Are you a screenwriter who’s thinking about making a move to Los Angeles, but isn’t quite sure how to get a job once you get there? Maybe you’re already based in LA and find yourself working a different job but are trying to figure out how to find screenwriting work. Well, this is the blog post for you! Today I’m talking about how to get screenwriting jobs in Los Angeles.
First things first, it’s not going to be easy
Breaking into the industry as a writer is tough, and everyone’s experience is different. Some people will be able to get a screenwriting job thanks to who they meet, some will be able to find work thanks to screenwriting competitions or fellowships, and some will be able to move into screenwriting thanks to their day job in the industry. One big thing these all have in common is …
You can’t break into the industry without putting yourself out there in some way. Putting yourself out there can include getting recognition for your screenplay via screenplay competitions or just by meeting new people. It can come down to who you meet and what relationships you create with people in the industry. So, don’t be shy, get out there, and start networking! In Los Angeles, there are plenty of networking groups that meet regularly, explicitly geared to writers. Consider a few of these writers’ groups:
Get a job doing something else in the industry
You likely won’t get a screenwriting job as soon as you move to LA, and that’s okay! Getting any sort of job within the industry can be incredibly helpful on your path to becoming a working screenwriter. Working alongside entertainment professionals, no matter what area they operate in can give you greater insight into how the industry works, as well as allowing you to make essential connections that can help out your screenwriting career. Here are a few examples of excellent industry day jobs for writers, and be sure to check out this blog on other writing jobs for screenwriters:
- PA on a television show
If you’re looking to work in television, being a production assistant on a show is a great way to get your foot in the door. A PA position will allow you to see how TV shows actually get made, as well as how the writer’s room operates. Ideally, a PA position will allow you to move up the ladder and eventually become a Writer’s Assistant, a position that will get you a spot in the writer’s room!
- Agent’s Assistant
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. You’ll also likely find yourself doing a lot of script reading, which is the best way to learn more about screenwriting!
- Any studio job
Any studio job can be a valuable experience. From security to mailroom clerk, any studio position can offer you useful access and networking opportunities. Being an assistant to an industry professional can be a particularly important job, as you’ll learn a lot about how the industry works, and likely have opportunities to meet and network with a lot of people.
No matter what, keep writing!
Many writers have day jobs, and we all know it’s easy to get swept up in day to day life. In your free time, try to stay focused on honing your craft and continue to write. Make writing goals for yourself and keep working on new scripts! You never know where opportunities are going to come from, so don’t count yourself out by not continuing to enter your work in major competitions and fellowship programs.
Persistence is key
I already told you that breaking into the industry as a writer is tough. If you want your dream to come true, you’re going to need to hang in there and be incredibly persistent. Becoming a working screenwriter is a unique challenge; everyone comes to it differently, and only you can determine how you’ll get there. You will face ups and downs, as well as many rejections. I don’t mean to scare you off, but I want to emphasize just how determined you’ll have to be to persevere.
I hope this blog sheds some light on what it takes to find screenwriting work in LA. Remember to stay determined and persistent! Anything is possible if you’re willing to work for it.