How David Fincher Hijacks Your Eyes

This TVWriter™ dweeb minion hates to admit it, but sometimes directors really do add to what writers write. For example:

This wouldn’t exist if Nerdwriter hadn’t created it. Check out the Nerdwriter site!

 

This Year’s Writers Guild TV Awards Nominees

TVWriter™ Press Service

The Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for outstanding achievement in television, new media, news, radio/audio, and promotional writing during 2018. Winners will be honored at the 2019 Writers Guild Awards on Sunday, February 17, 2019, at concurrent ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York City.

TVWriter™ congratulates everyone listed below.

TELEVISION, NEW MEDIA, AND NEWS NOMINEES

DRAMA SERIES

The Americans, Written by Peter Ackerman, Hilary Bettis, Joshua Brand, Joel Fields, Sarah Nolen, Stephen Schiff, Justin Weinberger, Joe Weisberg, Tracey Scott Wilson; FX Networks

Better Call Saul, Written by Ann Cherkis, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, Heather Marion, Bob Odenkirk, Thomas Schnauz, Gordon Smith, Alison Tatlock; AMC

The Crown, Written by Tom Edge, Amy Jenkins, Peter Morgan; Netflix

The Handmaid’s Tale, Written by Yahlin Chang, Nina Fiore, Dorothy Fortenberry, John Herrera, Lynn Renee Maxcy, Bruce Miller, Kira Snyder, Eric Tuchman; Hulu

Succession, Written by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Jon Brown, Jonathan Glatzer, Anna Jordan, Lucy Prebble, Georgia Pritchett, Tony Roche, Susan Soon He Stanton, Daniel Zelman; HBO

COMEDY SERIES

Atlanta, Written by Ibra Ake, Donald Glover, Stephen Glover, Taofik Kolade, Jamal Olori, Stefani Robinson, Paul Simms; FX Networks

Barry, Written by Alec Berg, Duffy Boudreau, Bill Hader, Emily Heller, Liz Sarnoff, Ben Smith, Sarah Solemani; HBO

GLOW, Written by Liz Flahive, Tara Herrmann, Nick Jones, Jenji Kohan, Carly Mensch, Marquita Robinson, Kim Rosenstock, Sascha Rothchild, Rachel Shukert; Netflix

The Good Place, Written by Megan Amram, Christopher Encell, Kate Gersten, Cord Jefferson, Andrew Law, Joe Mande, Kassia Miller, Dylan Morgan, Matt Murray, Rae Sanni, Daniel Schofield, Michael Schur, Josh Siegal, Jen Statsky, Tyler Staessle; NBC

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Written by Kate Fodor, Noah Gardenswartz, Jen Kirkman, Sheila Lawrence, Daniel Palladino, Amy Sherman Palladino; Prime Video

NEW SERIES

Barry, Written by Alec Berg, Duffy Boudreau, Bill Hader, Emily Heller, Liz Sarnoff, Ben Smith, Sarah Solemani; HBO

The Haunting of Hill House, Written by Meredith Averill, Charise Castro Smith, Mike Flanagan, Jeff Howard, Rebecca Leigh Klingel, Scott Kosar, Liz Phang; Netflix

Homecoming, Written by Micah Bloomberg, Cami Delavigne, Eli Horowitz, Shannon Houston, Eric Simonson, David Wiener; Prime Video

Pose, Written by Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Todd Kubrak, Janet Mock, Ryan Murphy, Our Lady J; FX Networks

Succession, Written by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Jon Brown, Jonathan Glatzer, Anna Jordan, Lucy Prebble, Georgia Pritchett, Tony Roche, Susan Soon He Stanton, Daniel Zelman; HBO

LONG FORM ORIGINAL

Castle Rock, Writers: Marc Bernardin, Scott Brown, Lila Byock, Mark Lafferty, Sam Shaw, Dustin Thomason, Gina Welch, Vinnie Wilhelm; Hulu

My Dinner with Hervé, Teleplay by Sacha Gervasi, Story by Sacha Gervasi & Sean Macaulay; HBO

