PEOPLE’S PILOT 2018 Writing Contest Countdown

The 27th running of our PEOPLE’S PILOT Script Writing Contest ends at 10:00 pm Pacific Time November 1st.

Over $20,000 worth of prizes and bonuses, including free feedback & TVWriter™ founder Larry Brody’s Storytelling Patterns e-booklet await all entrants + $$$,  free classes, LB mentoring, & more interweb goodies for winners.

For all the info, CLICK HERE

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‘A STAR IS BORN,’ Romcoms And Love Addiction

Ethlie Ann Vare follows up the post on her blog last week about A Star is Born and its unintended psychological effects. Remember the old Spider-Man slogan, “With great power comes great responsibility?” That’s something filmmakers definitely need to start keeping in mind.

by Ethlie Ann Vare

As I predicted, A STAR IS BORN is a blockbuster hit, never mind the fact that it sends a terrible message to all the potential love addicts out there. (See my previous blog post on the subject here.) But I can’t be too hard on Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. After all, my whole life I’ve been given horrible messages from star-crossed onscreen romances – messages that might not damage a reasonable person, but can send an unreasonable obsessive like myself pursuing a bad idea straight to the gates of insanity or death.

I’m not blaming the movies; much of this is in the eye of the beholder. One person can watch LEAVING LAS VEGAS and swear off drinking; another sits through the same screening and decides to grow up to be Nicolas Cage’s suicidal alcoholic or Elizabeth Shue’s self-destructive prostitute. Because they’re so, you know, tragic and misunderstood. And sexy; don’t forget sexy.

Here, then, is a litany of cinematic woe for those unable to control and enjoy their love lives. The list is weighted for blockbusters and recent releases, because I only had so much space and it was too depressing to consider watching every Doris Day-Rock Hudson movie ever made. Feel free to chime in with your particular favorite.

Caution: Some spoilers ahead, but my guess is you’ve probably seen these movies already, maybe more than once. (Also note, a version of this column was previously printed in Substance Magazine.)

1. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934) A rebellious heiress and an out-of-work newspaperman fall for each other while she’s running away to elope with another man. “I don’t know very much about him, except that I love him,” says rich girl Claudette Colbert about penniless reporter Clark Gable. I still adore this movie classic, but I did finally figure out that relationships work better when you’re actually acquainted with the person.

2. LOVE STORY (1970) A rich boy and a poor girl fall in love as Harvard undergrads; he defies his family to marry her. Their perfect life is cut short by her fatal illness. “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” young Ali McGraw tells young Ryan O’Neal, because if you truly love someone you will never hurt or disappoint them in the first place. This is a terrible lesson to teach a love addict; we already expect you to read our minds and then resent you when you can’t.

Read it all at Affection Deficit Disorder

Larry Brody: Live! From Paradise! #17 – ‘When Good Ole Boys Go Bad’

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THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.

by Larry Brody

A couple of good old boys paid me a little visit Sunday evening.

Gwen the Beautiful and I were surprised to hear the dogs barking and someone pulling up into our clearing. I went outside in time to see Brannigan the Contractor and his buddy Dwayne the Heavy Equipment Dude get out of Dwayne’s truck. Belle, the Good Old Dog Gone Bad, did what she does whenever she sees Brannigan the Contractor. She bit him.

“I knew you loved me,” Brannigan said to her. And to me: “I want this dog!”

“You want a dog that bites you?” Dwayne said.

“Sure. She’s a proven protector!”

“Not of you.”

“Of property, man! Property!” Brannigan started up the front porch. Tripped. Caught himself. Dwayne laughed. “Oh, man,” he said, “we’re so drunk. What’ve you got to keep us going?”

It didn’t take long to find something. We sat at the kitchen table, Kentucky bourbon going down easy. Gwen knew better than to want any part of this. Who says blind people can’t see? She went upstairs. Brannigan nodded appreciatively. “Fine woman,” he said.

“I don’t know about your judgment,” I said. “You think Belle’s a fine dog.”

“Out here a dog that’ll keep your property safe is worth two Winchester twelve gauges,” Dwayne said.

This kind of small talk means something’s up and it’s going to take awhile to get to it. But Brannigan and Dwayne were so drunk that if they took much longer they’d never be able to get to it. “You didn’t come here to talk about dogs,” I said.

