Web Series: “Every Woman’s Dream “

TVWriter™ is overcome with joy at being able to present this announcement from our Very Talented Friends at Comedy High. (No, really, we are. We love these peeps):

jeseniaby TVWriter™ News Service

It’s the modern-day Cleopatra-Meets-Freaky-Adina-Howard, as Valerie Whaley (played by comedian, Jesenia) enjoys feather fans, hot men, and massages in the very sexy season finale of “Shlongologues: The Web Series”, with episode 10: brag. Watch here:

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???Shlongologues: The Web Series is a provocatively refreshing MALE twist on The Vagina Monologues featuring NY’s best up-and-coming talent created by Comedy High.

Comedy High Productions was created in 2013 by two women from the Bronx (Jenni Ruiza and Jesenia) who create a unique kind of female-driven comedy that’s intelligently risqué. They’ve produced “Latino Stereotypes for Dummies” – a sketch challenging Lorne Michaels to hire a Latina in their cast, “Carrot Cake” – a Dump Trump musical parody, and the web series, “Becoming Ricardo” with Lisa Lisa (of Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam)!

As we wrap our first season, we’d love your help in getting the word out about our series with either a quick mention, a review, or featuring the series on your site.

We can’t have success without you – so let’s do this!

11 Laws of Great Storytelling

The Adelaide (that’s in Australia, kids) Screenwriter Blog is layin’ down the law, amigos. It behooves us to obey or face the consequences:


Writers are special people in some ways, and just like the rest of humanity in others. We like tips, and tricks, and formulas that promise us insight. Sometimes these things help, sometimes they distract, and sometimes they mislead us, but just offer us another batch and we’ll be there, sniffing hungrily.

Jeffrey Hirschberg is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Television and Film Arts Program at Buffalo State College. A member of the Writers Guild of America and judge for the WGA awards, Jeffrey has been a professional screenwriter for eighteen years and has written and/or created shows for Showtime Networks, Lifetime Television, and ABC. He has worked at NBC, Viacom, and Warner Bros. Then he wrote a book called Reflections of the Shadow: Creating Memorable Heroes and Villains for Film and TV. The following list of insights are taken from that book.

Throughout my eighteen years of screenwriting I have read and analyzed thousands of scripts from writers of all levels. During this time, I discovered eleven Laws of Great Storytelling – trends that tend to exist in many of the most memorable stories of all time. Of course, creating unforgettable heroes and villains is an integral part of all the Laws and should always be in the forefront of your mind as a writer.

So while it is impossible to have a foolproof objective formula for a great story, I have learned that if certain principles are followed, the probability of your story achieving a modicum of greatness increases dramatically. With this disclaimer firmly in place, here goes: 

  1. Assume everyone has A.D.D.

There has never been a greater truism in Hollywood. While I am guilty of playing dime store psychologist, one does not need a PhD in Clinical Psychology to conclude that audiences (that means us) tend to have short attention spans.

Now, we can argue there are certain external factors contributing to a population of diminishing attention spans (MTV, video games, text messaging, IM, and the Internet to name a few possible culprits), but it is safe to say that the attentiveness (or lack thereof) of the audience is directly related to its ability to make a successful emotional connection – and that connection must be made quickly, or you will lose your audience even more quickly.

Readers, like moviegoers, need to be entertained very quickly.

  1. Spend most of your time on the first ten pages of your script.

In Gladiator, we are immediately engaged as we are introduced to our hero – General Maximus – and the respect he commands from the Roman army. Add an action-packed, bloody opening battle to the mix, and we are sold.
In Pulp Fiction, the first ten pages of the script feature a restaurant robbery and the prophetic musings of two unforgettable hit men. The dialogue is fresh, imaginative, and unrelenting in its pace and originality. If you are a reader perusing the screenplay, you undoubtedly want to continue turning the page.

When you are finished with your script, give the first ten pages to a group of friends or family you trust. Then ask each of them one simple question: “Do you want to read more?” If the overwhelming response is in the affirmative, you are on the right road to writing a memorable screenplay.

  1. Write roles to attract movie stars

Create a memorable hero or villain and chances are you just might attract a movie star to your script. Why? Because characters like the heroes and villains featured in my book are unique, intelligent, and intriguing people with magnetism to spare. Who wouldn’t want to play Hans Gruber, Norma Rae Webster, Hannibal Lecter, Ellen Ripley, or Gordon Gekko?…

Read it all at Adelaide Screenwriter

Win a Writing Retreat in Iceland

Iceland isn't all ice and snow (that's Greenland). There're also rainbows.

Iceland isn’t all ice and snow (that’s Greenland). There’re also rainbows.

by Team TVWriter™ Press Service

Iceland Writers Retreat is offering one talented writer plane tickets to Iceland and a free delegate’s ticket to its April program.

In addition to a round-trip airfare, the winner will receive a full retreat package including accommodation, tours, most meals and all workshops for the duration of the retreat which runs from 13 to 17 April 2016. The flights must be from a direct destination and the package does not include airport transfers, travel insurance or visas (if required).

The successful candidate must demonstrate that he or she does not have the financial means to attend the conference without this award. Candidates do not need to be professional writers, but should be serious about the craft and interested in developing their skills and contacts.

