Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Funny: Doing It For Money

Well, yesterday was a banner day by any reckoning. Finished the first draft of my current project, THRILL-POWER OVERLOAD: The Official History of 2000 AD, The Galaxy's Greatest Comic. Lots of spit and polish still to be applied, but the hard work is done. Happily, the postman got busy as well and delivered a big box of goodies from across the Atlantic, including Season Two of both Veronica Mars and House on DVD. Also inside was a copy of Doing It For Money: The Agony and Ecstasy of Writing and Surviving in Hollywood, a funny tome edited by Daryl G. Nickens.

Doing It For Money is essentially a collection of essays and anecdotes from Hollywood screenwriters about their life in the business - how they broke in, how they succeeded and how they sabotaged their own success. I'm 70 pages in already [I read fast and this book has got BIG type] and it's bloody funny. Hell, the sections of procrastination are a good way to kill some time if you're looking for work avoidance that still feels like it could almost be called professional research. Well worth a look, if you're the sort of person like me who always reads the writer's bio first. Remember Reader' Digest Condensed Books? My favourite page was the author descriptions at the end of the volume. How often did I read those paragraphs, imagining my own life story appearing there... Sad git.

While I've got you here and we're talking screenwriting, you could do worse than have a look at the blog of Susiesoap, the intriguingly entitled Lifebuoy Carbolic. Hell, it's worth having a peek just to see how she explains that blog name.

Last but not least, if you ever have a TV script picked up to be shot as a pilot, may I recommend the services of David Nutter? Not just because he's got one of the best surnames in American TV [although it doesn't quite match Buffy the Vampire Slayer's music bloke, Thomas Wanker], but also because of his track record. The last 12 pilots Nutter has directed all got picked up to become series [including Smallville, Supernatural and Without a Trace]. He's just been attached to direct the pilot for The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a TV project spun out of The Terminator film franchise. Nutter's winning streak will continue - Fox has already made a put pilot committment to the show, so The Sarah Connor Chronicles is already a done deal.

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