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Home » Archives » November 2007 » MASH notes
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11/29/2007: MASH notes

I have just returned tonight from attending a screening/Q-and-A honoring Larry Gelbart. He's amazing. If you don't recognize the name (although I think you do), check him out at imdb and then come back. He said many fascinating things, but the one that I tucked into my brain for later examination was a statement he made about the version of M*A*S*H that had no laugh track (available on DVD and in broadcasts aired in the UK). He commented that in the no-laugh version, Hawkeye came across as "less of a wise-ass and more of a cynic." Isn't that a fascinating distinction? I've got an instinctive understanding of the two categories, but I'm enjoying trying to articulate exactly what separates them. I think it's that a wise-ass adopts his attitude in part because of the reaction he gets from others around him, while the same attitude is woven deeper into the fibers of a genuine cynic. Yes? Have you got a Hawkeye-character in your spec pilot? Which is he/she, a wise-ass or a cynic? It's fun to do minute character parsings like this, and it can really help you develop and distinguish characters.

At the Gelbart event, I was delighted to run into a number of people I knew including my old boss from Ellen (and colleague from Dinosaurs), the incredible Tim Doyle. Tim is another graduate of the Disney Writing Fellowship, having been part of the program in its very first year of existence. The program has had a fine record of producing writers who go on to have long and creative careers, and I hope to see this tradition continue.


Special thanks today go to Brijanna (forgive me if I have the spelling wrong, as I don't have it in front of me at the moment), who brought sweet treats and an even sweeter letter to me on the line this morning. Thank you, Brijanna (repeat spelling disclaimer here)!

Tomorrow is another Special Event Friday, and this one has me really excited. Here's the official info: "Hollywood Homecoming, an event honoring the veteran writers, directors and stars of yesteryear who helped form and shape the unions we are fighting to protect, will be held this Friday, November 30th, from 10AM-12PM at Sony Studios in Culver City." Doesn't that sound amazing? In LA? Got a lunch hour? Come on by!

Lunch: A post-picket Chicken-and-cheese omelet and a waffle (The #5 at Roscoe's Chicken 'n' Waffles). Brilliant.


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Walt Disney Writing Fellowship Program
UC Berkeley
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