Big Production dreams? No $$$? Read This

The people over at Stage32.Com are so smart they sometimes scare us. Here, as Rod Serling might have said way back when, is a “case in point.”

How to Create a Web Series with Literally Zero Budget
by William Joseph Hill

The funny thing about coming up with a web series is that sometimes it’s better to not try and create a web series. What do we mean by that? Well, if you’re looking for a big picture to start from, chances are you won’t be satisfied with anything less than a big idea.

The saying goes “Write what you know.” That’s true — we had a lot of ideas that weren’t related, so we started making short films in our apartment, using just us as the cast and crew. A few of our early films consisted of taking a nursery rhyme and turning them into sketches. The Muffin Man was our first short we did together, and we followed up with Itsy Bitsy Spider which had some visual effects thrown in for good measure.

Our third short film together was based on a song that Pamela had come up with years before…That Darn Girlfriend. The song was based on a rant Pamela had about relationships, but the song morphed into something that sounded more like a 1960s sitcom. So we shot it as if it was a sitcom, with an old TV 4:3 aspect ratio and Technicolor-style color grading. Vic, the boyfriend, came home from a business trip to tell his girlfriend Valerie that she got his plane ticket for the wrong destination. With an added laugh track, and cartoony end credits that reminded us of the old “Bewitched” title sequence, we had our classic TV parody.

Audiences who watched the episode on our YouTube channel loved it and kept asking us when the next episode was coming out. At that point, we realized that we actually had a web series! The short film became the pilot. The great thing about this project is that because it is completely episodic, where each episode stands alone and isn’t really serialized, we didn’t need to plan out the entire season before going into production. Sometimes the big picture starts with a sketch…!

Read it all at

A year of living uncomfortably

Nathan Bransford, one of TVWriter™’s favorite writers and writing consultants is here with some thoughts about 2020, the year we can all probably agree in which we have been “living uncomfortably” indeed.

by Nathan Bransford

One of the double-edged swords of my personality is that I try really hard to find common ground with people.

On the one hand, seeking common ground forges connections; it recognizes shared experiences and our ultimate shared humanity. It makes me an agreeable person on the whole.

But sometimes the ground isn’t common. It’s a comfort to think we are all the same in the end, but it can be a fiction that minimizes the extent to which we don’t walk down the same streets in the same bodies.

By trying too hard to bridge gaps, you can end up minimizing crucial differences that deserve to be seen because they need to be acted upon rather than simply patched over.

Rejecting common ground is uncomfortable. Letting those differences explode into action that changes the world is uncomfortable. Facing an uncertain future is uncomfortable.

But sometimes we should be uncomfortable.

Unequal uncomfortableness should make us uncomfortable

The disease at the heart of this pandemic, which I have now thankfully recovered from, has one of the most fundamental and unnerving symptoms imaginable: it takes your breath away.

It’s uncomfortable, even when it doesn’t end up being debilitating or fatal….

Read it all at

Need help with your book? Nathan is available for manuscript edits, query critiques, and coaching!

For my best advice, check out Nathan’s guide to writing a novel (now available in audio) and his guide to publishing a book.

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WGA and Hollywood Studios Set Tentative Agreement on New Contract

Looks like the WGA and the AMPTP just about have a deal. Everybody ready to break out the champagne. #tvwriting #screenwriting #writingtips #webseries #audiofiction

Here’s the story from Variety.Com.

The Writers Guild of America and the major Hollywood studios have set the broad outline of a new master film and TV contract, quieting concerns about labor strife adding to the industry’s struggle to relaunch production amid the turmoil of the pandemic.

Multiple sources said the three-year contract agreement was essentially settled in the wee hours of Wednesday after a marathon negotiating session between WGA members and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Representatives for the WGA and AMPTP could not immediately be reached for comment.

Sources said the WGA made significant gains on what was the biggest sticking point in the talks at the end, namely the issue of how long writers can be held off the market under exclusive option to a TV series when the show is out of production. The deal is also believed to raise the earnings threshold for writers working on short-order shows to be paid under a more advantageous per-episode formula.

Previously, writers who earned less than $280,000 per season from a show were eligible for the formula designed to make sure that they were still being paid at the guild’s minimum weekly rate — something that went awry for many writers as more shows began to have longer production cycles for a less than 22-episode orders. The new deal is believed to move that cap up to $325,000 per season….

Read it all at

Three Doctors – Jodie Whittaker, Matt Smith & David Tennant Talk! Together!

Where is Peter Capaldi when we need him? The video below may not get me to sign up for HBO Max, but it’s oh-so-lovely in and of itself.

Watch the full panel on HBO Max’s YouTube channel here:

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How To Write A Novel From Beginning To End Part 1

This is the kind of video our novel writing friends have been craving!

More to come at Tom Leveen’s YouTube Channel

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