While some dream of becoming actors or actresses in front of the camera, others aspire for a career behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. Now some of the biggest companies in Hollywood are offering a leg up on the competition with fellowships. Among those seeking to open the door to entertainment industry success is HBO, reported the Source.
The HBOAccess Writing Fellowship gives new writers a chance by providing them with free classes on-site at the company’s headquarters in Santa Monica, California. Would-be TV writers will learn how to develop characters, create pitches to the powers-that-be, and even get an agent. They’ll also discover the keys to successful networking.
In addition, a mentoring segment of the fellowship assigns an HBO development executive to each writer for an eight-month-long script development experience. The fellowship concludes with readings of the scripts. All the details are available at Withoutabox.com.
If you’re interested in other opportunities, plan now to apply for Fox’s Writers Intensive, according to Indiewire. This program gives wannabe writers a chance to become staff members of Fox TV shows as well as feature films.
However, the program differs from HBO’s fellowship in providing only 14 weeks of learning. What it does offer is the chance to network with Fox directors, film authors, staff writers, and even show runners.
So is it really possible to come in from the outside as a writer without connections and make it in Hollywood? Some take a different approach by hiring on in an entry level position such as a secretary on a TV show, where they have the chance to form relationships with the show’s writers, directors, and executives. That’s what happened to Pat Nardo, who began her career as a secretary on the Mary Tyler Moore show, reported the Christian Science Monitor.
Nardo subsequently became a writer on the show, but it was only after humiliating herself during a discussion with her then brand-new bosses, the show’s creators James Brooks and Allan Burns. The two were driving with Pat in the car and discussing bad TV.
“Talk about a bad show,” piped up Pat. “How about that ‘My Mother the Car’?”
Unfortunately, Burns was the co-creator of the show that she had just dissed.
“And you wrote it,” Pat groaned.
And Nardo isn’t alone in taking a long and winding road to becoming a TV success. As the Inquisitr reported, Chuck Lorre created The Big Bang Theory only after struggling throughout his early career.
“I was a struggling musician ’til I was about 35 years old. I remember vividly what it’s like to put 38 cents in the gas tank and drive to my second cousin’s house, so they would feed me…I can remember getting a ticket for making an illegal U-turn. It was a $50 ticket, and I broke down and I sobbed because it wiped me out.”
Lorre only landed his first job in his late 30s, when he became a writer for Roseanne and creator/producer for Grace Under Fire, Cybill and Dharma & Greg.
[Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images]