Friday, September 14, 2007

Writer's Room Tutorial For "Baby" Writers

Pearls of wisdom passed on to me from working, successful writers. Upon getting their first gig, this was the advice a pair of "baby" or staff writers were given about "the room."

1. No stinky cheese face - no matter how awful you think an idea is, do not let your body language reflect your thoughts.
2. Don't pitch problems, pitch solutions - Unless someone asks you specifically whether you think something in the story is working or not, never call attention to things just to say that they aren't working. If you DO think something is a major problem, find some way to make it work (i.e. use a band aid).
3. Think ideas through before you pitch them - Don't just blurt out every idea you have. Write it out and see if you still think it's valid (and good) before putting it out there.
4. Work forward, not backward - You had an idea while everyone was working on scene 5 and did the smart thing in writing it down to make sure you were comfortable pitching it. Unfortunately, while you were writing it down, the room moved on to scene 7. Don't try pitching the idea now. Get over it and move on to the current scene.
5. Relax, because not much is expected of you - As a baby writer, your job is to produce two scripts during the season and show up to work. That's it. Don't feel pressure to say a lot during story meetings, because no one is expecting you to do that. If you speak once or twice a week, you're golden.

At my current rate of posting, join me in another two weeks for my next pearl of wisdom and/or bitch session.

Thought of the day: Breaking the story is kind of like breaking a wild horse. Especially when you consider that most writers don't really have much horse experience.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Busy, Busy Bee--unfortunately not on stuff for me

It's funny because it rhymes.

This weekend I put in 17 hours of overtime AND on Saturday (in a black suit masquerading as a tux) sat five rows away from Neil Patrick Harris. Until the real people came to sit in their seats and I was moved to third row center. And if you can't figure out where this event occurred, I'm not sure I can tell you.

(But you might catch a glimpse of me stage right, front row, in the seat closest to the stage if you watch E! this Saturday between 8 and 10. Maybe.)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Not even going into the second round

Well, you win some, you lose some. Or, more correctly, "you place in some, you don't even make it out of the first round in others."

Such is the case for the NCIS spec Jul and I entered into the Austin Film Festival Spec Contest.

Can't say I'm surprised. I think our spec is well written and fits well as a good episode of the show, but it's probably not artsy enough to pass muster somewhere like AFF.

Ah well, such is life. You win some, you... Oh, wait. I said that already.