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Ask me anything about being a TV comedy writer Ask me anything about being a TV comedy writer

10-06-2010 , 01:43 AM
my mistake--here's the other one:

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment...t_mitch_h.html
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10-06-2010 , 01:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KneeCo
How conscious are writers while scripting of budgetary and other practical concerns? i.e. you're writing like a dream sequence that has the characters in elaborate costumes, in a different location and using superpowers - do you have to stop and consider how much time and money will go into making that happen or is that something that happens after the writing room?
we're very conscious of that. we have to be aware of how many sets we're using, if we're using locations we probably cant' get, how many speaking roles we're putting in the script. If it's something we're not sure about we just call or email the producer and they let us know. a lot of times when writing a first draft (pre-writers room) I'll throw stuff in that we probably can't do in the hopes of maybe being pleasantly surprised when we can. recently I put a specific song into an episode pretty much assuming that when the script got back to the room i would be told "we're not paying for that song." But somehow no one ever said anything and we ended up getting the song. It's fun when that works out.
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10-06-2010 , 01:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsoyars
Sorry, missed this somehow. What kind of show are we talking about? Like, a narrative pilot or a sketch show? Also, it would help to know what you're trying to do with it. Is it something you want to sell? Something you're going to make yourself? Something that will just be a sample to get an agent or try to get staffed? In general I'd say aim for outside of the box, aim for a concept that stands out, try to write something that you think feels original and that will make you and your friends laugh. I think you'll be doing yourself a favor in the long run by doing that instead of trying to write what you think is marketable or what is like what you already see on TV.
Can you elaborate on this a little? Like how would you be able to pitch a show or idea to a network? Do you need an agent?, or do you have to know somebody? Can you sell an idea for a show? etc.
Thanks for your feed back, facinating stuff.
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10-06-2010 , 01:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MGSRevolver
my mistake--here's the other one:

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment...t_mitch_h.html
I'm also very interested in fsoyars' response to this interview.
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10-06-2010 , 02:20 PM
Jesus you guys are giving me homework. Alright fine! Lemme read em.
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10-06-2010 , 03:09 PM
Okay I read the interviews. Not really sure what to say about them other than that I agree with pretty much everything he says in them. It's been difficult on Running Wilde writing in the shadow of Arrested. It's sort of a lose/lose situation. The AD fans want this show to be like AD and it isn't so they will only be disappointed, and the network wants this show to NOT be like AD but what Mitch does best is the kind of comedy that is AD... so they are also unhappy. I think the best shot RW has at success is developing into its own show, that's not Arrested, but still very funny. And I think it can do that bc at its core it's much simpler but still very original and still hilarious. Unfortunately it's taken us a few episodes to kind of find that sweet spot and bc of the ratings you guys may never get a chance to see it.

Other than that, if you guys have specific questions about those interviews for me, lemme know.
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10-06-2010 , 03:17 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EZmoney74
Can you elaborate on this a little? Like how would you be able to pitch a show or idea to a network? Do you need an agent?, or do you have to know somebody? Can you sell an idea for a show? etc.
Thanks for your feed back, facinating stuff.
You either need an agent or you need to know someone at the network who can get you a meeting without an agent. Or I guess maybe you have some hit web series or whatever that gets the attention of a network and gets you a meeting. I guess if what you're asking is, how can someone with no credentials and no agent who doesn't know anyone get to pitch a show? The answer to that would be you probably can't. I mean, I guess you could submit cold to a network but I doubt that would be worth the time. You're best bet is to write something or shoot something and try to get that into the hands of an agent or producer who can then get you a pitch meeting. Of course, to get your stuff into those peoples' hands you probably have to know someone. If you live in LA or NYC that becomes easier bc you're around people who are in the industry or know people who are, etc. If you work on a ranch in Montana it's probably a lot harder to make those connections.
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10-07-2010 , 01:05 AM
Would you consider it amusing to come up with a thinly-veiled 2p2 joke and try to get it on the show?
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10-07-2010 , 02:19 AM
You need to write in a "but how much did you lose?"
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10-07-2010 , 10:30 PM
Thanks for this thread. I've been reading it since it started and it has some good info.

When you passed around your pilot script, was it copyrighted? I've got 4 completed scripts (3 original and 1 I was "hired" to write) but only the 1 "hired" script was under a copyright. I'd like to pass them around to people, but I've heard tons of horror stories and don't want to take that chance. 1 of my scripts in particular is something I haven't seen made yet and I'm very protective of it. Do you or have you ever have to deal with that aspect of the business? What do you do with your own work in regards to copyrights? Aside from fixing and tweaking, at what stage can it be copywritten?

Thanks in advanced. You almost have my dream job

Last edited by DC11GTR; 10-07-2010 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Added another question
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10-07-2010 , 10:49 PM
WGA or the copyright office can definitely help. Keep records of who views it when.
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10-08-2010 , 02:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by shriners
Would you consider it amusing to come up with a thinly-veiled 2p2 joke and try to get it on the show?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingRat
You need to write in a "but how much did you lose?"
If I find a place I'll try but remember that the scripts pass through many people's hands before they get to air so it's a long shot.
Ask me anything about being a TV comedy writer Quote
10-08-2010 , 02:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC11GTR
Thanks for this thread. I've been reading it since it started and it has some good info.

