The Boy Who Played With Fusion

What? You’re sick and tired of waiting to be discovered? You want your 15 minutes of writerly fame now?! How about this for an idea: Instead of writing another spec script, go out and do something. Make your life so interesting, so meaningful, that everyone else in the world wants to write about/read about/watch a movie about you.

Or. what the hell, be the first one to write about somebody else who’s done just that:

Chernin Entertainment Acquires Rights to THE BOY WHO PLAYED WITH FUSION About 14-Year-Old Nuclear Scientist Taylor Wilson – by Dave Trumbore

While superhero films like Spider-Man 2 and The Dark Knight Rises may toy with fictional nuclear fusion reactors in their plots, at 14-years-old, Taylor Wilson had already made a functional one.  Now Chernin Entertainment has acquired the rights to his story, catalyzed by an article in Popular Science titled The Boy Who Played with Fusion.  The company is negotiating with Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) to direct.

Deadline reported on Chernin’s pick up of Wilson’s rights, although the boy is now a young man of 18 and his story continues to unfold.  Not only did Wilson’s parents (his father, a former football player turned Coca-Cola bottler and his mother, a yoga instructor) continue to nurture his gifts and curiosity, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Energy offered to fund his efforts in creating radiation detectors at a fraction of their current cost.

Wilson is a name to keep an eye on in the future and, hopefully, the film adaptation will bring some light to his achievements.

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Strangely, Collider.Com is careful to credit and link to Popular Science but never tells us the name of the writer who made it all possible. So we’re letting you know:

The Boy Who Played With Fusion
was written by
Tom Clynes

Writers have to stick together, right?

LB: STAR TREK – Heresy

by Larry Brody

No, I’m not talking about the J.J. Abrams movie but about a book written by one of my closest friends, Herb Solow, and his longtime wingman, the late Bobby Justman.

Herb – as Herbert F. Solow, Executive in Charge of Production for Desilu Studios, and Bobby – as Robert H. Justman, Producer – were two-third of the team that worked/fought like hell to get the Original STAR TREK on the air…and keep it there. Years later, these two keepers of the Places Where All the Bodies are Buried teamed up again to write the book Inside Star Trek: The Real Story.

Herb gave me a copy when it first came out, in 1996, but life being what it is, I never got a chance to read the entire thing until last week, and all I can say is, “Wow.”

For over 15 years, Herb has been talking about how the publication of Inside Star Trek has made him persona non grata at ST gatherings the world over because instead of playing into the myth, he and Justman presented the show as they’d viewed it back in the day: “Just another TV series.” With Gene Roddenberry as, not a god, but, in effect, just another writer-producer with a tendency to sacrifice everything else in his life to his writing, his success, his ambition, and his need for gratification now.

Just like all the rest of us.

I knew Gene, of course, although not nearly as well as I’ve known Herb these 35 years, and I don’t see this book as casting him in any particularly bad light. Just a realistic one. The information about him is worth knowing, whether or not you’re a fan, because it you’re a writer it’ll help you know yourself a bit better, and if you’re the friend/lover/parent/child of a writer you’ll gain a much greater insight into what you’ve been putting up with all these years.

A quick click to Amazon.Com showed me that Inside Star Trek is still available in hardcover, paperback, and audio cassette, in both new and used versions. If you want to get a feeling for what it’s really like to work on a TV series (including whether or not it’s something you could endure if your showbiz dreams came true), or simply want to know the truth about STAR TREK: TOS and its creator(s), you’ll be doing yourself a very big favor by clicking here.

Time now for me to do myself a very big favor too: Gotta call Herb and tell him at last – and sincerely – what a great job he and Bobby did. (And then beg for forgiveness, oh yeah.)

Herb Solow getting the 1st TVWriter.Com Lifetime Achievement Award (yeah, that’s me giving it him but I was much older then)

Ricky Gervais Announces New Interweb Series

…And he wants us to pay. Ah well, we all love him aspire to become him anyway:

RICKY’S BLOG – Read Ricky’s thoughts on his upcoming projects, visits to restaurants and round-headed friends

I also finished editing the pilot episode of our new internet project. It will be called “Learn English with Ricky Gervais” and it’s turned out great.

We hope to have it subtitled into as many languages as possible.

I’m going to put out the first one free as a taster then work out the best way to distribute. Might charge a small fee or get it sponsored. Unlike the audio podcasts this actually costs quite a bit to make, but even if we charge it will still only be a couple of quid.

I’m thinking of making a clean version of the pilot available for download so people can put their own subtitles on it and repost it. You can do a Klingon version if you want. Interactive…so…

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The Most Cynical, Depressing Daily Newspaper Comic Ever Published

…And it just appeared today! (Who says OldMedia can’t compete?)

What does this have to do with television writing? Check out the Lockhorns’ expressions. Did you ever see such despair?

Get it? For TV to become a true art form, this is what the medium needs: More despair.

Wait, we forgot about MAD MEN. Nevermind.

Rejection for Fun and Profit – Or Not

Pinar Tarhan has some quality insights into writing:

How to Handle Rejection (and When It Might Be A Good Thing) – by Pinar Tarhan

Writers are constantly exposed to a form of rejection.  Well, no one likes to be rejected in any area, but we writers need to face the music more often than others. We apply to a lot of writing gigs both online and offline, try to get our stories/novels published, and/ or get our scripts read by producers/agents. And it doesn’t always matter whether we targeted the right market or abided by the guidelines. It doesn’t always make a difference that our writing is good, or the query letters rocked. John Grisham got rejected. J.K. Rowling got rejected.  Do I really need to give more examples?

And having been writing full time since late 2009, I can say that I am pretty much at the start of the rejection cycle. Because although I have been writing since I was basically a preteen, I had never sent my writing to anyone besides my friends. I loved being read and I enjoyed a loyal following that loved what story I would come up with next.

But we all grew up and our lives became much more hectic than just going to school, socializing or dating. We were distracted by our career and family plans. That’s when I finally decided that I was not satisfied with writing just for me and my friends. I also wasn’t going to settle for some job I didn’t want because the economy sucked. It was time to follow my. So I dove straight into heavy research. I studied how magazine queries were made, how articles were formatted. I read about how you could sell your screenplays even if you lived a world away from Hollywood.

I read about blogging and writing, and applied what I learned. In addition to running several blogs, I got some decent gigs and continue to have them. I also keep getting rejected. Here is what I’ve learned so far:

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Yes, we understand that anyone who uses the phrase “quality insights into writing” probably should hang up his keyboard. That’s us, not Tarhan, but we’re going to keep at this writing thing till we get it – at least – almost right.