Paterno, Written by Debora Cahn and John C. Richards; HBO

LONG FORM ADAPTED

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Writers: Maggie Cohn, Tom Rob Smith, Based on the book Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth; FX Networks

The Looming Tower, Writers: Bash Doran, Dan Futterman, Alex Gibney, Shannon Houston, Adam Rapp, Ali Selim, Lawrence Wright, Based on the book The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright; Hulu

Maniac, Writers: Nick Cuse, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amelia Gray, Danielle Henderson, Mauricio Katz, Patrick Somerville, Caroline Williams, Based on the Norwegian television series Maniac by Espen PA Lervaag, Håakon Bast Mossige, Kjetil Indregard and Ole Marius Araldsen; Netflix

Sharp Objects, Writers: Ariella Blejer, Scott Brown, Vince Calandra, Gillian Flynn, Dawn Kamoche, Alex Metcalf, Marti Noxon, Based upon the book written by Gillian Flynn; HBO

SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA ORIGINAL

After Forever, Written by Michael Slade & Kevin Spirtas; Vimeo.com

Class of Lies, Written by Tessa Leigh Williams; Snapchat

Love Daily, Written by: Lauren Ciaravalli, Andrew Eisen, Aaron Eisenberg, Will Eisenberg, Alexis Jacknow, Nathaniel Katzman, Yulin Kuang, Nathan Larkin-Connolly, Alexis Roblan, Bennet D. Silverman, Ryan Wood; Go90.com

West 40s, Written by Mark Sam Rosenthal & Brian Sloan; West40s.com

SHORT FORM NEW MEDIA ADAPTED

The Walking Dead: Red Machete, Written by Nick Bernardone; AMC.com

ANIMATION

“Bart’s Not Dead” (The Simpsons), Written by Stephanie Gillis; Fox

“Boywatch” (Bob’s Burgers), Written by Rich Rinaldi; Fox

“Just One of the Boyz 4 Now for Now” (Bob’s Burgers), Written by Lizzie Molyneux & Wendy Molyneux; Fox

“Krusty the Clown” (The Simpsons), Written by Ryan Koh; Fox

“Mo Mommy Mo Problems” (Bob’s Burgers), Written by Steven Davis; Fox

“Send in Stewie, Please” (Family Guy), Written by Gary Janetti; Fox

EPISODIC DRAMA

“Camelot” (Narcos: Mexico), Written by Eric Newman & Clayton Trussell; Netflix

“The Car” (This Is Us), Written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger; NBC

“Episode 407” (The Affair), Teleplay by Lydia Diamond and Sarah Sutherland, Story by Jaquen Tee Castellanos and Sarah Sutherland; Showtime

“First Blood” (The Handmaid’s Tale), Written by Eric Tuchman; Hulu

“Paean To The People” (Homeland), Written by Alex Gansa; Showtime

“The Precious Blood of Jesus” (Ozark), Written by David Manson; Netflix

EPISODIC COMEDY

“Another Place” (Forever), Teleplay by Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, Story by Aniz Adam Ansari; Prime Video

“Chapter One: Make Your Mark” (Barry), Written by Alec Berg & Bill Hader; HBO

“Halibut!” (Santa Clarita Diet), Written by Victor Fresco; Netflix

“Kimmy and the Beest!” (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), Written by Robert Carlock; Netflix

“Pilot” (The Kids Are Alright), Written by Tim Doyle; ABC

“Who Knows Better Than I” (Orange Is the New Black), Written by Jenji Kohan; Netflix

COMEDY/VARIETY TALK SERIES

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, Writers: Kristen Bartlett, Samantha Bee, Ashley Nicole Black, Pat Cassels, Mike Drucker, Eric Drysdale, Mathan Erhardt, Joe Grossman, Miles Kahn, Nicole Silverberg, Melinda Taub; TBS

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver; Writers: Tim Carvell, Raquel D’Apice, Josh Gondelman, Dan Gurewitch, Jeff Maurer, Daniel O’Brien, John Oliver, Brian Parise, Owen Parsons, Ben Silva, Will Tracy, Jill Twiss, Seena Vali, Juli Weiner; HBO

