screenwriting programs

10 Years 10 Goals

Tagged by @whaticallstudying​! Thank you so much <3 This will take place instead of today’s post.

List 10 goals you have for the next 10 years, write it down or save it somewhere you can find it again

  1. Graduate from UCLA’s MFA in Screenwriting program.
  2. Be a professional screenwriter! Have a feature be optioned, get commissioned to write a feature, or be a staff writer (or some / all of the above!).
  3. Make LA my home.
  4. Get a puppy. Go hiking a lot with said puppy :D
  5. Be content with my life.
  6. Pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test N2
  7. Pass the Test of Proficiency in Korea (not sure what level).
  8. Be proficient in two other languages (to be decided).
  9. Run half marathons for fun.
  10. Spend a decent amount of time back in Tokyo and London.

anonymous asked:

What are you talking about that your USC and film connections didn’t help you land an agent? They’re the reason you got one as quickly as you did. You said in your blog, the connections hand-delivered your MS to Suzie Townsend’s hands, bypassing all the gatekeeping/submissions rules other writers have to follow. So own it - you had a quick route to publishing unlike everyone else, but don’t try to play it off like it didn’t happen that way just to make yourself seem to accessible or DTE.

The question this anon is referring to:

“Hey Victoria! I saw you also went to USC and I’m curious if having Trojan connections helped you at all in the way of finding an agent for Red Queen? I just graduated and am about to start querying a YA fantasy, looking for any and all things that might grab someone’s attention!”


“Nah, the USC family has been great on the film side (I got a general meeting off a pilot I wrote senior year and that got my writing career rolling), but it doesn’t hurt either!”

I believe you are misunderstanding me on several levels. 

1) The person asked about Trojan connections. They’re a fellow Trojan, part of what we call the Trojan Family or USC Mafia. It’s a very big network within Los Angeles and the film industry. I have not really met anyone in publishing from within the Trojan Family, but I can’t tell you how many film general meetings* I’ve walked into and known or known of someone from their USC connections.

2) I clearly stated the general meeting I got off a pilot I wrote at USC got my writing career rolling. That’s the meeting where I vaguely pitched RQ and was told to pursue it with no guarantees of anything

3) “Bypassing all the gatekeeping/submissions rules other writers have to follow” - do you know how many people have different paths to publishing? You understand that you don’t have to query either, but you do have to find another way in, right? You don’t have to do things that way, but you have to find a way. Trust me, if I had known querying agents was so open (in film, it’s such a closed system), I would have looked into it much, much sooner. Agents just list their emails and what they’re looking for! That sounds crazy!

*General meeting: (since you don’t seem to understand what that is) extremely common thing, going on generals is known as the “couch-and-water-bottle-tour” where your reps set you up meeting with executives at different production companies and studios. You go in, chat for a half hour, they get a feel for you and whether or not they’d like to work with you on something. 9 times out of 10, these result in nothing. It’s part of the job, and the majority of my general meetings have been acquired to further the screenwriting/film side of my writing career.

I’m also going to say my publishing path, yet again, because it’s clearly outlined elsewhere, but people seem to have trouble making this connection:

April/May 2012: 

-USC First Pitch, a speed-date situation where you pitch your film/tv projects to executives, managers, agents

-I submit my portfolio to about 20 different representatives or companies that requested it

-I get one general meeting request from Benderspink. This is where my USC “connections” end. I got a meeting through their pitchfest. From here on out, it is entirely on me and the skills I’ve picked up through four years of a fantastic BFA and two internships.

-At the Benderspink meeting, I pitch a tv show, a movie, and a vague idea of Red Queen. I said “I want to write the next big YA novel, here’s what I think it is.” I’ve explained in previous posts why I phrased it this way (summary: because pitching is a big picture game), because people have decided to hate me for voicing it.

-they said “sure, do it” and connected me with my first manager at Benderspink. I was not officially signed with them, but hip-pocketed, which has way less stability and no guarantee of representation. 

July 2012:

-I realize if I want to pursue writing the Red Queen idea, I have to move home to do it. I have no money, no job, and no strong support system in LA. Luckily my parents were all for it.

January 2012:

-I finish the first draft of Red Queen. I sent it to my manager, who has just quit to write full time. I panic.

-I expect notes back from him. Maybe. He doesn’t owe me anything and could easily say, too bad, I’m done! Really I didn’t know what to expect. Instead he tells me he forwarded the draft to Pouya Shahbazian at New Leaf Literary, who he recently worked with while optioning the rights for another project. I do some research (Googling) and realize NL is awesome. I am terrified. 

-Pouya reads the summary of Red Queen and forwards it to Suzie Townsend.

-Suzie reads Red Queen. She calls to chat with me and wants me to do a round of edits. I obviously agree.

February 2012:

-I submit my edited draft of Red Queen to Suzie.

-I sign with Suzie and New Leaf. We do another round of edits.

-At this point, I have cut about 40k words from the original draft of RQ.

March 2012:

-More edits.

April 2012:

-We go on submission with a draft of RQ.

-We sell to HarperTeen two weeks into submission.