“No,” said Dwayne. “We came to solve your problem.”

Brannigan sucked down a shot. “Your Chet problem.”

He was talking about Chet the Unhandyman, who came to Cloud Creek to start a new life and is still waiting for it to begin.

Dwayne leaned forward confidentially. “Brannigan and I know that this guy is driving you crazy. That he drives everybody crazy. He’s into you for electricity and the telephone and the food he takes from your fridge and the laundry he does on your washing machine when you’re gone.”

Brannigan picked it up. “We also know that you’re too soft-hearted to throw him out. You’re worried about the old boy.’” He raised his voice to a roar: “But we’re not!”

“Brannigan and I think it’s time for Chet to take a little walk in the woods with some friends of ours,” Dwayne said. “All you’ve got to do is nod and they’ll be here tomorrow morning. And tomorrow afternoon he’ll be gone.”


“Like he was never here,” Dwayne said. “Don’t ask nothing more.”

Another shot of bourbon found its way down Brannigan’s throat. “Told you we weren’t worried about him!”

“I can’t do that,” I said.

“Sure you can,” Dwayne said. “It’s one of the Old Ways. It’s how things are done in these parts. Man’s got no kin, no friends. No reason to hang around giving himself and everybody else the miseries.”

I didn’t reply. Dwayne leaned in even closer to me. Put his arms around my neck like a brother. “It’s okay,” he said. “Happens all the time.”

“No,” I said. “Not this time.”

“Well you just think about it. My offers don’t expire. It’s there whenever you say.”

We finished off the bottle. I went to call Brannigan the Contractor’s wife so she could drive over and take them home. Dwayne the Earth Mover shook his head. “I can handle it,” he said. “I can drive.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Don’t be so negative, Larry. C’mon—you ever seen me sober?” I shook my head. Dwayne beamed. “See?”

Nothing I said could stop them. Brannigan the Contractor and Dwayne the Earth Mover inched Dwayne’s truck down the mountain and left me to think about their offer. And about how cheap life can be. How little a man’s got to do to become someone who vanishes into the woods. About the danger of crossing the wrong folks.

And, yes, about the feeling of power that surges through your body and darkens your soul when you realize you too can make use of the “Old Ways.”

Today Chet the Unhandyman spilled five gallons of gasoline because he thought the air hole on the can was the spout. In my mind, the title of this little episode is “When Good Old Boys Go Bad.” And the reason I’m putting it all down is to make sure I stay “Good.”

Most Viewed TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – Oct 22, 2018

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for TVWriter™’s latest look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending last Sunday. They are:

How To Write The Perfect TV Series Review To Captivate Your Readers

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing!

Web Series: ‘ Candice: the Series’

Want to See Some Commissioned Professional Pilot Scripts?

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

And our most visited permanent resource pages are:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2018 Writing Contest




Big thanks to everybody for making this another great week at TVWriter™ . Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Bri Castellini: Needlessly Mooney – @brisownworld

EDITOR’S NOTE: Did you know that even award-winning indie filmmakers and web series creators have personal lives? Well, you do now:

by Bri Castellini


Bri: Can I interview you for my blog?

Quinn: Sure.

Bri: It felt less self indulgent than asking you to do a podcast with me.

Quinn: Fair. What do you want to interview me about?

Bri: Our relationship.

Quinn: Oh jesus. [sees me typing] Taking this all down? Ok. [sound of trepidation]

Bri: Are you happy?

Quinn: Meh. Is anyone happy in 2016? I mean since 2016. Edit that.

Bri: No. [beat] I mean in our relationship, obviously.

Quinn: Yeah, of course.

Bri: Why of course?

Quinn: Because you’re great and I love you.

Bri: That’s not a reason.

Quinn: Yes it is. [beat] You shouldn’t do this right after I woke up. I’m needlessly mooney.

Bri: Expand.

Quinn: Uuuuuuuuuhhh….. [pained look]

Bri: What would make you unhappy in our relationship? What would have to change for your feeling to change?

Quinn: I think if, um…. [long pause] I think if either of us were more inflexible it wouldn’t work as well. But as it is I think we both… we don’t take a lot too seriously. And if one of us is being silly usually the other one of us has the good humor to play along.

Bri: Give me an example.

Quinn: When I tell you to go fuck yourself, you laugh.

