munchman: Life Lessons from Power Rangers

If you’re just reaching the neighborhood of being 30 years old, chances are that there was a time in your life when you watched the hell out of POWER RANGERS while your mother shook her head sadly and muttered something like, “Such a terrible waste of time….”

Well, we’re here to tell you that it wasn’t a waste of time at all. It was awesome prep for your future. (Whaddaya think of that, Ma? Oops, no, I didn’t say anything. Nope, not me. This guy, OTOH:

power rangersby Eric Ravenscraft

Kids shows are pretty cheesy. Power Rangers, doubly so. The idea of learning real, adult life lessons from the shows we loved as kids sounds silly, but sometimes things stick with you. Here’s what the Power Rangers taught me that actually stuck around. Seriously.

Don’t Let Other People Make You Feel Like Crap

Bullying isn’t a new trope for kids shows. In my day, though, there was no one who epitomized the nerdy stereotype more than Billy, the Blue Ranger. His role on the show was to be an egghead, despite the show’s heavy emphasis on solving problems by punching them. In the early episodes, people couldn’t even understand the way he talked. He needed someone else to translate his geek-speak into human words.

Being a nerd came with a lot of self-esteem issues, especially in the 90s, before being “geeky” became cool. The Rangers addressed this often, but it was especially poignant in an episode called Dark Warrior. In this episode, Billy gets bullied by the disgustingly lovable Bulk and Skull (again). Finally, he’s had it. He decides to learn martial arts to defend himself. At the end of the episode, though, he doesn’t use his newfound skills to take down the bullies (Trini’s invisible uncle takes care of that). Instead, he says, “I really just needed to prove to myself that I could do it.” In the end, what he felt about himself was more important than what others felt about him.

This was one of the hardest things to learn once I started writing professionally. Writing for the internet is extremely public. For a long time, I wanted to write, but I was terrified of putting myself out there. Best case scenario, my work would be read by a lot of people, many of whom would probably hate and mock it. Worst case, it wouldn’t get read at all. Neither felt like it would be good for my self-esteem. It would be a lot safer to just do my boring office job and keep my work to myself.

Billy never would’ve done that, though. Billy wanted to be part of the team, to make himself better and take chances. For a shy, scrawny nerd, he did rather well for himself. As the show went on, Billy became a better fighter and a better communicator. Oh, and he invented all kinds of gadgets the team needed, including their communicators, teleporters, and a freaking flying car. Rather than let the opinions of other people push him around, he used his skills to make the team better. Sitting out the fight wasn’t an option.

This lesson took on an even more sombre note when I became an adult and found out why David Yost, the actor who played Billy, eventually left the show. Off screen, David was bullied for his sexuality by producers and other crew members. Knowing that he was bullied off screen just as much as on screen hurt the child in me. At the same time, it made the lesson I learned from him all the more powerful. Despite the abuse, he stuck around for nearly 200 episodes and a movie. He was the only ranger to appear in every single episode of the Mighty Morphin series, and he was the second-longest running ranger ever. Being pushed around, insulted, and mocked never convinced him to stop doing his best work.

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munchman: TV Viewership Down 10%; Industry Blames Streaming Video

Blame? Fuck “blame.” This TVWriter™ minion thinks streaming video deserves the credit:

oldtvby Chris Morran

Even though many of us have hundreds of channels to choose from on cable or satellite, we’re choosing to watch less live TV. But it’s not just because we’ve all decided to go outside and take up steeplechase; it has a little something to do with the availability of subscription streaming services.

The Wall Street Journal reports on a recent talk held by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau in which the trade group tried to assign blame for the drop-off in TV viewership over the last two years.

The reportedly CAB explained at this gathering that around 40% of recent ratings drops are a result of competition from services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Over the last few quarters, year-over-year viewership declines range from 9-12%. A recent research report from Nielsen claims that “the U.S. television industry is entering a period of prolonged structural decline,” due to consumers moving away from traditional commercial TV to streaming services with no, or fewer, commercials.

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munchman: Back in the Saddle Again…Sorta

by munchman

munchmanavatarlgYer ever-lovin’ not-so-blue-eyed munchero here after a bit of an absence cuz our Beloved Leader LB cancelled the “Love & Money Dept,” my beloved series of posts about TV pilot writing deals.

Well, beloved by me anyway, even though it was, for reasons I just can’t wrap my ambidextrous tongue around, the least-read feature of TVWriter™ for the last 2 1/2 years.

But now I’m hoping for a comeback, this time as TVWriter™’s Weekend Editor. In case you’ve been wondering about the tone of yesterday’s posts here, this weekend is my try-out, so keep clicking, peeps. Build up those views. Get your friends to click too, so I can get me a mess o’Unique Visitors and show Larry B that I may not have anything to say nor be very good at not saying it, but the interwebs lurve, lurve, lurve me nevertheless–

What? Oh, trying to hard? Yeppers, I guess I am. But this is TVWriter™! We’re talking Big Time Gig. Great on the resume. Ya gotta help me here, kids.

“For the love of God, Montresor…!”

