Back from a Trip to LA
I moved from LA a year and a half ago to escape the writer's strike. I have to say, going back was quite an experience. First of all, the weather (even with June gloom) was amazing. I rented a convertible and cruised around for five days taking meetings with executives and friends. It was sunny and 75 every day. I don't really miss LA, but I miss the weather. I'm married now, so I don't really miss the girls. Living in LA and being married was kind of like going to strip a club. Some guys love strip clubs. As a married guy, I think it's torture. Anyway, hot girls are EVERYWHERE out there. As a writer, your chance of out kicking your coverage is very high in Southern California. Sure, you'll be married to a crazy actress, but she'll probably take pilates classes, and it's better than the girl you'll meet in your book club who looks like Ugly Betty.
Visiting LA reminded me of something very important. There truly are great people in the entertainment business. Some of them are agents, and a few even inhabit networks and studios. There truly are a ton of people on the "other side" of the business who want to discover new talent, and love writers. I was able to get together with a few of my "fans," and I have to say, if I stopped writing tomorrow, I would always want to be friends with these folks. These are the people you want to be combing the biz for as much as possible. People who are real, and truly have a soul. The whole thing reminded me that, hey, it's not a picnic on their side of the business, either. It's tough right now, but the mood seems to be that things are picking up.
If this isn't rock bottom, I don't know what is. It'd kind of be like being a crack addict and also becoming a drunk.
I have a half-hour comedy spec going out here soon. Hoping for the best. We've discussed a number of possibilities for it, including doing it as a web series (which would be very cool).
You just never know.
Posted on 06/25/2009 5:28 AM by Todd
Mad Men Creator Wins Battle of the Bulge
If you've ever worked on a network show that retained only 20:30 of it's slotted 30:00 minutes of running time (due to bloated commercial interruptions and promos), you'd understand what Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was so pissed about when AMC announced it was adding an additional 2 minutes of commercials to his show.
Now, granted, cable shows, particularly his, get more time than those on traditional nets. And, I suppose you can't blame AMC for trying to capitalize on the success of their Emmy winning drama. So, it was nice to hear that creator and network reached a compromise. The episodes will run a few minutes past 11 so that the body of the show--and crucial storytelling time--isn't disrupted. The formatting will also "talk" to DVRs so the episode doesn't get cut off at 11.
I worked on NBC's The Office for two seasons. I have to tell you, it was tragic having to watch all of the great comedic material that was generated falling to the cutting room floor. That is partly why NBC started moving to super sized versions of the show. The Season One DVD had 3 1/2 hours of extra footage.
TV is a business. We all understand that shows making money, and networks being successful (particularly with scripted programming these days) is critical to the health of our industry.
But, when is enough, enough?
Maybe if networks had more successful shows, they wouldn't have to blatantly whore out the good ones so much.
And, that's a whole other issue.
Posted on 06/10/2009 6:22 PM by Angry One