nbc writers on the verge – week 4

TUE 10/23/12

we got notes on the 2nd drafts of our specs. it took a while to figure out how to best implement the notes from the 1st draft, but it was so worth it. i came up with a specific dilemma for the C story, and figured out a better way to set up my B story. i got good feedback on taking the notes i was given last week, and i’m really happy with how the script turned out.

if you’re not familiar with jen grisanti’s way of teaching story, go get her book. her focus on dilemma and stakes is great. TV WRITING TOOL KIT: HOW TO WRITE A SCRIPT THAT SELLS

it’s been very educational to hear everyone get notes on their scripts, and then see how each writer implements those notes. i’ve only written comedy scripts, so it’s been particularly fun to watch the drama writers do their thing.

so we’re done with our specs! we all wrote a spec from start to finish in 4 weeks. my structure is mostly working, but i want to do at least one more pass on my script just to focus on dialogue and jokes.

besides getting notes on our specs, we also had to pitch 3-5 loglines for pilots, which is what we’ll be focusing on for the rest of the program. i could only come up with 3 ideas that i liked.

  • an office comedy
  • a superhero sitcom
  • friends hanging out

i don’t think i did a good job pitching any of my ideas. i think i tried to pitch the story of the pilot episode, instead of pitching the series as a whole.

the office comedy is the one i wanted to write the most. but i already have a parks and rec spec, and a 30 rock, so another workplace comedy might not help my portfolio.

i liked my superhero idea, but like i said, i don’t think i did a good job of pitching it. they said my pitch sounded like it was for an episode, not for an ongoing series. that’s ok, because someone else also had a superhero idea, and i think my idea will actually work better as a feature. a couple of the writers came up to me after and told me they liked the idea, so i’m definitely going to write it.

the idea i had about friends hanging out was the last one i thought of, and the one i was least prepared for, but this is the pitch jen, karen, and julie ann told me to write. one note i got though was to make sure the characters are stuck together and can’t just leave the situation.

outlines for our pilots are due sat. the last pilot i wrote, which was also the first pilot i wrote, took me about 6 months to write. now i get about 6 weeks!

WED  10/24/12

usually we have our meeting on thu, but this week, we all went to see the NBC shortcuts film festival. craig robinson (darryl from the office) was the host, and he was hilarious.

http://www.nbcshortcuts.com

we saw 6 shorts, and they were all great! i’m not sure if they’re available online, but i hope you get a chance to see them at some point.

afterwards, us writers went out to get drinks and bond. fun times!

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