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How do you get a a tv show on air that you wrote and created?

Hello!
I’m a Freshman (about to be a sophomore) in high school and love to write tv shows and movies. I really want to make my dream come true, but I don’t know how to do it or where to start. Thanks!

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Brianna’s Answer

Hi, Meagan,

It's great that you enjoy writing. The most important things to do when wanting to work in the creative/entertainment industry is keep writing and build connections. You will need a very strong portfolio of finished scripts to show people, either to sell or to find representation (an agent or manager). Note- as someone under 18, I would just focus on building your portfolio, as signing any kind of contract as a minor is not advisable. Especially now with the writers strike going on, focusing on having a strong script(s) should be the main priority.

You can also start publishing and producing your own work on a shoestring budget thanks to social media. Consider writing a simple short script that can be shot on little/no budget to practice your craft and meet others who can help (directors, editors, film composers, etc). There are Facebook and Discord groups for local screenwriters and local filmmakers that are great places to reach out for potential collaboration. Just make sure to be safe and have a trusted adult with you during these collaborations.

Websites like Stage32 and Coverfly are great places to network, share your work, and ask for feedback on scripts. Coverfly specifically has a Coverfly X option where you can get free peer feedback on your scripts.

Some things to consider:
- look to see if any film festivals are happening in your area. You can attend them, submit your work, or look for job or internship opportunities
- write a spec script of your favorite TV show or film (i.e., a new episode or sequel). This is especially important to have if you want to show you can write for TV
- visit The Script Lab free library and download/read as many scripts as you can
- look into the Celtx free scriptwriting software so that you can have well-formatted work
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Meagan
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Meagan
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Marc’s Answer

Depending on which genre, find scripts/screenplays that match the format you need to submit. Then find contests. Good luck.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Meagan
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J.A.’s Answer

Hi Meagan,

I really like Briana's answer to your question on where to start and how to keep pursuing your writing and project development. Just here to add on to what she outlined.

Self-publishing is probably the best way you can develop your projects in small phases. Think of social media as big media but with the option of knowing who you're reaching. It's a powerful resource and if this is a lifelong dream, start now, publish often, learn and grow and reflect that every step of the way. You'll appreciate along the way your chronicle of projects.

Keep it small and simple starting out, meaning create works that are at your current level of execution, then build upon that, sowing what you learn from publishing along the way, because every project done and published is a wealth of experience inventory and it's earned! Create little writing challenges, give yourself a page to tell a story, then breakdown how to film it.

Determine what you want to explore the MOST! It's hard not knowing where to begin since film and tv require so many trades. If you have a leaning, be honest with yourself and start there, even if it's scary at first, when something comes naturally, go with it. I've been in so many facets of the industry and I'm grateful that I still get to explore, but I had a natural heading to move to camera - in honoring your natural heading, you'll skip the line of imposter syndrome or delayed gratification or the dreaded fear of actually being really good at it -instead just head for what makes sense now and learn as much about it as possible, if you never get bored, then you're on the right path.

A film community, in your case within the student body, would be a great place to start. With a mobile phone, you can pretty much do everything these days and the quality outshines the best of what we had in the late 90's :) - that said, in a student body, you can all have a chance to be the director, writer, cinematographer, art director, actor or editor. This is a great way to explore premises and discover what you might lean toward more and learn the most important part of the process: collaboration.

Try the drama or theatre group at your school too. You'll learn so much that's translatable to an education and career in film, and find people you could connect with on story and who mirror the same enthusiasm and spirit that you posses. Energy is contagious, find those that you want to make things with and do it! You might also have mentors in your school, depending on the humanities and arts available where you attend.

Stay curious, try things always; you won't regret something gained only the articles of life you never entertained.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for giving me advice. Meagan
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