This week’s interview is with screenwriter Dan Dollar, whose feature film career started with the sale of his script THE BOY AND HIS TIGER, the story of Calvin & Hobbes creator Bill Watterson. We covered everything from his background as an IT consultant for military defense in Virginia through his transition into a full-fledged screenwriting career and the process that landed him his representation in Los Angeles.

When did you break into the industry?

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Spec means written on speculation, aka for free. You invest your time and your talent into a spec script that serves as a writing sample and maybe even something you can sell. In an ideal world, your writing portfolio will consist of multiple TV or feature length spec scripts to showcase your expertise.

Why write a spec?

No one pays you to write a spec, so why do it?

So many reasons.

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A popular question from people interested in screenwriting usually goes something like, “I haven’t written much, if anything. What do I do? Where do I begin?” It’s actually a great question – the answer being something that is way too easy to ignore. Write. Write all the time. And write complete and utter crap. It’s a starting point, not an end point. Don’t be perfect. Get it done.

I wish I could say that this is just a problem for new writers,

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In this week’s interview, writer and FSU alumni Dave Metzger shares his experience as the writers’ assistant on NBC’s The Blacklist. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dave right after his first freelance episode of the show aired on February 18th 2016. Get ready to hear about everything from his experience writing ‘Drexel’ in the basement of The Blacklist’s office to the kind of genuine insight you can only get from rising the ranks of Hollywood.

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When someone refers to the trades, they’re talking about entertainment industry news sources aimed at providing you with insider information, reviews, interviews, coverage of events and festivals, box office reports, and the like. It’s typical for anyone working in the business to check their preferred entertainment industry trades throughout the day for the latest updates. You should too!

Why read the trades?

It’s how you keep up to date on the all out drama of Hollywood from the everyday gory details to general roundups.

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