The Latest Fashion in Hollywood Showrunning Deals

The times are a’changin’. In case you’ve been wondering what the currently agentless (because WGA-ATA conflagration!) super writer-producers are doing to keep themselves in the style to which we all wish we were accustomed, here ’tis!

NOTE FROM LB: God, I love this pic. Reminds me those great days of yore!

Showrunners Testing Waters With Multiple TV Overall Deals
by Lesley Goldberg

How much work is too much for a top showrunner? In a Peak TV era overflowing with choice, content creators big and small are leveraging the demand for their services with deals for exclusivity on different platforms.

On Aug. 7, Jeff Davis (Criminal Minds) inked a “broadcast-only” overall deal with the newly independent Fox Entertainment. While the pact was designed to be beneficial to the network — which says it also could sell Davis’ fare to outside platforms — the showrunner is still free to sign another TV overall deal elsewhere. That practice, multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, has been growing quietly for the past few years as new platforms have emerged.

Deals such as CBS TV Studios’ 2015 pact with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free are also for broadcast only. Now, sources say some prolific producers are shifting away from the all-encompassing exclusive overall deal that media titans like Netflix and WarnerMedia can offer such creators as Ryan Murphy and J.J. Abrams, respectively, and instead are opting for a variety of deals on four levels: broadcast, basic cable, premium cable and streaming.

And for some, a fifth level — film — is an option, too. Sources say one prolific producer with scripted series at a broadcast network and three different streaming outlets — effectively working with four totally different companies — has quietly renewed a broadcast-only deal and is closing in on an exclusive streaming pact with another outlet.

Confused? Don’t be. Take Abrams, who is in final negotiations for a $500 million film and TV overall with WarnerMedia, as an example. The prolific writer, producer and director previously had two separate deals — a film pact with Viacom-owned Paramount Pictures and a TV deal with Warners….

Read it all at hollywoodreporter.com

LGBTQ Creators Sue YouTube for Discrimination

Is Google dancing the ole “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back” shuffle? As our Magic 8-Ball said just the other day, “Signs point to uh-oh.” (Yeah, ours is special.)

Here’s the situation.

by Jude Dry

LGBTQ YouTubers are suing the company, which is owned by Google, claiming YouTube suppresses their content. The suit alleges the site regularly culls subscriber lists for LGBTQ creators, affecting their ability to sell advertising, which is the primary way to monetize content on YouTube. With almost 2 billion monthly viewers, YouTube is by far the world’s largest video streaming site. The lawsuit was filed in federal court on Tuesday August 13, as originally reported by The Washington Post.

Led by five LGBTQ creators, the suit claims YouTube engages in “unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBT Plaintiffs and the greater LGBT Community.”

YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph responded to requests for comment with this emailed statement:

“We’re proud that so many LGBTQ creators have chosen YouTube as a place to share their stories and build community. All content on our site is subject to the same policies. Our policies have no notion of sexual orientation or gender identity and our systems do not restrict or demonetize videos based on these factors or the inclusion of terms like ‘gay’ or ‘transgender.’ In addition, we have strong policies prohibiting hate speech, and we quickly remove content that violates our policies and terminate accounts that do so repeatedly.”

The lawsuit alleges that YouTube regularly labels LGBTQ videos as offensive or sexually explicit because of the creators’ sexual orientation. It also claims that LGBTQ videos are regularly demonetized, that YouTube changes their thumbnail images, and excludes them from content recommendations, resulting in decreased viewing numbers….

Read it all at indiewire.com

How They Wrote ‘The Office’

Word around showbiz is that The Office is going to become the lynch pin of NBC Universal’s upcoming streaming service and potentially the biggest thing on TV any and all types.

For those of you – and us – who are wondering how the show’s writers reached this acme of perfection, well, here’s their word on the subject.

Brought to us from the Behind the Curtain Channel

The Truth About Writing Dialog

Over a career longer than most of us have been alive and breathing, our BLLB AKA Beloved Leader Larry Brody, two of things that he is most eager to share are as follows:

  • Energy sells. Not only your pitching energy, but writing energy. Sentences that zoom from the page and into our brains, filling us with emotion.
  • Great dialog sells even more. Most readers, even the most professional of them, look down the page at the dialog first, and then if it sparks them and makes them say, “Wow!” they pay attention to what else you have to offer.

Keep both those thoughts in mind as you read this excellent and wonderfully titled piece (not written by LB, sorry) on “The art of dialogue.”

No more dialogue B.S. Here’s the truth
by Carson Reeves

The art of dialogue.

Whereas every other component of screenwriting can be taught, dialogue remains a shapeless colorless mist, something we keep trying to grab onto, yet continually come up empty.

How elusive is dialogue? Do a Google search right now. Try to find one article about dialogue that has a tip in it that you haven’t heard 17 million times already.

These people who claim to be dialogue experts can only recite the same tips Syd Field spouted 30 years ago in his best-selling screenwriting book. Come into a scene late. Leave early. Use as little exposition as possible. Blah blah blah. Oh, and here’s my favorite one: Listen to how people talk.

Oh yeah, yeah. I’ll listen to how people talk. Because people talking for 45 minutes is exactly the same as needing to write a two minute conversation in a movie.

Probably the most confusing story about dialogue that I’ve ever come across is the Thor: Ragnarok line. After professional screenwriters making millions of dollars for their months and months of work put Thor: Ragnarok together, they’re shooting the scene where Thor is about to fight someone in a gladiator arena, and out comes the Hulk. Hemsworth says the lines in the script. He then tries a few improv lines. Then there’s a Make-A-Wish kid on set that day. And he says to Chris Hemsworth, “Why don’t you try, ‘I know him. He’s a friend from work.’” Hemsworth does the line, and it not only ends up in the first trailer for the movie, but it becomes the centerpiece of the trailer and its most memorable line.

I want you to think about that for a second. A young kid, somewhere between 8-11 I’m guessing, was able to come up with the most popular line in a movie written and rewritten and developed and re-developed by Hollywood professionals, people supposedly at the very top of their profession.

Messes with your head, right?

Well, here’s what I’ve determined. While there is a randomness to dialogue that contributes to its elusiveness, there is a way to get better at it. There are five areas that influence your dialogue. And that four of them are under your control. The fifth, unfortunately, is not. But, if you can master the other four, you can write good dialogue. So what are these five things…?

Read it all at scriptshadow.net

Cartoon: ‘Non Sequitur” takes another look at the creative process

Non Sequitur,  AKA Wiley, strikes again. Such a simple drawing…so many layers.

More Non Sequitur awaits HERE