LB: Fox’s New Show – ‘APB’

Have you seen this video? The show looks genuinely promising to me. And I say that as a guy who doesn’t know any of the writers or producers.

At least, I don’t think I do. Truth is, I have no idea who’s on the show.

I’m going to watch it anyway, when it premieres February 6th. Hey, from me, that’s a big endorsement.

UPDATE! Okay, I just IMDB’d the staff of APB. I do know someone on it, Matt Nix. But he’s just an acquaintance and hasn’t talked to me since another show he did, a little thing called Burn Notice, hit it big. Hmm…looks like this is an even bigger endorsement now.

Spidey Memories

Posted on Facebook by bestselling mystery author Robert Gregory Browne, a frequent collaborator back in my TV animation writing days and still an occasional contributor to TVWriter™.

Let’s hear it for Spider-Man Unlimited!

Weirdly, SMU, which has become a cult fave, was a show I ran at pretty much the end of my career, not at the beginning, which was a more usual route for TV writers back in the day. Now it’s a highly respected arena all its own, a niche where top writers can have long and rewarding careers…as it should be.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘I Live in a Haunted House’

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

I’ve decided to move on from Kid Hollywood and the Navajo Dog to the next, equally unsuccessful book in the series, called, not so oddly, The Return of the Navajo Dog. The picture above is, in fact, that dog, about halfway through the lifetime she spent with me.

We’re in Colorado there, and Dineh – the Navajo name for Navajo, which was the only name Dineh would respond to – had just growled the kind of growl that would terrify any being, alive or dead, sending a poor, out-meaned, full-blooded coyote slinking away from its kill.

The following poem is about events a bit earlier in our time together, and Dineh doesn’t figure into it. But she lived in the house I’m talking about, and I wish she lived in the one I’m sitting in now. 


I Live In A Haunted House

I live in a haunted house in New Mexico,

On the east side of Santa Fe.

It’s an adobe so old that none of

The old-timers in the neighborhood can’t remember

When it wasn’t here. The last structure

I heard of with that same

Timeless past was Tintagel, in Cornwall,

Although I don’t believe my house is in the

Same league. No Merlin to abduct no baby

Arthur here, although there is a story about

Billy the Kid. This house, I’m told, is where

He stayed when he came to meet with

The governor, Lew Wallace, for a pardon.

But Billy’s not my ghost. Why would Billy the Kid

Open locked windows, light candles, turn

Pictures, and move knickknacks around?

That takes a different kind of mind.

All my life I’ve been haunted, but not like

This, and while it has its picturesque side,

I miss my privacy. Ghosts know no boundaries,

No walls, no locked doors,

And no matter how much I open myself,

I keep finding there’s more to hide.

I live in a haunted house in Santa Fe.

What do you suppose my ghost

Will do when I move away?


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody: TVWriter University Update for 2017

The University of Tomorrow - Today

The University of Tomorrow – Today

by Larry Brody

Brace yourselves, online learning-about-writing fans, because I’m here to announce some changes in the TVWriter™ Online Workshop, um, thing.

Our various workshops, operating under the collective name of TVWriter University, have been up and running on the web, with occasional forays into the Real World (remember the various Brodystock Summer Intensive Seminars and the Secrets of the Writers Room held at the original Cloud Creek Ranch in Southern California, in Las Vegas, and even in Arkansas?) since 1999 or 2000. (Guess I should keep better records.)

Over the years we’ve altered the formats and added some activities from time to time, and this year the big news can be expressed in one word:

Consolidation.

As of this month, there no longer is a Fundamentals of TV and Film Writing Workshop. Nor is there an Advanced TV and Film Writing Workshop.  At least, not by those names.

Inside, we’re combining both of them into the new TVWriter™ Online TV and Film Writing Workshop. All the reasons for this are presented on its web page (which used to be the Advanced Workshop page) HERE.

Thanks to the current volume of electronic entertainment available to so many more people than ever before, and a more open and respectful attitude from institutions of higher learning, those who are interested in learning the fundamentals of scriptwriting, whether they want to use them for pleasure or profit or, of course, both, have much greater access to the knowledge they need than ever before.

I’m thrilled with this development, and just as contemporary scriptwriters can now take advantage of the fact that the viewing audience is so knowledgeable about video and film “language” and construct stories that shorten or bypass what used to be the standard Act One, now those of us devoted to helping the next generation of writers learn the craft/art/business thereof can jump into more advanced and, I think, interesting storytelling techniques.

