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Monday, July 6, 2009

Should I Get a Job in the Industry?

Dear Rouge Wave:

Would you advise an aspiring screenwriter to get a day job as an office manager/administrative assistant for a film production company?


Let's say that I didn't need the money, would it be worth it just for the relationship building? And to learn about producing and how prodcos work? (I think I could see myself becoming a writer/producer some day.)


If I do apply, should I tell them that I'm an aspiring screenwriter? Is that a conflict of interest? I don't want them to think that I would not be dedicated to my day job.

Yes. But not in a weird, needy, please-do-stuff-for-me way. Just be casual. Be honest. They won't be surprised that you're into screenwriting and/or the business.

Also... If I do tell them about my aspirations, when is the best time? In my cover letter? At the interview? or not until after I've been there a while and gotten to know people? I know I would never ask anyone to read my script until that point.

Yes. Oh sorry, I was on auto-pilot there for a minute. No, these are great questions and I think this is a great opportunity for you. Mention your interests in your interview, of course, just don't make the interview all about you. You are applying to work for them, right? So the interview is mostly about how you'll do a great job in that capacity. That you have an interest in and talent for storytelling and film surely makes you a better employee, as you GET what they do there. Just be very cool about asking for any favors, reads or connections for some time. You have to earn that. Give it several weeks if not a few months of dedicated, loyal, great work ethic before you go there.

So complicated...

Not really. I think this is going to be great for you. Good luck!

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