This week we read in Elephant Bucks how Sheldon Bull created a portfolio of 12 spec scripts in order to get his writing career started. I mentioned that when I was a fellow way back in ye-olde 2000, Mike Ellis said something that haunts me to this day, "There is always someone who is willing to work harder." What I'm getting at here is the serious amount of work required to do this... this writing thing... as a professional. As Mr. Bull points out it helps if you're a little obsessed. I do actually think it takes a lot of work to make it happen no matter if you're writing features or TV. One way you know you're in the right place is if the work doesn't feel like work. You may not spring out of bed excited to face the blank page, but you don't hate it. In fact, at times you even enjoy it. And maybe if you're really cooking you work extra because you're having fun. For TV it means knowing some shows. And seriously, you guys barely watch TV at all. I know how it is - I was like you, too at one point -- with an active social life and a meaningful pursuit of higher education. But soon, soon the call of Television will grow strong and you'll put down that copy of the latest Cormack McCarthy novel and do something good for your brain!
I've posted links to the pilot script of Arrested Development and How I Met Your Mother. The assignment this week is to write a 1 page character bio of the main character (Michael and Marshall respectively). You can speculate as much as you want so long as you can point to something in the script that supports that speculation. In fact - the deeper back into a character's life you can go, ie: page five hints at a childhood of isolation and rejection, the better.