The Week at TVWriter™ – June 6, 2016

In case you’ve missed what’s happening at TVWriter™, the most popular blog posts during the week ending yesterday were:

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

Diana Vacc Sees OUTLANDER Episode 7 “Faith”

LB: Where Did THE FALL GUY Live?

5 Questions with a Writers’ PA on a network drama

Frank Spotnitz on Creating Complex TV Series

And our most visited permanent resource pages were:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

The Teleplay

The Logline



Major thanks to everyone for making this such a great week. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed. re-read what you loved, and, most importantly, come back for more soon!

Troy DeVolld: “We’d need you to work as a local.”

Odds are that if the show can't pay for your travel it ain't gonna send a car like this to meet you either!
Odds are that if the show can’t pay for your travel it ain’t gonna send a car like this to meet you either!

by Troy DeVolld

I don’t complain about much. I’m good with long hours, I don’t mind working a little harder to get a show in good shape and turned in on time.  I can even handle parking blocks or even miles from a location and cramming into a shuttle with 7-23 other people to get to set.

Being asked to work as a local states away from home, however, bugs me.

What that means is finding (and paying for) a place to stay when you’re many hours from home, sometimes out of state or even the country working on a project.  It’s not uncommon in reality’s non-union universe, as it saves the production company money on their most tightly-budgeted shows.

Of course, for most people, it means shelling out for rent or hotel out of their own pocket. That is, unless they happen to have an accommodating friend or relative near location who’s willing to put them up for weeks or months as goodwill slowly wanes after too many nights of rattling keys in the lock at two in the morning.

I actually enjoy the road, though I’ve become fairly post-production-centric as the years have rolled by.  I live on the edge of Los Angeles, but have been put up on location over the years in great places like New York, Northern California, Vancouver, Nashville and even Texas on shows that not only provided me with a roof over my head during production, but usually a polite per diem (usually $30-40/day) to cover the cost of eating and purchasing incidentals.

It can be a lot of fun to be away from your hometown, but unless you’re able to secure a rate that makes it worth it to you, working as a local is, in my opinion, best left to the actual locals.

Reality friends: Have you had great or tough experiences working as a local or hiring people willing to work as locals?

Troy DeVolld is a Larry Brody buddy and one of the masters of the reality TV genre. This article originally appeared on his Reality TV blog. And while you’re thinking about him, why not buy his book, Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to TV’s Hottest Market?

How To Be A Film & Movie Producer

And now, from the “pages” of (We know! Who’d a thought?) comes an excellent article holding y’all by the hand and taking you – okay, us) through one of the scariest processes in the known universe – becoming a gen-u-ine film (or TV) producer:

by Team Tom Cruise

Yeppers, these are iconic silhouettes we all should know!
Yeppers, these are iconic silhouettes we all should know!

For the film lover who aspires to do it all in the entertainment industry, learning how to become a movie producer puts you in the driver’s seat of a film production. The producer is possibly the most misunderstood, yet most important person involved with any movie. The producers – people like Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer – all join a film project at the very beginning and commit themselves to seeing it through to completion. In short, they’re the generals running the entire production, doing it all.

Fans and film aficionados who want to break into the industry to produce their own films may feel overwhelmed. It takes a ton of knowledge about a variety of fields to climb the mountain in becoming a movie producer. However, the team at again has assembled a guide to give you some resources outlining the basics of film producing. While not completely exhaustive, we hope this gives the aspiring film producer a first marker on the road to becoming a success!

Every team needs a leader. For movie fanatics with leadership skills and tons of energy, becoming a film producer may be your calling. With the right combination of intelligence, people skills and tenacity, we definitely believe you can make it happen!

As we did in the posts for emerging actorsdirectorsscreenwriters and visual effects artists, the team hunted for the best information online to bring you a guide to begin your journey into the world of movie production. We’re hoping this sets several of you off on a trip ending with you screening your blockbuster or, perhaps, grabbing the last gold statue awarded on Oscar night. :)

Here’s what the team has included for you in the post:

As always we welcome any comments to the post to share other resources we can add to the guide in order to offer more complete information. Any reader with experience in the field, we love to hear your thoughts! Let us in on your wisdom, or point us to links, and we’ll add it.

