Some recent articles from other websites on TV, TV writing, and the TV biz that we think y’all should know about:
War and Peace Writer Andrew Davies: Bringing Tolstoy Back to Life
by Steven MacKenzie
Over the last three decades, if a TV programme has contained cummerbunds or corsets, petticoats or pantaloons and is based on a book, chances are Andrew Davies is behind it. His list of credits covers the crème de la crème of English liter-ature: Middlemarch, Pride and Prejudice, Moll Flanders, Vanity Fair, Tipping the Velvet, Bleak House. Does he read the literary classics so you don’t have to?
“No,” Davies corrects. The 79-year-old former English teacher believes that far from dumbing us down, it encourages people to rediscover the novels. “I hope people will enjoy the dramatisation so much that they will go and read the book. I hope they feel emboldened to read it. Certainly the sales of the books go up hugely when they’ve been on TV and I’m very pleased about that.”
Today, Tolstoy is hovering in the top 20 bestsellers after Davies’ triumphant adaptation of War and Peace (trailer below) brought Pierre, Natasha, Prince Andrei and a battalion of other characters into our living rooms, and made their lives, loves and losses seem immediate and vitally up to date….
“Revisiting A Classic” by Earl Pomerantz
Comedy has changed. Once – and not as far back as you might imagine – audiences watched comedy because they wanted to laugh. Not to learn. Not to protest. Not to feel superior to the people who didn’t “get it.”
Simply to laugh.
And with laughter – and only laughter – in mind, the audience was willing to suspend mountains of evidentiary disbelief.
Nobody cared if it was real.
As long as it was funny.
Current comedy is expected to reflect our collective experience. Not a bad thing. For the most part, I prefer it. But the price for comedic verisimilitude is the loss of hilarious silliness….
The Power of Creative Cross Training
by Srinivas Rao
But if we only do things we get paid for, we’re missing out on a huge opportunity for creative growth. Our labels don’t have to limit us to just one domain. When we’re willing to play outside our primary domain, and experiment we open up a lot of possibilities that may not have occurred to us before….
What is Creative Cross Training?
In the world of athletics, cross training is working on some element of performance that will impact your primary sport….
Back when TV was fun
by Ken Levine
Now that networks own most studios you have more corporate types running things, everyone answering to someone else even more corporate. But just as there used to be larger-than-life movie moguls back in the day, TV studios were once piloted by more colorful personalities.
They were blustery, opinionated, candid, and very savvy. Decisions were made on instinct not research. And they made quick decisions. You may not have liked their rulings, but I’ve always believed that the next best thing to a “Yes” is a quick “No.”
David Isaacs and I got to work with a few of these cigar chomping Foghorn Leghorns during our career. Maybe tops among them was Lee Rich. Rich had come from the MAD MEN world of NY advertising in the ’50s and early ’60s….