Late Night with Seth Meyers; Supervising Writers: Sal Gentile, Seth Reiss; Writers: Jermaine Affonso, Alex Baze, Bryan Donaldson, Matt Goldich, Dina Gusovsky, Jenny Hagel, Allison Hord, Mike Karnell, John Lutz, Seth Meyers, Ian Morgan, Amber Ruffin, Mike Shoemaker; NBC Universal

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Head Writers: Jay Katsir, Opus Moreschi; Writers: Emmy Blotnick, Michael Brumm, Aaron Cohen, Stephen T. Colbert, Cullen Crawford, Paul Dinello, Ariel Dumas, Glenn Eichler, Django Gold, Gabe Gronli, Greg Iwinski, Barry Julien, Daniel Kibblesmith, Matt Lappin, Michael Pielocik, Kate Sidley, Jen Spyra, Brian Stack, John Thibodeaux; CBS

COMEDY/VARIETY SKETCH SERIES

At Home with Amy Sedaris, Writers: Cindy Caponera, Paul Dinello, Jodi Lennon, Meredith Scardino, Amy Sedaris; truTV

I Love You, America, Head Writer: Dave Ferguson; Writers: Glenn Boozan, Leann Bowen, Raj Desai, Kyle Dunnigan, John Haskell, Tim Kalpakis, Opeyemi Olagbaju, Gavin Purcell, Diona Reasonover, Jocelyn Richard, Christopher J. Romano, Sarah Silverman, Beth Stelling, Dan Sterling, Nick Wiger; Hulu

Nathan For You, Writers: Leo Allen, Nathan Fielder, Carrie Kemper, Michael Koman, Adam Locke-Norton, Eric Notarnicola; Comedy Central

Portlandia, Writers: Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein, Jonathan Krisel, Karey Dornetto, Megan Neuringer, Phoebe Robinson, Graham Wagner; IFC

Saturday Night Live, Head Writers: Michael Che, Colin Jost, Kent Sublette, Bryan Tucker; Supervising Writers: Fran Gillespie, Sudi Green, Streeter Seidell; Writers: James Anderson, Kristen Bartlett, Megan Callahan, Steven Castillo, Andrew Dismukes, Anna Drezen, Claire Friedman, Alison Gates, Steve Higgins, Sam Jay, Erik Kenward, Rob Klein, Nick Kocher, Michael Koman, Alan Linic, Eli Coyote Mandel, Erik Marino, Dave McCary, Brian McElhaney, Dennis McNicholas, Lorne Michaels, Nimesh Patel, Josh Patten, Katie Rich, Simon Rich, Gary Richardson, Marika Sawyer, Pete Schultz, Mitch Silpa, Will Stephen, Julio Torres, Bowen Yang; NBC Universal

COMEDY/VARIETY SPECIALS

2018 Rose Parade Hosted by Cord & Tish, Written by Will Ferrell, Jake Fogelnest, Andrew Steele; Prime Video

Drew Michael Stand-Up Special, Written by Drew Michael; HBO

The Fake News with Ted Nelms, Written by John Aboud, Andrew Blitz, Michael Colton, Ed Helms, Elliott Kalan, Joseph Randazzo, Sara Schaefer; Comedy Central

The Oscars 2018, Written by Dave Boone, Carol Leifer, Jon Macks; Special Material Written by Megan Amram, Tony Barbieri, Jonathan Bines, Joelle Boucai, Gonzalo Cordova, Adam Carolla, Devin Field, Gary Greenberg, Josh Halloway, Sal Iacono, Eric Immerman, Jesse Joyce, Bess Kalb, Jimmy Kimmel, Molly McNearney, Danny Ricker, Joe Strazzullo; ABC

QUIZ AND AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

Hollywood Game Night, Head Writers: Ann Slichter, Grant Taylor; Writers: Michael Agbabian, Alexandra Kokesh, Dwight D. Smith; NBC

