Breaking into TV Writing: How to Get Your First Job, Build Your Network, and Claw Your Way Into the Writers' Room

Breaking into TV Writing: How to Get Your First Job, Build Your Network, and Claw Your Way Into the Writers' Room

by Anton Schettini
Breaking into TV Writing: How to Get Your First Job, Build Your Network, and Claw Your Way Into the Writers' Room

Breaking into TV Writing: How to Get Your First Job, Build Your Network, and Claw Your Way Into the Writers' Room

by Anton Schettini

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Overview

The old screenwriting motto is, “Work on your script, and the jobs will come.” This is false.

A great script is only as good as the effort you put into your career, but there is little information for the aspiring screenwriter about how to break in. Even those who study TV or film in college are taught to simply “get a production assistant job.” But then what? And how do you get that job to begin with?

Breaking into TV Writing contains all the crucial information left out of most screenwriting books, like:

  • How to get your first job in TV
  • What TV writing samples you need
  • How to break into the elusive TV writers’ room
  • How a writers’ room creates an episode of TV
  • Which assistant jobs are worth your time (and which you should avoid at all costs)
Anton Schettini provides a rare insider’s glimpse of the modern-day network and streaming TV writers’ room. Here, you will find practical advice, career-path strategies, and first-hand accounts for how to establish your network, grow within it, and acquire the necessary tools to become a TV writer.

The industry would love to tell you to put your head down, work hard, write a lot, and pay your dues; Schettini will show you why that hackneyed mantra is misleading, and how you can put yourself in the best position to break through the barriers and see your work on the TV screen.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684429875
Publisher: TURNER PUB CO
Publication date: 09/03/2024
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 608,520
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Anton Schettini is a screenwriter, producer, and author. He has worked in 14 different TV writers’ rooms, which has included writing scripts for primetime TV comedies on CBS and writing/producing a series on AMC Networks. A native New Yorker, Anton betrayed his East Coast roots and moved to Los Angeles to pursue TV writing, slowly and steadily rising up in the industry. This provided him with a deep knowledge of the various paths, obstacles, drudgery, and opportunity that together make up a TV writing career. He hopes to share this knowledge with the next wave of TV writers.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD by Lawrence Konner

PART I: FLIP THE DOLPHIN

Chapter 1: WHY SHOULD WE LISTEN TO YOU?

Chapter 2: FIRST STEP—MOVE TO LA

Chapter 3: MY STORY

PART II: THE WRITERS’ ROOM

Chapter 4: THE WRITERS

Chapter 5: THE LIFE OF AN EPISODE

Chapter 6: PILOTS

Chapter 7: STREAMING AND MINI-ROOMS

Chapter 8: HOW TO BEHAVE IN A WRITERS’ ROOM

PART III: ASSISTANTING

Chapter 9: GETTING YOUR FIRST JOB

Chapter 10: JOB POSTING RED FLAGS

Chapter 11: MEET PEOPLE AND BOTHER THEM

Chapter 12: ASSISTANT JOBS

Chapter 13: THE FINANCIAL REALITIES OF BEING AN ASSISTANT

Chapter 14: NEGOTIATING YOUR ASSISTANT SALARY

Chapter 15: THE ASSISTANT ATTITUDE AND WHEN TO QUIT

Chapter 16: IF YOU CAN, SKIP IT: A FINAL WORD ON ASSISTANTING

PART IV: BREAKING IN: THE OTHER ROUTES

Chapter 17: SCREENWRITING COMPETITIONS

Chapter 18: WORKSHOPS, FELLOWSHIPS, AND LABS

Chapter 19: STAND-UP, IMPROV, AND SKETCH COMEDY

Chapter 20: BE CREATIVE, MAKE THINGS, AND USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT

Chapter 21: SOCIAL MEDIA & GETTING YOUR STUFF OUT THERE

PART V: THE SCRIPT

Chapter 22: FIRST OF ALL, JUST WRITE

Chapter 23: YOUR SCRIPT

Chapter 24: ECONOMICS OF A TV SCRIPT

PART VI: THE UNIONS

Chapter 25: IATSE LOCAL 871

Chapter 26: WGA

PART VII: A FREELANCE ECONOMY & THE FUTURE OF TV WRITING

Chapter 27: THE 2023 WGA WRITERS’ STRIKE

Chapter 28: CARVING OUT YOUR UNIQUE PATH

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

GLOSSARY

RESOURCES

INDEX

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