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Old 08-21-2009, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
95 posts, read 253,808 times
Reputation: 41

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First of all, if you have a dream go for it, but make sure you do a lot of planning ahead.

The entertainment industry is the hardest, most cutthroat field out there and I wish you the best of luck. I originally moved out to Los Angeles close to 5 years ago to begin a career in entertainment and have since moved on to another area. Unless you know someone, you are going to start out at about $12 an hour if you are lucky (that is with a BA degree), working for some jackass for 14 hours a day. I was an assistant and was working 14 hours a day, getting calls in the middle of the night and weekend, and asked to do some of the craziest things. Basically I lived The Devil Wears Prada.

For some people going through hell is worth it, but for me it wasn't. I'm much happier in my 9-6 finance job where I work half the time for double the money.

I don't want to discourage you though, and if this is your dream I advise you to go for it otherwise you will wonder what could have been.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Living on the Coast in Oxnard CA
16,250 posts, read 27,835,657 times
Reputation: 21586
I say write, re-write, re-write, and then do it all over again. I wouldn't say that you need to be here to do it. Some of the best writers live somewhere else. You don't have to be here to write. You don't have to be here to sell either. It is a hard business though and even when or if you get an invite to the big table you still need to produce something else to stay in the game. It can take a year to get your script written. It could take even longer depending on your available time. When that is all over and someone decides that they may use it your script could sit in limbo waiting for the project to start. Who knows how much time you will wait. Chances are you will complete a couple more scips by then.

What I tell everyone is it is hard to get someone to buy what your selling. If and when you sell it it may not even make it to film. You just never know. Or you could be the next big thing. Who knows. If you don't try it nothing happens. Be prepaired though to spend at least 5 years to get things happening. Maybe 10 years. During that time frame keep writing. re-writing, re-writing and then do it all over again.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Hollywood Hills
114 posts, read 419,635 times
Reputation: 49
Some people are dream killers. Avoid the naysayers like poison because they'll try to bring you down and discourage you. Just press on, chin raised...no one can tell you what you can and can't do or what you're capable of. Bitter people discourage hopefuls from their dreams...

...not saying everyone on this thread did that, but a few did.
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Old 08-21-2009, 10:43 PM
 
Location: English, IN
6 posts, read 27,545 times
Reputation: 15
Cool LA is great. Give it a try.

You'll meet lots of other like-minded people there.
In my estimation from personal experience, Community Colleges in the area are very good and dirt cheap compared to other states. I liked taking media arts classes at LA Valley College, and Santa Monica College. Credits from those schools will transfer to Universities and private film schools. In the current economy, I noticed quite a few rent specials and roommate situations when I was there this July. It's possible to share a place for 500 per month if you look around.

Please don't listen to bitter nay-sayers, better to give it your best shot as soon as possible. You can always change you mind later. An animation professor at Santa Monica told me that it's best to go to school in the location that you want to work in. Sure there's film schools in Florida...

Best Wishes for success.
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Old 08-23-2009, 06:43 AM
 
7,075 posts, read 7,051,279 times
Reputation: 6541
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larkinhill View Post
Some people are dream killers. Avoid the naysayers like poison because they'll try to bring you down and discourage you. Just press on, chin raised...no one can tell you what you can and can't do or what you're capable of. Bitter people discourage hopefuls from their dreams...
...not saying everyone on this thread did that, but a few did.
Well.... the OP did ask.

Certainly following your dreams is a great thing, but unfortunately the real world is filled with huge obstacles. It is important to have a plan and a back up plan when attempting to achieve your goal. Especially when those dreams are a longshot.

The OP is off do a good start. They are going to school, written some screen plays, and is asking questions. The main theme of the posts here is simply telling the OP to stay put and keep pushing to achieve their dream, but to do so where they live.
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:28 PM
 
276 posts, read 935,089 times
Reputation: 277
You do not need to live in LA/Hollywood to become a screenwriter.

