So, you want to be a screenwriter? You’re learning your craft, developing your ideas, and getting to grips with the industry. Maybe you’re even on a screenwriting course online or in-person at your school or university.
Or maybe you’re ready to take your screenwriting dreams and turn them into a reality. That bookcase full of screenwriting books and folder overflowing with PDF scripts you downloaded isn’t going to put itself to work. What do you do now?
Screenwriting internships are an invaluable way of exploring the creative side of film industry itself. You won’t necessarily be writing the next big summer tentpole, but you’ll gain incredible experience reading scripts, assisting with research and supporting production companies and writers in their day-to-day schedules.
Internships are usually reserved for students, particularly those looking to earn academic credit, but there are plenty of others open to diverse groups of aspiring writers and filmmakers everywhere. No matter what your age or creative stage, screenwriting internships serve as a gateway to earning experience and insight into the mechanics of the film industry and the role of a professional screenwriter.
There is a wide spectrum of various screenwriting internships, some organized by the leading studios and networks in entertainment and others are from smaller production companies or organization.
In this article, we’ll explore not just some of the bigger internships, but a coveted fellowship as well, which can similarly provide valuable exposure to the industry.
We also recommended that when writing scripts, you do so in proper formatting, or what a lot of people refer to as “Hollywood Style Formatting”. For this you’ll often need a free script writing tool like Celtx.
1. StoryFit Internship
First on our list is StoryFit, an internship perfect for writers who love data and are knowledgeable in audience statistics and reporting specifically.
StoryFit is a front-runner in AI and machine learning for the entertainment industry and have established themselves as consumer insight experts who provide data-driven support to clients looking to connect their stories with the best possible audiences. As an intern, you would be helping them in the early development of their project.
Your major responsibilities will include analyzing, reading, tweaking, and formatting scripts to their tiniest detail. You’ll also need to feed the scripts and their data into StoryFit’s analytic software for review. It’s a well-rounded and exciting role that could provide tremendous insight into trends, consumer analytics, and how they influence the creative process.
You may come across some well-known scripts, and others that will be well-known in the future; the perfect opportunity to see how the filmmaking sausage is made.
Based in Austin, Texas, this is perfect for writers based in the area, however, they do accept remote applications to work from anywhere. This means the hours are flexible, but you are expected to dedicate at least 10 hours per week.
StoryFit internships usually last for around 3 months and begin either at the start of Spring, Summer, or Autumn.
2. Short Film Intensive
As you can gather from the title, the Short Film Intensive Internship focuses solely on short films. Developed for college students, Short Film Intensive gives screenwriters practical experience with an award-winning production team.
Throughout the program, each intern will have the opportunity to partake in every single stage of script development for a short film, from concept to completion. It’s a comprehensive and unique experience that not many other internships provide.
Screenwriting won’t be your only focus. You’ll also be able to delve into cinematography, digital editing, and production. Plus, you’ll be networking with fellow writers at the same stage of their screenwriting career as you; an early opportunity to start planting the seeds of your professional industry network.
To apply there are a few hoops you’ll need to jump through, but it is definitely worth it if you can snag a place. Keep in mind, you do need to be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate enrolled in an accredited educational institution to be eligible.
The application process requires a cover letter, resume, and three reference letters. SFI also ask that you have prior screenwriting experience, submitting 2-3 writing samples along with your application. Each internship usually begins in the Fall of each year.
Like many things in life, this internship is a classic example of getting out of it whatever you put in.
3. Emmy Remote Development Internship
Another virtual, remote opportunity for screenwriters is being run by the Emmy Television Academy. Open to US college students on a full-time course, this internship offers a range of options including Movies for TV, Scripted Series, and Children’s Programming.
In each of these programs, participants will appraise film ideas and scripts whilst assisting with writer selection and script development. It’s full immersion into the crucial development process that ever script goes through. Pretty cool, right?
The application requirements include a professional statement on why you’d be best suited for the internship and your experiences so far, your resume, two reference letters (one academic with an institution letterhead, and one professional), and your latest transcript.
4. Warner Brothers
You’ve probably heard of Warner Brothers. Widely popular and extremely competitive within the film and TV industry, Warner Bros internships are coveted and extremely valuable doors into one of the biggest studios on the planet. With opportunities in both the US and the UK, applications open three times per year; summer (February-March), fall (August-September) and spring (December-January).
This is a full-time internship for a total of 10 weeks in the summer with a part-time position in the spring and fall. Specific programs range across creative development, social media, digital media, marketing and many more.
There are plenty of learning opportunities for budding screenwriters, but if you’re looking for experience outside of screenwriting, then this may be the one for you. To apply, all you need is your resume and a cover letter.
5. ScreenCraft Screenwriting Fellowship
Fellowships are alternatives to internships designed to support emerging screenwriters with the goal of advancing their careers. ScreenCraft is just one example of an organization offering that extremely coveted role.
ScreenCraft works with screenwriters and connects them with managers and agents to expose their projects. The program itself involves an all-expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles where writers have a week of mentorship and meetings with Oscar-winning writers, executives, agents, and managers.
You’ll also connect with past fellowship participants, further growing your industry network. Almost all the winners of the Fellowship have signed with leading Hollywood management and agencies.
To apply, you must be 18 or over and submit a writing sample of a feature film or TV pilot script you have written. A cover letter is optional, but we highly recommend including one. With all applications, you need to stand out from the crowd.
Of course, there are many more screenwriting internship and fellowship opportunities out there just waiting to be won by you! Do your research, aim high, and find the programs best suited to your passions, professional goals, and experience.