A hypothetical friend is interested in pursuing screenwriting.  She works on spec on developing her own projects (she has not sold any of them) and she definitely appreciates what she gains from those experiences.   She has a strong desire to start gaining experience in collaboration with directors and producers on projects outside of her own since these are skills she has yet to develop.  She is open to hearing advice on this.

Here are the key things to consider:

1. She hears about a few shorts and ultra-low budget projects looking for non-Writer’s Guild writers and/or polishes.  None of them are paying gigs.

2. She doesn’t expect to be paying her bills at this point from doing writing.  Gaining real production experience, working in collaboration with filmmakers and possibly developing relationships are her top priorities.

3.  She often reads on various social media forums for writers that  she must not work for free and that she must retain ownership of her writings especially since they are not paying for them.   She is  conflicted.