Get cracking on those spec scripts

29 03 2014

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hey followers… it’s that time of year! we are heading into fellowship and writing workshop script deadline season. As an alumnus of the Warner brothers workshop and a reader for the ABC/Disney fellowship, i can tell you, the competition is fierce out there.

Warner Bros. Workshop accepts submissions from may 1 – june 1. And that is coming up fast!

ABC/Disney fellowship application period is May to the middle of june! Get cracking!

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Nickelodeon writing program

27 01 2014

Hey writers looking for your break! Its now or never for applying to the Nicklodeon writing program. Find out all the details and the important dates if you’re going to apply. If so and you want me to read your scripts to get them into the best shape possible, check out my contact me page. I’m a tough audience which is exactly what you need if you’re working on your scripts that the world will see.

And when you get in, get me a spongebob key chain!





TV writer fellowship season

11 03 2013

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Hey guys, so it’s about that time of year!  You’re all thinking about what scripts should I submit for the disney or warner brothers or nickelodeon upcoming fellowships.  It’s pretty exciting!  Check out my posts below on which comedies and drama specs to write and which ones to straight up avoid.  Why waste your time on a script that might not be use-able in 6 months right? 

I’m here to help get your scripts into shape! I read them and give you tons of notes to address some of the story problems or character problems that all us writers come across in our daily writing!  I mean every single writer is given notes on the most granular details of their scripts, but what ends up happening is those notes always  make the script better.  I have no seen a time when notes ruined a script… okay, that’s not true. One time on That 70s Show a writer got re-written and I’m not entirely convinced it was needed! (BTW it was not me!) Sometimes writers on staff get re-written and the re-write is totally linear. But whatevs it happens.  But it won’t happen to you! So contact me, send me your scripts and let’s do this!

 





Sometimes I wish I was famous

11 10 2012

I rarely wish i was famous… I live in the same neighborhood as a lot of famous folk and travel to the same coffee shops, restuarants and doctors as they do.  And I see a lot of what they have to put up with in terms of being hunted down by the papparazzi as they’re just trying to get a soy macchiatto.  I recently went to sushi with a friend and was at the valet with  Michelle Trachectenberg and some papparazzi who were snapping away so I jumped in front of the cameras. It was more for my amusement than anything else. But i digress…

Then there are times when I see them cut the line in the coffee bean and get handed a drink without having to pay.  Say what now??  Thats the look on my face if someone were to take a picture in that moment…  Or most recently, when I was waiting to pitch my TV show at ABC Comedy last week and I’m sitting in the waiting area with Ty Burrell from Modern Family.  There we both were waiting to go into our comedy pitches.  I was sizing up my competition and was NOT feeling good about my chances.  Along came the people we were pitching with… my team did not look as famous as his team. I saw the writing on the wall. I wasn’t defeated, but there was a little part of me thinking, I’m definitely going to have to work a lot harder to sell my idea than he will to have to sell his.

So it was no surprise that the same day I got my rejection from ABC I read on deadline that Burrell had SOLD his.  There was a photo of him and his brother who he sold it with in their matching Harry Potter glasses.  They were just missing their capes and matching lightning bolt scars. But they didn’t need magic to sell their pilots, they had a celebrity from the very same network!  I’m the one who needed magic… note to self, buy glasses, cape and scar for next pitch which is this afternoon so I might not have enough time.

And to continue my bitterness rant, I read the log line of Ty’s show and why did that show sell? A show about two families in oregon who want to make a better life without technology?!  That’s it?  Ok, maybe I changed my mind, dammit, maybe I do wish I was famous if for no other reason than to sell a show at the network level… oh and that free macchiatto!





Development season…

30 08 2012

Well it’s that time of the year again… development season. Where writers come up with ideas, do a dog and pony show pitching them to production companies and studios only to re-write their ideas, make it more someone else’s idea and then do another dog and pony show to the networks in the hopes of selling their own TV show and writing the pilot.

While I’ve had major success selling to cable networks like MTV and Spike, I haven’t had any success selling a pilot to one of the major networks. This shouldn’t be at all surprising to people in the business. It’s very hard to sell a pilot if you haven’t sold one before (catch-22 much?) or you didn’t write on friends. Google the NY times article on how many shows Friends writers have sold and how successful they have become to know what I’m talking about.

