I am so behind in my blogging! Where to even start? Since I last wrote we went to the sublime primetime event at the WGA theater. I think I'm going to have to swear off these sort of panel discussions unless I know the moderator is going to do their job. It's always a bad sign when they have a very in-demand celebrity as moderator because they do that thing where they skate by on charm but don't really do substantial research about the guests so that it just sort of devolves into a funny Q&A but not much more.
Right, so enough kvetching there. We're catching up on chapters 3, 4 and 5 of Elephant Bucks and I have to say they're the most useful so far. Of course you have to wade through the spec of Frazier that he uses as a sample but nevertheless it's quite good. Particularly how he illustrates the seven plot elements to develop your sit-com story. Chapter 5's example of a DETAILED outline is exactly what you all should be doing. As he says it's a chance to pre-write the script.
Last week's visit from Lisa Kudrow and Don Roos was fun. I particularly liked what each of them had to say but Lisa's point about how writers and actors should collaborate on story made a lot of sense. I think that writers have a tendency to see actors at "the other" but they're crucial partners in the creation process. Don's ideas about writing sympathetic stories for flawed people is pretty fascinating. It's tough act to pull off, but when he does it's amazing. Christina Ricci in the Opposite of Sex is a perfect example of this concept.
I wanted to put in a plug for a podcast I've been listening to called "On The Page." It has a horrible theme song so just fast forward past that part. It's by a script consultant, Pilar Arrrlll.... (can't remember her last name and I'm lazy. Hey, I tagged the link so...) There's lots to listen to here but in particular, episode 106 "Writing Half-Hour TV" is a must. So, I'm assigning it for next week.