Stage 32 Happy Writers Announces New TV Fellowship
As you may have heard, Stage 32 Happy Writers has partnered with the Writers Assistant Network and over a dozen agencies and management companies to announce an intriguing new three month Fellowship for ten aspiring TV writers. Although 8 of the ten positions will be assigned to writers currently working as writers’ assistants or other support staff on TV, two of the seats will be dedicated exclusively to Stage 32 Members. The deadline to submit had been scheduled for February 1st, but the folks at Stage 32 have extended the deadline to February 5th for MovieBytes readers only.
We caught up with Stage 32's Joey Tuccio for more details:
HollywoodIQ: For those who may not know, what does a Writer's Assistant do? Joey Tuccio: Writers’ Assistant – The note taker. When the writers’ room is in session, the Writers’ Assistant is almost always there, pounding away at a laptop, making sure that all of the brilliance (and even occasional non-brilliance) is recorded for later reference. Writers’ assistants may also be called upon by individual writers to help hash out particular scenes or story beats.
HIQ: And what is the Writers Assistant Network? Is this a new group, or something that's been around for a while?
The Writers Assistants Network is for up and coming writers, executive assistants, and literary assistants that are focused on pursuing careers in primetime television. They also exist to give back to the people that keep Hollywood running. The Writers Assistants Network was established in the spring of 2014 by Brandon Tanori with the help of Sam Chalsen. They host mixers twice a year in the spring and are sponsored by SoCreate.
HIQ:Is it accurate to say that anyone working as a Writer's Assistant is an aspiring writer themselves?
For the most part all support staff are aspiring writers. That’s one of the great things about this Fellowship. The two seats that are reserved for Stage 32 members (and not people that currently work on TV shows) will be working hand in hand with these assistants who are already immersed in the industry.
HIQ: Walk me through the Fellowship if I'm one of the selected writers. What can I expect from the program?
At the first meeting, all writers will meet all of the participating agents and managers overseeing the group as well as their Fellowship writing peers. Each week writers will work with their group to develop their pilot. During the second half of the 12 weeks, the writers will also be mentored by working TV writers and writer-producers. At the end of the 12 weeks, the writers will present their finished product to the participating executives for representation consideration. There will be 10 writers in this group. 8 of these writers will be dedicated to writers who are currently working as a writers assistant or other support staff on TV’s hottest shows. The other 2 seats will be exclusively dedicated to an active Stage 32 member, one for a writer who lives in or around L.A., and one for a writer who lives anywhere in the world. If you are chosen and you live outside of L.A., you will be able to be part of this group by attending the meetings each week virtually. Anybody can become a member of Stage 32 (simply go to stage32.com and sign up!). The ultimate reasoning behind this Fellowship is for agents and managers to discover new talent and see which writers can truly work in a collaborative group setting. What’s really exciting is that this was the executives’ idea so you know they will be really invested in the process!
HIQ: Will you be making your Fellowship selections based purely on pilot submissions, or are there other criteria? What will you be trying to learn from the interviews you'll be doing with your top 10 submissions?
The first cut off will be judged strictly on the pilot. From there we will pick the top graded pilots and those writers will have a private interview with the heads of WAN. Working in TV is such a collaborative effort and the interview process will make sure the writer can work in a group setting and can bring the level of professionalism the Fellowship demands. This is a very important Fellowship and any writer not pulling their weight will be removed. We want to make sure that every writer chosen has the ability, dedication and passion to thrive in the TV market.
HIQ: Will your out-of-town Fellowship winner be allowed to participate in-person if circumstances allow?
One of the biggest things I love about working at Stage 32 is that we are able to give access and opportunity to writers all over the world, not just LA and NY. That writer does not have to come out to Los Angeles to participate fully in the program, but if they would like to participate in person (even for just a couple of weeks) that would be completely up to that writer. We would certainly allow it but it’s not mandatory.