nickelodeon writing fellowship – month 11

UNCERTAINTY
i’m a planner by nature, and having nothing lined up as the fellowship comes to an end has been very stressful. some days were ok. other days, i couldn’t sleep, lost my appetite, and couldn’t focus. but then i realized that all this uncertainty is something i better get used to, because i can be certain my life will have more it in the future.

even if i got staffed on a show at nick during the fellowship, the network might not renew the show for another season. or if i had an agent, that wouldn’t mean i’d get staffed during staffing season. if i was staffed, seasons ends. shows get cancelled. that’s what it is to work as a writer. it’s just part of the job.

if you can’t deal with instability and uncertainty, give up now and save yourself the stress. go become an accountant or something. with less than 2 weeks left to go, i’m not that stressed anymore. i’ve accepted it, i know i’m going to keep writing, and that’s all that matters.

seriously though, stress is bad. watch this documentary. i think they have it streaming on netflix.

AGENTS
we didn’t have agent meetings yet. i think karen is busy picking next year’s batch of fellows, but she said she’ll set up meetings for us even if it’s after the fellowship ends.

OPPORTUNITY
karen told me there was a script coordinator position available on robot & monster, and also possibly on the upcoming show monsters vs aliens, and asked if i was interested. a script coordinator at nickelodeon is basically the same thing as a writers’ assistant elsewhere. they sit in the room, take notes, coordinate schedules, etc.

pros:

  • it’s a job, vs unemployment.
  • i’d get to sit in the room and observe the writers as they break stories, pitch jokes, rewrite, go to record sessions, etc.
  • there’s a good chance of being promoted to writer at some point, especially at nick.
  • even greater chance of writing freelance scripts for the show.
  • i’d get to stay at nick and continue building relationships.

cons:

  • it might take years before i’m promoted to a writer, if at all. there are no guarantees.
  • it’s a time consuming job. i’d have very little time and energy to write. if you saw my post on john august’s blog, i’m not afraid of turning down jobs if i think they’ll interfere with my writing.
  • it’s a writing related job, but it’s not a writing job.

i decided not to pursue it.  if i never got into the fellowship, i’d probably take it. if it was a writers’ assistant job on a big network sitcom, i’d be more likely to take it. but right now, i went through this fellowship, and i have faith in my specs and pilot. i’d rather take my chances with landing an agent and trying to get staffed as a writer.

yes, i could have tried to get the script coordinator job, and then later if i got an agent and got staffed during staffing season, i could quit, but in between that time, i wouldn’t have time to write. that’s the main reason why i turned it down. i want to write another pilot and make some short films.

KORRA
i’m going to sit in on writers’ room on korra for the last 2 weeks. korra is a spinoff from avatar:the last airbender. it’s an interesting show and is very different from all the other shows at nickelodeon. it’s more action than comedy, it’s very serialized, it’s 22 min instead of 11 min, and the storytelling is complex. it’s definitely not spongebob. i’m really looking forward to joining them and observing the room!

  1. Mike Alber (@malber) left a comment on October 6, 2011 at 9:33 am

    good post, kiyong. and you’re right on the money: uncertainty is part of the job. gotta roll with the punches. that’s what we’re going through right now with DV. but hey: we get to write for a living and that’s an awesome thing.

    • kiyong left a comment on October 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      thanks mike! by dv, mike means Death Valley on mtv, which he was a writer on. hope it gets renewed and they bring you back!

  2. Susie left a comment on October 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Great post, Kiyong. I’ve been following your blog since you did a guest post for John August – it has been exciting to read about your journey through the Nick Fellowship. One question: would any of your blog readers be able to apply for the script coordinator position you described in this post?

    • kiyong left a comment on October 6, 2011 at 3:16 pm

      thanks susie. one script coordinator position was already filled by an intern, and i don’t think the other position actually exists yet, because the show hasn’t officially started. you can try to search on here – http://nickanimationcareers.com/jobs/current-openings/, but because those jobs are so coveted, i think they would first go to pa’s and other employees already at nick. if nick is where you want to be, i would suggest trying to get your foot in the door any way you can.

  3. Rick left a comment on October 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Hey man nice dedication. You are blessed to have made it into Nicks program. 1 in 1300 chance and you did it.

    Kiyong would you be willing to read one of my specs (community spec) and give me a little feedback?
    I understand if you’re too busy.
    Email me at ninthstr@yahoo.com
    thanks bro.

    • kiyong left a comment on October 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm

      sorry rick. i’m flattered, but i have to have a policy of not reading anyone’s scripts. there are time issues, and legal issues. i wouldn’t want anyone accusing me of stealing ideas or jokes. i would recommend writing groups as the best way to get feedback.

  4. Anonymous left a comment on October 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    This blog is so inspiring. Congrats on Korra! Super exciting show to be a part of – you’re living the dream!

    • kiyong left a comment on October 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm

      thanks! i didn’t get hired on korra or anything like that though. i just got to hang out with them in the room for the last couple weeks of the fellowship.

      • corin left a comment on October 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm

        ” just got to hang out with them” Um, you’re kinda in the mix with one of the most anticipated animated shows ever! I’m a 30yo woman and I’m hosting a watch party when the time comes. I know embarking on a new life phase is crazy stressful, but you’re lightyears from where you started. I’m a film grad student who was feeling really depressed about the state of the industry (especially for minorities), but when I found your blog I was really encouraged by your story. You’ve made the dream feel accessible to me. Thank you for sharing!

    • Jetsyn left a comment on November 11, 2011 at 8:48 am

      I guess finding useful, reliable infrotamion on the internet isn’t hopeless after all.

  5. Teresa Lo left a comment on June 26, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I love this post Kiyong. Very brave of you to share the honest truth. I’m linking this post to my blog. LOVE LOVE LOVE it.

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