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Home » Archives » May 2007 » The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
[Previous entry: "Depriving Rob Schneider of a Comedy Premise"] [Next entry: "The Spec Stands Alone"]

05/14/2007: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Eagle-eyed readers will have already noticed that the link to the ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship on this page has been updated. (Thanks to various readers who wrote in to let us know the link had gone stale.)

I was a Disney Fellow myself, and am in the business today because of this program. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It provides instruction, connections, money and lifelong friendships. Check it out, read all the new info. The most important thing, of course, is to note the (postmarked by) July 1 deadline.

Deadlines are wonderful things. By my math we've got approximately six weeks to get all of your specs ready to submit. So let's get started!

First off, it occurs to me that some of you may be under the impression that you need to submit something family-friendly because of the "Disney" name. Not at all. Submit your strongest material, and if it's a show with sex and swears and smokin', leave it all in. As always, your highest goal is to sound like the actual show.

And remember, no spec pilots for this application. You have to write a spec for a show "currently being produced." By the way, I have no idea if they would consider, say, a "Sopranos" as falling into this category or not. The show has had its wrap party, so I'm guessing, to be safe, no "Sopranos." If there are other shows that seem to be flirting with the edges of the definition, I'd say play it conservatively and give them something that's clearly inside their rules. You don't want to be out of the game before it starts.

Six weeks is enough time to get a spec ready to submit, even if you have nothing on the page right now. Pick a show, get those produced scripts and start breakin' 'em down. Find that definitive structure for an episode of your show and then start brainstorming premises. Really consider what you want the episode to be about. Make it something that strikes right at the emotional core of the main character. You can accomplish all this in the first week, and if you do, it will be a week very well spent.


Lunch: "Cincinnati Chili" from the Universal Cafeteria. They must've put about a half-pound of jalapenos in my serving. Very nice.

ADDENDUM: In addition to there being no bias toward "family friendly" material, you should also note that there's no bias toward ABC material. Please don't feel there's any advantage toward picking an ABC show.


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Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
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May 2007

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