November 10, 2011

Quick TVWriterChat bite with writers of Shit My Dad Says

     Howdy pardners! Just a really short #TVWriterChat catch-up today to start catching up on the backlog (Is there such thing as a frontlog?)
Coming up in a few days, you can read the highlights from Scriptchat on the 16th of October, which focuses on how to write kickass first 15 pages of your script.

    TV WRITER CHAT 9th October 2011
Guest-starring: Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker of HOW TO BE A GENTLEMAN and SHIT MY DAD SAYS

* Patrick and Justin got their start based off Justin’s Twitter account – ShitMyDadSays.
* It went from Twitter to book to TV deal.
* In TV, purchase-to-shoot is fast, usually pilot-to-purchase-to-TV all in one year.
* Cross-platform like this is seldom seen, but it could be a good opportunity for a writer to think outside the box, and not necessarily go straight for the screenplay route. There are other ways of getting attention.
* In pitching, above all, be passionate. It’ll sell you.
* Treat yourself like a brand.
* Hook up with experienced showrunner – they’ll shepherd the whole process.
* Multi-cam is set-up—joke. Feed the beast. Single-cam is more like a movie. Both can be great, or bad.
* U.S. TV pitching season: June – mid-September for networks, year-round for cable.
* It’s all about character. People watch because they connect with the characters, not one-liners.
* You can see the funnies on Twitter: ShitMyDadSays, follow Justin Halpern: Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker: PMSchumacker.

     There ya go! I just saved you reading through the transcript of a one-hour chat. You can thank me in your Oscars speech. Is that an impractical expectation? Okay, you can thank me in your daytime Emmy award speech.

'Til next time, read a damn script. Pick one you wouldn't normally read, or watch. I've got Knocked Up sitting here. Not big on the Judd Apatow humour, but if we only read and watched what we like, we'd, well actually, we'd probably all be happy, balanced, functioning human beings.

     Screenwriters Anonymous - admitting you have a 2nd act problem is the first step to recovery.

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