Bri: [laughs]

Quinn: Cuz you see it for what it is- me being a butt.

Bri: Can you give me a more real example?

Quinn: That is a lot of pressure.

Bri: Why?

Quinn: Cuz all the weirdos are gonna read this.

Bri: Like who?

Quinn: I dunno. Janine.

Bri: Tell them about Janine.

Quinn: [laughs] Janine is my other wife. Or, my other significant other. I can’t remember if we’re married-

Bri: You are.

Quinn: Ok.

Bri: Tell that story as you remember it.

Quinn: I don’t remember it! I hate this.

[fact check: Janine Janine is Quinn’s wife, the mother of his daughter Melissa Janine and currently pregnant with his unborn son Jean Janine.]

Bri: Tell me what you like about the stage we’re in in our relationship.

Quinn: Do we have to do this? If I was just telling you that’d be one thing. I don’t want to be on a blog.

Bri: Too bad. What’s one piece of advice you’d give another couple based on our relationship?

Quinn: I mean “communicate” is such a trope, but… Have a level of trust with that person that enables you to… how do I say this? [stressed out sigh] I’m trying to find a long-winded way of saying “don’t be an asshole to them. And if you are gonna be an asshole to them, make sure they know you’re joking and you’re willing to give it back.” That’s what I like about us, that we have a back and forth and I’ll never be as good at it as you but we both try.

Bri: I like that.

Quinn: I guess if I had to make it short- have good banter but also be excellent to one another…. you’re not actually gonna publish this are you? It’s absolute fucking drivel. It’s basically Ambien blogging.

[editor’s note: Ambien blogging is a reference to Rosanne Barr’s Ambien tweeting]

Bri: My advice is that you should be able to fart in front of each other.

Quinn: You know, in not so many words that’s what I was saying too. You gotta keep it cool and not hold your significant other to an unreasonable standard. People fart. They do gross shit. That’s just how it is. And they can do that and still be beautiful flowers of humankind also.

Bri: What’s the worst thing about dating me?

Quinn: I mean, you asking me to do this takes the cake 100%.

Bri: That feels like a good place to end this blog. I love you.

Quinn: Why do you do these things?

Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Community Director at Stareable, our favorite web series hub. Watch the remarkable Ms. Castellini’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE. See Sam And Pat Are Depressed HERE. This post first appeared on Bri’s wonderfully refreshing blog.

Is Apple’s Original TV Content Going to Crash & Burn?

Apple is committed to spending billions on original TV content over the next 5 years. Does that mean we’re going to get the killer shows we’ve all been looking forward to? According to this analysis, signs point to, “Uh-oh.”

It Sounds like Apple’s original content is going to be really, really bad
by Jonathan Sheiber

Last year, an investor projected that Apple  would be spending up to $4.2 billion on original content by 2022, but if the reports coming out now about what that content will look like are correct, the company may want its money back.

new Wall Street Journal article highlights some of the tensions that Apple faces as it looks to create a streaming media service in the age of Handmaid’s TaleHouse of CardsOrange is the New Black, Game of Thrones, and even The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

To set the table, The Journal walked readers through some of the issues Tim Cook apparently had with Vital Signs, a title the company had acquired loosely based on the biography of rap legend (and former head of the billion dollar Apple acquisition, Beats) Dr. Dre.

Reportedly, after Cook saw scenes including a mansion orgy, white lines, and drawn guns the Apple chief put the kibosh on the whole production saying it was too violent and not something that Apple can air.

For Apple’s content business, gratuitous profanity, sex or violence are all verboten as the company tries to thread the needle between being a widely beloved producer of high quality consumer goods and purveyor of paid entertainment to a public that’s increasingly enthralled with blood and gore at its circuses.

In other words, Apple’s mores seem a little misplaced.

There’s a problem for Apple as it tries to stitch together a studio while limiting itself to the entertainment equivalent of cream of wheat. Plenty of other other technology companies are gunning for that number one slot and studios are fighting for their very survival.

Money may talk in Hollywood, but creative control, ensuring an audience for a show, and the continued viability of programming also have their place. Creators may find that they’re far more comfortable wrapped in a quilt that has more varied programming where their shows may be buoyed by the success of other, darker programming that appeals to a broader audience….

Read it all at TechCrunch