LB Got This Tweet

by Larry Brody

Not the denizens of the ANIMAL PRACTICE writers room

Fall TV Pilot Preview: NBC’s ‘Animal Practice’
by Diane Gordon

What happens when a vet cares far more for the animals he treats than the humans who own them? That’s the premise of Animal Practice, a new NBC sitcom with Justin Kirk at the center as George Coleman, one of the best vets working but he has no tolerance or empathy for people. When he’s forced to work with his former flame, Dorothy Rutledge (Joanna Garcia Swisher) after she inherits the facility, they butt heads about how best to run the hospital, especially when it comes to treating the pet owners better.  

The Hollywood Reporter screened the pilot of Animal Practice and found the workplace comedy surprising and funny. Here’s what you need to know about it.  

Read it all

Is it the brownie I just ate (the one left over from the Kiwanis Club booth at the local 4th of July celebration), or is that clip above really funny?

Oh yeah, the tweet, from Curtis Gwinn, ANIMAL PRACTICE writer-producer and TVWriter™ buddy:

every time you DON’T follow the writers of NBC’s new series Animal Practice, a puppy cries itself to death. don’t fuck up.@AniPractWriters

 I’m thinking we should listen to the man. You know, just in case.

Why You Need to Keep the Rights to Your Material

by Larry Brody

I was going to write an earnest article/essay/post on the dangers of “work-for-hire” agreements, but this one says it all:

Creators rights activists take note: The Great Thanos War is brewing

Marvel is going all cosmic in the movie world, and Thanos, a character created by Jim Starlin, is at the heart of it.

The evidence is unavoidable. First it was the Thanos cameo at the end of the Avengers—supposedly thrown in because director Joss Whedon was a fan of the character and a cosmic storyline is integral to keeping him on board for Avengers 2.

Now it’s the news that The Guardians of the Galaxy are getting a movie in 2014, a team which includes arch Thanos foe Adam Warlock and many other characters from the cosmic Marvel universe created and developed by Starlin in his Warlock and Infinity Gauntlet books. And Marvel has just announced a high profile Thanos 5-issue miniseries, Thanos: Son of Titan…

What’s so interesting about all this? Well, besides what sounds like an exciting movie storyline, it is an incontrovertible fact that Jim Starlin created Thanos, Gamora and many other elements of the Guardians/Infinity Gauntlet/Cosmic Cube in various Marvel comics… 

From Jim Starlin’s pre-Marvel portfolio!

So yep, Jim Starlin created Thanos. No two ways about it. And in theory he then signed a check with a voucher on it for work for hire. But Marvel hasn’t been able to produce any records from that period (mid ’70s) so proving that rests entirely on the goodwill of the company-friendly New York state courts.

Read it all

Thanos was the major continuing villain in my SILVER SURFER animated series back in the late ’90s. Wouldn’t it be great if Starlin got a piece of that action as well as the current Marvel success?

Should be an interesting situation battle.


by Larry Brody

Click this pic to see some trailers for MOONRISE KINGDOM

The Good:

  • Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban – all directed by Wes Anderson from a script by Anderson & Roman Cuppola
  • Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban – all directed by Wes Anderson from a script by Anderson & Roman Cuppola
  • Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban – all directed by Wes Anderson from a script by Anderson & Roman Cuppola
  • You get the idea

The Not-So-Good:

  • There is no not-so-good

The Best:

  • This film made me happy

**Disclaimer – I feel obligated to  tell you that my oldest son, Jeb Brody. is one of the three presidents (shouldn’t that be a film title: The Three Presidents?) of Focus Features, the studio that produced this film.**

**Anti-Disclaimer – I also feel obligated to  tell you that my oldest son, Jeb Brody, is a man of great courage and excellent taste.**

Here’s One For the King

by Larry Brody

Appropos of TV writing in absolutely no way, here’s a pic I found that I’d like to think even Jack (King) Kirby – as Stan Lee used to call him – would love:

Yes, the original Hulk was gray. And how I wish I still had that issue!

I want to attribute this properly, so if anyone reading this article knows the origin of this pic, let me know!

EDITED TO ADD: Aha! Found it. This pic is courtesy of Spectral Motion. These guys do amazing creatures. You’ve got to take a look at both their site and their Facebook Page.

Screenwriting MFA Programs: How Do I Pick the Right One?

by Larry Brody

Hot off the presses – or, actually hot off the  TVWriter™ Message Board, comes this Q and A about a subject quite a few TVWriter™ visitors are wrestling with:

Question from Ghost:

It’s been awhile since I’ve been here! But I am in somewhat of a dilemma. I’ve been accepted into three MFA programs, LMU (TV writing), Chapman (screenwriting) and Emerson (fiction). I’m on the waitlist for USC but don’t think that’s going to happen.

I am trying to figure out if I’ll be able to swing the move at all, since fun life stuff interrupted those “save for grad school” plans, and this is all very last minute, but I have to make a final decision very, very soon (like, Monday) and the available information is pretty contradictory. I know most people don’t think an MFA is worth anything, but let’s just pretend it’s not the worst mistake I could make. I’m wondering if anyone here has done one of these programs or if one has a distinct advantage over the other? I think Chapman and LMU have the advantage of actually being in California, but Emerson does have its LA internship program.

Answer from LB:

This is an excellent question. Thanks for asking it publicly so others can benefit from my sagacity/foolishness/whatever-the-hell-it-really-is.

I’m not going to waste time by listing/recommending specific programs, especially ones to which you didn’t apply, or that you don’t mention being accepted by. There are any number of sites with ardent boosters recommending their alma maters, et al. Instead, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of your particular dilemma.

If I were in your shoes, I’d be factoring in the following:

  1. Which is the most creative program – as in the one that will give my imagination a chance to soar highest while I hone my skills?
  2. Which program has the most qualified personnel – as in real writers who have worked in the field I’m most interested in and accumulated genuine experience/credits/publications? (Because, I’m sorry, but “teachers” who’ve tried to become writers and already failed aren’t worth a damn.)
  3. Which program has the most successful alumni – as in the best network of contacts who can help me achieve my professional goals?
  4. Which program just plain “feels” right – as in where does my body feel like I belong?

BTW, congratulations on being accepted. I know the competition is tough. And whatever you decide:

  • Please let us know
  • Good luck!