by Larry Brody
Yes, it’s true. I’ve finally found the one book every TV writer needs in order to fully understand what the hell is going on in the television production trenches, and it isn’t even one of my own.
The book in question is Troy DeVolld’s And Another Thing…A Beginner’s Guide to the Television Notes Process.
Because when you get right down to it, as a famous but still working TV showrunner told me half a zillion years ago, “They aren’t really paying us for our writing. They’re paying us for having to listen to their fucking notes.” And Troy’s book tells us how to understand and deal with those notes…and the notes-givers.
The fact that the showrunner I just quoted is still a TV name to be reckoned with while others (some even better writers and producers) are long gone from the Industry, demonstrates how much more important understanding the business we’re in is than the talent that brought us to it.
I could go into great detail about how TV really works (and I have, in the book I refer to above but am still not telling you is absolutely the one book you need), but if you visit this site often you know how much I value brevity…and the contributions of others. So I’m going to let Troy do the talking. Here’s his basic take on the notes process:
Oh, and you can also buy it at the same link.
Then, if you’re one of the five people in the known universe who hasn’t yet read it, you can hie thyself over to another exciting Amazon page and, you guessed it, sample and buy the next best book I know of about TV.
My book is terrific. But Troy’s is indispensible.