Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Apply Online" should let you apply online

The Warner Bros TV Writer's Workshop is taking submissions for their 2009 program this month. Since it's the only one that isn't a "Diversity Program" it's also pretty much the only one I can apply to since I'm an Ivy League educated white male from the Northeast. It's a great opportunity to grow as a writer and get noticed by people who could hire me as a staff writer on one of their shows, so I really hope I get in. If not, I'll keep applying every year unless I get staffed on my own in the meantime.

Here's the snag though: the application process is proving to be more problematic than it should be. It used to be a mail-only process. A friend of mine at Warners assured me that they were changing it to online submissions this year, which is great since I don't own a printer, and I'm in Massachusetts this week and don't really want to mail a script across the country. This morning I put the final touches on my application letter, and clicked "Apply Now."

It took me through various windows like any online form does. When I came to the "payment" page, which was strangely before any chance for me to upload a script, the only options for payment were check and money order. I had to ask my roommate to look at my checkbook back in LA and give me a check number. I figured it was similar to a "check by phone" situation. I enter the info, and click "Next" to find that I've now submitted my application, and have been brought to a page that says, "Review, Print & Mail In with your Script, Resume, Composition, Payment & Submission Agreement."

Basically, the "Apply Online" function was just a way to fill out the form on the computer before printing it, and then mailing it in just like the old system. And they don't mention this in the form, it just surprises you saying that you need to print. Since I didn't have a printer, I was kind of mad. Luckily I was able to bring my laptop to my family's printer. If this had happened when I was back in LA I would have been screwed.

So Warner Brothers, thank you for continuing your program to help young writers start their careers, but please don't say that you can apply online when the process still involves printing 60 pages and driving to the post office.


Anonymous said...

If you look at the pics and bios from the other "diversity programs" there are plenty of white men and women in these programs. There this idea that they just take asian, black, hispanic, and women and leave white men and women off the list. The list is a mix of everyone. Would it bother you less if the list was 100 white (as it's always been), instead of having a mix of everyone... everyone... including white men and women. And to say again, these programs you think you don't qualify for have all races.

By the way, I'm a black man and former finalist for the Warner Brothers Writers Workshop. And if I would have made it in, they would have said it's because of my color, even though, as you said, the program isn't diversity. It does cut both ways.

he who rants said...

If it were 100 percent white guys I would be pretty shocked and upset actually. I've met all kinds of writers out here from all types of backgrounds.

If you got into the Warner's workshop I'm sure it would be because you're a good writer. There aren't many spots, and anyone, no matter where they came from, would have to be pretty good to make it through the review process. Even if they limited the spots to only people from Nebraska or some other random choice, there would still be a competitive process to get in, since there are just that many people trying to make it in this town.

If you're right and I'd be welcomed in the other studio programs in town, that's great. I just didn't want to put up the money to apply as a broke hollywood assistant if it was a fool's errand for me.

Anonymous said...

I think there are equal chances at any place. I'm back, but have gotten further in the "non-diversity" programs. In fact, the girl who beat me out at Warners was white, and I helped her with her spec. It was a mess, and she still got in. I think there are many reasons for not getting in. Timing. Having a reader who just doesn't like you. Picking a spec or storyline that people just don't like. In the end, no matter the color, or gender, you still have to prove yourself in the room or you won't last a season. I think you should try them all. 25 bucks is a good investment on our hard work.