Friday, November 7, 2008

When to move to LA?

Rich writes: When is the best time to move out there to start pursuing a career in television writing? I figure I should be out there some time before pilot season to get settled and try to score an agent, but when would the be? What month are we talking about really?

It's true that television development runs in seasons. From what I'm told, staffing season (when writers are being hired to staff the new TV shows) happens between February and early June. Development season occurs from June through November - and down time is generally from November through January. Regardless, I don't know if it's really wise to base your move on that. If you are somehow well-connected (like, your uncle is a big agent at CAA or your friend from college is an EVP at a studio kind of well-connected) and you think you'll be able to get an agent quickly (ummm...I'm inclined to say something mean and snarky here) then sure, come right before staffing season. But it doesn't often work that way.

The work-your-way-up-from-the-inside approach that most of us are taking is all kind of on rolling admissions and it won't matter what time of year you choose. I would advise NOT moving here between now and January. Nobody's really hiring right now, and Hollywood will basically close up shop from Dec 18 - Jan 5. Agencies especially take long breaks, which almost makes up for the embarrassing salary. But after the new year, come whenever.

Also keep in mind that cable shows run on different schedules than networks, and there are more and more scripted cable shows popping up, as well as more cable networks breaking into scripted programming (Starz, AMC, A&E, etc.) - and they don't adhere to the traditional seasons.

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APM said...

A few weeks ago I too was debating when I should move, and I assumed that the holiday season would have to be the absolute worst time to move down there. I'm planning for Valentines Day Weekend, hopefully the economy will be looking upwards with Obama in office.

Monsterbeard said...

Don't bother moving until the Dow stays above 10,000 for at least a month. Everywhere is cutting back and there's a serious unemployment problem throughout California. Hooray for life experiences.

Emily Blake said...

monsterbeard is right. The main concern shouldn't be whether or not you can get a writing job right away - because you won't. It should be whether you can get ANY job right away.