Sorry, Newbies, But if You Want to Write TV You Really, Really, Really need to be in L.A.

And now for a lesson in cognitive dissonance. Or, “Why Should I Accept the Truth When It isn’t What I Want to Hear?”

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More on meetings, why you should be in LA, and industry growth
by The Bitter Script Reader

It’s been interesting seeing the passionate reactions to the post I wrote last week [and which we posted yesterday] about why aspiring writers still need to move to L.A. I honestly didn’t expect quite so passionate a response because I felt like it was a topic that had been covered a number of times. My assumption was that the new followers of this site would take it in, but that most readers would go, “Oh yeah, we’ve had this talk.”

What I didn’t expect was that this would blow up as much as it did on Twitter, to the point that a lot of working writers I follow ended up discussing it – and largely agreeing with it. Even knowing what sometimes happens on Twitter, it was unexpected to see some really aggressive responses spitting venom at those writers for daring to say this. I think that most people who bothered to read the entire article took it to heart, but there is definitely a vocal minority who registered their displeasure with a lot of rage.

The dissenting opinions typically fell into one of the following categories:

1) “No, you’re wrong.” – no effort made at refuting the points I made in my post. No effort at providing a counter-argument. Just “you’re wrong.” Persuasive.

2) “Well, Gary Whitta/Justin Marks/C. Robert Cargill/etc don’t live in LA and they’re successful!” – Marks spent a decade building his career in L.A. and didn’t move away until after he was hired on THE JUNGLE BOOK, and he still regularly comes back to L.A. for meetings. He’s made a name for himself, so he can be absentee. Whitta and Cargill came into the industry after making names for themselves in other aspects of it (and in Cargill’s case, he pretty much had director Scott Derrickson demand he write a script for him.) There are unique circumstances like this for most of the names people threw at me.

Also, my whole post was about how just finding exceptions doesn’t disprove the rule. Amy Purdy didn’t have legs and was runner-up in a dancing competition, but that doesn’t mean every amputee stands a chance of keeping up with the cast of the next STEP UP movie….

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