Jeopardy!, Written by Matthew Caruso, John Duarte, Harry Friedman, Mark Gaberman, Deborah Griffin, Michele Loud, Robert McClenaghan, Jim Rhine, Steve D. Tamerius, Billy Wisse; ABC

Paid Off with Michael Torpey, Head Writer: Ethan Berlin; Writers: John Chaneski, Rosemarie DiSalvo, Leigh Hampton, Katie Hartman, Amanda Melson, Larry Owens, Jennie Sutton, Michael Torpey, Jeremy Weiner; truTV

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Head Writer: Stephen A. Melcher, Jr.; Writers: Kyle Beakley, Tom Cohen, Patricia A. Cotter, Ryan Hopak, Gary Lucy, James Rowley, Ann Slichter, Dylan Snowden; Disney/ABC Syndication

DAYTIME DRAMA

Days of Our Lives, Head Writer: Ron Carlivati; Writers: Sheri Anderson, Lorraine Broderick, David Cherrill, Joanna Cohen, Lisa Connor, Carolyn Culliton, Richard Culliton, Rick Draughon, Cydney Kelley, David Kreizman, David A. Levinson, Rebecca McCarty, Ryan Quan, Dave Ryan, Katherine Schock, Elizabeth Snyder, Tyler Topits; NBC

General Hospital, Head Writers: Shelly Altman, Christopher Van Etten; Writers: Barbara Bloom, Anna Theresa Cascio, Suzanne Flynn, Charlotte Gibson, Lucky Gold, Kate Hall, Elizabeth Korte, Daniel James O’Connor, Donny Sheldon, Scott Sickles; ABC

CHILDREN’S EPISODIC AND SPECIALS

“Carnivorous Carnival: Part One” (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Teleplay by Joe Tracz; Netflix

“The Ersatz Elevator: Part One” (A Series of Unfortunate Events), Teleplay by Daniel Handler; Netflix

“For The Last Time” (Andi Mack), Written by Jonathan S. Hurwitz; Disney Channel

“Picture Day” (Alexa & Katie), Written by Ray Lancon; Netflix

“Warehouse Towel Fight” fka “Emil Strikes Back” (Prince of Peoria), Written by Marty Donovan; Netflix

CHILDREN’S LONG FORM

No nominees.

DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – CURRENT EVENTS

“Black Hole Apocalypse” (Nova), Written by Rushmore DeNooyer; PBS

“Blackout in Puerto Rico” (Frontline), Written by Rick Young; PBS

“The Gang Crackdown” (Frontline), Written by Marcela Gaviria; PBS

“Trump’s Takeover” (Frontline), Written by Michael Kirk & Mike Wiser; PBS

DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT – OTHER THAN CURRENT EVENTS

“Bitter Rivals: Iran and Saudi Arabia – Part 1” (Frontline), Written by David Fanning & Linda Hirsch & Martin Smith; PBS

“The Circus, Part One” (American Experience), Written by Sharon Grimberg; PBS

“The Eugenics Crusade” (American Experience), Written by Michelle Ferrari; PBS

“Into The Amazon” (American Experience), Written by John Maggio; PBS

NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT

“Catastrophe” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Katie Kerbstat, Nicole Young; CBS News

“Las Vegas Massacre” (CBS Evening News with Anthony Mason), Written by Jerry Cipriano and Joe Clines; CBS News

“The Spotted Pig” (60 Minutes), Written by Anderson Cooper and Oriana Zill de Granados; CBS News

NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

“100,000 Women” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley and Oriana Zill de Granados; CBS News

“On Broadway: Rodgers and Hammerstein” (CBS Sunday Morning), Written by Mo Rocca and Kay M. Lim; CBS News

“War Crime” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Katie Kerbstat, Nicole Young; CBS News

“Wounds of War” (60 Minutes), Written by Scott Pelley, Katie Kerbstat, Nicole Young; CBS News

DIGITAL NEWS

“D.C.’s Biggest Homeless Shelter Is About to Close. Will Amazon Take Its Place?,” Written by Emma Roller; Splinter

