LOVIN’ THE MAKEOVER MOMENT AT TVWRITER™

by Larry Brody

Today is a big day for me. It’s the Official Opening Day for the new TVWriter.Com website.

Lots of changes, including:

A complete redesign!

A new name!

A new logo and favicom to go with the new name!

(What, the favicom thingie doesn’t do it for you? After how hard I struggled to get it right? Damn…!)

We went for the redesign for several reasons.

I’ve always thought the previous design was great, which is why we kept it for about a dozen years. But a dozen years? That’s three high school/college generations. On the interwebs, anything that old is ancient history.

And seeing something I’d seen for so long everyday left me feeling flat as a creator. The static page set-up created boundaries that made me feel constrained. The whole concept of a “company site” made me feel constrained. So we’ve switched to a more contemporary blog model, where I feel freer about presenting myself as, well, as me, talking to you – and listening too.

I’ll be posting thoughts, answers to your questions (which means you’ve got to ask ’em), articles, news items, snippets, and lots of video as frequently as I can while making sure it all feels like fun. And I’m inviting current and former visitors and students to blog about their experiences trying (and so often succeeding) to make it in the Big Badass Showbiz World. Just thinking about what we’re up to energizes me. Nothing LB likes better than taking life into the future. Nothing I appreciate more than ambition.

It’s your ambition that matters most. TVWriter is here to aid and abet your climb to the top of the writing food chain. When I started out, back in the prehistoric 1960s, I was lucky enough to learn on the job from a variety of talented, smart, and sometimes even wise mentors. Now it’s time to give back. Which I can do only if you USE this site. Keep on coming by and help us all.

Speaking of ambition, we’re changing the name from TVWriter.Com to TVWriter. One reason for that is overwhelming vanity/ambition because, hell, this is Big Badass Showbiz and I’m that kind of guy. Another reason is that it seemed silly to call this place TVWriter.Com when it’s sprawled out over a mess of URLs including tvwriter.com, tvwriter.com, screenandtvwriting.com, televisionwriting.com, and several more.

And, yes, there’s a practical and, I admit, promotional reason as well. Many of today’s social apps got totally deranged by the .Com thing in our former name and would automatically insert links in the middle totally screwing things up. TVWriter they get. (And TVWriter™ too.)

I’ve got to get back to work, which means playing with this new site. I hope you’ll come back and play too. Today is, indeed, a big day for me.

But the most important thing is for it to become a big day for you.

If What’s New is Old & What’s Old is Obsolete, Then What Does That Make the New?

by Larry Brody

If I get it right, Shane Smith is telling us that a big problem with New Media is that it is spending all its resources imitating Old Media. Web TV, he says as the keynote speaker at something called IWNY HQ 2012. Same kind of programming. Same kind of publicity. Same kind of business practices. Same kind of sales tactics.

I say, “If I get it right,” because Shane Smith, the founder of a New Media company called Vice, which recently made a deal to produce a show on Old Media’s HBO and tells us about it in a way that reveals a man incredibly proud of being ashamed of not being original and is described in the “New York Times” as “a robust storyteller, the type who wears a few extra pounds as if they’re a trophy from good living,” but I found his presentation, including the clips from his new show, so dull that I couldn’t watch more than the first five minutes.

To be fair, “The Times” also calls this crazy, zany, “Falstaffian” figure both “a voice of a generation of too-cool D.J.’s and artists who wear rolled selvedge jeans and chunky glasses…[and]also a conduit for corporate America to reach that elusive audience.” So they see that he’s not exactly totally devoted to art, youth, or, for that matter greed.

To be still fairer, I have to say that from what I saw, if Falstaff had had the dynamism, intelligence, guts, and good humor of Shane Smith, HENRY IV would not be a play routinely produced at important venues and forced upon English lit students to this day.

Why am I ranting?

Disappointment, pure and simple. Like Shane Smith (who does have a cool name and kinda looks like my hero, Louis C.K.), I too have been disappointed in and by that particular aspect of New Media called internet TV. I agree with him that it has become so derivative in so many ways that those involved should be embarrassed, so when a friend sent me the video above and I read the “Times” article I was looking forward to finding a media messiah I could prostrate myself for.

But Shane Smith has made Brodyworld’s one inexcusable error: He has forgotten that the reason we strive to be new, to find new ways of communicating, new ideas, and new financing to support the communication of the ideas is to capture our audience’s attention and, at the same time, release its soul. Creative people/Old and New Media moguls/content creators/content suppliers (sadly not the same, often, as the creators) should be lighting me on fire, inspiring me to take to the streets and give everything I have to remake Broadway/Rockefeller Plaza/the Grey Lady/the Marvel Universe/the porn universe, et al into a tomorrow I can’t even envision – which is the whole point of tomorrows; it’s what makes them exciting.

Instead, he ignored the remote in his Old Media audience’s hands and the mouse at the end of New Media fanatics, and he gave me the same old, same old in the same old, same old way and I got so bored I had to write this just to try and wake up.

And now, to bed.

LB: What’s the Connection between the Silver Surfer and My Favorite Failed Web Site?

by Larry Brody

TVWriter.Com has been a very successful website for a very long time. But that hasn’t kept me from thinking about ways to make our little home away from home a bit more than it’s been.

Got to thinking about a website Dan Davison and I put together about five years ago. The object behind PeerProducer.Com was to – for free – teach newbies how to make the best video they could. We never really got it flying for all the reasons most people don’t get things flying.

But today I ran across this promo video I made with another Dan, Dan Reynolds, President of TV station KTO 8 in the garden spot (I mean this) of Harrison, AR. And, dammit, I don’t care if it only got 187 views. I like it.

And now I’m getting the itch to make more.

Our Mission

By Larry Brody

TVWriter™  is about you. The new writer. And you. The experienced writer. The writer in search of knowledge. The writer perfecting his or her skill. The writer dreaming about “making it” in the media today.

Want to become part of showbiz as we currently know it? A writer or writer-producer of sitcoms or dramas or action series? A writer or writer-producer of television movies? A writer or writer-director of feature films?

Great! Terrific! TVWriter™  is for YOU.

Want to revolutionize showbiz? Take it away from the “elite” and “return it to the people?” Develop new kinds of content and write for new kinds of content delivery? Change the media world as a writer- entrepreneur?

Equally great! Equally terrific! TVWriter™  is for YOU TOO.

The newly redesigned site is packed with free info based on my 40 years in the biz. Everything you need to know to plan your campaign to take over the television world is right here. Information so you know what you’re doing. Workshops so you can gain the writing experience you need. And for encouragement – and prizes – check out our Contests.

Have a question that’s not answered on TVWriter™ ‘s regular pages? Ask away on the Message Board. Play Stump the Brode – because even if I can’t answer it I know someone who can. Regular respondents include a Senior Vice President of one of the largest production companies in the business; the showrunners of one of television’s longest-lasting sitcoms and one of its most successful ongoing dramas; the former writer-producers of several of the medium’s most watched shows; plus various feature writers, producers, agents, and executives from all over show business.

One way or another, TVWriter™  will make sure that you get the knowledge you need. I’ve always felt like the luckiest guy in the world because I was able to walk in the Hollywood door, make a great living, and have a (mostly) wonderful time there for so many years.

Now I’m giving back. All of us here are dedicated to giving you the knowledge you need. To helping you develop your talent to its fullest. To getting you up the ladder of success. To achieving your goals and fulfilling your dreams.

And all we ask – all we’ll ever ask – is that someday you make sure that you’re available to the next generation of dreamers. Someone once said that, “Living well is the best revenge,” but I’ve learned a more important truth:

“Giving back is the best reward.”