Dude nails it…again:
by Ken Levine
Here’s a Saturday question. It’s like a Friday question except the question itself is longer than the answer….
I’m writing to you because I’ve started to take some showrunner meetings/interviews for TV comedies and I find them perplexing. In the past, when you’ve given a young writer or writing team their first gig, what did you feel constituted a successful meeting? Do the ideas they have about the show matter? Is there any way to compensate for being totally green?
I guess I’m wondering what’s expected of me in these meetings. They’ve read my scripts…liked them. I’ve met with the studio…the network. That’s all fine, but I don’t feel comfortable yet with the executive producers. Maybe there’s an intimidation factor.
It’s much tougher for showrunners these days because generally they’re interviewing the newbie writer for a staff position. Back in the old days when dinosaurs ruled the earth (the 1980s and 90s) you could give a baby writer a freelance assignment and use that to determine whether they’re worthy of joining your staff. Now, the decision is based on a decent spec SCRUBS and interview.
Try not to be intimidated. Showrunners are just like regular people but luckier and more neurotic.
The first thing I look for is this: is this writer fucking strange? Does he creep me out? Does he have an Olsen Twins obsession? Does she dress like Lady Gaga?