If your work is good and marketable what you need is an agent who will pitch your work.

Then, once you sell something you can take the plunge to "move" out to Los Angeles.

Your chances are low, but again, if you have talent, have written something that Hollywood wants to buy then you may have a chance. The worse you can do is that they like your work, give you and option, it goes into turn around, and maybe they can pawn it off on someone else to get back the monies that they paid you.

Look at the films that have made it to the big screen.

Be sure you know your craft and present it in a professional manner. If your work is not in proper format then they know right off the bat that you are not a professional.

Another option is to simply write a "treatment" of your story and have your agent pitch it. That way you do not spend years writing a screenplay that will not sell. If they like the story they may ask you to write the screenplay.

Lastly, and I know you have heard this a dozen times, writers are a dime a dozen out here, but if you believe in yourself and you know you have the next big/best film of the year, go for it!

All they can say is NO!

Good luck~
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:29 AM
 
Location: Malibu/Miami Beach
1,070 posts, read 2,997,544 times
Reputation: 428
Quote:
Originally Posted by CB3009 View Post
Yeah i know there are so many people who move out to LA to work in the Film industry. Well i am just about to start my first year of college ( i do not live in cali). But next year i plan to transfer out to a school in California. But while I am out there I also want to try and make it as a screenwriter. There are so many screenwriters/producers that never even went to college and are some of the best today for example judd apatow. I was just wonder if to transfer out there would be a dumb move. And what my chances of making it as a screenwriter in LA would be. And where to go in LA to try and break into the movie industry. Hope you can help.

thanks.
Most writers I know have one thing in common,they are interesting people.
So first become an interesting person,live an interesting life..do stuff,go places,meet people,make mistakes and have great adventures.
If you survive come back and write about it, if not make sure you leave a diary so someone else can write about it.
Good Luck!
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Old 08-27-2009, 10:01 AM
 
157 posts, read 246,087 times
Reputation: 179
I would say living there would be a huge plus, but not a necessity. You need an agent, or a producer to help market your script (if it's really good), and this is assuming you can get someone to even read it. Getting someone to actually read a script from a no-name writer is probably 10 times as hard as you may think. That being said, don't let it discourage you. I'm also a writer, and have submitted a screenplay to a good friend who has worked in the business for 30 years. Even with a connection like that, chances are slim that anything will happen. It's a business with heavy competition.
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Old 08-27-2009, 04:17 PM
 
24 posts, read 44,704 times
Reputation: 31
First, if you're really determined to move to LA and try your shot at becoming a screenwriter you will do it no matter what anyone says. I know a couple of aspiring screenwriters that have worked for years in the biz trying to get just an opportunity to succeed. Almost everyone I know associated with the film industry is always asking for monetary assistance to fund their work/projects.

Secondly, remember something when you read all the posts from these yahoos telling you to "go for it". They won't be there comforting or helping you out if you run out of money or can't find a decent job.

The people telling you to stop and think are not naysayers. They are merely asking you to take a look at the reality of the circumstances. The unemployment rate in LA is only going up and the cost of living is still outrageous. You are trying to find work in a highly competitive industry where very few people actually make a decent living.

It would make sense if you had a circle of friends in the industry that could help support you in your early struggles. If not, why not spend time in an area with a low cost of living to build up your portfolio of work? Why do you need to be in LA to write? The only reason you would be here is to network to get your door in the foot but you don't even have any work to offer yet. Instead, you'll likely end up working long hours in a low paying just to pay the rent and living expenses. How does that make any sense to reasonable people?
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Old 01-29-2011, 07:51 PM
 
4 posts, read 6,718 times
Reputation: 11
If you listen to everyone saying 'its hard' then you'll never get there. If you want this, then go out there and get it.

I recommend Cal State - Fullerton for a great screenwriting program. They have good internships, a actual screenwriting major, and transportation to Studio City/Hollywood.

Go for your dream or regret it later.
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