‘Latvia: Europe’s Nation of Introverts’

Latvians are often self-deprecating about their culture’s tendency towards introversion, but could this personality trait be the key to their creative identity?

LB’s NOTE: I fully intended to have another post about tips for PEOPLE’S PILOT 2018 entrants today, but a funny thing happened on my way to my keyboard: The Brodys got a new puppy.

More likely than not, considering how popular dogs are in the Western world. (I hear they’re popular in the East as well, but not necessarily as friends or pets…) you know what that does to the best of intentions.

It’s – Layla, Queen of Digestive Services. Oh yeah!

Right – it turns them into grist for the real purpose of puppy owning life: Cleaning up pee and poo. So instead of writing anything, here I am, hysterically living the life (read, “breaking in the pooper scooper and buying newspapers by the half ton”  for the adorable little creature on the left.

All is not lost, however. Compensating for my new servitude is a new kind of liberation.

The following substitute post has nothing to do with writing at all. But inasmuch as I’m of Latvian descent (you didn’t know? For shame…on me for not revealing it before) I’m fascinated by the observations here.

Well, more than fascinated. This nonjudgemental justification for my particular brand of lifelong anti-social behavior has freed me from guilt at last. And given me a whole new insight into what may well be the true nature of my creativity.

And maybe yours as well.

So, please, read on:


by Christine Ro

In a comic book produced by the organisation Latvian Literature for the recent London Book Fair, the main character gives a rare smile on realising that the weather outside is perfect. That is, it’s heavily snowing, and thus he’s unlikely to meet anyone out on the roads. As he says, “below zero = below average risk of random encounter”.

The comic is part of Latvian Literature’s #IAMINTROVERT campaign to celebrate – and affectionately make fun of – a kind of social reserve that Anete Konste, a Latvian publicist and writer who devised the campaign, sees as very representative of her nation. “I don’t think our campaign is an exaggeration at all,” she said. “In reality it’s even worse!”

I understood what she meant as soon as I arrived in the Baltic state. My first day walking through Riga, Latvia’s capital city, was unlike walking through the capital of any other European country. It was more serene. The sun shone brightly as I strolled towards Kronvalda Park, and at times it seemed like the only sources of noise were passing cars and chattering tourists. When I did see some Latvians walking together, they often did so silently and with plenty of space in between. I sensed that these aren’t the most gregarious of people.

This feeling was confirmed on an hour-long train trip from Riga to Sigulda. As we whizzed north-east through thick pine forests, my friends and I alternately admired the scenery and played a film trivia game. We were getting excitable, shouting out answers, when it dawned on us that we were the only ones in the train compartment speaking.

But why are Latvians often so reserved, at least at first? There is no cut-and-dried answer, but studies have shown a link between creativity and a preference for solitude. Konste has seen this first hand in her line of work; in fact, she believes that introversion is especially heightened among those in creative fields, such as authors, artists and architects. Meanwhile, Latvian psychologists have suggested that creativity is important to Latvian self-identity, so much so that creativity is a priority in the Latvian government’s educational and economic development plans. The European Commission has reported that Latvia has one of the highest shares of the creative labour market in the European Union….

Read it all at the BBC

Meltdown on Set of South African Epic Series – Wow!

If you’ve been feeling sorry for yourself because your showbiz career isn’t going quite the way you want it to, we bring you this little news nugget in the hope that it will brighten your day.

Assuming, of course, that seeing a huge professional TV series staffed by major pros implode can be a day-brightener. In other words, we’ll understand if you pretend not to feel better about your own lot after  you read this news report from South Africa:

Don’t complain to us, folks. This is the pic that originally ran with this news story!

by Charl Blignaut – City Press

Johannesburg – It has been a week of high drama behind the scenes of an epic new Zulu historical series called Uselwa, which is intended for broadcast on SABC1 towards the end of the year.

By Thursday night, it seemed the production, which is more than half shot already, would be canned after line producer Megan Firth was asked to resign and executive producer Mkhomazi Mashinini was facing a revolt from the cast and crew over allegations of nonpayment, cost-cutting, late scripts, bad rates, no medics on set, a shortage of wardrobe and transport, inexperienced production assistants and swirling claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour from a senior manager on set.

Responding to questions from City Press, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said: “We are aware that the production is facing some challenges, hence there is a commissioning editor who is assigned to visit KwaZulu-Natal to deal with these challenges.”

He reiterated the SABC’s stance that sexual harassment would not be tolerated.

By Friday night, the SABC had taken over the Uselwa set at Shakaland in Eshowe and shut it down. It will move a new producer in to complete the shoot.

According to three sources on set, where a crew of 80 are staying, Mashinini – of NCA Productions – had his car keys removed, was locked in his room and was due to be taken to the police, where a case of fraud and embezzlement was to be opened against him.

They say the SABC’s commissioning editor, Ntando Mhlongo, recounted how he had accompanied Mashinini to the bank, where it was discovered that the production’s account had only R13.65 left in it. The drama is believed to have a budget of well over R4 million.

Read it all at channel24.co.za

Most Viewed TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – June 18, 2018

Time for TVWriter™’s Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are:

Indie Video & Film: ‘Division’

Jon Paul Burkhart Talks About ‘Sick For Toys’ – His Upcoming Psychological Thriller

Apple is Now a WGA Signatory Employer

Audio Series: Here’s an Audio Drama with Style

Speaking of PEOPLE’S PILOT 2018: “I entered a screenplay contest & got terrible feedback. What do I do?

And our most visited permanent resource pages are:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2018 Writing Contest

SPIDER-MAN UNLIMITED SECOND SEASON ARC

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Enter

WRITING & SHOWBIZ NEWSWATCH

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!

Herbie J Pilato’s ‘Now & Then’ Sizzle Reel

From almost the very beginning of TVWriter™, Herbie J Pilato has been part of our family. In fact, Herbie J was our first Contributing Editor.

For the last year and a half or so, Herbie J’s appearances on this site have been far too few because he has been working on his own TV series. We’re hoping to get him to give us the inside scoop on the process, but until we can corral him (as in tie him up and sit him down with his hands to the keyboard and his feet to the fire), here’s a little bit showbiz insider-ness, a sampling of several already shot episodes that, in keeping with the metaphor above is known to insiders as:

Herbie J Pilato’s Now & Then Sizzle Reel

From Council Tree Productions, headed by Joel Eisenberg and Steven Hilkards. Director: Steve Akahoshi, DP: Michael Walker, Sound: AV Viricel, Audio Mix: Brendyn Adams

Special Thanks to all celebrity guests, GeekNation Studios, and Sound With Motion for their contribution of time and support.

What Makes an Action Scene Work?

This insightful analysis of action scenes in today’s superhero film world was recommended to us by our old buddy the munchman himself, and we think you’ll be as glad he did that as we are.

More cool stuff from the same creators is HERE

EDITOR’S NOTE: We didn’t use the title of the video as the title of this post because the video title seems much more limited than the lesson – and it definitely is a lesson – that we’re getting here.

What do you think?