Saturday, April 29, 2006

The Politics Of Writing

This is about writing for episodic TV, but there may be something here for the spec writer also.

In the U.K, where we don't really have 'team writers' and 'show runners' you will generally work to a script editor.

All script editors want to be producrers. That is a fact [ Unless they can become writers, which most can't]

In order to become producers they have to impress the executive producer. The executive producer [and producers] don't want the script editor coming to them with problems. They want the script editor coming to them saying ' this doesn't work but I've spoken to the writer and we can do this, this and this instead.' Time really is money as far as execs are concerned.

Very few people in the industry apart from writers actually understand the writing process. They know what they like and what they don't like. And as they are paying for it, what they like is pretty important.

But what 'they like' is one of the reasons you were hired in the first place. So pick your battles. Everyone in the chain has a different agenda. The succesful writer gives everyone what they want while still retaining his/her individual voice and passion for doing it in the first place.

It doesn't matter how many books you've read or which film school you attended, you have to remember that although you are writing in isolation, the end product has to be like a 'one size' pair of nylons as far as the organisation paying you is concerned.

Spec writers will find something similar. When your opus is optioned, that is just the beginning of the process. There will be many re-writes. Not tweaks or polishes, re-writes. It's the nature of the business. If you seriously want people to invest the cost of a hospital in your story then you seriously need to consider what they have to say.


daniel said...

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Best Writer Ever! said...
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