How do I become a television writer

Working on television: it really is

That all TV cameras are aimed at you is still a wet dream for many. But only some TV jobs put you in the spotlight, others work as artists and painter, producers, unit managers, cutters, cameramen, editors or cable carriers. But how do I get into that supposedly dazzling world of television? What do I need to know before I start a (hopefully successful) career in TV? And what dark secrets are there in the industry? On the online community Reddit has a longtime TV employee revealed what experiences it has had so far. Working while watching TV: That's really how it is ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Working while watching TV: Reality TV

A Career in television, working with starlets and stars, maybe becoming one yourself - an (unfulfilled) dream for many. The user, who appears in the online community Reddit under the abbreviation NotMRR, has been part of the TV establishment for 15 years.

According to his own statement, he has worked for various production companies that produce soaps, primetime shows or scripted reality formats on behalf of broadcasters - as an editorial assistant, editor, CvD, set production manager, 1st and 2nd production manager and Production manager.

He does not reveal name and age, not even his gender (but since we are talking about “production manager” and not “manager”, in the following we assume that it is a man). Nor for which production company or broadcaster he works. His identity has been verified by the Reddit moderators.

He's on Reddit too the questions of the community posed. Career Bible sums up the best answers ...

Which training do you recommend?

“If I were 18 years old today and knew that I wanted to have a career in television, I would be one first Training as a businessman for audiovisual media or make picture and sound as a media designer, ”recommends the TV insider. Preferably with a large broadcaster or producer.

"And then Study media economics, theater, film and television studies or media design. “That depends on whether you want to work more creatively and artistically or rather organize and manage. “The main thing is to present yourself wide on.“

His recommendation for his studies: “Work as a student assistant for broadcasters and producers as often as possible. That makes it much easier to get started later. "

General recommendation: “First of all Internship from three to six months to do and see how it goes. "

He himself got after graduating from school Multimedia design studies, through a student job and smaller assistant jobs at one Comedy producers Contacts made. Then he added a degree in information, communication and economics.

What qualities do you have to have?

His basic assessment: television is a field of activity for extroverts.

"If you are too shy, you can hardly get on with television," he believes. "I think we're all nuts in one way or another."

You have to open minded, communicative, not to have fallen on your head and Charm and humor Bring with you, because sometimes things are rough. "But you shouldn't believe that television is one party," he writes. "The fat years are long gone."

Nevertheless, the principle usually applies: “Work hard! Party hard! "

How big is the competition?

Short answer: big. Lots of people are entering the market, and the requirements for applicants vary. The most difficult thing is to hire the public broadcasters, while it is easier to get started with the private broadcasters.

“Here it often comes first not on formal qualifications but how you work in the daily editorial work. ”But without experience and networks it is difficult everywhere.

“I know very few people who have finished their studies joined directly as an editor are. And even they worked as assistants in various areas during their studies, ”is the TV man's experience.

What are the chances of career changers?

Basically good. There are many career changers in television who have come a long way.

“As an example, I will now mention an executive producer from a large private broadcaster who actually does Studied German language and literature has, was a teacher and has worked his way up from the editor of a small production company to a broadcaster EP in a good 15 years. "

What prospects does the industry offer?

If you have made it to a higher position, have a few years of work under your belt and have built up a network, "the job is relatively safe."

And further: “At some point you no longer often apply for jobs, but they are offered to you or you call a few friends and acquaintances.” This is the easiest way to get to the next project.

“The more people you like (assuming you do a good job), the better it will go because they'll be happy to use you again and again from project to project. Today I still use contacts that I made over ten years ago. "

But: “Generally I would not recommend to anyone anymoreto work while watching TV. Often times it becomes easy way too badly paid in the lower jobs and in cheap productions. Sometimes it is also easy Interns Jobs for which they are not qualified. That increases more and more. "

In addition, the competition from Netflix and Co. is increasing. “I see the future more on the web”, so the assessment of NotMRR.

“A lot more is possible here and there are always new creative people at work who try a lot. You have no transmitter in the neckthat puts you under cost pressure and there is completely different monetization options.“

How much do you earn?

According to his own statements, his annual salary is approx. 85,000 euros. However, it is Planning security not particularly high in the industry.

“With TV you are almost always employed on a fixed-term or production-related basis. Therefore, annual salaries can vary depending on the format, company and position. "

What do you earn in television?

The top earner on public television is Tom Buhrow. According to ARD information, the WDR director earns 399,000 euros a year.

With an annual salary of 237,000 euros, Thomas Kleist, director of the Saarland Broadcasting Corporation, is the church mouse among the directors without having to gnaw at the hunger cloth. The salaries of the other ARD directors lie between these two values.

When entering the public law light, the paycheck naturally turns out to be even less generous. Program volunteers earn between 1,438 and 2,120 euros per month in the ARD broadcasters (excluding RBB).

Production engineers, editors, program department heads and the directors of the state broadcasting corporations earn particularly well (in addition to the artistic directors).

This is how much you earn on ARD:

  • Intendant an ARD state broadcaster: 237,000 to 399,000 euros annually
  • Director of an ARD state broadcaster: 13,851 to 18,500 euros per month
  • Employees not covered by collective bargaining agreements (e.g. Program Area Leader, Head of Department): 9,880 to 12,477 euros per month
  • editor: 3,524 to 9,908 euros per month
  • camera operator: 2,421 to 7,691 euros per month
  • Graphic artist / graphic designer: 2,421 to 6,984 euros per month
  • Production engineer / engineer: 2,978 to 8,010 euros per month
  • cutter: 2,421 to 6,755 euros per month
  • secretary: 2,398 to 6,182 euros per month
  • Program volunteer: 1,438 to 2,120 euros per month
  • apprentice 1st to 3rd year: 694 to 1,020 euros per month

What do you dislike at all?

“I think it is absolutely irresponsibleTo pull people in front of the camera who are clearly not intelligent enough to be able to even begin to assess the scope of their actions, ”he says, and above all is playing on with it Scripted Reality Formats at.

"But almost everything is done for the quota!"

What he allegedly has already experienced: “It happens that in retrospect you find out that you spent half the day filming with a convicted pedophile for a scripted reality. Often something like this is accepted because one of the Transmitter sits in the neckthat you have to deliver a certain number of episodes per production period, otherwise the tight calculation will no longer work and you will earn less. "

And how is everyday TV life like otherwise?

Sometimes borderline, quite exciting, so his experience.

"I myself have shot with camera teams who were pretty stoned all day, but you didn't notice that too much." Alcohol and erotic escapades are also not uncommon.

“When you then shoot abroad or nationwide, for some it is just like that feeling of being on holiday. Of course, this is not the norm. Compared to other industries, however, it is definitely above average. "

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