Storytelling the Pixar Way

…With a little help from Lego:

See all 12 writing rules!

As far as we’re concerned, the word for these pics is GENIUS.

But guess what. The Pixar version is just as brilliant, maybe more so because it came first and there are 10 more – that’s 22, count ’em – rules. Plus, it’s way more writerly because – yep – no pictures, just WORDS.

Self-Sabotage 101

AKA: Our Inner Depths Don’t Always Help Our Outer Reaches; or ‘It’s All In Your Mind, Dude’

How Our Brains Stop Us Achieving Our Goals and How to Fight Back – by Gregory Ciotti

As admittedly wonderful and fascinating as the human brain is, it definitely can feel like our brain is out to get us sometimes.

Summed up perfectly in the many observations of the “Scumbag Brain” meme, our brain does seem to engage in “sabotage” in terms of how it naturally reacts to situations…

  1. Your brain can hurt your goals by fantasizing too much…
  2. Your brain procrastinates on big projects by visualizing the worst parts…
  3. Your brain will “abandon ship” at the first sign of distress…
  4. Your brain loves mindless busy work disguised as progress
  5. Your brain is not good at “winging it” when it comes to planning…ever!

Read it all and get the details (You know, those things the devil is in)

Reading the specifics of this article made all of us wince. “Ouch!” Too true…but, Mr. Ciotti points out, we can conquer our brain’s negative tendencies. We’re going to follow his advice and let you know.

LB: I Want This



We can all drool together over Tony baby and a couple of tons of other terrific toys on “Hot Toys” Facebook page.


Networks Want to Know: Where are the New Series Pitches?

We can give a quick answer: The pitches are everywhere. You doofusses just don’t know where the $#@! to look!

Um, not true. Lying liars, etc.

Pitch Season Starts Slow, NBC And ABC To Scale Back On Development Volume – by Nellie Andreeva

Exactly a year ago, at its TCA executive session NBC announced several projects in development, including a Dick Wolf-produced firefighter drama, which became the network’s upcoming drama series Chicago Fire. This year there has been only one big sale so far — the Alex Kurtzman/Roberto Orci-written and Len Wiseman-directed Sleepy Hollow, which went to Fox with a put pilot commitment.

Pitch season is starting late and is shaping up to be calmer, with less action. I hear NBC and ABC, the most aggressive players last year, are paring down the number of projects they will buy and money they will spend. With a new regime and stuffed coffers, NBC went on a buying spree last summer, joined by ABC. The two networks often ended up in heated bidding wars, sometimes joined by Fox, driving up prices and leading to a slew of big commitments…. I hear NBC and ABC now plan to spend less and go only after projects they fully believe can get to the air. Fox also will be more targeted in its approach as the network accomplished its goal of assembling a two-hour comedy block, so its comedy needs are not as great…

As to what is causing the late start of selling action, there don’t seem to be enough writers ready to pitch. The studios have most hot writer-producers locked into “showveralls”, overall deals that tie them to a show. Because now is the most crucial time for series’ writing teams when they finish breaking stories for the season and start churning out scripts for production to begin, most scribes won’t be available to work on pitches until September. So while Independence Day marks the unofficial start of pitch season, the real action this season will likely begin after Labor Day.

Read it all

Did we say “doofusses?” Let’s go further: If these deliberately ignorant morons knew anything about creativity and/or what audiences want to see, instead of waiting for already overworked showrunners to scurry in with hastily scribbled ideas they would open up the development process to as many new, hungry writers as possible. Because that’s where they’ll find the originality that TV viewers crave.

BATTLE ROYALE Headed for The CW?

What? You think an adaptation of a shlock Japanese teen science fiction movie won’t fit  in there? Yeah, of course you don’t.

‘Battle Royale’ Might Get Turned Into A TV Show For CW – by Kevin Jagernauth

Last fall, it was with a small amount of irony that producer Roy Lee revealed that the long-gestating Hollywood remake of the Japanese cult hit “Battle Royale” was essentially put on the back burner due to a similar film that has since become a massive hit.

“‘Hunger Games’ definitely took a lot of wind out of the sails because it definitely has a very similar storyline and so I’m not actually sure if any studio…I’m not even sure if before ‘Hunger Games’ any studio would have been able to take the creative risks you need to make the movie right and now so [making the movie] would be even harder,” Lee explained. But never say die, as the edgy, violent movie may find a home on a channel favored by tweens.

The LA Times reports that talks are underway between CW and the reps for the Hollywood version of “Battle Royale” to bring the movie to the small screen in an English-language show. In case you’re not aware, “Battle Royale” — which came well before Suzanne Collins’ books or the subsequent movies — tells the story of forty-two school children who are brought to an island and are entered in a three-day fight for survival where only one person emerges victorious. Sound familiar?

Read it all

Interestingly, the writer of this piece finds “the idea of an American remake of this property…a bit ludicrous, if only given that the outrageous, no-holds barred nature of the original simply wouldn’t fly….”

We understand his concern, given the teen soap opera nature of most of the CW’s shows. But to misquote an old saying, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of TV executives.” Oh, well, we don’t have to keep guessing. We just have to wait and see.