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Home » Archives » November 2007 » Losing the Race, Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Readers
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11/14/2007: Losing the Race, Winning the Hearts and Minds of the Readers

I read a really good produced script the other day. Some of you may have seen the episode of television that resulted from it, in fact. (It's an Ugly Betty.) In the script, two adult siblings are competing with each other. Early on, we see a flashback to the two of them racing against each other as children. One of them wins and we're told they always won. Late in the script, in order to accomplish a goal, the two adults end up having to race down a street, just as they did as kids. I thought that was pretty well done, reducing the adult competition to something that could be such a direct reenactment of the childhood flashback. This time, when the childhood loser won, I anticipated that we'd understand that things had changed. I felt that was a pretty competent way to tell the story.

But here's what was really well done. The one who lost as a child, lost again as an adult. Instead of an easy lesson, competently taught, we got a genuine surprise and a much more complicated lesson about real life -- if you let the other person set the rules of the game, they're gonna pick the game they always win. Gotta say, I was impressed.

This is a good thing to keep in mind when you're breaking your spec pilots. If an ending seems so neat and tidy and inevitable that you never have to even give it any thought... well, give it some thought. There might be away to twist it, and come up with something more interesting. (And remember, it isn't enough just to have it differ from expectations, it actually has to have something positive to add.)

Strike: The last two days have seen me on the 6 to 10 a.m. shift. The first two hours are cold. The second two, very hot. The transition is instant. Thanks to Sarah and Ashley and Christina and... oh, was it Wally?... and so many other Gentle Readers who joined me on the line. Thanks especially for the fresh-baked pumpkin bread! Whoo! You guys are the best!

I'm changing locations for one day -- Thurs (tomorrow) will find me on the 10 - 2 shift at Fox where I'm reuniting with a few of my old Gilmore Girls colleagues! Come on by, GG fans! We'd be delighted to visit with you!

Then, Friday, it looks like Fan Day, Featuring Battlestar Galactica, will be at the main gate of Universal in the afternoon. That's all I know now... details to follow.

++++++UPDATE -- I'm hearing that Fan Day is now set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the main gates of Universal -- this is the series of gates into Universal that run along Lankershim Blvd. Food drive! Special guests! I'll be there. Will you?+++++++

Also, have you heard about this idea to send (mercifully unsharpened) pencils to the moguls? Of all the fan movements, this one seems to be the one that's catching fire. I like it! If I hear more about it, I'll let you know.

Lunch: poached eggs, rye toast, grilled tomatoes -- a post-picket brunch at Art's Deli


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