There is no way to sugar-coat the truth; finding screenwriting jobs in 2021 will be challenging. However, there are still numerous ways you can make a living as a screenwriter and find work in the film industry.
The ongoing global pandemic has been particularly hard on freelancers, and many creatives have struggled. You may be experiencing a decrease in work, wages or have faced unemployment. Times have been hard, but they are getting better, and you will see an increase in opportunities as the year progresses.
Below is a list of places to find screenwriting jobs. This includes freelance, full-time, and alternative ways to find work as a filmmaker this new year.
There are lots of incentives for screenwriters still active despite the pandemic.
Screenwriting contests still represent a great way to get your script in front of the industry. Here’s a list of some of the best Screenwriting Contests in 2021. A win at a big contest can kick start your career. But even if you do not win, many screenwriting contests give feedback on your script which can help improve your screenwriting.
The great news is that the usual opportunities for screenwriters live on, but if it is a job you are looking for, try out some of the websites and resources listed below.
Film Job Sites
Many production companies and producers use film job sites for advertising crew work. What some screenwriters don’t realize is that they can also list screenwriting jobs too. The work advertised on these sites is typically freelance and can change quickly. As such, it’s a good idea to bookmark the websites you like and check up on them every week. Some websites you might not already know about are ISA Writing Gigs, Screenwriting Staffing, Entertainment Careers, and Video Collective.
Although most film work is freelance, it is possible to get a full-time screenwriting job. You can find these positions on film job sites, as well as ordinary job sites. Another way to find full-time work is by looking at the career pages of a production companies website. Some companies only use their websites for in-house work. So if there is a company you want to work for, bookmark their career page ( e.g., Lucas Film, Netflix Jobs, and NBC careers).
Film commissions are a lesser-known way to find film work. These are government-run organizations aimed at encouraging local filmmaking. In fact, every country and state has a film commission that provides advice for local filmmakers. Some of these also have job listing pages, and many advertise networking events. No matter what job you are after in the film industry, networking with local filmmakers is necessary. A great website that lists all US state commissions and production resources is SAGindie.
If you’re not already using social media to find work, then you are missing out. You can use social media to promote your services, gather fans, and find screenwriting jobs. This can be as easy as searching for work in a social media search bar, but the best way is to use Facebook groups. You can find groups that are local to you or job-specific. To do this, search for your job role followed by your location and the keyword filmmakers. You can find a list of useful links and Facebook groups on our filmmaker resource page.
Or you may want to start script reading. Keep in mind this is not for every screenwriter, as it involves giving feedback on scripts instead of writing them. Many coverage services have open calls for writers every year including Coverfly and The Black List. Even if they are not advertising jobs right now, they may have vacancies in the future. A tip for finding freelance work is to bookmark useful websites and check in on them every few weeks to see what new jobs have shown up.
Other Writer Jobs
As a screenwriter, you can also branch out to other freelance writing jobs. It’s always a good idea to make income from a variety of different avenues. Writers are needed for all sorts of work, from online content writing to magazine articles, social media, and online videos. You can find jobs advertised by searching on social media, job sites, or directly contacting publishing companies. Some websites that offer great advice for freelance writers are The Freelancers Year, Study Hall, and The Write Life.
Screenwriting jobs are not easy to get, and the ongoing crisis has made it even harder. You may need to have a different approach to work this year and experiment with other income streams. But it is not all bad news; you can still take steps towards your goals; the film industry is already on the mend.
This article was written by Free Video Collective. We help freelancers and graduates find Film and TV production jobs. Post your CV to be found by employers seeking professional film crew. Also, check out our blog and stay up to date on all the latest gear, industry news, and discount codes.