I’m not abandoning complete newbies. The new Online TV and Film Writing Workshop is structured so that those who need that info will get it, not only from me but also from their more advanced classmates. And the more advanced writers will also benefit by getting the reactions and opinions of classmates who can remind them that not every viewer – or showbiz executive for that matter – loves, or even understands, the latest in experimental entertainment.

Bottom line, after a fascinating hiatus from teaching for most of this year, in which I re-entered the trenches of production and became far more aware of what’s happening in both the creative and business ends of The Industry here and now, I’m once again ready to pass it all on.

To “play it forward” in, I’m hoping, a more successful way than it was in a certain underachieving film by the same name.

The next TVWriter™ Online TV and Film Writing Workshop starts a 4-week session January 11, 2017. It’s limited to 5 students, so I suggest you shift into gear and check out the details ASAP HERE.

And, while you’re at it, why not take a look at our other offerings, including Larry Brody’s Master Class, which will also be ready to rock in January? Those details are HERE.

That’s it for now, kids.

LYMI

LB

 

 

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘The Witch With The Green Face’

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

Today is my birthday. No, I won’t tell you what one, but if you follow me on Facebook my birthdate is right there. In honor of reaching this particular advanced state, I’ve chosen what probably is the most revealing thing I’ve ever written because, well, isn’t revelation one of the main things poetry is all about?

The Witch With The Green Face

When my daughter was six,

The Wizard Of Oz made a comeback,

The latest in a long string.

Wanting her to have everything I never did—

So that I could have it now instead—I bought her

The Marx Brothers playset. It was the

Emerald City itself, complete with Yellow

Brick Road, and they even threw in an

Eight-inch Wizard.

I got all the other figures as well,

And gave them to her,

And heard her cry out, saw the tears well up

In her eyes. My daughter’s body shook, and I

Realized she was staring at the Witch

With The Green Face. The only way I

Could get my daughter to calm down was to

Throw the Witch in the garbage outside.

She even had to go with me to see that such a

Scary being was in fact gone.

That night, when my daughter slept, I recovered

the Witch, and brought it to my office.

Everyone I worked with was impressed.

Eighteen years later, I wrote something real,

Filled with the rawness of the life I had led,

And the rage and the frustration

And the helpless feeling that life always

Seems to provide.

I blamed no one but myself, and showed no

Mercy, and asked no mercy in return.

I took no prisoners, and refused to give up.

“Death before dishonor,” say the boys in uniform, but

“Death by dishonor” was the rule of the piece.

I gave it to some friends to read, and heard them cry out.

Saw the tears well up in their eyes.

Their bodies shook, and I realized they were

All staring at the Witch With The Green Face.

The only way my friends could calm down

Was to get that manuscript back to me as soon

As they could. They even had to shove it in my

Mailbox to see that such a scary being was

Gone.

Eighteen years ago, I betrayed my six year old

Daughter by taking the Witch from the Trash.

Eighteen years later I refused to betray

Myself and created my own Witch instead.

I cannot feel guilty,

But I cannot feel proud,

Because, in eighteen years,

This was the first time I had ever been

True.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, as the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out, “Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you lose your vision, and yourself.” She said it shorter, though, with just a snort.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: “The Feather”

by Larry Brody

kidhollywoodcovercoyotecaptureNOTE FROM LB: 

Ah, more recollections of the wonders of Indian Country. The Lakota Reservation in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, where, accompanied by the Navajo Dog, I started my lessons on the meaning – or it it the magic – of life:

The Feather

It was after my vision quest, the three days in the pit,

When, full of the freshness of my new name,

And the animal power it held, I made my way

To the trailer where my friend the wild Indian lived.

(I sing of the Bear—the Bear sings of me.)

His arms went around me, and he offered me a

Beer and stew, for this was Pine Ridge,

And while the power was strong,

The pickings were slim.

(I sing to the Bear—the Bear sings to me.)

Later, after a sweat, my friend, who had

Already done so much toward showing me

the way, gave me a gift he had prepared.

It was a single eagle feather, wrapped in

Red thread, and blessed by the seven most

Sacred of medicine men. Not just Lakota,

They were all tribes, all kinds, and they had

Given him the feather as a sign. Now he wanted

to give it to me.

(I sing like the Bear—the Bear sings like me.)

When I touched the feather, my hand tingled

And burnt, and I was embarrassed, feeling

Unworthy. But the eagle had allowed its death, and its

Use, and the old medicine men had given their

Power. Who was I to deny? To say no? To

Refuse? I had to accept the honor.

