In the footsteps of last week’s discussion about diversity and opportunities for minority writers in Hollywood, thought you might enjoy this weird/funny/interesting ad posted on Craigslist today.
What are your thoughts on this?
Caucasian Comedy Writer with Credits Seeks Minority Writing Partner (Hollywood/Tinsel Town/City of Angels)
Date: 2009-12-02, 3:17PM PST
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org [Errors when replying to ads?]
uncredited work on a film). On the majors networks, the highest credit
I have obtained is Staff Writer, but on cable I have been as high as
Co-Producer. I am posting this because my solo writing career has
recently stalled (I haven’t worked in over a year) and because it seems
logical in this ever-tightening industry that the best way to get back
on staff is in a partnership where a showrunner can hire two bodies for
the price of one. Also, lower level writing jobs are frequently being
given to minorities, thanks mostly to networks requiring each show to
have a minority on staff; and since the showrunners are mostly white
(just talking statistically here) and they’re hiring their mostly white
(again, statistically proven) friends, when it comes time to meet that
requirement, often the only opening left is at the lowest level. Well,
herein lies the problem for me. Being a white male and trying to crack
the low level is proving harder and harder. But that’s okay. I’ve
co-written assorted scripts with partners, and have enjoyed it, so I
can’t really see the downside to the idea of taking on a writing
partner (other than having to give up half the money, but half of the
current zero I make is, well, still zero, so there really isn’t a
downside). And truthfully, what I’m really hoping for is a partner that
is so good he or she forces me to elevate my game and/or who, at the
very least, brings a different perspective/skill set to the
relationship (for instance, I am very strong with story and structure,
perhaps your strengths are dialogue and characterization). Please
understand the goal here is not to assemble a great minority writing
team; it’s to assemble a great writing team that happens to satisfy the
minority requirements all shows must adhere to, thereby guaranteeing us
more meetings and, hopefully, more work.
So, if you’re interested, here’s how I’d like to proceed:
Obviously, the ideal candidate will have been staffed before and has an
agent, but neither of these is a requirement. All that’s required is
that you’re a minority (African American, Asian American, Indian
American, Latin American, or anything else I have been remiss in
listing here) and a damn fine writer. If you meet these two
requirements and would like to give this a shot, please feel free to
email me an original spec script, your ethnicity (it’s only fair, since
you know mine), and a resume if you’ve been staffed before. Your script
should be properly formatted, the correct length for the genre, and in
either Final Draft or pdf format. PLEASE do not send me an MS Word file
or equivalent. If you’re serious about writing professionally, you
should at least have the format down.
All of my credits have been in the half hour world, so it seems
smarter to focus on that, but I love many one hours, have written specs
in this genre, and would be very open to targeting that arena, if
that’s your strength. So your spec can be either a 30 minute sitcom or
a 60 minute drama/dramedy. I will read your spec (or at least enough of
it to know whether I need to read all of it) and, if I like it, I will
email you a spec, which you can then read and decide if you are
interested in partnering with me. If I don’t like your spec, I’ll drop
you a note telling you “no” and, if you’d like and depending on the
number of submissions I get, why I don’t.
If things work out and we do decide to partner, we would then get
right to work writing a minimum of one spec together; ideally two, with
the goal of getting staffed next April/May.
For reference, my favorite shows on the air right now are: Big Bang
Theory, Office, 30 Rock, Community, and Modern Family. On the drama
side, Desperate Housewives, Lost, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men. Shows that
are no longer on the air, but are among my all time favs are: Friends,
Cheers, Roseanne, Taxi, Newhart, and The Shield.
So, in summary:
What you get: A writing partner who has written for major networks,
been repped by major agencies, and who may or may not be really good at
what he does.
What I get: A writing partner who may or may not have written for
major networks or been repped by major agencies, but is really good at
what s/he does.
I look forward to reading tons of well written specs.
NOTE: Please nobody send me emails criticizing this post or
expressing offense with the idea of this post or “educating” me as to
why I am wrong to think this way/feel this way/be pursuing this — I
have been working in this industry in various capacities for 10 years
and I know quite well, firsthand, how the process works. If you’re
still reading at this point and considering submitting a spec to me,
then you understand how it works, too. Also, no emails that involve
- Location: Hollywood/Tinsel Town/City of Angels
- it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
- Compensation: no pay