Turns out the secret to landing one of those rare industry screenwriting jobs might not just be working on your craft and penning the perfect email query. It might also involve doing something absurd, insane and quite possibly destructive to your career.
I recently attended the WeHoDaily Nerdist Writers Panel, (a very cool event; if you’re ever in the West Hollywood area I highly recommend it.)
And a lot of great stuff came out of it but the one nugget I clearly remember was Bill Lawrence, the uber talented show creator (Spin City, Scrubs, Cougar Town), detailing how he found a new writer for his series.
The young writer had sent in a spec of a current show (can’t remember which; but it definitely wasn’t Walker, Texas Ranger) and along with the spec was a DVD. Lawrence popped the DVD in labeled “writing sample” and watched…. five minutes of the writer sitting at his desk. Writing.
A writing sample.
Lawrence hired him on the spot.
Obviously this won’t work with every genre– don’t think that’ll work for your Law and Order: SVU spec–but “playing by the rules” usually only helps the folks that make the rules. Not the writers trying to bang down the doors.
So..try to think outside the box when it comes to getting noticed. (Take out a google ad based on the keyword of an executive, write a press release, do a radio interview, write a frickin’ book) You might just land one of those super competitive screenwriting jobs–and a career in the process.