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to take the job. If you’re lucky enough to have some money in the bank you ask,
“What am I passionate about? What do I want to do a show about?’ Somebody
might call me and say I want you to do a video on my theatre company. No,
no thanks not interested. So interest is a factor.
Alan McElroy (Screenwriter): It’s a Relationship Business
Alan discusses how relationships make the work sustainable:
It’s all about relationships. So and so really likes you and wants to talk about such
and such. Do you remember them? I’ve been in the business now for over 20 years.
I’ll be in a meeting and some guy will say you probably don’t remember me but I
brought you coffee when I worked for so and so. You network with people. Your
friendships keep getting you work. People that like working with you will keep coming
back. Dwight Little, the director I’ve known for twenty years, I got Tekken because of
him. We had come up with an idea called Future Perfect before that. He was offered
Tekken and took the idea of Future Perfect and used it as a template. They flew me
out for this meeting with the head of the company. We went out to dinner at Trader
Vics. He said, ‘don’t say anything I got this. I didn’t even know what story he was
pitching. He would say, ‘Alan and I have talked about this.’ Dwight didn’t know what
the story was.
Marc Jaffe (Comedy Writer and Philanthropist): Less Pressure Because My
Wife Works A Steady Job; Everyone Is A Freelancer Now They Just Don’t
Know It
Marc ironically captures the reality of freelance, “Because of the nature of the business,
you’re a freelancer always even when you have a job it’s a temporary job. Even if you
get a job on a TV show, a Seinfeld is rare that it lasts for so many years. So many shows
last a year or a couple of episodes and then they’re yanked. It’s not even whether it’s a
good show or not. Everything is a part-time job it’s your full focus for awhile.” He is
fortunate to have a wife make the larger, steadier income and notes that it is a privileged
position, “to have the ability to say no to something and arrange your schedule the way you
want. My wife’s been great. She appreciates the work and likes that I can be there when
she can’t be.”
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