“How To Not Die In America,” Written by Molly Osberg; Splinter

“Inside The Culture Of Sexism At Riot Games,” Written by Cecilia D’Anastasio; Kotaku.com

RADIO/AUDIO NOMINEES

RADIO/AUDIO DOCUMENTARY

“2017 Year in Review,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS News Radio

“RFK: 50 Years After Shots Rang Out at The Ambassador Hotel,” Written by Andrew Evans; ABC News Radio

RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – REGULARLY SCHEDULED, BULLETIN, OR BREAKING REPORT

“5pm CBS News Radio Glor Newscast,” Written by James Hutton; CBS News Radio

“ABC News 6p Hourly 9-27-2018,” Written by Stephanie Pawlowski; ABC News Radio

“Remembering The Good, The Bad and the Brilliant,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS News Radio

“World News This Week 9-21-2018,” Written by Joan B. Harris; ABC News Radio

RADIO/AUDIO NEWS SCRIPT – ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY

“John McCain: A Life of Service,” Written by Gail Lee; CBS News Radio

“A Tribute to Le Grand Orange,” Written by Thomas A. Sabella; CBS Radio News

PROMOTIONAL WRITING NOMINEES

ON-AIR PROMOTION (RADIO OR TELEVISION)

“FBI 2018 Promo Reel,” Written by Ralph Buado; CBS

“Tribute to Star Trek for the 2019 Creative Arts Emmys,” Written by Sean Brogan; CBS

“Westworld: Season 2 Promo (Super Bowl spot),” Written by Jonathan Nolan; HBO

TELEVISION GRAPHIC ART AND ANIMATION

No nominees.

The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio, promotional, and graphic animation categories. The 2019 Writers Guild Awards (71st Annual) will be presented at concurrent ceremonies on Sunday, February 17, 2019, in Los Angeles at The Beverly Hilton and in New York City at the Edison Ballroom. For more information about the 2019 Writers Guild Awards, please visit www.wga.org or www.wgaeast.org.

John Ostrander: Writing 101 — Contradicting Your Characters

by John Ostrander

The most oft repeated dictum about writing that I’ve heard is: Write What You Know. The question is – what do you know? To take a literal meaning to the question suggests that you can only write within your own experiences which is awfully limiting. I’m a white middle class male and yet I created Amanda Waller who is black, female, and from the projects. What did I know that allowed me to do that? And yet, Amanda is one of the best, most realized, characters I’ve ever created.

My view of Write What You Know is – what do you KNOW as opposed to what you were TAUGHT. What has your own experience taught you to be true? An unquestioned belief, in my opinion, is not worth having. Only by testing that belief – by doubting, questioning – does a belief become your own even if you come to the same belief that you started with. Now it’s your own.

What do you know of life? Not what you were told or taught but what have you experienced? What do you know that is true? That should be in your writing. 

For example, take Character. For me, the essence of character is to be found in contradiction. Take a piece of paper. On the left hand side, list a series of attributes. Such as:

Friendly

Courteous

Kind

Obedient

Cheerful

Thrifty

Brave

Clean

Reverent

In other words, a Boy Scout.

On the right hand side of the page, write down the opposite of what you wrote on the left hand side. You cannot use un-.dis-, or ir-. In other words, no Unfriendly for Friendly. Be creative in your choice of words. With “Clean”, what do you mean? It’s how YOU define the word; it’s what that word means to YOU. How does it resonate? Be creative.

If everything you wrote on the left hand side of the page is true, then in some way, in some place, everything on the right hand side is also true. I have invariably found that the essence of character is found in contradiction. Again, it’s how you define those words. What do you MEAN by them? HOW are they true?

No one is all one thing all the time. Our personal characters are tidal; they ebb and flow. The sea is always the sea but is also always in motion and so are our natures. What is true of us should be true in our characters.

However, we don’t show all those aspects of ourselves every moment of the day or night. Different people, different circumstances, bring out different aspects of ourselves and should do the same with the people we create.

