nickelodeon writing fellowship – month 10

ROBOT & MONSTER
nickelodeon held a little screening of robot & monster in the gym. they showed 2 episodes, and they were fantastic! it’s a very funny show, and the animation looked wonderful. i think the show will do very well. actually, it got picked up for a second season even though season one hasn’t aired yet. it would have been a fun show to work on.

AGENTS
agent meetings will be early next month, after labor day. we asked karen which agencies we’ll be meeting with. i don’t remember all of them, but i think they included uta, gersh, paradigm, gotham, and several more. i’ll write about what happens in next month’s post.

PILOT
it took 3 revisions, but i finally got my outline to work. i’m in the middle of my first draft and i’m glad i took the extra time to figure out the story in the outline.

LOOKING BACK
the fellowship is almost over! there’s still 6 weeks left, but i’m already looking back on this experience.

if i had to do it all over again, knowing what i know now – that i would not have had the opportunity to join the writers’ room of a show, and had no chance of writing a freelance script or of getting hired, would i still have participated in the fellowship?

let’s look at the opportunity cost: i gave up a very good job as an art director at a growing internet marketing company and took a huge pay cut. if i had stayed at that job, i would have made enough money to buy a new car and a 2 bedroom condo in west la by now. i  would have gotten a raise. i would have had health insurance that was fully paid for. 4 weeks vacation. my commute would have been a 5 minute bike ride (in LA!) instead of 45 minutes. was it worth it to leave that job for the fellowship?

yes. absolutely.

i got paid to write. i got to write a whole bunch of spec scripts and i’m finishing up my pilot. i’m a much better writer now than i was a year ago. also, and maybe even more importantly, i’m better at all the non-writing aspects, the soft skills, that you need as a writer. i’m better at taking meetings, at pitching, at networking, at selling myself. and i got to meet so many great people at nickelodeon, all the way from interns to the president of the company.

and being in the fellowship somehow led me to meet writers who were in the other writing programs. i guess it’s kind of like when you buy a green shirt, and then all you notice are other green shirts. i hope to stay in touch with them as we all progress in our careers.

of course, the ideal situation would have been to work on a nickelodeon show and then get hired, but even though that didn’t happen this year, i have no regrets.

if you are lucky enough to get accepted into one of these writing programs, there’s no guarantee as to what happens afterwards. you’re not promised a job, or an agent. actually, even if you get a job, there’s no guarantee for a next job. would you be willing to take the risk and leave your old life behind? i’m glad i did, no matter how awesome that 5 minute commute would have been.

  1. Inkymae left a comment on August 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Congrats on all your success Kiyong! The big question though is whether NIck has already picked the finalists for next year? Do you know the inside scoop on that?

    • kiyong left a comment on August 29, 2011 at 11:49 am

      they have not. my guess is they’ll start making calls within 2 weeks or so.

  2. Deirdre L. Brenner left a comment on August 29, 2011 at 11:54 am

    What a wonderful blog post, Kiyong! And CONGRATULATIONS on all that you’ve achieved as a Nick fellow. I have no doubt that the foundation you’ve laid this past year is going to continue to bring extraordinary opportunities and relationships your way. I am excited to track your future successes.

    NOW KEEP GOING!

    🙂 dlb

  3. Jason Hindo left a comment on August 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Hey Kiyong! Jason Hindo here. I’ve been following yours, Brian’s and Kevin’s progresses this past year (some may call it “stalking”), and you have provided such terrific insight into the Fellowship as well as the whole experience of being a paid writer. I like to think I’ve lived vicariously through you guys this past year. Alas, since it’s already the end of August and I haven’t heard from Nick, I’m guessing I won’t be making it over to Burbank this year, but I think your reading about your experiences are gonna drive me to keep going and to keep trying.

    I’m looking forward to keep on reading your blogs and seeing what great things come your way. Keep in touch!

    Jason Hindo

  4. kiyong left a comment on August 29, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    thanks for the encouragement everyone! we’ll see what happens.

  5. ron reid jr. left a comment on August 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

    looking forward is great!! it makes it all that more sweet when you do succeed!! but not getting guarantees, it seems like you won already bro!!

  6. Eric Stokes left a comment on August 30, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    When you say they haven’t picked/called the “finalists”, you mean “semi-finalists”, right? Or is it time to give up hope?

    • kiyong left a comment on August 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      yes, semifinalists. nobody has been contacted yet, so keep hope alive!

  7. Catherine left a comment on September 3, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    Kijong- you are unbelievably creative. I watched all your short films and have kept up with your blog, and I have so much faith that you are going to go on and do incredible things. Congrats! You are an inspiration and someone who has a lot to look forward to!!!

    • kiyong left a comment on September 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      thanks for the kind words catherine! there’s still 5 weeks left in the fellowship so who knows what’ll happen.

  8. Katie left a comment on September 12, 2011 at 6:58 am

    HI Kiyong,

    I am working on a 30 Roc spec for next year’s fellowship and your blog has been very useful and inspiring. So, thank you for that!

    You said in one of your posts that Karen gave you feedback on the act structure of your 30 Rock spec. I can’t find any scripts for season 5 so I am not sure how many acts to use.

    Right now I have a cold open and two acts. Good? No good?

    I APPRECIATE ANY HELP…THANKS 🙂

    • kiyong left a comment on September 12, 2011 at 10:14 am

      hey katie. i would advise you not to write a spec for 30 rock because the show is too old. i’d recommend something newer like parks and rec, community, raising hope, or modern family. if you do end up writing a 30 rock anyway, i would do a cold open, 3 acts, and a tag. i think that structure would apply for most sitcoms these days. good luck!

      • Katie left a comment on September 12, 2011 at 10:46 am

        Darn it! 30 Rock is the only show I know like the back of my hand!

        I do like Community a lot. Guess I will have to start re-watching a lot of the eps.

        Thanks for your help!

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