Thursday, November 23, 2006

Writers' Assistant FAQ

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for lots of things.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, I will respond to your many questions.

Q: What is a writers' assistant?

A: A writers' assistant is a coveted entry-level position in the TV writing field. It allows you a chance to watch and learn how TV writing works, while making connections with other writers. Depending on the showrunners (the head writers, usually also executive producers and creators), the writers' assistant may be allowed to occasionally contribute ideas in the writers' room, or he/she may be required to simply shut up and let the real writers do their work. In my case, I am allowed to occasionally pitch ideas, which is way more fun than not being allowed to, which I have also experienced.

Writing a TV show consists of a bunch of writers sitting around a room and pitching ideas to each other. Sometimes this looks a lot like funny people sitting around making jokes, riffing on things, and cracking each other up. Other times it looks like a roomful of people staring at the ceiling and thinking really hard. The writers' assistant sits in the writers' room and types all the ideas as the writers pitch them, so that later the writers can look at the notes and remember what they thought up. As a writers' assistant, I am also responsible for cleaning up said notes and making them presentable so that they can be read and understood.

Q: What show are you working on?

A:
I don't plan to discuss the specifics of my job too much on this blog, since I hear that is an unwise thing to do on the Internet. So I'd rather not say here exactly what show it is that I'm working on. However, I will offer some hints: It's on cable, and you should watch this when it airs because I hear they might be making a series out of it.

Q: Can you really call it a FAQ when you're only answering two questions?

A: No.

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1 comment:

Kelley said...

Unsafe? The Internet? Yes, I've heard this. Strangely enough, though, email seems fairly secure. (In other words, I'm laughing at you for not emailing me the answer.) :-) Don't worry, there are far worse things that also make me laugh...