But year after year my representation wants me to get out there. Last year was my funniest idea to date based on my personal experience and it didn’t sell. I had everyone laughing at the networks and the Dreamworks guys who I pitched with were convinced this was a sure thing… guess what nothing is ever a sure thing. Suffice it to say it didn’t sell (see NY times article about the friends writers)

Just kidding, I know other people who sell shows who aren’t Friends writers, but I will say one of my best friends has been wildly successful in TV, now in the executive producer ranks of a new show coming out this fall and she rarely sells a pilot to a major network and this is a woman who has sold one before and produced it!

So what does it take to sell a pilot? Your guess is as good as mine. But I do know it doesn’t only take a great idea. That will get you into the door to the newtork, but it won’t be the end all/be all. You need a great idea combined with great credits, hopefully a previous pilot sale, a great company or studio working with you, you need to get in the door before everyone else has who has a similar idea, thus timing is essential, you need to put on a show in the room, entertain the folks for sure and you need a great story! Not to be confused with the show’s idea story, nope, you personally needs a great personal story. Just read deadline.com just to see how many people sell shows “based on their own life.” Go there right now and you’ll see one about some country singer. That’s right, a show sold by a country singer… did i mention you don’t even need to be a writer?

soooo on that note… wish me luck! haha. That’s one thing I didn’t mention you need.





It’s pitching season!

27 09 2011

So today I’m off to FOX to pitch my TV show comedy pilot idea! Cannot wait to get out there and have people hear my idea! The big question is, should I shower beforehand. This is a question I’m sure most writers experience. You sit alone all day every day and no one sees you, so you can wear the same outfit every. single. day… and I have no problem admitting that i’ve done this… more than once.

But it’s 8:30am and I’m finding it difficult to motivate to get out of bed and jump in the shower. Of course I had no problem getting out of bed an hour ago to drive to the coffee beAN to get coffee. But i digress.

Today is FOX. The least favorite part of the pitch process is the questions you get afterward… you never know what they’re going to be and typically they’re the lamest questions you could ever think of… but you would never think of them, fellow writer, because we don’t think in marketing a TV show terms, or time slot terms, if the show is funny, then buy it, end of story. That’s how i think. Unfortunately, that’s not enough to sell a show to a network, so wish me luck, hopefully i’ve hit all the arbitrary targets the networks have.





Back to being a TV writer…

22 08 2011

Hey guys, during my hiatus of Diva, I was off on a secret adventure working for one of the most incredible companies in the world… and exciting companies if you’re like me and love sports. I can’t say what it is, but perhaps you can guess. Anyway, It was such an amazing experience, i am so sad it’s over. However, I still got to work for this great place which was always a dream of mine, every since I was a kid I loved the brand and wanted to have a job there, it was a huge risk to move up to the world headquarters for a summer, to a city where i knew NO ONE and I had to make myself muster up a lot of courage, but I did it! I’m so proud of myself! And its something I want to communicate to you, my lovely readers: If you want to become a TV writer JUST DO IT! I know it’s scary and seems daunting, but so did getting a job working for one of the biggest companies in the world did to me! you have to chase your dream because you’ll never be satisfied if you don’t. And if it doesn’t work out, who cares? at least you tried someone and you know what most people in this world DONT TRY ANTYHING. They let fear dictate what they can and cannot do… seriously get over it and as we say at that company JUST. DO. IT!

But i’m back in LA and getting ready to start the pitching season all over again. Are you getting ready to pitch to TV networks too? Right now I’m at the Writers Guild of America in the lounge writing my pitch that I’ll take out to production companies over the next month. First stop is pitching to my agent and manager next week. This pitch shouldn’t be so hard as it’s a show based on my actual life. It’s much easier to write that pitch than to write one about aliens shopping in whole foods for the first time… although there are aliens in the whole foods at 3rd and fairfax, seriously if you can get out of that parking lot alive, i’m impressed.

back to the drawing board! keep writing and i’ll be giving you more updates now that I’m back in LA, baby!