Thursday, May 27, 2010

Everything you write is a choice

Sorry for the lack of posts! I have been crazy busy with writing, and my zillion odd jobs. I was actually working for the 2010 Census until last Saturday, and my stress nightmares have more or less subsided since I quit...yay! Send in your forms, people! Or at least be home when the poor aspiring writers knock on your door. It was actually pretty training went on, I slowly found out that every Census worker in my district was a struggling Hollywood artist of some kind.

I have been spending a lot of time writing for some new websites. Check 'em out:
Vivastic (health & wellness)
PostScholastica (education & career)
AdventureWorthy (travel)
PhysiqueSpeak (fitness)

I've also been working on rewriting the romcom I started back in Dec '08 (feature writers, prepare yourselves for the long haul!) and reworking one of my hourlong pilots as a half-hour. Additionally, I'm about 50 pages into my new comedy feature. I have this sinking feeling that people are going to read it and say "...Eh," but I'm trying to do that "shitty first drafts" thing and just get some words onto paper so I have something to work with. I do think that with each script you write, you master - or at least improve at - something different. Last time, I think I really got my head around emotional tracking and character arcs. This time I'm hoping to include some more subtlety and nuance. Crap, I shouldn't have come right out and said that.

Now that season finale season is here, I guess I'll be spending less time working through the to-do list that is my DVR. Are any of you watching VAMPIRE DIARIES? The finale was incredible. As soon as the crazy twist came out, I thought to myself, I MUST OWN THIS ON DVD. I think that's a sign of a good show, no?

So, as for the title of this post...I was talking with someone about the new pilots (which I desperately need to catch up on). He works at a studio, where all the assistants are asked to watch screenings of the pilots and rate them. A few of the women felt that one pilot was sexist because a male character swooped in at the end and saved the women (and the day). My studio friend dismissed this, saying that it was not was "just the kind of character he is."

Now, I haven't seen whatever pilot he was talking about, so I certainly can't say if it was sexist or not...but that reasoning is a total cop-out to me. Even if saving the day was part of the character's makeup, someone CHOSE to make the character that way. All people can be weak. They can fail. They can cry. I think that showing many sides to a character is real and human and compelling. But choosing to show women being saved by men is exactly that, a choice, and we should own up to it. It's unrealistic (and unsatisfying) to write women beating up bad guys all the time, which is one of the reasons I think Tami Taylor on FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is one of the best examples of a strong female character on TV. Strength can come from all kinds of things. Is sexism in the eye of the offended? I don't know...but failing to see that sexism can exist in the choices we make is disturbing to me. I think we all have to challenge ourselves to expand our view of people and characters, and realize that sexism, racism and all other kinds of -isms can seep into our writing.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

HWAS ABC Fellowship Info Event Monday, May 17

The Hollywood Writer's Office Assistants Blog is hosting an ABC Fellowship Info Event on Monday, May 17 at Hollywood Billiards. You'll get to ask questions and hear advice and tips from ABC's Frank Gonzalez and Ollie Ashtari-Larki about getting into the program.

I attended the event last year and found it to be very informative!

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

A quick update...

Sorry I haven't been posting much lately. Most of the questions I've received have been repeats, and I have been pointing a lot of people to the following old posts:

How to Get a Writer's Assistant Job

How to Find a Writer's Assistant Job (Update)

Spec scripts

The Next Step After Finishing a Pilot

What to do with your specs

If you have a question that hasn't been covered (the Job Search, Internships and Career Advice categories may also be helpful), please do feel free to email me at .

I AM still doing my script notes service for anyone who needs feedback. Rates are all still the same.

Also, just a heads up that the Warner Brother's Writers Workshop is accepting submissions from now until June 1, 2010. All the info is at their website. Good luck!

The Hollywood Writers Office Assistants are having a mixer TONIGHT, May 6th.

And you might be interested in this free ScreenplayLab ABC Fellowship event on May 23:

It's ScreenPlayLab's biggest stand-alone event of the year, our annual diversity outreach extravaganza with Disney executives, writers and the ABC Disney Fellowship. This event draws 300 guests year after year and is FREE. Get the inside story on how to get employed and what's happening at Disney, including shows that haven't premiered yet. Huge Q&A session with Disney execs and writers. The ABC Disney Fellowship is a FREE screenwriting competition where the winners get $50k/year staff writer jobs at Disney. Sunday, May 23rd, 2009, 11am to 1pm+ at the Majestic Crest Theatre, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles. FREE TICKETS go fast. Get them here:

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Cable Cares About Diversity: Millennials Program


The Walter Kaitz Foundation, cable's diversity advocate, has partnered with The Cable Show to present "Cable Cares about Diversity: Millennials Program," a program that seeks to help college students identify cable industry career opportunities and meet with executives in the cable industry.

Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Time: 10am - 5pm (Program), 8pm - Midnight (Universal Studios Hollywood)
Location: LA Convention Center-West Hall, Petree Hall, Section C, 1201 South Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90015
Cost: FREE (If registered; Sponsored by the Walter Kaitz Foundation,

10:00a - 10:45a Registration/Welcome
10:45a - 11:15a Keynote Address by Scott Mills, President & COO, BET Networks
11:15a - 12:30p Panel about getting internships / jobs at cable TV networks (HR Execs from ABC, TBS, CBS, OWN, eg.)
12:30p - 1:30p Networking Lunch (Exec from A&E, HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, ABC, TBS, CBS, eg)
1:45p - 3:00p Panel on gaining entry to the industry (New Hires from ABC, NBC, ABC Family Channel, eg)
3:00p - 5:00p Guided Tour of The Cable Show Exhibit Floor
8:00p - 12:00a Universal Studios Hollywood

The purpose of this one day program is to educate and encourages its participants to pursue careers in the cable television industry and expose them to great networking opportunities. It also offers a great opportunity for accounting, communications, engineering, journalism, marketing and other majors to see that there are plenty of opportunities at the various cable television networks like BET, OWN, TBS, HGTV, MTV, A&E, Food Network, Travel Channel, ABC Family, Bravo, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.

College students representing multi-ethnic backgrounds can participate in this FREE program, by:

1. completing the 5 minute registration at (NOTE: There is no Promo or Priority Code to enter, just continue through the registration), AND

2. sending their resume to

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