The Perfect Last-Minute Christmas Gift for your TV Writer – And It’s Almost Free!

$4.99, to be precise. Not bad, eh? Especially since it’s one helluva book.

TVW Kindle Cover 625 x 1000 sm

Written by TVWriter™’s boss – Larry Brody, a writer-producer with 40 years of experience in every aspect of television – Television Writing from the Inside Out is a true Insider’s Guide that offers his unique expertise and an outlook that’s the direct result of having written and produced almost 1000 hours of television of all types, from daytime serials to animated children’s series to syndicated, cable, and U.S. and European network primetime series, pilots, and Movies of the Week.

This book examines the entire procedure not only creatively but in terms of how television actually operates. TV as a medium is both creative and commercial, but this really isn’t a fact to be bemoaned. Instead, Television Writing from the Inside Out shows how to make the situation work for you by using creative elements for commercial ends–and commercial elements for creative ones. In fact, it’s so practical that it tells you what neighborhoods to live in when you move to L.A., how to dress, even what kind of car to drive.

Script Magazine has given Television Writing from the Inside Out an unqualified rave review. And it’s the official textbook for the TVWriter™ Basic Online Workshop!

Buy the Kindle Book at Amazon.Com for only $6.99 $4.99 

Oh, and you don’t need a Kindle to read a Kindle book. You can also read it on your PC via Kindle’s Cloud Reader, as well as on your iPhone, iPad, and other readers as well.

And, if you simply must have a “real” book that you can hold in your hand:

Get the trade paperback at Amazon.Com for $19.99

Film Success Based On – Get Ready – The Pitch!

Oy! As if there wasn’t enough pressure to perform in the room. Now along comes Deadline.Com with this terrifying news: (Unless you’re a pitching expert, in which case go ahead and laugh)

gotta be a pitching foolMovie Profits Driven By Stories And Directors, Not Stars, Academics Conclude – by David Lieberman

Movie making is often an insane business. But moguls turn out to be pretty rational about it according to a chapter in an upcoming economics text and a recent article in an academic journal. Researchers say that studios wisely bet on stories and directors. Star worship “is all but a myth,” writes S. Abraham Ravid — a finance professor at Yeshiva University — in The Economics Of Creativity, to be published next month. “Stars can still sell magazines, but not movies.” Why do studios pay big bucks for Academy Award-winners? It’s part of a strategy, along with co-financing, to reduce the risk of making big-budget films — especially R-rated ones, which represent the biggest gambles. Stars should draw at least some fans, even to a stinker of a movie, the theory goes. “In an industry where a big failure is much more dreaded than a big success is wished for, insurance is worth its weight in gold, or in eight-figure salaries.”

OK, so how can studios predict what scripts should generate the biggest profits? Moguls have to resort to non-quantifiable “soft information.” (Economists love to look at ways execs make decisions without data that they can put into a spreadsheet.) And it’s safer to pay a high price for a short “high concept” pitch as opposed to a longer proposal, according to a study in the Journal Of Cultural Economics. The quality of the initial sales pitch “can affect not only the price of the screenplay but the success of the completed project,” write Ravid, Yale University’s William Goetzmann and New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Ronald Sverdlove. Execs understand that “audiences too prefer simple ‘high concept’ stories.” In other words, they pay higher prices for short, easily understood pitches because it’s the smart thing to do — not because complexity goes over their heads.

At first we were all “This is terrific! We’re the storytellers! We’re gonna score!” But then we reread this little gem: ‘The quality of the initial sales pitch “can affect not only the price of the screenplay but the success of the completed project….”‘

Why does that terrify us? Simple. We’re writers, not salesmen. And the idea that what we say at that initial meeting, in that terrifying, over-decorated room, to the team of “show-me” hipsters gathered behind and around the desk…well, let’s put it this way: It took 2 Xanaxes just to write this post!

You Can Be Cautious or You Can Be Creative (But There’s No Such Thing as Being “Cautiously Creative”)

This thought seems so simple, so obvious…and yet there’s so much to disagree with. (He said with cautious creativity…Or was it creative caution? Hmm.)

Designer and Author George Lois once said “You can be Cautious or you can be Creative (but there’s no such thing as a Cautious Creative).” Basically, you can never innovate without taking a little risk. If you’re being truly creative, there’s always a chance your fresh idea will flop, or won’t be doable, or otherwise won’t succeed. If you’re working on something that’s a guaranteed success, it’s unlikely you’re creating anything new and different. If you really want to create something new, brace yourself and grow those wings on the way down the cliff.

From Lifehacker.Com

Creativity Happens When You Least Expect It

…Especially if you’re as impatient and demanding as we are!

Luv this pic!

by Sian Beilock

It’s well known that there are circadian or daily rhythms in basic physiological functions like body temperature or digestion. Interestingly, these circadian rhythms extend to our psychological abilities too. Simply put, we tend to have more brainpower at our peak circadian arousal time, which leads to success on activities that require us to concentrate and mentally ‘buckle down.’

Morning types (i.e., people who are most alert in the morning) excel on a whole host of cognitive tasks when they complete these tasks early in the day. This is especially true for tasks that require working memory, like systematically reasoning through a problem or juggling numbers in your head. Working memory is our flexible mental scratch pad. It’s the brainpower that helps us keep what we want in mind and what we don’t want out. On the other hand, evening types, those who are most alert at night, tend to perform at their best on demanding cognitive tasks later in the day.

But not all tasks require working memory for success. In fact, sometimes people’s ability to think about information in new and unusual ways can actually be hampered when they wield too much brainpower. This means that what we think of as our optimal time of day, may not be optimal for everything.

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We aren’t sure why, but we get all goose-bumpy whenever we see the phrase “circadian rhythms.” It just, you know, turns us on.

Walt Disney’s Creative Thinking Strategies

Yeah, we thought that would get your attention:

If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It – by Michael Michalko

Walt Disney was a high school dropout who suffered several business disasters and bankruptcy.  He overcame his personal and financial challenges by using his imagination to create an entertainment empire that has touched the hearts, minds and emotions of all of us.

He summarized his creativity in one word: Imagineering. The term “Imagineering” combines the words imagination and engineering. Imagineering enabled him to transform the dreams, fantasies and wishes of his imagination into concrete reality.
Disney’s thinking strategy involved exploring something using three different perceptual positions.

An insight into these positions comes from the comment made by one of his animators that: “Disney’s thinking technique synthesized three different strategies: the dreamer, realist, and the critic. A dreamer without a realist is often not able to translate fantasies into tangible reality. A dreamer and critic become engaged in constant conflict. A dreamer and realist can create things but find that a critic helps to evaluate and refine the final products.”

Following are descriptions of each strategy:

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