Thursday, March 10, 2011

Job Watch - Week #1 - Are there any writers' assistant or development gigs out there?

Another interactive post this week, dear reader, but first a preamble.

From time to time, I get emails from readers wanting to know how they can get my job, and for a while, my answer has been the same - "You don't want it." Allow me to explain. I'm currently working freelance for two (well, technically three, but the third one rarely has need of me) companies. Freelance means that I'm not on salary. I get paid per script. For several years, this was a fairly agreeable arrangement, as the work flow was heavy and constant.

A while back, that flow started to recede. It was a combination of having perhaps a few too many freelance readers dividing up the work and also a desire to cut costs. Think of it this way: in a recession, everyone is looking to save money. So when you're looking at a pile of 30 or so scripts that need to be read over the weekend, are you going to pay just under $2000 to have your outside readers cover them, or will you just make the company's assistants - who are already on salary - divvy them up and handle the reading themselves?

So to make a long story less long, I'm looking to move on from my current gigs. There's no acrimony between me and the people there, so don't think that me publicly posting my active job-seeking is in any way me pulling a "Katherine Heigl." I've enjoyed working for these companies and I'm sure that whenever it comes time for us to part ways, it will be amicable.

Right now, we're in the midst of pilot season. Shows are being cast and shot, and it won't be too long before some series learn of early pick-ups and will be staffing for next season. This is a call aimed largely at those people who already have jobs on those shows. I'm aggressively looking for a job as a writer's assistant - or even a writers' PA if that's what it takes to get my foot in the door on a show.

Most of the time, you won't find many of those jobs posted on the UTA list and other accessible job boards because the call often goes out internally to fill those positions. People hear about openings and let their friends know. Agency assistants are told about job postings and tip off their friends. I know I have a lot of people on that level who read this blog. So if you're a fan of my writing and think I'm the sort of personality who'd fit well on your support staff, please contact me.

Like the side of the blog says, I've read for agencies and production companies. I've worked in development and have a fair amount of experience in the industry. Honestly, I'm keeping my eyes open for development openings too, as I'm aware my resume is pretty tailored to that position.

So if you've got any openings, please drop me a line at We'll chat and I'll give you my resume, no obligation. I've got plenty of good references too if you're not willing to take my word for it.

I'm not badgering for a job so much as I'm putting myself out there for the interview. TV and Development folk, you've got nothing to lose by meeting me, save for the few minutes it takes to completely size up someone's worth in a job interview. I've probably spent more time composing this post than you'll have to spend interviewing me.

And don't think that' it's lowering yourself to interview a blogger. I bathe, comb my hair, and am professional enough that I'd dare you to look in your reception area and identify which waiting interviewee is the embittered screenwriting blogger. I might not look like Harrison Ford, but I definitely don't look like Harry Knowles either. (Curious about what I do look like? Only one way to find out... call me in for an interview.)

Not only do I know when to talk, I also know when to shut up. Like now. I've made my case - hopefully I'll hear from some of you.


  1. Sadly, the reader is basically an extinct position in Hollywood already. Look at the UTA list from week to week: the only postings with the word "read" in them are for internships. No one's going to make a movie from an original script anyhow, so why bother paying someone to read them?

  2. I'm in the same boat, looking for writers assistant/PA jobs having held a bunch of random jobs around the industry.

    As you're my direct competition but someone whose site I enjoy reading I came up with this statement of encouragement/discouragement: Good Luck?!

  3. Ah, staffing season, let the job feeding frenzy begin (or not begin). If nothing pans out from this post, you might try (the dreaded) cold calling. I actually have a friend who got a job that way (they targeted newly opening production offices and were lucky to reach one where the coordinator was the only one there). That was just for a regular PA job, but it got them hired on a new show. As someone who has worked in production offices and always had to reject those calls, I usually don’t try it, but maybe it’s worth a shot…and if you call every new listing on Production Weekly and get rejected, no harm done. Good luck!

  4. Oh man, I'm right there with you, bitter. :(

  5. Hey Baby Writer Z, any way to find out where there are new production offices? Same boat here!