Friday, September 12, 2008

String theory

Like most people, because the second act is a bit dull, I only skim Stephen Hawking's ' A Brief History Of Time. But second act apart, it's a great education on how puny your mind is.

However, his central theme of the search for a unifying theory of EVERYTHING makes him one of the world's most important contributors to written, and /or filmed entertainment. And that's not just because he appeared in The Simpsons.

For entertainment to be successful, EVERYTHING has to come together. The writer does what he/she can and throws it out there. Blood, sweat and tears should have gone into it, but that guarantees nothing. You then need a talented producer, a talented director , a talented cast and good scheduling and publicity. And if that's not enough, you need a whole hell of a lot more.

You need the audience to like it. They don't have to love it. There are very few shows or movies I love, but there are a good number I like. These are the ones when that 'chemistry' comes together and actually makes me care about what's going on.

That's the string theory of entertainment.


Honest Ed said...

So its official, Jane Tranter is off for LA and Ben Stephenson is taking over as Head of Drama Commissioning. Its a shame they didn't take more time over the succession, to ask themselves some searching questions about what they should be doing and whether they should be getting new blood in to run BBC drama.

Would Be Plumber said...

Dear English Dave

I have followed your blog for a long time now and have always enjoyed your comments and thoughts on the industry. As a fellow screenwriter, a lot of what you blog about resonates hugely. But up to now, I have never been compelled to write or comment back.

However, today I am upset, having been f**ked over royally by the kind of producers you talk about, on a project that has been very close to my heart and is probably the best thing I've ever worked on. Suddenly all those horror stories you hear about anecdotally feel far more real and you become another veteran in the war that is "working as a writer in the UK teevee business and getting shat on then told to be grateful 'cause being shat on means you're at least in the arena to be aimed at by the arseholes".

I'm told I can't talk openly about this or I'll damage my career - and this drives me more insane and angry than I can bear. It is beyond unfair that despite being treated appallingly, witnessing machinations that would make Machiavelli cringe then knowing this unjustness is rewarded with a commission and broadcast credit, and makes me want to kill myself or become a plumber.

I know none of this is news to you and your readers, and since I can't expand, becomes just another anonymous rant from a disgruntled writer whose project didn't get a green light, but I just wanted to share my disdain and anger with others who work in the same shark-infested waters and hope, in some sad pitiful way, that by putting this out there, someone will respond with a heart-warming response and tell me karma exists and works and that, despite misfortune, if you hang on long enough, you will see the dumb, morally-bankrupt, talentless morons get found out and those with integrity, talent and a true to desire to create something excellent will find a way to break through and transform the landscape into something more pleasant, fun and dare I say it, better than what exists now.

Thanks for listening. Sorry for going on.

Yours in tearful frustration,


English Dave said...

Honest Ed, I hear what you're saying.

Anon - yup the writer's life tends to be one of rejection, but rejection by an arsehole for reasons other than to do with the project is a bitter pill.
There are good people out there. Hang on in.

Anonymous said...

Keep encouraging your screenwriter readers. Here's a bit of encouragement to help you and others: I've read and researched thoroughly about a new company in NYC called Nehst Studios. They are always looking out for a great project to help develop. This company allows unsolicited materials through their doors! Encourage your readers to please check out for more details. As you've said before: the world of a writer is rough but the you must keep writing.

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