Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Talkback: Advice for recent grads

Okay folks, yesterday I threw my two cents in on some of the things that students graduating this spring should know if they're coming into this industry. What are your tips?

Feel free to throw in things like the best parts of the LA area as far as rent, safety and accessibility; resume/job search tips; ways to save money, and so on.


  1. If you can live where you don't have to sit in traffic to and from work, or if you can avoid a ridiculous commute. Then you'll find you have much more time to write, and tend to be a lot less stressed.

  2. I graduated in December and moved out to L.A. April 1st, so I'm still the new kid on the block here. You've nailed it with your advice so far (interning for free, expect to make zero money, networking, etc) Here's what I can add:

    1) Keep a journal everyday when you get here. Even if it's as simple as writing down the differences between where you came from and L.A. It's worth it.

    2) Make writing a priority. Easier said than done, but it can take a backseat when you're making such a huge move. Just remember why you came here.

    3) Get out of your comfort zone. This shouldn't be too hard, because L.A. is so much different than most places. I came from Portland Oregon, the whitest city in the country, so it's been quite a culture shock here. I got a job w/ the census knocking door-to-door in downtown L.A. transitional housing apartments. It's been both frightening and entertaining, and a great way to make some cash too.

    4)You came here for a marathon--not a race. It's good to be hungry, but don't get too over anxious(like sending out your first script).

    5) Tap Ramen, Pasta, Peanut Butter Sandwiches. Or something to that effect-basically, don't blow all your cash on food, which is very easy to do here.

    That's about all I've got so far. I figured this was in my wheelhouse considering I've been here for such a short time. Good luck to all those considering the move. If you're considering it, just do it. Would you be happy doing anything else?

    Before I forget, my most important advice: 8) Under no circumstances should you ever drink the tap water in Los Angeles.

  3. Been out here since January. Have to say that you really need to either have cash saved up right now or have family supporting you because jobs are scarce and LA is expensive! But also seeing as jobs are scarce, I view it as an opportunity to take unusual chances and really hunker down and learn everything I can and write as much as I can. People in screenwriting are not going to want to compete with me this coming year, I can tell you that much.

  4. Accept all invitations you can reasonably manage and be gracious and social and don't act like a weirdo. Get business cards.

  5. My post is too long for the comments section but the link is below. My favorite is number 9:

    9) Do things that have nothing to do with film because people who only talk about film are boring. Read books, magazines, go do stuff that’s got seriously zero to do with film and then you’ll have something interesting to talk about. The reason Hollywood loves young blood is because they have experience outside of the Hollywood system and they haven’t quite yet been turned into normal LA people who can only talk about themselves and movies.