Greetings, gentle readers! It's not really a blue monday. I've just decided to start naming the posts after song titles and that's the first one that popped into my brain. You'll know things are bad when I title a post "Bright Ambassadors of Morning," or "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," or "Small Furry Animals Gathered in a Cave Grooving With a Pick." The latter works only once in charades, by the way.
Things are tres busy this week, what with meetings and us writing a freelance script for the new CBS show, "Moonlight." Ah, TeeVee, you cruel mistress... you have a heart after all! We are indeed writing a script for the aforementioned show, working with some friends and some cool new folks. This should be a kick-ass episode and if the TeeVee gods are smiling, the show will catch on, people will like it, and we'll actually have something AIR on television. That would be nice for a change.
David Bishop liked an exchange in "Malice" between Eliza and Nico. I have a very soft spot for this pilot, so I appreciate the comment. Thanks!
Very Readable Bill -- who is indeed very readable -- had an interesting question. How am I spreading myself this thin? And for the love of Jesu, why?? Well, we do it because we love. TO PAY OUR BILLS! I just think the business is changing and the old way of going into pilot season with one idea is going by the wayside. Mostly, everything's been done. There's little anyone can do to shock an executive with a totally fresh and new idea. The word this pilot season is, idea before writer. Which means that the execs aren't going to be swayed by Big Feature Auteur (THEIR word, not mine) waltzing in to pull some lame, too-expensive-to-produce-weekly idea out of his ass. This year, it's supposed to be about the idea. So that should level the playing field, right?
Of COURSE that's not right. Where have you been?!?!?
The studios still have to take into account their deals. Usually, the first pitches heard are those by writers who have deals at the studios. These aren't necessarily PODs, but co-execs and E.P.s on shows who have a pilot deal written into their contract. In order to justify this expense, the studios need to set these pilots up. Then the free-for-all begins.
This is an interminably long, roundabout way of saying that it's gotten harder and harder to shop one idea around town. If all the studios and networks care about is idea and not vision and execution, well... the TeeVee business becomes more disposable. Ideas can come from anywhere. Showrunners, and people who can create shows, can't. And shouldn't. It becomes, in essence, the feature business.
Gosh, you exclaim. You can't seriously be saying that writing doesn't matter in features, can you?? No, of course it matters. But unfortunately, it doesn't drive that end of the business. In features, the only thing that will get you in there is the idea. In TeeVee, it has been different in the past. I feel that it's changing, and I don't think that's a good thing. Writing TeeVee is different than writing features, on many levels. If the studios and networks are only going to rely solely on ideas, yeah, it means they won't bask in the glow of those Big Feature Auteurs but it also removes the substance and relies only on style. Then you get TeeVee shows that aren't sustainable. There needs to be a balance, and I'm worried the pendulum is swinging too far the other way.
Um. Was that a "yes or no" question?
Very Readable Bill has also read "Gloria." Yay, VRB! There are three of us now! Seriously, people, GO READ IT.
I added some rockin' links for y'all to ponder: Clark's blog (of course I remember you, Clark!), Will Dixon's blog, and blogs from Will Shetterly, Emma Bull and Nick Sagan. Will and Emma are primarily novelists (insanely talented ones, at that, who both have new books out right now). They've also done TeeVee. But they're way better off in the book world. Seriously. We should all be that better off. Nick writes novels and TeeVee and ilm (or if not at present, HE SHOULD START DOING THAT AGAIN, DAMMIT!).
And, some links. Just goofy weird shit, is all.
Disney characters acting unnaturally.
Charlie goes to Candy Mountain.
There will be another post presently, as Hell Week continues! And I want to actually check out the blogs I'm linking to. Seems like there's a lot of cool stuff swirling about.
np - The Devastations, "Yes, U." A bit different from the first one... I think it's growing on me.