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Do you often say you won't move to Los Angeles because you know you'll hate it? Dread it? Here's a post to ponder....
I think someone should live where they have the best resources to actually write. If you want to get into TV writing, yes, you have to be in LA. But I think that if you're starting out in Feature Writing, yes, you'll eventually need to easily get to LA for meetings, but you don't have to move out immediately.
And if you can produce things yourself, you can write from anywhere.
Don't see moving to L.A. and doing crap jobs as being all that helpful. Depends on your age/career position. Internet it and hop on a plane when you need to.
Lot of 'group think' goes on. Scares me when I'm in Los Angeles and everybody is writing scripts, talking movies, and you get these movies about people making movies nobody wants to see.
My dream gig is producing an animated show. Can do that anywhere and the writer/producer owns the characters. Can't beat that.
I think a lot of [feature] screenwriters kid themselves that they don't need to be in LA, and then wonder why they can't get an agent. But from an agent's perspective, considering how intensely competitive this business is, they want to sign someone for whom screenwriting is life-or-death. A person who's not willing to move to LA nor put aside their lucrative "other" career is someone who's hedging his bets about whether or not he really wants to do this. And that person won't have the necessary killer instinct. People living comfortable middle-class lives in middle America may have the talent, but they're just not hungry enough to compete for scarce jobs.
Hey, quit talking about me as if I'm not even here!
I did have an agent recently tell me I needed to at least get a shared apartment in Los Angeles. That perception you mention about level of commitment is a good point. The writers I know that aren't in Los Angeles at least lived there for years building a network of connections.
On the flip side of the argument, there are too many writers who think that relocating to LA is all they need in order to break in. They set aside 6 months or a year of their life to move to LA and "network" and "make connections" and "get their script out there." It rarely works that quickly or easily.
If you want a career as a screenwriter, LA is the place to be, but you need to commit yourself to living here for many years, perhaps indefinitely. And ALWAYS continue to improve your writing.
I think in the end it could really depend on the quality of your work. If you can write better in Denver or Boise or a small town in Wisconsin etc. Invest in plane tickets and balls.
Dont take the bus!!!. I am still alive to tell you this.
As far as "networking" goes. Ask the people who plan on using a roll of tape, hoping to get coffee for an assistant.
If you are good enough (not only refering to writing) people will come to you. Don't listen to anyone who says any different. You should be working right now not seeking reassurance from people who love to throw useless advice at strangers. I get off on being a hypocrite.
People in that city are too caught up to focus on their writing. But they all do it?. "God" gave you the gift of being alone and independent. Don't let people start filling your cranium with fecal matter.
Once you have at least two commercial specs to market, it'd be a good idea to spend as much time as possible in Los Angeles in order to network and gain exposure. I didn't and it's taken my career much longer to take off, but now that it has, I find living outside Los Angeles an advantage. Not just creatively, when I fly to LA, which is often, my marketing time is extremely productive.
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