Archive for Colin Horgan
A 2002-themed party causes one man to reflect on identity
It all came back to Facebook, eventually. Twice during the night, someone apologized for deleting me from their list of friends. Twice I said I didn’t care. But I get it. It’s important, and especially so on that Saturday night. Facebook was, ultimately, the reason we were there.
The invite had been a long one, but the premise was straightforward enough, if slightly strange.
“Hello to my DEAREST friends… who have found themselves a DECADE older (or at least a few years older)!!” a Facebook invitation shouted at me sometime in October. “For many of you, 2002 marked a few big things in our lives. Possibly your high school graduation, as well as your first year at a post secondary institution. 2012 brings us 10 years from those days as innocent, uncorrupted youth to where we are now…a DECADE later.”
Want to get to Hollywood? Start writing, start shooting, and don’t ever stop networking
After a tough day of classes, you’re sprawled out on the couch watching television. In a flash of inspiration, you suddenly realize that you hate your chemistry classes and would rather be a writer on a television show. You think to yourself, “Heck! I could totally write an episode of Heroes that is way better than this one.”
So you sit down at your laptop, fingers poised delicately over the keys, ready to become famous. But how can you actually make it happen?
“I think to be a writer, you have to write,” says Michael Baser, head of the writing for television and film program at the Vancouver Film School.
“To be a director or an actor, you have to be hired to give yourself validation. You can’t be up in your room doing Othello at night and say, ‘Ok, I’m an actor.’ But you can be in your room at night and writing a script, then having a script in hand – you are now a writer.”
Once that script is written, though, it needs to go somewhere. Ultimately – and perhaps unsurprisingly – that somewhere is Los Angeles, where who you know will make a big difference.
“The key thing in T.V. and film is that it’s a highly nepotistic business,” says Baser. He says his own career, in which he produced and wrote for shows including Three’s Company and Full House, started because he was talented but also because he knew the right people.
For someone sitting at home in Canada, making those connections might seem impossible. The key, according to Laura Doyle, screenwriting teacher at VFS and the British Columbia Institute of Technology, is getting your foot in the door.
“I started out in Television Production at BCIT learning to produce, shoot and edit. After I graduated, I got myself some jobs as a production assistant on set,” she says. This ultimately led to a job as a script coordinator and the opportunity to co-write an episode of Neon Rider.
From there, Doyle wrote for MTV and CBS, during which she lived – you guessed it – in Los Angeles. Her career blossomed to include music, some of which was featured on Dawson’s Creek.
What’s important for young writers to remember, say both Baser and Doyle, is the idea of being prolific – to keep writing, and if possible, producing lots of your own original content. The Internet can provide a perfect showcase for your blossoming genius.