Alan Spencer: This Business We Call the Biz

Alan Spencer Capture

Alan Spencer is a genuinely cool guy. He’s the creator of the cult classic late ’80s TV comedy SLEDGE HAMMER! and the all-too-obscure IFC series BULLET IN THE FACE, and those are just for starters

In other words, not only is he a cool guy, he’s a funny one too. Occasionally, though, he gets a bit serious. Like here:

This Business We Call the Biz
by Alan Spencer

I just finished having breakfast with an old school executive, a former mogul that in his mind still lives in the days of yore. I thoroughly enjoyed it… because his extravagance was more engaging than the conservative demeanor of today’s cloistered suits.

And as a former wunderkind with over thirty years under his expanded belt, it got me thinking…

sledge-hammerI miss going to a movie theater and being excited when the lights go down and the curtains part… not being bludgeoned by non-stop commercials for things that have no business being projected on a screen larger than twelve inches.
I miss wondering what a movie is about, as opposed to already knowing because only recognizable titles are marketable.

I miss stunts that posed danger, as opposed to wire work from the Cirque du Soleil or animated bullets traveling from the same trajectory as shot by Tex Avery.

I miss stars that were larger than life, not cut down to size by TMZ on their way to Starbucks.

I miss walking onto a studio lot and feeling the need to pinch myself, not bite my tongue.

I miss the average person not talking about per screen averages, as well as TV shows that were hits because everybody watched them… not because a press release claimed one hundred thousand people in a key demo makes it so.
I miss executives that backed talented people instead of competing with them… or worse.

bullet-in-the-faceI miss rooting for my friends and having them root for me… with a little more than 3% sincerity.

I miss comedians that honed their craft and worked hard to earn every laugh, as opposed to casually making references and leaving the audience to do the heavy lifting.

I miss ideas borne of inspiration and passion, not a location’s tax break.

I miss people realizing failure can be noble as long as you believe in what you’re doing and not apologizing for aiming at a different target than the easier shot.
I miss a film with a sad ending within the story, not the DVD’s deleted scenes.

I miss writers illuminating the lives of Willy Loman instead of turning into one just to survive.

Life is change and the entertainment industry has always been capitalistic, but there does seem to be more industry on display than entertainment. I have to work today. What I miss most… was the tinge of guilt for ever calling it that


One thought on “Alan Spencer: This Business We Call the Biz”

  1. WOW! Someone I actually agree with — for the most part. I, however, hope all this “missing” isn’t keeping you from your writing. After all, it’s what we do. And there ain’t a whole lot of us left. It is what you do, isn’t it? gs

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