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Which city do you think is the best for a new graduate with a BFA in Film/TV production to begin her career--LA or NYC? I am interested in writing for television as well as making independent films one day.

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I have been accepted to a prestigious film school within a major university in NY. I am thinking ahead to summer internships and post-graduation. I know LA is considered the entertainment capital of the world and I'd love to live there for a while. However, I heard that it is incredibly expensive and that apartments are hard to come by, not to mention to competitiveness in the field. Should I focus my network and job search in NYC where I'll be for the next 4 years? Or are there other cities to consider? #film #television #career-plan

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Christy’s Answer

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I've written for tv, animation, film, comics, and videogames. I did that by being in L.A. to break in.


BUT you should take advantage of being in NYC to pursue any and all opportunities that might come along. The other commenter had good suggestions.


NYC has always been more expensive than L.A. The one advantage to NYC is mass transport, so that you don't need to have a car. Whereas in L.A., you MUST have a car. It isn't a luxury; it's a necessity. Be warned, the traffic is a nightmare, but it's a fact of life.


Most staff jobs for TV shows are in L.A. If your goal is to work on TV series, L.A. is your best bet to break into that. Make all the connections you can. Network like crazy, because you'll have a very hard time getting your foot in the door without personal connections.

Christy recommends the following next steps:

  • Contact the east coast branch of the WGA, WGAeast, and see whether they have mentoring programs or anything else that might be useful to you.
  • Write many scripts of different lengths and types. You'll need strong spec scripts to show what you can do.
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Bob’s Answer

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Hi Audrey;
That's a great question. Congratulations on your acceptance into film school. Since you're going to be in NYC for the next four years, consider focusing your attentions there. Coordinate with the school regarding any potential internships that they may sponsor. However, being a high-end school, they likely have connections both in NYC and L.A. Also check with the Television Academy. They have a marvelous industry-based internship program during the summer that supports multiple disciplines and potential career tracks (just apply soon as they get a lot of applicants). Regarding cost comparisons, I think that if you can afford to live in NYC, you'll be okay with L.A.


Yes, it is an extremely competitive field, regardless of where you are geographically, but if you can write, you can write anywhere. Write a lot.


Best of luck.

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