CAAM Fellowship interview and results!

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INTERVIEW

My finalist interview for the CAAM Fellowship was scheduled for 7pm on Tuesday, Jan 14. I left my office early at 5:30, thinking I’d get home by 6:15 at the latest. I already prepared for the interview, but wanted to do one more quick review of everything beforehand.

The interview was either going to be by Skype or phone. Phone interviews are hard because you get no visual feedback, so I was hoping for Skype. That way I could see the people interviewing me and gauge their reactions, instead of just talking into a void.

Unfortunately for me, there was ridiculous LA traffic. There had been a fire off the Pacific Coast Highway earlier in the day and that road was shut down, so all that traffic overflowed onto the route I take. After an hour of sitting in traffic, I had moved about 2 miles. There was no way I’d make it home in time. I emailed the people at CAAM and let them know the situation, and told them I could do a phone interview later that night at 7 as scheduled, or reschedule for a Skype interview the next day. They replied and said a phone interview later that night was fine.

I ended up pulling over in front of a Starbucks. All of my prep work was sitting on my laptop at home, so I wasn’t able to review anything beforehand. I turned on the light in my car, found a pen and the back of some receipts to take notes on, and had my interview. Not ideal circumstances, but I’ve done these phone interviews several times now: twice for Nickelodeon, and once for NBC. I know how to talk about myself and my work. I thought I did okay, but you never know.

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CAAM Fellowship news

caam

Last Oct, a friend who had gone through WOTV a couple years before me emailed me about the CAAM Fellowship, which is a fellowship for Asian Americans in entertainment. She had gone through the program and said it was great, and she said I should apply. I hadn’t heard of it before, so I read up about the program on their site.

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my parks and rec cold open

i had a poll last week to see which of my spec scripts people wanted to read: 30 rock, parks and rec, or happy endings. the numbers were overwhelmingly for…

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which cold open should i post?

i get a lot of emails from people asking to read my scripts, but my policy is i only give my scripts to friends. however, i decided to post just the cold open from one of my specs, but i can’t decide which one. help me pick which one by voting below!

the choices are:

  • 30 rock – this script got me into the nick fellowship, and past the 1st round of abc/disney
  • parks and rec – this script got me into NBC wotv
  • happy endings – this is my latest spec that i sent to wb, abc, and cbs this year

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google searches answered

here are some google searches people used to find my blog, and answers to those questions.

when do they notify finalists for the tv writing workshops
– usually around september for the first round. nickelodeon starts earlier, sometimes late july. it’s coming up!

how many people apply to tv writing fellowships
– between 1000 to 2000 a year, depending on the program. disney used to get around 2000, then they asked for letters of the recommendation, and it dropped to 1000 that year. wotv received around 1600 last year, 1900 this year. i think nickelodeon gets around 1300, but keep in mind it’s all comedy writers and fewer slots.

odds of getting tv writing fellowships
– this is related to the question above. disney and nbc take 8 people a year, cbs, wb, and nickelodeon take less. i’m not too familiar with the new fox program. 1 in a 100 is 1%, so 1 in a 1000 is .1%, and they receive more than a 1000 submissions a year, so less than .1%.

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mid year creative review 2013 / wotv wrap up

the year is already half over! so far, i finished wotv, and have been working a pretty cool full time day job as a designer at shazam. my top 3 goals for 2013 were:

  1. be a working writer, and get staffed on a show.
  2. write at least 2 new pilot scripts.
  3. write a feature script.

here’s my semiannual progress report:

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nbc writers on the verge – cross program mixer 3/12/13

we had a mixer with writers from the various network writing programs, including cbs, wb, disney, the new fox program, and us from nbc wotv. there were maybe 40 writers plus the people who run the programs. it was really crowded, and a lot of fun.

here’s something you might not have known: many writers go through multiple programs. this is my second program, and i met others who went through 2, 3, and even 4 programs. people who are good enough to get into one often times get into another. but why would a writer do multiple programs? because getting into a writing program is no guarantee. it’s not like winning the lottery. obviously, the ideal situation is you get into a writing program, and then you get an agent and get staffed immediately after. that doesn’t always happen though. the programs are a chance to meet other writers, work on writing samples, and meet execs, but yeah, there are no guarantees of getting staffed.

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nbc writers on the verge – my pilot is done

after struggling for weeks, i finally finished my pilot, and i’m happy with how it came out!

i had a lot to think about after the last round of notes and the feedback from the table read. at times, i wondered if i should give up on it completely, throw it away, and just write a new pilot from scratch. instead, i let the script sit for a couple weeks, and i let the notes sink in.

around this time, i had a meeting with my wotv mentor, who works in comedy development at nbc. he was nice enough to read my script and he gave me some very insightful notes, and that’s when things started to click.

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