I have wanted to get started on the writing and/or production side of television for a long time, but I honestly have no idea where I would even begin. What types of positions or other opportunities would you recommend I seek out to get my foot in the door?
In the Production world I have seen many people catch a break just being in the right place at the right time. The key is to always be networking! Other options for you would be joinging a Page Program at a studio or registering with a temp agency that specifically works in the entertainment industry. These options won't guarantee you'll get into a Writer's Room, but they can help you gain more exposure to the business and give you an opportunity to meet more people who may know other people. I hope this helps!
Best of luck,
I’m excited that you want to enter TV writing and producing.
Regarding TV writing:
Please find below a list of TV writing fellowships at the major studios:
They’re highly competitive, but they offer you invaluable training.
However, in order to apply for them, you have submit your own TV scripts.
If you don’t have a TV script, you need to start from the beginning and learn how to write one.
I would highly recommend taking a University of California (UC) Extension screenwriting class as an introduction. An extension program allows you to take classes at night while you’re working during the day.
Regarding TV production:
In the film industry, many people start off as Production Assistants (P.A.’s).
It is a menial, humbling job, but it can give you invaluable experience.
Once they start to trust you, they will give you more advanced tasks.
Over time, you can move up the production ladder—Production Coordinator, Production Manager, Line Producer, etc.
The challenge is to keep advancing and not get stuck at the bottom level.
I would take classes or watch videos on film budgeting and scheduling, which are essential to producing. Entertainment Partners Movie Magic budgeting and scheduling apps are the industry standard.
I would try to network and find free training events/workshops through the Producer’s Guild of America:
I would also start producing your own films and TV shows, which is the best experience.
In other words, hire yourself.
A great book on producing is the “Indie Producer’s Handbook: Creative Producing from A to Z.” While it doesn’t focus on TV production, it offers great insight on indie film production, which will help you immensely.
The military offers rich life experience that will inspire your scripts, and your work as a Marine Corps captain gives you the experience that is necessary to be a great producer—creative thinking, strategic planning, team management, and more.
I wish you much luck with your bright career!
Theres a lot of resources for veterans in the arts. I work for a non-profit asapasap.org that runs workshops and courses for veterans to connect with the art community. Also look into some of the other organizations that network veterans with media and the arts.
Let me know if you have questions about the organizations or about future opportunities.
Thank you so much for the insight, Rebecca!
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