Friday, April 18, 2008

Life in the internet lane

Everything, all the time.

When I were a lad, there weren't no t'internet. The only real avenues for any novice writer to get any kind of information on the nature and practice of screenwriting was to go to a seminar buy a book, or find a willing mentor.

Those days have long gone, thank the jebus. There are now any number of great sites with excellent writers giving free advice on everything from how to construct a pitch document to what to wear at a meeting!

Great news for the novice. But also great news for the hoary old salt. Writers tend to be a solitary breed. Especially in this country where we don't really have the writers room. Meetings between writers tend to be few and far between. Prior to the internet and email, information would be slow to disseminate. A 'bitch' [collective noun] of writers might gather occassionaly to bemoan this prodco or that exec or the PACT agreement, but it would pretty much end there. A few like minded souls shouting in the wind to each other, never knowing how many, if any of their fellow writers felt exactly the same way.

Take the recent WGA strike. I have a suspicion that a major reason this one was 'succesful' when the last one certainly wasn't, was down to the internet. The writers case was put out there, often, cohesively and entertainingly. Given that the conglomorates who own the studios also own most of the media it was pretty much the only way the message could get out. Ironic really as one of the main issues was internet residuals.

But I think even more importantly the internet enables a creative community to come out of their bunkers and realise we are all going through the same shit. Be it wrestling with a script or dealing with some dingbat exec who wouldn't know if they had an arse and an elbow, never mind the difference.

And maybe, just maybe, that level of communication will give that creative community a greater sense of empowerment. I do hope so. I mentioned in a previous comment that I might post my thoughts on why writers are generally kept out of the spotlight. Still mulling the whole scenario over. But I've most certainly come across the 'divide and rule' mentality. The internet goes some way to overcoming that. Hell, I may start naming and shaming! lol


Anonymous said...

Yes, please, name and shame the knobs who continually shaft writers and get away with it. People should know who to avoid. I'll start Hewland and Shed, who strangely share the same building. AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE.


Anonymous said...

Guess Shed would be on most writer's list - especially those writer's who've had the misfortune to work for them. The Queens of getting someone else to do all the hard work, sacking them and taking a co-credit.

Anonymous said...

In the interests of balance maybe we should also name those companies who have a reputation for treating writers well. World Productions have an excellent track record.

English Dave said...

J.G and anon 1 I could have laid even money they'd top the poll lol

Anon 2 having been in and out of World like a pimp's dick I will still agree. As Tony Garnet said [before he let dipshits take over]'it's not about good writers, it's about good writing'

English Dave said...

And a note of potential controversey here. I think there are one or two at Kudos who are getting up their own arses. Success breeds contempt.

I recently had some dev exec there say 'we don't feel we are quite ready to meet you'

Mmmmm. Never heard of this 'exec' before.

Okay I'll meet the half dozen others who are ready. At the BBC and Granada and C4, and Talkback and Hartswood and Clerkenwell.

I don't mind rejection but I do mind that royal 'we' bollocks from a 12 year old who's clearly been allowed out on work experience.

Tell me to 'fuck off I hated it' and I'll respect you more in the morning. Give me the 'we' and I'll give you the finger.

Anonymous said...

'And a note of potential controversey here. I think there are one or two at Kudos who are getting up their own arses. Success breeds contempt.'

Well said ED. Who are some of those fuckwits they've hired?

From a seasoned pro btw.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a bit dodgy actually naming names, one of those fuckwits might go on to be the next Jane Tranter and fuckwits have a pretty good track-record of climbing the greasy pole...That said a 'hint' wouldn't go amiss.

Maybe not on this page, Dave still needs to work, but it would be pretty good if someone were to post a shit-list of who to avoid. I'm betting in a couple of months it would be most writers' homepage.


Simon Moore said...

Mark Fowler?