Friday, May 29, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Ryan writes: How is your drama pilot coming along?
(btw - thanks for the kind comments, Ryan!) As for the pilot: Eh. It's okay. I started it last fall, then took a break and wrote a feature (of which I recently finished a much-revised second draft), and now I'm trying to revise the pilot simultaneously. Problems I'm running into:
Both my leads need work. Even though it's a character-based drama, I started with the concept, the WHAT and not the WHO - and now I kind of have to go back and figure out who these women really are. Also, when you have a character who is stoic and professional and not very funny, it's harder to fall in love with her.
The two leads go from hating each other at the beginning to wanting to move into together at the end. They're big arcs with big character growth, and it takes a lot of work to make that believable.The whole pilot story happens as a result of a death - and it really brings down the tone. It's hard to write jokes when everyone's grieving - unless you want it to be pretty dark (which I don't). I'm not quite sure of the tone yet. I'm aiming for something like Brothers & Sisters or Gilmore Girls, but a) the story might better lend itself to a Weeds/Six Feet Under kind of thing, and b) the tone I'm probably most successful with is a kind of romcom "clubbing Juno" style (someone else's words). Color me disappointed that Samantha Who just got cancelled.
But...pilots are hard. There is so much to think about. I feel like maybe in another draft or two I'll have something worth reading.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Other people have asked similar questions. And I think the answer is: think about the BIG picture. Think about writing a solid spec that shows your ability to mimic character voices and tone while also showing off your own unique talents. Be interesting. Be smart. Explore a theme. Beef up your act-outs. Write subtext. Weave your subplots into your main plot. Polish your dialogue.
It is always a good idea to have a spec that's up-to-date in terms of plot and storyline, but remember that most producers, execs, agents and readers will not have seen every single episode of the show. They won't be totally up-to-date. They might not have seen ANY episodes. They also don't expect that you have a brand new spec every single week. So, no - a spec that did not take the most recent season finale in account would probably not be discounted. Because there's a good chance your reader did not see that season finale. Someone asked if an OFFICE spec in which Pam is a receptionist and not a salesperson would be ready for the recycle bin. I say no - because many readers probably still think Pam is the receptionist. But in a few months, it won't be so viable. (And also - would it really be that hard to take a pass at the script and make her a salesperson?)
Anyway, please don't worry about this stuff so much. Worry about writing a really great script.
Friday, May 15, 2009
This Sunday at ScreenPlayLab, ABC Disney Fellowship director Frank Gonzalez will talk about work opportunities and answer audience questions. It's the one time a year there's open access to an ABC Disney exec to get career advice. There's no fee to enter the ABC Disney Fellowship. Find out what it takes to make it.
For those pursuing a fellowship, there are significant changes in the fellowship programs this year.
Time: Sun 5/17 from 2-5 pm
Fine Arts Theatre
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
RSVP at www.screenplaylab.com
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Daugherty entered Script Pimp, and as a result, signed with manager Jake Wagner of Energy Entertainment. Then his script made the Black List. And now he's got a big rewrite gig.
UPDATE from my friend Charles: The announcement is online now. Thanks dude!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
If you just need to pay your rent, go for it. Unfortunately, I don't see any way that being a tour guide is going to help your writing or lead to any kind of job that would.
If it's at Universal and you could possibly leverage the job into getting into the NBC Page Program, that might be different. The Page Program could lead to a lot of helpful jobs (but it is extremely competitive and tough to get into). But being a tour guide in itself? No. You're going to be meeting tourists. I don't think you're going to have any contact with agents, managers, studio execs, network execs, producers, writers or their assistants. You need to find a job that will give you contact with these people.
That being said, I know sometimes you just need money - so being a tour guide wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. (I worked as a reality PA for a while...it didn't get me anywhere, but it was a paycheck.) But don't fool yourself that working on a studio lot means you're advancing your career.
(If anyone has worked as a tour guide, feel free to comment and shed more light on the opportunities involved.)
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
"The stories are all very different, but I think they're offering a message of empowerment and inspiration and, you know, seizing that moment at that crossroads in your life and doing something great with it. Daring to be yourself and follow your bliss, I suppose."
Below the video, click on "Discussions" to read the interview.
Monday, May 4, 2009
More info here: http://www.paleycenter.org/glee-premiere-in-los-angeles
Sounds fun, but few of us Hollywood drones can get over to Santa Monica by 7. :)
In other musical thoughts, I was thinking about the soundtrack to my writing sessions today. Now, I'm almost always opposed to including songs in scripts. There are just too many things that can go wrong:
1. The song will be old and overdone by the time people get around to reading your script
2. Your song will be too obscure and the reader won't know the song, which will take them out of your story and give them a negative feeling
3. You song will be too popular and if the reader's a music snob (as many Hollywood types are), they'll scoff at you
4. It's a waste of time because the music choices aren't up to you anyway
Still, you can have a lot of fun with music WHILE you're writing. Last night when I was writing the yay-we're-in-love part of my romcom screenplay, I rocked out to Michelle Branch, and it really put me in the zone. I'm totally thanking her when I get my Oscar. And you better believe I listened to some depressing crap at the end of act two when all the romance went to shit!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
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