Saturday, September 19, 2009

Less "glamorous" industry jobs?

Woody writes: What is your take on the job market for the less "glamorous" jobs like production coordination or management, office manager, etc? I am a writer at heart, but have been working for a large corporation in a really well paying management position for the last 10 years. I have a few great scripts I have not shopped around yet and I am wondering if I should just continue to hold off and seek an office type job in the industry first. I wonder if those jobs require any less networking?

All jobs in Hollywood require some kind of networking, since most people hire workers who have been recommended to them, even for the most lowly of production assistant jobs. It's not 100% impossible to find a job via websites like or Craigslist or something, but be aware that it rarely happens this way - even for jobs that seem less "glamorous" to you. As for production coordinator - that is not an entry level position. All production coordinators start off as production assistants, I would think. And if you've never worked in Hollywood, then you pretty much need to start off at entry level positions.

Whether you want to give up your well-paying job and try to get a job in the industry is up to you. It's not a requirement for becoming a writer, but it will certainly teach you about the business (especially if you can find a job that involves interacting with writers). Also, if you have no way to get your script inside the walls of Hollywood, you're going to have to figure out some way, whether it's making contacts via a job or another way. I quit my industry job a month ago, but I felt comfortable that I would still be connected to Hollywood through all the people I've met. I still have people emailing me job opportunities, reading my scripts, etc.

If you do decide to look for an industry job, try to get as close to the people who do what you want to do as possible. (Another common piece of advice is to work for the most powerful person you can find.) Although it may sound "easier" to you to find work as an office manager of a commercial production company or something, I'm not sure that will help your writing career whatsoever. Before you make the jump into poorly paid Hollywood drone, make sure the experience is going to be worth it.

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1 comment:

Emily Blake said...

Also, I'd say if you have a truly GREAT script, shop it around for heaven's sake, whether you get an industry job or not. There is no rule that says you must have an industry job in order to sell a script.