We sold it for the amount of money I will make in 25.6 years of being an assistant (and that doesn't even include the writer's producing deal). I guess the lesson there is to write write write so that I can start getting this writing career thing going. God, please let me not be rolling calls when I'm 30. (Speaking of = I saw a great play last night called ASSISTANCE at the Working Stage Theater, about being an assistant and the insanity that comes with it. Luckily my experience hasn't been as harrowing as the one portrayed onstage, but I certainly related to the internal struggle one goes through when her life becomes taking care of someone else's life.)
My boss did tell me that he couldn't have done it without me, that I was an integral part of the process and that I was really on the ball. That was nice. He also brought me back some candy from the candy store (turns out it's not a euphemism for coke!).
Meanwhile, upfronts laid out the slate of new shows for the fall. Variety's got a nice little schedule if you want to check it out. I'm interested to see 90210, LIFE ON MARS, KATH & KIM, THE OFFICE SPINOFF, SIT DOWN & SHUT UP and SURVIVING THE FILTHY RICH. Not a ton of exciting new shows, really.
From the comments - Dan says: ScreenPlayLab hosted an event in April where the head of the Disney Writing Fellowship program spoke. He announced that night that the deadline for applications is July 31, 2008 this year.
Thanks for the tip!
On a similar note, a few of you have asked whether fellowships and contests are worth entering. I think the answer is another equivocal Yes and No. The programs by ABC/Disney, CBS, NBC and Fox are all completely legitimate, and you can be sure that the execs are going to be picking people they want to be in business with. Thing is, they're all highly competitive diversity initiatives. You've seen my picture. I'm probably not getting in. The WB program is the only one not specifically for diversity - but it's also a one-night-a-week-thing that won't take the place of your day job. Still, I've met a writer (and heard of many others) who did the WB program and subsequently were staffed on WB shows. So it works.
As for Scriptpalooza, Script PIMP, Austin, etc. - I figure they're worth a shot if they seem legitimate. I think the goal there would be to use them to find representation. Up-and-coming managers and agents sometimes look at contest winners to find new clients. The contests are filters. They figure, if someone picked this script out of a thousand entries, they've just saved me from reading a pile of crappy scripts. Does a contest win guarantee you get repped? Definitely not. You may still have to write queries, and just drop the fact that you won. We got an unsolicited submission the other day from someone who won Austin, so it obviously didn't work for him (or it got him a really small-time agent and he's looking to upgrade). That's another thing to remember - getting an agent or manager doesn't necessarily mean you've reached ultimate success. It should definitely help - but agents and managers looking to take on brand new writers may not have the resources and contacts to get you staffed or get your material bought immediately.
Anyway, the contests are usually like $50. I figure it's worth a shot for the deadline and the possibility.
A lot of you have also asked for advice on what shows to spec. I'm still collecting intel, but so far I'm getting a different answer from everyone. For example, one TV lit agent assistant said that Grey's is totally out. Then a production company assistant said that her company only reads House and Grey's specs since they're staffing a medical show. For now, I'll say, write specs, write pilots, just WRITE. And don't worry so much about the show's current plot since your readers probably won't be caught up.