interning at West Wing Writers is a dream come true for many creative writers. If you love to write, you love to read, and you love to help other people in the process, you can put together a lucrative full-time career at the W.H. Writers offers many of the benefits of working on both coasts – you can work all day on your writing, then take time off the weekend to hang out with the family, go sightseeing, or do whatever you want to do. You can also choose to work exclusively with the West Wing Writers community, or work remotely from home. There is never a bad time to learn new skills or hone your craft.
This is a brief description of the full range of duties that West Wing Writers provides their interns. You may be surprised at just what is included in being an intern. There are ample opportunities to read books, gain a broad understanding of the business, practice strategic communications skills, collaborate with writers, read non-fiction, and write a short story, novelette, romance, thriller, or any other genre. As you work and develop your internship, you will develop skills that you can then apply to your writing. Below is a list of some of the varied assignments, an individual can expect while interning:
Organizing an Interview – This is a common task given to new writers. They are expected to construct an interview for you, using your given wording and the framework provided by the company. After this task has been completed, the individual is expected to compile an original response to the questions posed to them. The W.H. authors are happy to help improve their draft writing and editing so that it meets the standards of excellence.
Teleplay Research – As part of their teleplay internship, writers are asked to conduct research on the show, making notes on scripts and current events, as well as doing interviews. While the overall goal is to create an original teleplay, the W.H. pro-am writers are also under an immense amount of pressure to write a specific number of teleplays by a certain deadline. They are under no obligation to produce the final product; however, if they do, the company needs to be credited as the producer.
Production Consultant – If you’re not sure exactly what kind of production consultant job you would want, then ask yourself this: how many college kids do you know who have ever auditioned for this position? This is the position where a professional sits behind the scenes and acts as a connection between the director and the actors, producers, and crew. In addition, they make sure that the show runs smoothly from beginning to end. Generally, it’s easy for talented W.H. writers to land jobs like these, since many companies need seasoned professionals who are used to working with young, up-and-coming talent.
Assistant Director – Also known as “Dani,” the assistant director has the task of directing the actors, writing the dialogue, casting, orchestrating scenes, and directing the entire teleplay. Typically, their role goes unnoticed by the actors and crew, allowing them to have a lot of fun while working on their teleplay. These assistants usually don’t need a degree in theater to succeed in this field. However, a few well-known W.H. screenwriters who were hired as assistants by top-tier directors such as Alex Cross, could attest that having experience as a performer makes you a better assistant director.
Casting Director – Carol Flintstone and Mark Goffman were tasked with finding strong characters for the first time period when the show was in production, which resulted in the casting of various comedic actors such as Alex Cross (Kevin McCallnagle), uddy (Lisa Kolarz), Dean Prove (Eli Spellman), and more. These actors became integral members of the show and their hilarious interactions created fans everywhere. Flintstone also managed to create memorable supporting characters for the show such as the comical Senior Associate and Assistant Director. A rather large portion of the West Wing staff were impressed with the level of the acting talent that came out of the show and they offered these same actors regular roles in later seasons. The wide variety of supporting characters and hilarious characters attracted critics, which led to the show receiving high ratings for its freshman season. This paved the way for numerous other successful spin-offs and installments.
Executive Producer – Allison Abner is the creator of the hit television series The West Wing. She has worked on numerous other successful television shows including ER, Frasier, Californians, House, and more. The executive producer of the West Wing was responsible for getting the cast together, developing the story, creating the characters, and bringing all of the various actors and actresses together for the incredible script. All of the brilliant writing and direction that went into this creation is paid tribute to Jill Foon and the entire team of writers and producers. The West Wing is a great example of how a great show can be made, with the right team of creative people involved.