Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Writing for tv and movies - a Comic-Con perspective

When I was at Comic-Con I went to a thing on writing for TV. It had the most insufferably entitled panel I've ever seen. The message was, barely paraphrased, "If you go to the right bars and buy us drinks and pitch your scripts (more than one to show you're versatile, not too many in case we think that you're a jack of all trades and master of none) and generally seem affable and able to complete things, after a lot of encounters we still won't buy your script, because we've seen it all before and we know better than you, but we might hand you some work-for-hire type deal based on something we know we can make, just because you seem nice."

I can't stress enough how much they said they'd seen it all before, and you couldn't possibly have a new idea, but if you were nice, and you were willing to abandon your ideas, you might have a chance to write for TV.

As long as work for hire on someone else's ideas was your idea of writing for TV.

So there's that, and then there was this article in Slate on why all current movies look alike -  they're literally all from the same playbook (and I have wandered into screenwriters sites and seen them frantically attempting to perfect their understanding of this formula like some plot-alchemist unholy order).

And then there's that article's confession from Joss Whedon that only franchises that already sell are being attempted.
Guests at Comic-Con learned about upcoming studio productions including Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Thor 2, Fantastic Four 3 and a reboot of Godzilla. The director Joss Whedon came to the event to lament that "pop culture is eating itself" and called for "new universes, new messages and new icons". He then revealed the title of his next film to be Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Listening to this panel was, I'm sure, like listening to Marie Antoinette explain why those without bread should just eat the fucking cake already. The producers of those shows don't quite get that their day is over, and there'll be tears before bedtime when all their programming moves over to YouTube. Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.

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