Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Toast to the Writers

Congratulations once again to the Writers' Guild on their new deal! While not perfect, it's a step in the right direction. (The Oscars made for one hell of an ace in the hole.)

But you're worried some of your Hollywood survival skills may have atrophied, you say? Never fear! We'll get you back up to speed on pitches and script notes!

Via John Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey, here's Denis McGrath's new pitch, inspired by a certain Oscar nominee:

"You see, I am a TELEVISION WRITER. And I wish to speak to you today about WRITING FOR TELEVISION. There are those who will say they can craft you a pilot, and that may VERY WELL be TRUE. But can they get you to SIXTY EPISODES? Can they craft a decent ACT BREAK? Will they rely on a creaky FOUR ACT structure, or have they mastered FIVE? It is THESE QUESTIONS you must consider.

I have a six episode strike over at the former CHUM, you see. I have had meetings with executives both HIGH and LOW. You could go with someone from the Film Centre, or someone who's developed a CANADIAN FEATURE, yes, about a man having sex with his GRANDMOTHER. But only I can have the FIRST DRAFT and the BIBLE for your series by APRIL. I can do it, I can have it, and I can make it exciting, with explosions and sexual interplay. YOU can GO WITH SOMEONE ELSE, that is your right. BUT you CANNOT say that you were not PRESENTED with the option to skip all that; to just DEVELOP WITH ME.

I await your decision. I will sit here and calmly wax my mustache. Please don't mind my son, J.W. He will be stepping out momentarily to procure a SMOOTHIE.

NOW, what is for LUNCH?"

So that's pitches covered. Now let's get a quick refresher on script notes from Hollywood execs (hat tip to Ursus):

Remember, execs never, NEVER own up to a bad note.

As to the writing itself, well, you're on your own there.

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