Career Opportunities in the Film Industry, 2nd Edition by Fred Yager, Jan Yager

By Fred Yager, Jan Yager

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One of the key tasks of the Story Editor may be to supervise the script readers or story analysts in his or her department. According to Linda Stuart, a story analyst and author of Getting Your Script through the Hollywood Maze, in some smaller film companies the Story Editor may also be the story analyst. In a larger company, such as Disney, as many as 18 full-time story analysts may be employed, and Warner Brothers has 14. By contrast, according to Stuart, a smaller production company may rely on freelance story analysts, and the Story Editor may coordinate getting the materials to them and relaying their analyses to the director of development.

Screenwriters create screenplays for feature films in a variety of genres: romantic comedy, action adventure, thrillers, comedy, historical dramas, political dramas, family features, and sci-fi. There is no mistaking the huge impact one screenplay can have on the millions, even billions, of viewers worldwide who see a movie based on that writer’s screenplay. The glamour and excitement of being a writer associated with the film industry is hard to match in any other industry that uses writers, especially since  Screenwriter Writer or Playwright Special Skills and Personality Traits—Ability to create an original story or an adaptation based on other material; creative writing skills with competence at writing dialogue, creating action, and adhering to the specific style and format of screenplays Special Requirements—Union membership may be required by those studios and production companies that are signatories of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) a successful Screenwriter could command fees upward of a million dollars per script.

14 Literary Agent Assistant to Literary Agent erary Agent; reading screenplays at a production company is also helpful experience Special Skills and Personality Traits—Able to deal with people; comfortable juggling multiple projects and personalities; capable of performing well under pressure; able to say no; hardworking; able to develop screenwriting talent and cultivate good working relationships among the various components of the film industry, including the screenwriter, director, producer, casting director, and actors; legal knowledge to negotiate contracts or the ability to delegate that aspect of the contract to a lawyer on staff or on retainer Special Requirements—Signatory of the Writers Guild of America is helpful Unlike the book business, where most Literary Agents were once book editors at publishing companies who went off on their own and now represent authors to the publishers, agents who represent screenwriters may have a more eclectic road to this specialty.

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