Let the weekend continue!

munchman

munchman

WGAW March 2015 Calendar of Events

MUNCHMAN’S NOTE: Here ya go, WGAers, all the ways the Writers Guild of America, West can come up with to keep you happy, healthy, and wise this month.

Whoa, munchikins almost wrote “…this mouth” instead of “month” above. What can that mean?

Anyway:

wgaw-march-calendar

Read the clickable version HERE

TV & Film Development Executive Wanted

FrontStreetCapture

by munchman

This is a real ad, all you Canadian creative geniuses, so go for it:

Established Vancouver-based Film and Television production company is currently seeking a Head of Development to oversee both its current and future slate of projects. Development activities will be focused primarily on independent features and dramatic and limited series for the Canadian, US and international markets.

As the Head of Development you will oversee in-house and third party projects, maintain talent and agency relationships, manage broadcast and distribution relationships, prepare funding applications and cost reports, acquire intellectual property and drive new business opportunities.

The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, exceptionally well-organized, comfortable in leadership roles and have some background in physical production. Practical experience should include: writing or working with writers, a strong story sense, an ability to work across a variety of genres, a working knowledge of the international independent film and television markets and some experience with business affairs and/or funding applications.

This position should be seen as a potential path to producing and will require a minimum 1-year commitment.

Salary is negotiable based on experience. A moving allowance may apply should re-location be required.

Qualified candidates should send a resume and cover letter along with references to: info@frontstreetpictures.com.

Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. All applications will be held in the strictest of confidence.

Don’t know who/what Front Street Pictures is? Here’s what their website has to say:

Front Street Picture Inc. is an innovative production company that produces high quality independent films and made for television motion pictures for worldwide distribution. The head office is established in Vancouver, British Columbia and specializes in providing a full range of services to the film and television industries. In addition to developing and producing in house productions, the company offers a wide range of financial, production and creative services to production partners all over the world.

Front Street’s in-house business infrastructure works closely with producers and production companies to prepare accurate budgets, schedules and a tax credit analyses that reflect real costs and savings. After delivery, the company will process all the cost reports, year end and final tax credit applications to assure maximum outcomes.

Front Street Pictures adheres to British Columbia’s Production Services Tax Credit (PSTC) program, an economic initiative designed to encourage production activity in BC. This program provides a 33% basic productions services tax credit in Vancouver’s “Studio” filming zone for BC based labor costs. Filming beyond the zone, Producers can qualify for additional regional credits of 6% or a Distant Regional credit for up to 12%. Furthermore, the Canadian Federal Tax credits offer a rebate of 16% for Production Service or 25% for Productions, however these percentages are subject to “grind” and it is encouraged for applicants to research eligibility and criteria at www.bcfm.ca.

Additionally, the Film Incentive BC (FIBC) economic initiative program focuses on Canadian controlled projects and provides a refundable corporate income tax that includes: a Basic Tax credit of 35%, a Regional Credit of 12.5%, a Distant Location Regional credit of 18.5%, Training for 30% and Digital Animation or Visual Effect (D.A.V.E) at 17.5%.

The potential tax credit savings combined with the company’s considerable internal efficiencies allow Front Street to provide greater financial reserves over any other location in North America, including our local competitors.

The Company’s high level of production activity has allowed it to maintain a “turn-key” office and production infrastructure. Front Street has trained and cultivated world class crews that help create a positive and efficient atmosphere. Through these relationships it has the ability to stay competitive by consolidating costs to help achieve the creative and financial goals of our production clients.

For More Information

Copies of the Tax Credit guidelines, legislation, regulation and application forms may be obtained from British Columbia Film and Media website (www.bcfm.ca)

Good luck, future D-Girls and Boys. Oh, and if you give this a shot, please write in and let us know how it goes.

munchman: ADVENTURE TIME is on its way to the Big Screen

Not our Beloved Leader Larry Brody but an astonishing look - & sound -  alike!

Not our Beloved Leader Larry Brody but an astonishing look – & sound – alike!

by munchman

Yeppers, gang, Hollywood Reporter and Deadline, et al, have reported that everybody’s favorite totally crappy, cheap-assed sorta kids’ TV series is being developed into a feature film by Warner Brothers, which – of course – also owns the Cartoon Network where the show currently is shown.

ADVENTURE TIME is a totally nonsensical piece of drivel created by Pendleton Ward and follows the absolutely nonsensical adventures of Finn, a 12 year old boy drawn to look like, well, I dunno what those pictures look like, and his best friend, a dog named Jake. Together, they protect the Land of Ooo. At least, that’s what all the press releases say, but although the show has a lot of very vociferous fans including yer friendly neighborhood munchman meself, I have to admit that I have never figured out what’s going on in any episode because ADVENTURE TIME is a series that depends entirely on its audience already knowing the story and therefore being able to nod and wink and go nudge nudge.

So why does Warners want to make this into a film? I think it’s because contrary to the old saying “Never bullshit a bullshitter,” the bullshitters at Warners (AKA the execs who bought it) have in fact bought into the hipness of this fercochte show. And, truth to tell, muncherito thinks that’s wonderful, cuz if  Pendleton Ward and ADVENTURE TIME can make it into the branded tentpole circuit, so can we and whatever we create.

Gentlemen, start your P.R. engines!