Hi, it’s Michael Jamin, and I post daily tips on how to break into Hollywood and screenwriting, and acting, and all that stuff. And I get a lot of questions, and one question I’m seeing over and over again is people want to know what I think of those services that team up aspiring screenwriters with producers who I guess want to hear their work, and perhaps buy it, and option it, and hire them, or whatever.

I guess people are asking me this question because deep down in their stomachs, they’re like, “I don’t know, something doesn’t feel right about this.” I remember teaching my kids when they were younger, like, “If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. It’s not right.”

I don’t know, I really haven’t worked with any of these services. I just know what I read and what I’ve heard about them. I’m just very skeptical about it. Like, let’s think this through for a second.

If you were a producer and you wanted to get a writer for a project, why would you go use a service to find an inexperienced, unproven writer who’s never done anything? Why wouldn’t you just, if you’re a legit “producer,” why wouldn’t you just call one of the talent agencies in Hollywood? This is what they do. You say, “Hey, I have an open writing assignment,” or “I want to hear pitches.” Within 10 minutes, you’ve got a dozen skilled, qualified writers with credits on your doorstep saying, “Yes, let’s talk. I’m ready to talk. I’m ready to receive your money in exchange for my services.” That’s what these agencies do. Why would you, in a million years, want to hire somebody who hasn’t done it before?

Well, maybe to save money. If they’re worried about saving money, if they have to hire a writer with a tiny budget, then where are they going to come up with the money to make this movie? Does any of this make any sense to you? To me, it boggles my mind. Now on their website, they have examples of previous success stories. And okay, I guess lightning struck, right? Lightning can strike. Personally, in my life, I’ve never seen lightning strike a person on the head, but I’ve seen YouTube videos of people getting struck by lightning. So I know it happens, right, but that wouldn’t make that my plan for breaking into Hollywood, by putting on a metal helmet and hoping lightning strikes me.

There are many paths that you can do to break into Hollywood. Personally, if I had to break into it again, I would choose the path that was most likely to get me to where I wanted to go. I talk about that path all the time on my social media pages. If you haven’t watched them, go watch them, but this feels like a lottery ticket. Doesn’t feel good to me. It feels a little predatory, honestly.

I have a friend. I was going to post this video like next week, because I got things I wanted to talk about, but just this morning, my friend who is an aspiring screenwriter, who is following all the steps that I talk about to break into Hollywood, I don’t know if he ever will, but it seems like he’s doing all the right things to break in as a writer, he sent me a tweet. Just happened to be posted yesterday, and I’m going to share with you what this tweet was.

Okay. So, here it is, from a guy named Chris Amick, and he says, “Two weeks in my first assistant job, I was tasked with representing the company at a virtual pitch fest because no one wanted to go. So I don’t know, maybe think twice before spending money to go to those things?”

Now, I don’t know this Chris Amick guy, never met him, but sounds about right to me. Yeah, why does this make any sense? Why would someone use… I don’t know. So, there are ways in. Everyone wants to know, like, “How do I break into Hollywood?” But no one, in my opinion, asks the right question. The right question is, how do I write a script that’s so damn good that I don’t have to pay people to read it? That I don’t have to pay a service to put me in touch with a legit producer.”

I don’t have to pay my agent. I only pay my agent, it’s a commission thing, I only pay when I get paid. When I sell something, my agent gets a cut because he lined up the work for me, but I don’t say, “Hey, here’s a thousand dollars. Help me.” That’s nuts. I don’t know, guys. There are ways to do this. Ask yourself the right question, how do I write something good? And am I willing to… But that’s hard, right? That requires work and dedication to your craft. So, everyone wants a shortcut, but we all know, are there really shortcuts in life?

Anyway, for more tips, you can follow me here or everywhere social media is sold, @MichaelJaminWriter.

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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