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FSU MMC 2000 - Writing

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Some Key Concepts For Life For Your EducationThe Golden Rule of Work (GROW)And sometimes life (GROWL)Someone hires you to make their life easierState exactly what you want to do for them (in cover letter)GROW(L)When you’re applying for a job, you need to clearly and directly show how you will that person’s life easierWhen you’re doing your job you need to keep doing soIf you’re not making their life easier you’re in troubleIf you’re making their life tougher, you’re in real troublePersonal adage: a manager spends 90% of their time managing problems with 10% of their staffIf God Has Spoken To You” RuleIf God or your muse has spoken to and those words when from you ears to your word processor or camera and editing equipment and it is therefore perfectDon’t bring it to class where the idea is to workshop it and make it betterDirectly product it and collect your Emmy and OscarWhile You’re in SchoolRealize that this is the last time someone is being paid to teach you how to make your work betterLater on if you want some feedback on a script or film or video you’ve created you’ll be asking someone for a favorIf you work is not very good, those people will not do you another favor and look at your next script/film/videoSo use feedback and notes to make your work the best it can be before asking people for the favor of reading/watchingIn the Real WorldStudios and producers have databases where they enter their comments about you, your writing, your acting, ETC.So if you get a script read or as an actor have an audition, you’d better be read and be good because comments will be added to the database about youYou may not get another read or audition based on those commentsAnd if you do, your work may be viewed through less-than-positive lensesFilm means actual film not necessarily the mediumPART TWO OF THE COURSEThis is where we’ll examine the people and processes that lead to the creation of what you see on your TV and theatrical film screensIt All Begins With the WritingUntil there are word on the page, nothing happensWhen it has to decide final writing credits on a rewritten script, the WGA always gives at least partial credit to the original writer, because what got the whole project going is what s/he wrote after the words “fade in” on page one“Taking the money out”Moving location but saying it is the original location because of tax creditsDirector does not get writing credit for thisIt takes the pages of a script to eventually attract stars, directors, studios, and money to produce the scriptAs long as people were hired to work, the movie was a success even if the movie was not a successLowell Ganz’s agent comment after his 2nd movie didn’t do well - the 3rd film (Splash) got even more money because Ganz and partner Babaloo Mandel had done their jobs as writers - they twice wrote pages that led to 2 films being producedWriting CreditsWhen you see “&” (ampersand) between two writers’ names it means they worked together as a teamWhen you see “and” it means these other writers were brought in laterSo Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel are a team who worked togetherLowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel would mean they worked separately, with Mandel working after Ganz on Ganz’s original ideaTheatrical Film/TV ComparisonBoth begin with the writerBut then, who has the most creative controlIn general, theatrical film is a director’s mediumTV is a writer’s mediumWith film, a studio/producer is buying the pagesThere will almost be rewrites by the original writer(s) and/or other writersThe original writer can literally be dead and have a script sold because they are buying the pages that are already writtenWhen they buy your script, that doesn’t mean they will produce the movie.It is easier to buy it just to avoid litigation, to keep it off the marketIn TV, they are buying the writer and the pages s/he may write in the futureIt is prospectiveCan you come up with 13, 22, 34 episodes in a ear that are on time, budget, and are good examples of that seriesJJ Abrams started in TBV and now is doing Star Trek and Star Wars moviesHe uses a writers’ room (at least on Start Trek) and has about six writers thereHe also goes to the set sometimes along with other writer(s) and does rewrites on the setIn general, film writing is an individual or 2-person writing team effortTV series are almost always group rewritten and sometimes group written - the writers’ roomHowever, the TV model is being used by film producers/directors who started out in TVTent-pole- having an opening date for a movie years in advanceI dare you to open the same weekend as meWe own this dateIn TV the show’s creator/writer is usually its showrunnerIn the past, showrunners stayed with a show a few seasons, then left to create/showruner other series. Replacement showrunners are brought inThe original showerunner may still have final decision-making on series s/he is no longer running day to dayShowrunnersIn the US the original showrunners seldom stay with a long-running series until the endIn the Britain, when a show creator no longer wants to write more episodes the series usually ends“The Office” had 13 episodes in Britain; will have 200 in USThis past year or so a major change has been the firing of showrunners by the studios and networks“Walking Dead” fired original and replacement showrunner“Smash” fired its creator/showrunner“Community” creator/showrunner Dan Harmon fired by Sony TVShowrunners usually have the title of executive producer and when there are multiple executive producers their credit is often the last one in opening credits and the first one in end creditsThey may also have “created by” creditTheir duties included final say * onCasting - both initially for the series and for each episodeWriting staff & freelance writer hiringWriting: season/series arcs; story lines for each episode; notes of every draft of the script; often final “polish” of each scriptEditing: approves all edits including the final one*Can be overridden by the studio or networkWho Has Final SayWhoever is writing the checksTV studioFilm studioTV networkWho Is Paying For WhatIn TV, Networks always are licensing programs, i.e.., they’re paying x $ to have usually 2 runs of an episode. This is the license fee.In TV, studios are producing the episodes and then licensing them to networks. The studios own the programs. The studios are paying the production budget costs.For over 20


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