Shonda Rhimes tells all _ about how to be a screenwriterApril 21, 2017 5:57pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shonda Rhimes, the TV mastermind whose hits include "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal," keeps a lid on plot twists. But she's giving aspiring screenwriters a behind-the-scenes look at how to succeed in her craft.

In six hours of online classes, Rhimes offers lessons on writing scripts, pitching pilots, and how series' writers work together to create stories and screenplays. Scripts from "Scandal" and the "story bible" that laid out the characters and structure of "Grey's Anatomy" are part of her masterclass.com course.

So why spill?

"I love the idea that for $90, somebody who couldn't afford to go to film school would get to take this class," Rhimes said. "No matter where you are, what you were doing, where you were in life, you could stop for a little bit of time and take this class and get this education."

"It felt like an equalizer to me, and that was great," she said of the project from San Francisco-based company MasterClass, adding, "I'm also the child of professors, so it seems to be the way to go: You teach things."

The so-called second golden age of television with its expanded number of outlets, including streaming platforms, has created new but not unlimited opportunities. Breaking into the competitive field requires creative thinking on and off the page, Rhimes suggested.

She went the "film school route," she said, but there are other ways to get started.

"I would suggest getting a job as a PA (production assistant), anywhere, because it is a way in and lot of this is about knowing people," Rhimes said. Entering — and winning — the many available writing contests is another path, she said.

Keep in mind the advantage of writing over other entertainment industry occupations, Rhimes said.

"For young TV writers trying to get in, writing is the only job you can do in this business when no one is hiring you to do it," she said. "You can sit at your computer or your legal pad and write a script ... and have a calling card."

And there are jobs to be had, she assures the hopeful. That includes at Shondaland, her production company that also is behind "How to Get Away with Murder."

"We're always looking for people not from here (the industry), because they have new and fresh voices," Rhimes said.

___

Online:

http://www.masterclass.com/SR

More Stories Like This

FILE - In this combination photo, Tucker Carlson, host of "Tucker Carlson Tonight," appears on the set in New York, Thursday, March 2, 2107, left, and Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly appears on the set of his show, "The O'Reilly Factor" on Oct. 1, 2015 in New York. O'Reilly says he's sad and surprised that he's off TV but is confident the truth will come out about his exit from Fox News. Five days after his firing amid sexual harassment allegations, O'Reilly aired an episode Monday of his personal website's "No Spin News" podcast. The show was replaced by “Tucker Carlson’s Tonight,” which moved to O'Reilly's time slot Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
O'Reilly surprised by Fox exit, says truth will come out
HGTV's 'Flip or Flop' to return with divorcing co-hostsThe divorcing co-hosts of HGTV's "Flip or Flop" are returning to the show for a seventh season
Writers Guild votes to authorize strike as talks continueMembers of the Writers Guild of America are one step closer to striking come May 2. In a letter to its members Monday, the WGA said 96.3 percent voted to authorize a strike as the May 1 contract expiration deadline looms
Bill O'Reilly says he's surprised that he's off TV but is confident the truth will come out about his exit from Fox NewsBill O'Reilly says he's surprised that he's off TV but is confident the truth will come out about his exit from Fox News
FILE- In this Feb. 10, 2008, file photo, Writers Guild of America board member Nancy De Los Santos, who's also a film and television writer, waits for a news conference to start in Los Angeles. Members of the Writers Guild of America are one step closer to striking come May 2, 2017. In a letter to its members Monday, April 24, the WGA said 96.3 percent voted to authorize a strike as the May 1 contract expiration deadline looms. (AP Photos/Ric Francis, File)
AP Explains: What will a Hollywood writers' strike mean?
In this Aug. 9, 2014 photo provided by George Lewis, former NBC news reporter and Latina journalism pioneer Cecilia Alvear, who was a founding member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, addresses the NAHJ convention in San Antonio, Texas. Alvear died on Friday, April 21, 2017, at home in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 77. (George Lewis via AP)
NBC reporter, Latina journalism pioneer Cecilia Alvear dies
AdChoices

Related Searches

Related Searches

AdChoices