If you want to be a movie writer, learn how to write television first, and that’s because story is story. If you’re writing a feature script, it might take a year to write this script and you’re polishing, and you’re rewriting, you’re rewriting, and then you put it down and you write another one. But that’s a long process when you’re writing for television, for the most part, television shows are just miniature movies. People don’t realize it. It’s not much different, and so it’s the process of writing this script and another one and another one, and not polishing it. Not spending all this time on this one script, but writing another and another. That’s how you grow.

When I was on King of the Hill, we did I think 24 episodes a year, and that’s where you learn so much by constantly breaking new stories. And that’s why so many King of the Hill writers later became feature writers, not the other way around. King of the Hill produced the writer of Shrek, writers of Kung Fu Panda, Tropic Thunder, what else? Idiocracy Blades of Glory. Those were all former King of the Hill writers. My partner and I, we sold two movies when we were on King of the Hill. They didn’t get made. Most movies don’t get made. It would’ve been awesome though, but I got the check, right? But that you learn so much about story structure and so I don’t know. I say even if you want to be a feature writer, learn how to write television first because it’s that process. King of the Hill was like a miniature movie every week. It was very real and grounded, but it’s that process that is how you advance as a writer. Okay, from work, you’d found me here at Michael Jamin, writer.

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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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