Why Do I Want To Be A Writer’s Assistant?

If you want to break into television as a writer, the job that you want to get is writer’s assistant. The way a TV Writer’s Room works is all the writers sit in a room, and there’s one person, the writer’s assistant, who sits at the keyboard and starts typing up all the notes or the dialogue and everything that goes into up onto the monitor.

We all watch it on the monitor. So they’re basically just transcribing stuff.

But it’s a great learning experience because you’re sitting with writers, and you’re learning how to break stories, story, structure, character development, and story arcs.

Should I Learn On The Job or Go To Film School?

Being a Writer’s Assistant is better than going to film school, and film school costs a couple hundred thousand dollars. And this, instead, you actually get paid to learn, and you’ll learn more, way more. And then, you know, if you play your cards, right, and you have talent, you learn how to develop your script better.

How Do I Become A Staff Writer?

After a couple of years, usually, a nice showrunner will throw you a bone and let you write a freelance script. And that could develop into something more. Now you’re on your way. You’re inside now.

Is It Easy To Be A Writers Assistant?

Here’s the thing. I’ve been a TV writer for 26 years.

I am not qualified to be a writer’s assistant.

There’s stuff about that job I do not know. It’s not an entry-level job. You can’t just get it. You have to handle script distribution. You have to work with the legal department. You have to know how to format it. Once the script is done, you have to know where it goes and all the directions.

It’s a little complicated. It’s not impossible. You can learn it, but I don’t know how to do it.

How Do I Learn How To Be a Writer’s Assistant?

You become a production assistant on the show, and then you start kissing the butt of the writer’s assistant.

You asked them how he or she does their job.

Could they train you so that when they have to step out of the room or take a day off or whatever, you can step in and do their job?

And that’s how you move up. Being a writer’s assistant is a great job.

Okay, look, look for it.

Go get it.

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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