So, here we go movie fans and aspiring producers! Buckle up for the first mile of your journey to becoming the head honcho on a movie production: a film producer….

Read it all at TomCruise

Top UK Showrunner Anthony Horowitz: ‘This is the golden age of TV’

Anthony Horowitz’s name is as well-known as any TV writer’s name can be – in the UK where he has written and produced some of the best written and most popular police procedurals in the history of British TV. We’re talking about Foyle’s War, Collision, Midsomer Murders, and many more. The article below gives us a chance to go beyond the usual puffery and actually learn a bit about the mindset it takes to succeed as a major TV force in any country:

Anthony Horowitz
Anthony Horowitz

by Tim Masters

As its title suggests, New Blood endeavours to offer a fresh journey along the well-trodden path of TV crime drama.

But even an experienced writer like Anthony Horowitz admits it wasn’t easy making fraud a sexy subject for the small screen.

“Fraud is very difficult to dramatise,” he says after a private screening of the first episode.

“People are not going to sit there and listen to figures and share movements.”

As part of his research, Horowitz made several visits to the Serious Fraud Office, and an SFO adviser was attached to the production.

“The SFO is brand new to TV, so what the world will understand on how they work comes from me,” says Horowitz.

“I had a duty to be true to the sort of people they are, but at the same time I couldn’t make them boring or show investigations that last two or three years – they have to be solved in three weeks.

“It’s an interesting balance between reality and fiction. I hope I’ve been responsible.”

The seven-part series, set in contemporary London, stars Mark Strepan as Stefan Kowolski, a junior investigator for the Serious Fraud Office, and Ben Tavassoli as young PC Arrash “Rash” Sayyad.

They find themselves investigating seemingly unrelated cases connected to a dodgy pharmaceutical trial in India six years earlier.

The cast includes Mark Addy, as an old-school detective, and Anna Chancellor as Stefan’s boss.

But Horowitz’s focus is very much on what he calls his “Generation Y” characters – those born in the 1980s and early 90s – and the challenges they face living in the capital.

“The kids who read Alex Rider [Horowitz’s best-selling series of teenage spy novels] were aged eight, nine and 10 and now they are Generation Y,” he says.

“Stefan and Rash are Alex Rider grown up, in a way.”

As with Peter Kay’s Car Share, viewers will be able to watch New Blood on the BBC iPlayer next week, ahead of transmission on BBC One.

Horowitz acknowledges that it’s a good way to launch a show about a younger generation, but he’s keen not to exclude other viewers.

“I didn’t write this TV just for 20- and 30-year-olds,” he says.

“I’m 60, and I binge watch TV.

“It’s the way things are going.

“It is also true, and the BBC are aware of it, that we have to nurture a new TV audience.

“We can’t just write drama for mums and dads and grandparents.

“I was always told with Foyle’s War that it was ‘everybody’s mother’s favourite programme’.

“It used to occur to me why couldn’t it be their favourite programme too?”

Horowitz’s other TV writing credits include Poirot, Murder in Mind, Injustice, Robin of Sherwood and Crime Traveller.

As an author, he resurrected Sherlock Holmes in his 2011 novel The House of Silk and its 2014 sequel Moriarty.

Last year saw the publication of his James Bond novel, Trigger Mortis, and the premiere of his satirical play Dinner with Saddam.

While he adapted his own Alex Rider novel Stormbreaker into a 2006 movie, most of his screenwriting is for the small screen….

Read it all at the BBC Website


LB: Envy – Deadly Sin with a Positive Effect?

by Larry Brody

Just discovered the above video on the interwebs and definitely believe it’s worth sharing.

One of the dirty little secrets I’ve learned over the years is that many a showbiz biggie has gotten a boost from at least one of the so-called “7 Deadly Sins.” Whenever I say this, most people’s brains automatically zoom right to the sexier sins and the casting couch. But in my experience the most helpful sin has proven to be envy. It’s helped some of the most – and, yeah, least – talented biggies in films, TV, music, et al over some otherwise impossible hurdles.

Sorry if I’m bursting any bubbles. (But you’ll thank me later.)

LB (aka The Motivator)