Do screenwriters accept interns or allow people to shadow? Not that I know of, no. I mean, what could be gained from watching me sit at a computer and type? I’d be typing and you’re staring at me from across the table. I’m like, dude, stop looking at me, go away. But watching watch a showrunner run a writer’s room, would be extremely valuable and very interesting, but there are liability issues. You’d have to get the studio to sign off on that. Say you walk into the kitchen and you slip in on a puddle of pee-pee and you fall to the ground, and hurt yourself. You sue the studio. So the studio has to make sure you’re not going to sue them. 

I don’t know what’s in it for the studio. You’d have to ask them. I don’t know if they offer that or not. I really don’t know, and why is your pee on the kitchen floor? I don’t know. Someone couldn’t make it to the bathroom. But watching a showrunner break a story on a whiteboard, that’s invaluable. Breaking the story is when someone writer’s room pitches an idea, and the showrunner goes, okay, I liked that, but is that the beginning, or is that the end? Where does that fall in the story? A Showrunner with training will know instinctively where it goes and they will explain to the staff, okay, that moment sounds like the bottom of act two or the top of act three. 

How do you know that? Well, there are ways or tools that showrunners know from years of working. And I teach that in my writing course. And you can find the link probably in my bio, or you can go to Michael But watching a showrunner break story, that’s something any aspiring writer should want to know, regardless of whether you want to be in drama or comedy, or even writing novels.

For more, you can go check out my course. If you’re not ready to buy it, just continue following me here, and on Instagram @MichaelJamminwriter.

Michael Jamin, Showrunner, TV Writer, Author

Michael Jamin

For the past 26 years, Michael Jamin has been a professional television writer/showrunner. His credits include King of the Hill, Beavis & Butthead, Wilfred, Maron, Just Shoot Me, Rules of Engagement, Brickleberry, Tacoma FD and many more.

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