18 April, 2009

Writing for TV

(This is a sample article from the new Moviescope magazine which has just hit news-stands. See here for full contents and other sample articles.)

Rick Drew:

"I recently had a conversation with an Emmy-winning showrunner who was struggling to keep his series on the air after its creative momentum was crippled by last year’s WGA strike.

“Series television is like a woman getting fucked by a dog. It’s not an assault, mind you—she likes it. And she gives birth to this formless wet hairy thing. No one knows what it is, so a committee is formed to decide its fate. At first they want to kill it but then they realise if they can fix it, they can sell it. And so while this thing is still struggling to survive, they begin to operate on it. Cut off a limb, add a tail, change its nose, move the eyes around… And between each procedure the thing almost dies, but they continue attempting to reshape it before it gets a chance to recover. That’s series television.”

Unfortunately, his show died on the operating table this season. It deserved a better fate but it never stood a chance.

I have written a few movies in my time and over a hundred episodes of various television genres from westerns to sitcoms to sci-fi, but nothing prepared me for the harrowing experience of seeing my first television pilot produced. After eighteen months of development, and countless meetings and decisions, it finally came down to shooting the script, which, after all it had been through, was the only merciful thing to do. Usually the production of the script is the end of the process, but I soon found out it was only the beginning."

Article in full

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