Q. I live in Montreal and I have no desire to move to Toronto (in part because I hate Toronto but mostly because I love Montreal).
I hear that!
Q. At this point my portfolio consists mostly of big-budget features, which have made the rounds in some of the American screenplay competitions. I'm trying to make sure that I'm on the right path.
Should I continue doing what I'm doing:
Writing feature specs, sending targeted queries to producers and agencies in LA and Toronto, until one of them lands me a sale or a job.
Or, seeing how Canada is mostly a TV industry (as far as writers go), would you recommend that I try writing some TV specs and pitching them to Toronto agencies instead (like your blog suggested). Just keep in mind that I frequently watch and study a lot more movies than I do television, and feature-writing has always been my primary interest. With that being said, if TV writing is the only way to make it down here, I am open to shifting my focus.
Honestly, I’d recommend you write games. You live in one of five world meccas for game development. Games hire writers all the time. I hear about game jobs pretty often.
Montreal is a backwater of a backwater for writing features. Canada barely has an English language movie business. (French is a different story obviously.)
TV writing is a better business but you can’t do it from Montreal. You have to be in Toronto. Ideally, you go to the CFC Prime Time program. Most of the graduates from there find something to do in the business, though not all writing, and there’s no guarantees.
Or go to LA if you want to work in the real business. This is the golden age of television writing. There are so many scripted series going into production these days.
Kids today mostly don’t want movies and they don’t even watch TV that much. They play games.
... I am not really sure how you get into writing games. There are people who have advice about that and I’ve blogged about it. But my own particular path depended a lot on having written a hit film, so it’s not an easy path to follow.
Thanks for this. As a Vancouverite (I don't mind TO but for a bunch of reasons, not really practical to move at the moment) it looks to me like games and maybe animation are the two big options here. Also haven't a clue how to get into writing for the game biz, though.
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