Monday, October 19, 2009

Advice from Carter Bays

Really enjoyed the 826LA panel last night. I'm generally kind of sick of panels, because it's either really basic advice I've heard a million times (like "write every day" and "try to get a job on a show"), or it's really upper level stuff I can't relate to (like "ugh, it's so hard when your quote drops from a million to half a million"). This panel was a nice medium, since the panelists treated us like we were beginners, but we knew what we were talking about.

When asked if new writers should try specs or pilots, Carter said he didn't think it really mattered. You just have to "make people laugh." Putting your stuff on the Internet might also be a good idea; he said that he hasn't hired anyone off a YouTube clip yet, but you never know.

He also stressed that with writing pilots, you should go for a show you're passionate about - and something that can generate 100 stories you'll want to write.

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Dan Williams said...

They say that even if you only pick up one idea from a panel it's worth going, but they can be a bit too basic, sometimes, but sometimes they rev up and get down to some good detail.

Which script is worth more to the script reader, I wonder: the spec or the pilot?

If I enjoy a show, I think I'd rather read a spec as it is easier to get into it

Ryan Canty said...

sounds like you did get something out of the panel, Amanda...

but, I think Dan is write...keep writing those specs..even though it seems like you shouldn't and focus on more original material, some showrunners will want to see how you write for another show that shows them how you handle character, tone, etc.

BUT, writing an original pilot or a feature length as material to send off to a showrunner to consider you for a slot as a writer on his show will definitely be an example of your voice and what you are capable of, etc.

im doing both...writing specs and writing original pilots (the two ideas i have are both ones I can see 100 eps for since they're both ideas I like and am working on, etc.)

Taylor said...

You know, I was in the very first thing Carter had staged, a one act in college (we went to Wesleyan). He was known for very raunchy, edgy cartoons in the school paper, so watching HIMYM is so funny for me now because it is so different from that. So thrilled that you enjoyed listening to him.

D said...

I, personally, can't wait for a Small Wonder 2.0 via Sam McIntyre.

In all seriousness, I completely agree with your post. I think the idea about how he presented a package of material for Conan and then David Letterman is what writers have to do. Just keep writing anything and showing to as many people.

Now... to meet those people who would be willing to read my schtick...