Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 1/23/14

Latest News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
by munchman

  • Dean Georgaris (LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER) is writing the pilot for ABC’s CLEMENTINE, a science fiction drama about a “habitual criminal…who…possesses latent supernatural abilities.” (Here’s hoping she – yes, “she,” a victory for superwomen everywhere, manifests said abilities ASAP cuz otherwise why would anybody want to watch?)
  • Tara Butters & Michele Fazekas (DOLLHOUSE) are creating/writing/producing AGENT CARTER, a spinoff of the CAPTAIN AMERICA character for, natch ABC. (And it better be better than AGENTS OF SHIELD, you hear me? Do ya? I mean it! Cuz there’s just so much disappointment a Marvel Maniac can take, you know?)
  • Thomas Kelly (COPPER) has signed a new overall deal with AMC to write/produce/develop/you know the drill TV stuff. (Kelly’s an amazing prose writer as well as a TV and film guy. In fact, he’s kind of my hero, so this is muy exciting.)
  • Amy Poehler (PARKS AND RECREATION) has a new overall deal with NBC. Her first project is as co-creator of the tentatively titled OLD SOUL, a comedy about a woman trying to find herself by working with “a group of elderly people.” (Hoo, boy! More funny old folks! My grandparents can hardly wait! Although maybe that’ll be an inducement for them to stay alive. No, not to watch but so they can complain? Geema, whatcha think?)
  • Jon Robin Baitz (BROTHERS & SISTERS) is writing THE SLAP, an NBC miniseries about “what happens when a man slaps another couple’s misbehaving child at a family BBQ.” (Am I wrong in thinking that this will either be intentionally hilarious as hell…or unintentionally hilarious as hell? See how I did that? Got this thing totally covered now.)

From Evaluation to Inspiration

In our data-conscious society, we do hella evaluation. Maybe it’s time for some inspiration instead?

(Hey, we kept a straight face through those two sentences. Awesome, huh? Oh, wait…)

inspiratonby Scott Barry Kaufman, Pd.D.

We live in a culture saturated with evaluation.

In school, we learn to take tests. We take the tests, and depending on the outcome, either feel really smart or really stupid.

We then prepare for college entrance exams. And then graduate entrance exams. And then occupational entrance exams. Then on the job, we are constantly being evaluated, evaluated, evaluated.

With all this evaluating, we have little time left for inspiration. We have little time left to explore the full range of possible roles in life, and see which really activates us.

This matters.

In a culture obsessed with measuring talent, ability, and potential, we often overlook the important role of inspiration in enabling potential.

Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility, and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. Inspiration may sometimes be overlooked because of its elusive nature. Its history of being treated as supernatural or divine hasn’t helped the situation. But as recent research shows, inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated, and it has a major effect on important life outcomes.

Inspiration has three main qualities. Pyschologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot have noted these core aspects of inspiration: evocation, transcendence, and approach motivation.

  1. Inspiration is evoked spontaneously without intention. People are usually inspired by something, whether it’s an inspiring role model, teacher, or subject matter. Which is all the more reason why we ought to create the conditions for inspiration.
  2. Inspiration is transcendent of our more animalistic and self-serving concerns and limitations. Such transcendence often involves a moment of clarity and awareness of new possibilities for oneself as well as others. As Thrash and Elliot note, “The heights of human motivation spring from the beauty and goodness that precede us and awaken us to better possibilities.” This moment of clarity is often vivid, and can take the form of a grand vision, or a “seeing” of something one has not seen before (but that was probably always there).
  3. Inspiration involves approach motivation, in which the individual strives to transmit, express, or actualize a new idea or vision. According to Thrash and Elliot, inspiration involves both being inspired by somethingand acting on that inspiration.

Inspired people share certain characteristics.

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Leesa Dean: Adventures of a Web Series Newbie

spinal-tapChapter 42 – That Stonehenge Moment
by Leesa Dean

Intense week! In a good way. Been on a roll writing Season Two of the Lele Show. Tweaking, making changes and I hope people like it. Not putting deadlines in the mix–I have too much on my plate. But, hopefully, will be done writing all the episodes in about a month or month and a half (there are 36 new eps and an ADDITIONAL 36 pieces of supplemental stuff that have to be written/shaped.)

Also working on a two brand new shows I’m really excited about. And one is live action. They’re still in the development stages so it’s quite a juggling act: finding the time each day to work on The Lele Show, each of the two new shows, production on the TOP SECRET PROJECT and the few freelance gigs I have (just got a call for a very very cool one but it’s too soon to talk fully about it.)

Speaking of production on the TOP SECRET PROJECT: gearing up for two shoots. And one is this Sunday. So busy tweaking the script, speaking with my producing partner and finalizing tech stuff and speaking with the guy who’s doing Camera 2.

In the midst of everything, I realized we needed a slate. The last shoot we did, we just used paper to differentiate takes (yes, this is straight-up guerilla filmmaking). And party cause it was late at night and party cause I was in a rush, I found one online for only $8 so bought it instantly. It arrived yesterday. In a moment straight out of This is Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge scene, I opened the package and…it’s only 3 by 5 inches (hence the $8 pricetag). It’s perfectly sized if you’re working on a shoot featuring cockroaches. We’re just gonna roll with it but there’s definitely gonna be a lot of squinting going on in post.  As my extremely accommodating producing partner said, “That’s why they make zoom.”

And finally, went to a really cool event last night: the Skillshare Social. It was a indie filmmaker mixer sponsored by Downtown Community TV, the place where I’ll be taking camera classes. The Social had people from Tribeca FilmWomen Make MoviesRooftop FilmsMaysles Doc Center and more. It was a great opportunity to meet staff and a lot of cool people.

Nickelodeon Introducing Customizable Programming

Either it’s just another way to play the censorship game…or it’s an awesome new paradigm:

by Chris Morran

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime owe a good deal of their success to parents of young children, who love that they can dial up one of their kids’ favorite shows or movies instantly and without commercials. The folks at Viacom and Verizon are hoping to replicate some of that experience with a new customizable cable TV channel aimed at youngsters.dora-the-explorer

Rather than putting viewers at the mercy of TV programmers or forcing parents to find desired content online or via on-demand TV, “My Nick Jr.” will take a different approach by giving viewers a selection of seven different themes — like “get creative,” “word play,” or “supersonic science” — that will then determine the initial programming. Viewers can then vote yay or nay (via smile and frown icons) for individual shows. This feedback will then help customize the experience further.

Think of it like Pandora for your TV, where the Nickelodeon back-end computers do their best to predict what shows you will want based on your expressed preferences.

The Wall St. Journal reports that there will (at least initially) be no ads on My Nick Jr., and parents will be able to set limits on how many hours of the channel their kids can watch at a time. Parents will also have access to reports on which shows their kids are watching.

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New Series STATE OF SYN is as Innovative as You Get

Not a PR montage - this is an actual scene from the 1st episode
Not a PR montage – this is an actual scene from the 1st episode

Hulu has spared, well, it’s spared a great deal of expense, as a matter of fact, in bringing its new series, STATE OF SYN to the interweb/our TVs. But the show isn’t your garden variety cheapo. It’s a kind of fumetti, a live-action comic strip with real actors, including FIREFLY’s Jewel Staite supplying the voices over their limited animation photo-images.

STATE OF SYN debuted on Hulu.Com last Saturday, with all its episodes in place, ready to stream. And while TVWriter™ wasn’t all that thrilled with the sound and the acting – very Saturday morning animation, kids, sorry – we love the potential, especially as it applies to indie film and video makers/peer producers.

In three words: Check it out.