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Your Career in Writing for Film & Television

About This Job

Every TV series and feature film begins with a script. And that script will have been written by a writer. The writer starts with a blank page and through the sheer force of their imagination, possibly fueled by a hot beverage, they tap out a story – half-hour comedy, hour-long drama, movie of the week, feature film – that will move an audience. A career in TV and Film writing is a career immersed in the art of storytelling.  

The TV and Film Industry in Canada and around the world is massive and growing each year with the consumer’s appetite for content insatiable. Producers, broadcasters, and streamers are all hungry for fresh ideas, new voices. There has never been a better time than now to be a writer in TV and Film.  

In studying TV and Film writing at TFS you will learn about all the elements that go into telling a good story – structure, characterization, tone, dialogue, format. You will workshop your material, get feedback from your instructors and fellow students, and, ultimately, hone your craft. Most important, you will make life-long connections and friendships that will serve you well in the industry. 

A Career in Writing for Film & Television

Key Duties​

  • Brainstorming ideas for a TV series or feature film 
  • Beating out a story  
  • Writing an outline/treatment  
  • Writing a first draft 
  • Revising the draft  
  • Polishing the draft 
  • Collaborating with other writers  
  • Creating a pitch document for your TV series/feature film 
  • Pitching your TV series/feature film  
  • Networking with other writers, producers, production executives, broadcast executives, showrunners 
  • Reading scripts of existing shows and movies 

Critical Skills​

  • Language and writing 
  • Creativity and imagination 
  • Resilience 
  • Being a good team player 
  • Detail oriented 
  • Ability to work under pressure 
  • Networking 
  • Confidence 
  • Passion 
  • Persistence 
  • Patience 
  • Flexibility 
  • Research 
  • Ability to accept criticism and learn from it 

Work Environment

  • Your home, a café, your bathtub, wherever you’re comfortable writing 
  • An office setting, a boardroom, if you’re working in a writer’s room on a show 
  • Hours vary according to your writing schedule. Business hours if you’re on a show 
  • Minimal physical exertion

Professional Union

In 2020, Canada's film and television production industry generated over $9 billion in production volume, contributed $12.2 billion to the GDP and created approximately 244,500 jobs. The percentage of new Writer’s Guild of Canada members self-identifying as diverse has risen steadily from 14% in 2016 to 33% in 2019.

Job Search Tips - Where to Focus Your Time

Feature film screenwriters make between $74,479 – $139,823 for an original screenplay including a treatment. How much do TV screenwriters make? TV screenwriters make $26,566 per 30-minute episode and $39,072 per 60-minute episode on a prime-time network or high-budget programming channel.