Screenwriters Need To Pick One Genre by Shannan E. Johnson

Film Courage: Do you think that writers should stay with one genre?

Writer/Instructor and Script Consultant Shannan E. Johnson (The Professional Pen): I’ll tell you this, I always tell my writers to pick a lane. It’s not because of what I believe but because of what Hollywood believes. Hollywood likes to put people in boxes, right? It’s the same thing with actors, right? If you get in as a comedian, it’s going to be hard pressed for them to give you a dramatic role. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it. It’s just that the industry in itself when it comes to writers is really divided into separate places.

There are feature agents and feature execs. There are TV agents and TV execs. There are going to be showrunners who deal with drama, showrunners who deal with comedy. They usually don’t reach into each others lanes and because of that, when they meet you as a new writer they need to know what lane you’re in so they can know where to send you…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).






About Shannan:

After grad school I became a junior creative executive at NBCUniversal at the Syfy Channel. I was there for the rebrand. Remember Sci Fi? Yeah, not really. Anywho, it was my job to help writers and producers take their ideas from pitch to production. I co-exec’d on Alphas, Being Human, Haven, Sanctuary, Warehouse 13, and more Syfy dramedies. This is how I honed my skill in all stages of the screenwriting process…(read more here).

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