Posts tagged ‘Ellen Sandler’

June 7, 2011

Writing for Television — Lessons Learned at GAPF

Another thought-provoking session from last weekend’s Great American Pitchfest was entitled “Your Career in TV – The View from Both Sides.” The session was essentially a conversation between former Disney executive Kathie Fong Yoneda and Emmy-nominated writer Ellen Sandler.

The session was full of wise advice from both sides of the fence. Here are some highlights:

  • Succeeding in Hollywood, whether in film or television, is part magic, but it’s mostly hard work. Something lucky has to happen to you at some point, but when it does, you need to be ready for it, or that lucky break won’t get you anywhere. Take the time to network, perfect your scripts, learn your craft, and eventually, you’ll get there.
  • People are looking for you. But they can only find you if you put yourself out there. Join a writing group, go to conferences, go to screenwriting events,  volunteer at festivals, submit to contests, and always have your pitch ready to go. The industry can’t find you if you don’t help them out a bit.
  • Your odds of finding success in television (and film) go up dramatically the more you write. Being a prolific writer is key.
  • You need to be willing to network and to play the game. A good sense of politics is key. For the most part, this simply means being nice to everyone and not asking for favors before you’ve earned the right.
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