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Home » Archives » May 2007 » Shopping the Schedule
[Previous entry: "The Spec Stands Alone"] [Next entry: "Making Yourself Comfortable in the House or Office"]

05/18/2007: Shopping the Schedule

I have a notion, gentle readers. Let me run this past you. I am being told with ever-increasing (almost table-pounding) vehemence that specs of existing shows are no longer what you need to get staffed on shows. You need original material. Spec pilots, short film scripts, feature-length film scripts, plays, even short stories.

But, as we have discussed at length, to get into the ABC/Disney writing fellowship, one of the rare glittering unlocked doors in this town, one needs to submit a spec script for a show that's currently in production.

Now, traditionally, there have always been only a handful of "specable" shows every year. But it seems to me that since this spec no longer needs to be something universally-acceptable that you can submit *everywhere*, since it will, it appears, probably be used only as part of this one application, perhaps we should consider throwing the doors open a little wider as we contemplate what to send to Disney.

If you'd rather write a Battlestar or a Friday Night Lights than a House, a How I Met Your Mother or a 30 Rock than a The Office, maybe it's okay to pick something a little more off-the-beaten-track, or a little newer, like that. You're taking the chance that the person who reads your script knows the show, so keep that in mind, but you are going to do your very best writing if it's a show you're passionate about. Remember that it has to be primetime, so don't throw yourself into an "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" spec, but it might be worth taking a searching look at the primetime network and cable schedules and picking something that you think you can really cut loose and excel at even it's not the same thing everyone else is doing.

And remember, you can only be as good as the show, so don't aim low in the belief that you'll impress readers by elevating a mediocre show. Impress them instead by capturing an excellent show.

Lunch: spicy hot wings with many many napkins


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