Q. What should a newbie do to break in?
Well really, it depends what you want to do. If you want to do features, normally, you write a spec feature. If TV, it used to be you write a spec script. These days, and especially in Canada, a lot of people are getting traction with spec pilots. But a great spec pilot is so much harder to write, I tend to encourage people to start with spec scripts.
The other way in, these days, is to make your own really eye-catching viral YouTube. If you can come up with the next Annoying Orange
, a lot of people are going to know your name. (And what is Annoying Orange but the next Têtes-à-Claques
*?) This really works best in comedy, of course. It's much easier to score with a 2 minute comedy than a 2 minute drama. (Though: LonelyGirl15
.) It wasn't really practical to do that 10 years ago, what with there being no YouTube, among other things, but now a lot of people are making their own low-rez product and breaking in/out that way.
We spent this morning on a script for a 2 minute YouTube, so there you go.
The real question you gotta ask yourself is: am I ready to amaze people, or should I learn more first? If you think you're not ready for prime time, then write a spec, 'cause that's probably still the best way to learn. There's no shame in taking the time to learn your craft. But if you feel you're ready to amaze, then go do whatever it is you're the most amazing at. You'll always get where you're going faster doing what you're best at, than doing what you're merely good at. (And that's why I quit Computer Science.)
*Here's the English version
, though take my word for it that the Québecois version is way funnier.
Labels: breaking in