That’s part of the purpose of the supporting characters. Different people in your lives bring out different aspects of your own character. There was this guy I knew many years ago who I just did not like and for a long time I didn’t know why. He wasn’t a bad guy but I just felt uncomfortable around him. I finally figured out that it was because he mirrored sides of me that I did not like, that I was uncomfortable having.

Circumstances and events can also bring out different sides of you. Kim used to ask me how I would react in such and such a circumstance; I told her I wouldn’t know until I got there. We like to think we know what we would feel or how we react in a given situation but the truth is we only know how we think we would behave or how we’d like to believe we would act. You can’t know for sure until you’re actually in the situation.

So – how do we show all these contradictory emotions in a story? First of all, you use one at a time. In a comic, that might be for one panel. Try to use more than one in a panel muddies the story and makes it unclear. One at a time, please.

That said, you can switch to a completely different emotion in the next panel. Don’t try to “transition” from one feeling to the other. I’ve seen inexperienced writers do it; I’ve seen inexperienced actors do it. The ones who don’t do it are people in real life; the emotions flow, one to the next. Something hits you, you react. That’s what you want in your story.

What makes a person or a character react, have a certain emotion, tells you something about them just as it does in real life. What annoys you, either a situation or a person? You can go further – why does that person or situation annoy you? Every writer is something of a detective; you follow the clues to get a clearer picture of the character you’re writing. Do it right and so will your reader. That’s something that you want.

Do you have to create a character this way? Of course not. Different writers have different methods. You can do it completely by mechanics. I was once watching an interview on TV and a writer told his acolytes that the first thing you needed was a good name. I threw things at the TV.

I like stories that seem to emanate from character. Learning something from a well rounded and created story can tell me something about myself or the people around me. It makes, I believe, for a better story.

Writing a better story? That’s the job.


John Ostrander is one of LB’s favorite writers in any medium. It’s been awhile since he’s been here, but now John’s back with a new column at a new blog, PopCultureSquad, where this piece first appeared (with lots of pictures even). You can learn more about John and his many masterworks HERE

How Many of These Screen (and TV) Writing Mistakes Do You Make?

Yeah, we mess up too. But we’re keeping quiet – and trying to learn – while this excellent talk gives us one Acme Ton To Think About:

Via the ever-helpful folks at Film Courage

4 Pro Tips for Creating Your Own Web Series

Regular TVWriter™ visitors know how much we love web series. Turns out quite a few sites feel the same way and as glad or even gladder (is that a word? we hope so) to share their knowledge of what makes a good web series. Mashable, for example:

by Max Knoblauch

As a comedian, entrepreneur, writer and filmmaker, it’s clear Amy Rubin has never allowed anyone or anything to pigeonhole her into one role.

After years of creating political videos on Capitol Hill, Rubin left to found her startup production company, Barnacle, creating video content for companies such as Vanity Fair and The Nature Conservancy. In 2013, she started her own web series, Little Horribles.

Little Horribles isn’t your typical web series. The slow, subtle humor of the show more closely resembles FX’s Louie than something you might find on CollegeHumor. The largest demographic of the show’s one million viewers lies in the 25 to 44 age range.

“Most of the content we produce is for this demographic that I feel is underrepresented. They’re kind of left out of the world that is YouTube,” Rubin tells Mashable. “They have indie tastes. They aren’t, like, subscribing to channels. But they are out there and I think they want content.”

For aspiring filmmakers, writers and anyone who wants to create a web series, Rubin has a bit of advice that could save you plenty of time, money and headaches.

1. Writing is paramount — don’t force it.

If someone sent this to me, would I send it to my sister? That’s my test

If someone sent this to me, would I send it to my sister? That’s my test,” Rubin says. Without an outline or a basic idea that you’re passionate about, there’s really no point to creating a web series in the first place.

“With online video, where things are shorter, I think a lot of things can be forced,” she says. The lack of time for real character development and narrative arcs can lead many creators to rely too often on tropes. Rubin tries not to force any aspect of Little Horribles….

Read it all at Mashable