When you first get started screenwriting, you’re likely going to need another job to make ends meet. It’s ideal if you can find a job that’s either within the industry or utilizes your skills as a storyteller. Here are some unique and beneficial jobs for the screenwriter who’s still developing their career.
- Screenwriting Job Idea 1: Teacher
I’m a screenwriter, but I’m not currently based in LA, so finding jobs within the industry is a challenge for me. I work as a freelance teacher, teaching video production to kids in my area. I’ve done this by working with schools and a local theatre company. Teaching is a lot of fun, and I find it incredibly inspiring to work with young creators! If you’re like me and live outside of Hollywood (or even if you live in Hollywood), teaching can be a great way to earn money. It keeps your skills sharp, and I find that it’s beneficial to one’s work to expose yourself to other’s creativity regularly.
- Screenwriting Job Idea 2: Writer
I do this one too! Writing blogs for SoCreate has been a fantastic experience. I find blogging on screenwriting is a lot like teaching, in that it reinforces things I know. It also requires me to research and learn new things, which has helped to improve my writing.
Writing for SoCreate is a pretty unique opportunity since it allows me to write about screenwriting specifically. Still, any writing job can help you to grow and will enable you to use your writing skills. Whether it’s blogs, articles, or essays, writing can be a great option while you’re starting your screenwriter career.
- Screenwriting Job Idea 3: Script Reader
I know a few writers who have done work as readers for competitions or screenwriting websites that offer feedback. One of the best ways to improve your screenwriting is to read screenplays, so this is an excellent job for the burgeoning screenwriter. Exposing yourself to other scripts and understanding what competitions and industry people are looking for is bound to be incredibly helpful in bettering your understanding of your work.
- Screenwriting Job Idea 4: PA on a television show
I wanted to touch on television specifically since it often gets forgotten about when people are giving screenwriting advice. If you’re interested in TV, it can be an excellent opportunity to take a job as a production assistant (PA) on a show. A PA position is a fantastic opportunity to get your foot in the door and would hopefully allow you to move up the ladder, eventually becoming a writer’s assistant. The idea is to work your way up to get in the writer’s room.
- Screenwriting Job Idea 5: Agent’s Assistant
Like being a script reader, you’ll spend a lot of time reading, but being an agent’s assistant puts you in an invaluable position to build a relationship with the agent. You’ll gain a greater understanding of the business side of the industry and learn how to translate your thoughts and ideas into language agents and producers can understand.
- Screenwriting Job Idea 6: Any studio job
If you’re local to Los Angeles or another filmmaking hub, getting any job in a studio can be a valuable experience. From security to the mail room, any studio position can offer you valuable access and networking opportunities. An ideal position would be as an assistant to someone. This job will allow you to be more involved in the daily goings-on and will enable you to meet visiting talent and executives.
These are just some of the jobs writers might have as they start their careers. Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. You should keep in mind that there are many ways to break into the industry, and a job you take might help you do that, but it might not, and perhaps you’ll find yourself breaking in some other way! Continue writing and make yourself aware of networking opportunities during your day job, so that when they come, you can take advantage! Good luck and happy writing!