Now to say “film connections” landed me my publishing agent. Absolutely I would not have hooked up with Suzie if my film manager hadn’t forwarded the draft. Absolutely. But that is how the industry works. There are authors who wouldn’t be working in film/tv if their agents hadn’t secured them a meeting. Our representatives get us jobs and create windows of opportunities. But we still have to be good enough to rise to the occasion. If my manuscript was garbage, Suzie would not have wasted her time. If I was bad at pitching, my film management wouldn’t have encouraged me to pursue writing. If I hadn’t written a good pilot my senior year, I would never have landed that management meeting. If I wasn’t a good, hungry, dedicated storyteller, I would not have been accepted to USC’s screenwriting program. That’s how it works. 

I’ll leave you with some very wise advice from a professor of mine. 

“Good luck is an opportunity you are prepared for. Bad luck is an opportunity you aren’t.” 

I have had extremely good luck. 

*what does DTE mean?*


The Nick Writing Program is now accepting applications for the 2016/2017 cycle! If you’re an aspiring TV writer, this is a great (PAID!) way to hone your skills and make industry contacts.

And get this – there are Domestic AND International programs.

Check out our website for application instructions and answers to any questions you might have.

Writers… do the thing!

The Nickelodeon Writing Program is now accepting applications for the 2015/2016 cycle ya’ll!  If you’re a writer and love writing and want to write for us or any other studio one day, this is a great first step.

And get this- there’s a Domestic AND International program.

Check out the website for instructions on how to apply and answers to any questions you might have:

Writers, do the thing.

Dear Jason Rothenberg,

I’m writing this as I sit mourning the remnants of another lesbian character. 

I want you to know how much this show meant to me before tonight. last year, I was in the closet. I was overeating, depressed, and anxious because I lived in fear of coming out. 

I was on tumblr one day and saw the leaked scene of the clexa kiss from 2x14. I immediately became intrigued because I had never seen anything like it. Queer representation on a CW show? Unheard of. I had watched some of the 100 before but never became fully invested so I decided to tune in that night to see the kiss for myself. 

My life changed after that. When the television showed Clarke and Lexa, two powerful women, in an adorable, not over sexualized, and not over dramatized relationship I was immediately hooked. Before I knew it I had caught up on Season 2 and gotten my friends and family addicted. I was obsessed to say the least, and dedicated an entire blog to it on tumblr. 

I became more comfortable with acknowledging the fact that like Clarke and Lexa I was gay. As my mother and I were discussing the tv show one night I ended up admitting that I was attracted to women and that’s why I cared so much about their relationship. Although, my mother wasn’t exactly accepting I had never felt more free. Also with this brilliant relationship on screen and the lovely group of shippers online I was welcomed into the LGBT community with open arms. I began writing and spreading my creativity. I met and fell in love with a girl. The show even inspired me to apply to a screenwriting summer program at NYU that I was recently accepted to. 

I could finally be myself and that was the best thing in the world. 

Until today apparently.

I don’t know if you know this, Mr. Rothenberg, but it is a worn out and tired trope to have the “lesbian” (in this case bisexual and lesbian) love story end in tragedy. I’d pull out a list, but I’m afraid it would be much too long to contain in this growing post. 

I had faith in you. I had faith in the writers. I had faith in this show. 

To say the least. 

I had faith that I could see a representation without a tragic ending because this show had done so much for me already. 

The LGBT+ community was disrespected tonight. We were told about how this show was doing great things. The fealty scene happened. The sex scene was leaked. We were lead to believe finally finally a queer couple was getting main ship treatment. All to have it pulled out right from under us. 

If you aren’t familiar to with the term queerbaiting… this is it. 

So I just wanted to say:

Screw you, Jason Rothenberg

Screw you for letting us believe that for once a queer couple could be happy.

And screw you for letting down another girl just like me a year ago who tuned in to watch what she thought was the culmination of a queer relationship only to find the lesbian one gets shot because that’s what happens with gay couples. 

They never work out.

I won’t be tuning in for another episode.



ericaofthetrashheap  asked:

*Gasp!* You went to film school?! I'm actually finishing up my last application this week (I'm applying for screenwriting programs). Do you mind if I ask where you went and if you have any advice?

I went local. Colorado Film School. It was an okay program. I have two pieces of advice.
1. Dont get intimidated. I left highschool early to go to film school. I was the youngest in my class by a lot. I constantly felt intimidated by people who were further along than me or just naturally had more aptitude for certain things. But fear is the mind killer. You are there to learn. So learn. Learn everything you can and be open to criticism and collaboration. Media is a collaborative process. Learn and be open.
2. When I started school they wanted us to leave with a reel of all our works. But I can tell you right now, a reel did nothing for me. Putting my work out there did. Start a youtube channel with all of the shorts you make. Have something you can instantly bring up if some one asks “What kind of stuff have you worked on.” Because being pepares for that moment might land you a job. Say you have an amazing idea for a comic book, and you just RANDOMLY get in an elevator with Stan Lee. You mention you are writing a comic and he says “Oh yeah? Lets see it”. Now imagine not being prepared and having something to show. You just lost your shot. Always have something to show.

Just remember those things. Learn, be open and always be prepared to show some work.