I have kept the feather, and talked to it, and

Heard it. I have slept with it beneath my head,

And I’ve dreamed.

(I sing of the Bear, my spirit, my soul—the Bear

Has already sung its songs to me)

With the feather, I have made liars speak truly,

Vanquished old evil and new. With the feather,

I have made friends of enemies, and sent messages,

And healing, but never has it been easy to use.

It flies, you see, this eagle feather does. It refuses

To stay on the ground. It vanishes from where I put

It, and tries to escape, searching ceaselessly for

the Freedom it deserves.

(With the eagle’s feather, I become the Bear—

The Bear has already become me.)

I have lost the feather a dozen times, and found

It a dozen more. Every time, it speaks, in the

Eagle’s screech, and, more quietly, in the

Chant of the medicine men. I hear the feather

The way I hear my own heartbeat, and its message

Is ever the same.

Be the Bear, it tells me. Learn. Teach. Heal.

Be the Bear of your vision, or be nothing, be no

One. Be the Bear of the sky, and fly from this earth.

Fly beyond the Bear—sing of it—sing to it—

Sing like it, with the most melodious of roars.

Be the Bear as you saw it, and were it in the

Mountains, half-buried, half-starving, but more

Than twice new.

Be the Bear—

For the Bear has already—

How long? Try forever—

The Bear has already been you.

 

It was after my vision quest, the three days in the pit,

When, full of the freshness of my new name,

And the power it held, Talking Bear received

A single eagle feather, wrapped in red thread.

The thread is gone, spun off in mid-flight,

And the feather is torn, worn, and bare.

But still I hold on and sing of the

Bear, and listen as it sings of me,

And still my hand tingles as I learn,

Teach, and heal,

As I try to be worthy of the vision

And all those who need so much to believe.

 


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Larry Brody’s Poetry: The Second Time I Saw The Stars Dancing

by Larry Brody

kidhollywoodcovercoyotecaptureNOTE FROM LB: 

Time now for a bit more about the dancing stars, which often strike me as Indian Country’s Great Gift to the rest of the world. Oh…and my companion in magic for so many – but nowhere near enough – years, the Navajo Dog:

The Second Time I Saw The Stars Dancing

The second time I saw the stars dancing

I was camping out with the Navajo dog.

We were beside a mesa atop the Navajo nation,

And I was unrolling my sleeping bag. The Navajo dog

Was being quiet, and I looked up, following her gaze.

There, about halfway up the night sky, was a star

Brighter than all those around it, shifting and twirling

In that mysterious way. “See it? Do you see it?”

I said to the dog, and she growled, “Be still.

“Watch,” she said.

“Learn.”

Beneath the first star was a second, smaller star.

It began moving up, up, and around the first,

Like an orbiter waiting to land. “See that? Do you

See that?” I said, and the Navajo dog growled again.

“Be very still,” she said.

“Watch,” she said.

“Learn.”

About a foot below the dynamic duo in the sky, four

More stars were aligned. Those four paired off, and

Each member of each pair spun around the other.

“You’re seeing it, right?” I said, and this time

The Navajo dog barked. “Quiet!” she ordered.

“Watch,” she demanded.

“Can’t you ever learn?”

Soon all four stars were spiraling together

While the movements of the two above them

Grew into a much larger design.

Then the four bottom stars leapt upward

Like antelopes, and circled the primary pair.

“Jesus,” I said to the Navajo dog, and her

Paw scratched my face. “Shut up!” she barked.

“Watch,” she commanded.

“Don’t you have any faith?”

“What am I seeing? For Christ’s sake,

What does it mean?”

The Navajo dog sighed. Her nose brushed

Against me, colder and wetter than the Navajo

Night. “You’re a child,” she said. “A child with

Questions that want answers no one may have.”

Above us, the dancing grew wilder, and the lights of a

Jetliner cut through the steps. The six stars

Ignored it, their frenzy expanding, and I felt

Myself pulled upward, as though I were one of

Them now. Below me, the Navajo dog murmured

And whined. I danced for her brightly, all legs,

Arms, bells, and feathers, and all that mattered

Was that I could feel myself shine.

In the morning, we spoke little, and, over the fire,

The coffee was weak.

As I rolled up my sleeping bag, I followed the

Dog’s eyes. Across the field, a horse was

Whinnying, tossing its head back at the dawn sky.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.