Wednesday, January 7, 2009

College stuff

Kelsey writes: Do you know anything about how seriously people in the industry take experience writing for a college TV station?

Not very seriously. College doesn't really count. Certainly, put that stuff on your resume - any experience is better than nothing - but Hollywood is a whole different world. Some assistants have degrees in film or TV - but many have degrees in finance or art history, and the same with the variety of extracurriculars. In terms of writing, I don't think very many agents or managers or showrunners care about work done in college. Sure, if a script or short film is amazing, anybody will notice. But I remember the scripts my classmates and I wrote in college. :) It's usually the time you learn the basics. There are occasional exceptions; I know that some agents take a serious look at the script books sent out by UCLA or USC. Also, if something you worked on in college won an award or got into a big festival, I'm sure it couldn't hurt. But it's probably best to think of your college stuff as a learning experience, since it probably isn't at the professional level of work that will launch your career in LA. I did a lot of TV and film writing in college, but I learned WAY more about Hollywood in one year of working in the industry than I did in 4 years of college - and I think this comes out in the scripts I write now.

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Josh said...

One area where college stuff CAN be important is if you get lucky and have some good alumni connections. Obviously the generically good thing that can happen is getting hired in some kind of lower level position, but there are stories (cough*my bosses*cough) of people getting hired directly out of school into creative positions because an alum happens to look at their work.

kelseyyy said...

Thanks for the input! That's an interesting way of looking at it, I think the learning experience is definitely at the top of my list anyway.