View Full Version : Writing For Television - What It Is, How It's Done, and How To Get Started - Part 2

Larry Rutledge
03-01-2009, 01:46 PM
Click here to read the full article (http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/18)

05-07-2011, 04:07 PM
I think this is an interesting article, but I think it should be companioned with Strazynski's Scriptwriting book. He goes into depth regarding breaking into TV writing and also details animation TV writing -- which can be a great way for beginning writers to break in as most of it still happens sans the agents.

05-12-2011, 08:20 AM
Good article. I think the advice about how to break into the business is spot on. Thanks for posting.

08-09-2011, 12:20 AM
This article is quite helpful for my recent project. Thanks very much for sharing.

08-09-2011, 06:45 AM
Great information, rarely do you see someone take the time to discuss the hidden land mines of the craft, A+ on that.

I would love to see a series of articles about why so many modern attempts at Television productions fail, I.E. Bad writing, the old garbage in garbage out moniker and such, however what I see as interesting is the latest pilot within a pilot type experiment-sodes, where the idea is "if we can get through one year its a success, then its canceled, that seems to me a short sighted method, considering all the cost to bring a production to the market, it would seem to be a much better approach to at least look like you want to achieve long term success. Great stuff,

08-15-2011, 01:32 AM
Writing for television -- a personal view from someone who worked as TV Scriptwriter for a decade.

I think I can say a thing or two about this subject of writing for TV as a scriptwriter after all I worked as a Scriptwriter for television for 10 years.

One rule I learned about getting gigs in writing for TV. Never ask them for a job (because they get CVs all the time). Wait until they invite you to work for them. And how do you do that? Offer them the chance to produce your great idea. Send them an idea for a show, for a series, for whatever. Even if you know they will never do that (because it can't possibly be made), give your best shot and make your proposal as complete and elaborate as possible. Present ideas for sets, scripts or at least 3 episodes, sinopsis for the rest (10 episodes, normally, if its a series), suggestions for actors, suggestions for catering foods, accommodation, whatever you can think of!

In doing that you are presenting yourself as someone with ideas and with energy that can create something from scratch. That is what they are looking for -- that's a scriptwriter. Of course from my experience what will happen is that they will hire you to write something... else. Something they want. "Your idea is very interesting but what we really want is someone to write something we are working on." I heard this EVERY TIME. Because they ALWAYS have something they are working on -- and in their opinion their idea it's much better than your idea. If you're alright with that and you need a job than you've made it! You got the gig. Open a Porto and celebrate.

It worked for me for 10 years -- and I was getting a reasonable paycheck -- so why did I quit? I quit after 10 years of writing all sort of stuff - comedy, documentaries, talkshows, late night programs... - because i just couldn't take it anymore having someone telling me that my ideas for comedy and whatever sucked -- when I thought that THEIR ideas sucked. After a while it gets to you -- and it got to me big time. I had a lot of colleagues that are absolutely alright with living like that and I really admire them. Of course some of them have houses to pay and kids to feed -- that goes a long way. (I don't by the way). And some of them had brilliant ideas! But (sadly) they wouldn't leave a steady job to try to get their ideas of the ground.

So these days I prefer to write and produce my own stuff, even if sometimes It means having to have that dreaded day job. (my day job is being a mechanic) For me writing is to dam close to my heart. Like an old bullet the doctors can't remove because it might kill me! I realized that I better don't let anyone touch my writing anymore.

I write because I'm a storyteller, and I want to give the world something new and amazing, that comes from me alone. And these days I'm ok not getting paid for that. Life is to short to not doing what you really want -- life is to short to follow someone else's bliss ;)

And if you think I'm bitter about not getting fat paychecks anymore because I couldn't stand the heat -- don't -- I'm a million times happier these days! And my writing is a million times better.

Well this post got a little long because this subject is so close to my heart. If you actually read all this than I thank you for reading -- and remember -- Keep writing!

Bernardo Vieira

12-13-2011, 06:54 AM
Thanks for the article this was a lot of help! I am working on a few scripts myself and I have been researching as much information as possible and it seems to be a lot less scary than I originally thought.

12-13-2011, 06:59 AM
That's some great stuff man, I really hope you make it big writing something that you love, screw what others think but I hope others like your work as much as you do. Its clear you are passionate about what you do and I think your awesome for writing this. I don't have any super awesome insight in this area, I'm just starting out but the more I read these threads the more pumped I get haha.