So You Have an Idea…

Joe writes in:

I’m just a 32 year old boy. And like every 32 year old boy, I have an idea for a TV series. I don’t have any connections, but I do have a show bible and pilot script. Is there any way a regular old boy without any connections can get anyone to look at his work?

I’d really just love to sell the premise, and I’m willing to intimately jostle anyone or anything to make it happen, but heck, this country boy doesn’t even know what his lubed hands should be reaching for!

Yeah, no, that’s not a thing. Listen to every episode of Scriptnotes, and you’ll learn what to do. Reader’s Digest version– move to Los Angeles, get a job in the Industry, meet people, sell your script.

It’s great that you’ve written a script; not everyone can even accomplish that much. But if it’s your first script, it’s probably not very good.

But more importantly, no one will read it, anyway, because no one knows who you are. There are plenty of great writers right here in Hollywood, and reading a script takes time. Why would they read yours when they already have fifty scripts sitting on their desk from experienced writers with successful track records of writing and creating shows?

The only way to get someone to read your script is if they know you, either personally or by reputation. You have no reputation right now. The only other option is to get to know them personally. The only way to get to know them personally is by moving here and making friends.

As a side note: you can’t sell the premise, because there’s nothing there to sell. When you sell a script, you’re selling your copyright to a fixed work. You can’t sell an idea because you can’t own in the first place.

When you hear about a big time writer “selling a pitch,” what they’re actually doing is convincing the studio to pay them before they’ve even written the script. Yes, part of that sale is the quality of the idea, but a good portion of it is, again, knowing the writer and knowing that she’s capable of delivering a good script based on that idea.

Creating a TV series is even harder, because in television, the writer is expected to produce, as well. It’s a big job, and if you’ve never set foot on a set before, how are you going to know how to run an entire series?

About The Anonymous Production Assistant

Yeah, right, like I'm going to tell you.
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6 Responses to So You Have an Idea…

  1. Steve says:

    I’m not sure where to ask this, so I’ll just ask it here. I’ve never worked in film production before and the area that I live in doesn’t have any actual production studios, but Medient Studios will be building one here in late August. The campus will be the largest one in the U.S., oddly enough. I’d like to apply for a position as a production assistant, once they start accepting applications, but I’m 47 years old and think that might be too old to start out in such a position. Also, I haven’t actually had much work experience and have been unemployed most of my life. Apparently, I just don’t do very well in interviews, in spite of trying.

    Anyway, I was just wondering if 47 is too old to be considered for a PA position and, if so, if there’s a more appropriate starting position for my age. I don’t have any formal training in any field relating to film production, but I’ve been making various videos and web shows in which I’ve been teaching myself how to act for over ten years, if that counts for anything.

    • The Anonymous Production Assistant says:

      I’m sorry, the time for entry-level jobs has passed you by. If you had other relevant experience, there might be a way for you to move into film, but without it, you chances are very, very slim.

  2. Natalie says:

    Like the top comment, I have been looking for months, how exactly doI get a PA job on a TV show? I also write and, of course, know that it is a tough field but I am passionate about the stories. I have one internship experience (this past summer at WB lot) as a PA for a late night show, as well as a few writing awards for short scripts and production class projects. I have tried calling in production offices for TV shows that film on WB lot but only two of them were the right numbers. Both of the receptionists for these two TV show production offices had told me that they would contact me. Just been feeling frustrated since I know I am meant to work in this industry; but nowadays who does not.

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