

    Leave a comment:


  • JoeBanks
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    Originally posted by Celtic1 View Post
    "We are looking for talented screenwriters who have the potential to thrive, but don't have access to or visibility within the industry". now please provide us with your two recommendation letters from people within the industry.
    here's the thing, that people who live outside of LA (by circumstance or choice) don't like or might not want to hear: it can make a difference, at least in situations like this program.

    because for however many writers are trying to find that first break from somewhere outside of LA, believe me there are just as many trying to find it while living and working here. and for many of them, part of that includes working in low-level assistant jobs for writers, producers, agents, etc. who are inside the gates. but all that really gets them, at the end of the day, is access to those people. the work still has to be written at a certain professional level to even be in running for the fellowship programs.

    so, yeah, maybe that's unfair to people who aren't here and don't have that threshold access but honestly them's the breaks. for Universal, it likely just means "this person has a minimal level of industry validation" -- they know how things basically work and what is generally expected of a writer if we choose them to be one of the fellows. beyond that, it's probably the same mix of subjective evaluation of the script and the writer that goes into the selection process of a program like WB or Disney's fellowship.

    Leave a comment:


  • Celtic1
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    "We are looking for talented screenwriters who have the potential to thrive, but don't have access to or visibility within the industry". now please provide us with your two recommendation letters from people within the industry.
    ???

    Leave a comment:


  • wsaunders
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    No, in the faq it says you must have them or you will not be considered.

    Leave a comment:


  • 4iiii
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    Originally posted by Bunker View Post

    In addition to a script, it requires two essays and two letters of rec.


    http://deadline.com/2015/11/emerging...rd-1201625525/

    http://www.nbcunicareers.com/univers...ers-fellowship

    I assume if you don't have industry contacts to get a letter of recommendation you can enter?

    Leave a comment:


  • wsaunders
    replied
    Re: Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    Hmm, I don't think they required Letters of Rec last year. I really want to apply, but I don't know if I have any contacts in the industry

    Leave a comment:


  • Bunker
    started a topic Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    Universal Emerging Writers Fellowship

    Universal just announced the application period for their writing fellowship. They start accepting on November 30th, until they receive 500 applicants.

    In addition to a script, it requires two essays and two letters of rec.

    Some of the previous fellows did a panel at Story Expo. During the fellowship, they meet the execs at Universal, they pitch on Universal projects, and they get a salary.

    http://deadline.com/2015/11/emerging...rd-1201625525/

    http://www.nbcunicareers.com/univers...ers-fellowship
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