Typing Faster

October 25, 2009

Do I have to live in _____?

Filed under: Breaking In — petertypingfaster @ 11:34 am

Do I have to live in LA (or Toronto) if I want to break in as a screenwriter?

Short answer? Yes. Yes you do.

This is a competitive business. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people competing for a very finite number of jobs. Trying to break in long distance puts you at a disadvantage.

It’s like trying to be a US Congressman without ever setting foot in Washington. It just ain’t gonna work.

Of course there are exceptions (especially in the feature world). Every now and then you’ll hear stories about some neophyte writer from Podunk, Iowa who sells their first script.

They’re the exception.

The majority of the jobs and sales go to writers on the ground. They go to the writers who can take meetings, who socialize, who can plug themselves into the local community. And you can’t do that from thousands of miles away.

But what about tax credit considerations you say? Don’t Canadian productions have to hire people from the regions within which they’re shooting?

Sure they can. It’s a nice little break for the budget. But a lot of the time they’re just as happy to fly someone in. And it makes sense. How many qualified writers are you going to find on the ground in St Johns, Newfoundland? So just do yourself a favor and move to the city.

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