When you passed around your pilot script, was it copyrighted? I've got 4 completed scripts (3 original and 1 I was "hired" to write) but only the 1 "hired" script was under a copyright. I'd like to pass them around to people, but I've heard tons of horror stories and don't want to take that chance. 1 of my scripts in particular is something I haven't seen made yet and I'm very protective of it. Do you or have you ever have to deal with that aspect of the business? What do you do with your own work in regards to copyrights? Aside from fixing and tweaking, at what stage can it be copywritten?

Thanks in advanced. You almost have my dream job
Don't know anything about copywriting -- I've never done that. Most people just register their scripts with the WGA as NozeCandy said. Go here: http://www.wgawregistry.org/webrss/ I think it might be twenty bucks or something.

We did that with our pilot. I don't know much protection it really offers you but it's standard to register any script (or even part of a script or even just like a treatment I think). The reality is that if you're going to make any headway you're going to just have to suck it up and send your **** out and risk having people steal your ideas. Yeah, they might steal it but they might also say "this is a great idea and this guy thought of it. Let's hire him." Or rep him. Or whatever. Anyway, just register it and then get it out there and don't worry about your idea getting stolen. Every new writer has to take that risk.
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10-08-2010 , 12:31 PM
why don't you post better if you're a comedy writer?
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10-08-2010 , 01:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidcolin
why don't you post better if you're a comedy writer?
How will the Celtics beat teams this year when most of their roster plays in Depends? How do you have nothing better to do than troll me in OOTV in the offseason? These are difficult questions and we may never know the answers.
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10-08-2010 , 01:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsoyars
How will the Celtics beat teams this year when most of their roster plays in Depends? How do you have nothing better to do than troll me in OOTV in the offseason? These are difficult questions and we may never know the answers.
ha. I mean you kinda proved my point. I was surprised when I read the thread title because most of your "funny" comebacks and zings are terrible. Maybe you just save the best stuff for the people who pay for it.

But it's good to know you're just another east coast -> LA transplant bandwagoner. Kobe!

but in all seriousness, it's a good thread and sounds like a sweet job. Congrats.
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10-08-2010 , 01:57 PM
if there's one thing I've learned when it comes to zing-offs, the only thing lamer than a bad zing is a comeback that amounts to "your zing was terrible."

As for LA transplant bandwagoner, you've got me there. That, I will freely admit.

And in all seriousness, thanks!

PS - Kobe!
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10-08-2010 , 02:32 PM
yea, your posts that only handful of people read on an internet forum are really bad. You should quit your awesome TV writer gig. You're so lame.
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10-09-2010 , 11:18 AM
maybe I missed it, but how did you get hired on this particular show?
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10-09-2010 , 12:44 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbos
maybe I missed it, but how did you get hired on this particular show?
Our agent just submitted our pilot to him and he liked it enough to want to meet us. I was actually out of town so we had to do a phone interview which was weird but it went well enough for him to offer us the job without meeting us, which is pretty rare I think. Our agent then negotiated with Lionsgate for a couple weeks after that, during which time we met on other shows, and we actually ended up taking a less lucrative deal than we probably would have gotten elsewhere bc we really wanted to be on this show.
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10-09-2010 , 05:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsoyars
we actually ended up taking a less lucrative deal than we probably would have gotten elsewhere bc we really wanted to be on this show.
very cool, I hope this pays off for you. It sounds like you'll be alright even if this show gets a quick ax, so thats good too.
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10-10-2010 , 12:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsoyars
during which time we met on other shows, and we actually ended up taking a less lucrative deal than we probably would have gotten elsewhere bc we really wanted to be on this show.
What are some of the shows you interviewed for that made it to air?
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10-11-2010 , 03:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nucleon
What are some of the shows you interviewed for that made it to air?
We met on a show called Mixed Signals that is a mid-season comedy for FOX I believe. Our former showrunner on Accidentally is on Friends With Benefits for NBC so she was trying to get us in over there as well.

I forgot to put this in the OP but we also wrote a couple episodes for the new Beavis and Butthead right before getting onto Running Wilde and had we not taken this job we probably would have written more of them.
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10-11-2010 , 03:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fsoyars
Our agent just submitted our pilot to him and he liked it enough to want to meet us. I was actually out of town so we had to do a phone interview which was weird but it went well enough for him to offer us the job without meeting us, which is pretty rare I think. Our agent then negotiated with Lionsgate for a couple weeks after that, during which time we met on other shows, and we actually ended up taking a less lucrative deal than we probably would have gotten elsewhere bc we really wanted to be on this show.
To clarify, by "him" I mean Mitch Hurwitz, sorry. I think I wrote that reply and then edited it and that got lost somehow.
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