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Home » Archives » June 2007 » So Happy Not Actually to be Getting Sued
[Previous entry: "Tryin' to get there"] [Next entry: "Organized Worry"]

06/25/2007: So Happy Not Actually to be Getting Sued

Well, for those of you keeping score, I made it to Dallas and back home again. Many thanks to the kind people of Equality Now and all the Browncoats who were so great to me there!

I returned to find an intriguing piece of mail from reader John in Albany. It's a great piece of mail, too, printed on thick creamy stationary with the kind of law firm letterhead that makes your pulse speed up because it looks like you're getting sued.

John has (with a writing partner) written a spec half-hour comedy pilot. And he has filmed it. Whoa. He asks: "...are there any real advantages to actually shooting/making the TV pilot?" He adds, "I've even heard that this is detrimental because the 'idea' is always much better than the execution."

My first instinct is to point at that last sentence and say, "yup." One of the things I love about scripts - all scripts - is that they are creatures of perfect potential, always well-acted and well-produced in the reader's brain. If I set something on an "abandoned pier lying still between the dark sky and darker sea" then that's what the reader sees, not a redressed hotel loading-dock being splashed from off-screen by my friends who own buckets. Unless you have lots of money and some pretty advanced skills, it's going to be very hard to make an amateur production good enough to come up to the level of the production that the reader's brain is able to muster. And quality acting is, of course, even more crucial and hard to find than friends with buckets.

So, in general, I think it's going to be easier, cheaper and more effective to try to use a script to break into the business than a produced sample. However, we live in strange times. If you have managed to put together something great, John in Albany, well, then let's see how far you can ride it. Maybe you can submit it to film festivals, or slap it up on YouTube, or have friends link to it on their blogs… If it's great and people find it, you might create a sensation and be treated like one of those film school phenoms who make a stir now and then. You might have just created a new way to go about this whole crazy endeavor. It's a long shot, but since you've apparently already shot it... why not?! This is a business that is about creativity, and applying creativity to your way in might not always be a bad thing.

Lunch: heirloom tomatoes and burrata from the "nice side" of the Universal Cafeteria. Mm. Love those heirloom tomatoes.


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