In order to apply writers need to provide:

  • a short statement about themselves including their background, goals and professional experience
  • a short statement about why they wish to attend the Iceland Writers Retreat
  • an explanation of their financial status
  • information about whether they have applied to other funding sources to contribute to the costs of the trip
  • details about how, if successful, they would share their experience with other writers
  • two writing examples (which may be published or unpublished)
  • two written references (to be sent directly to the organisers)

Applications close on Friday 6 November and all supporting materials, including written references, must be supplied by this date.  Entry is free. Full info is HERE.

Larry Brody: Scorsese, Winters et al take on the Golden Age of Rock in HBO’s VINYL


by Larry Brody

But are they getting it right?

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The club stuff looks accurate, but the rest? Feels to me like every other TV attempt to show the “real” music biz. My memory of that era is that everything – and I mean everything – took place in the dark.

Why, I remember the time when….

Kelly Jo Brick: The Write Path With Dean Batali, Part 2

A series of interviews with hard-working writers
by another hard-working writer!

by Kelly Jo Brick

Batali Headshot (dark bg)Aspiring writers often wonder how the pros got where they are. The truth is, everyone’s story is different, but there are some common elements: dedication, persistence and hard work.

Writer Dean Batali’s Hollywood career began with a brief stint counting money for the Central Vault at Universal Studios and led to writing for shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, That ‘70s Show, What’s Up Warthogs and Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch. Through all his experience, he credits much of his start to a mythical Hollywood mailroom job and Froot Loops.


This is something that I heard while I was a PA and it sort of has become my mantra and that is, if it’s your job to keep the coffee pot full, keep it full better than anybody else and you’ll get noticed. It seems really simplistic. I don’t even like coffee, but I’ve hired and worked with probably 20 or 30 PAs and half of them couldn’t keep the coffee pot full. And what I learned is, you just have to do the task you’re assigned better than anybody else and with a better attitude than anybody else.

It wasn’t until a couple years that I was working where I heard somebody say it about success in Hollywood. I was a PA on a sitcom starring Julie Andrews, which nobody has ever heard of because it really wasn’t very good, but I noticed that the writers really liked Froot Loops and we writers hate being at work, because it’s 12 hours a day in rooms full of dysfunctional people and the task is always at hand, but one of our great joys is the kitchen where there’s free candy and free cereal.

So I always kept a box of Fruit Loops in the cupboard and one day a writer came in and finished off the box and got like half a bowl and said, “Dean we’re out of Froot Loops.” And I said, “No we’re not.” And I reached into the cupboard, pulled out another box and handed it to him and he looked at me like I was handing him the Holy Grail.

I’m convinced that moment led to my success in the future because I think he thought, if this guy is aware enough to take care of our needs with Froot Loops, maybe I can trust him in the writers’ room. Within a week, I was actually in the writers’ room. It was my first time in the writers’ room holding the pen while they were breaking the story and that allowed me to say in my next job, “Yeah, I’ve been in the writers’ room kinda breaking story a little bit.” So I really think it’s that coffee pot thing. It’s learning to notice other’s needs before they ask for them.


A general meeting is get to know one another and see if you have similar sensibilities. And generally, what I do is ask questions about the other person. In the age of Google you can find out their resume and find out if you have any things in common.

Show meetings are a little bit different and I can count on one hand the number of show meetings I went to that I think were really handled well because it’s a job interview. They should be asking things like what can you bring to this show? Really what they’re discovering is, is this a person I want to spend 10 hours a day with? What is their energy level? What are their sensibilities? Do they make me think? Do they make me laugh?

If it’s a comedy meeting, I know it’s my job to slip a joke or two in there. But I don’t try to be forced. I’ve been on the other side of the desk now and you can see people come in just really forced, like they’re there to impress. I just go in with this is who I am and this is what I can bring. But when I am on a staffing meeting, I do try to force the issue a little bit so if they don’t ask me what I’m going to bring into the job, I’ll say, “On ‘70s Show we wrote a total of more than 500 different stories,” and just talk about how I’ve been in the room when lots of stories have been broken and kinda what my role was, that I tend to cut a lot of scenes and everybody would get kind of annoyed with me because I’d want to cut a scene just to save stuff, but that’s what I bring to the room.

A general meeting really is, who is this person? What are they like? What kind of TV or movies do they like? And sometimes it’s our responsibility in those meetings to get the right questions out. And again, people generally think it’s a good meeting if they talk about themselves. So figure out a natural way to talk about yourself. And also ask questions about the other person. Be curious.


They ask how to get an agent and I tell them, that’s the wrong question. I tell them the question should be how do I write the best script I can write. The second question is how do I get a job as a PA or writers’ assistant.

First off, if you write the best script possible, it will get passed around and it will get read and it will eventually get to people like me. And not that I’m some great pinnacle, it’s just that I tell a lot of my friends, “If you read a great script in your writers’ group, and it’s ready to go to an executive producer on a TV show, send it my way.”

That has to be a very high bar. I tell people don’t send me your first script. It wasn’t until I wrote my 7th spec script that it was good enough. I have another writer friend who says, “Send me 5 screenplays and tell me which one is the best and that’s the one I’ll read.” And that’s a fair point. You gotta write a lot of stuff. It’s going to get better, we hope it’s going to get better.

How to get those jobs as a PA and writers’ assistant is tough. You generally have to be in Hollywood. Although you can work outside of Hollywood and get experience, but if you want to be a TV writer specifically or a screenwriter, this is where the executives are. This is where the agents are.

Take any job working for anybody in Hollywood. Walking their dog. Working at Universal Studios in the vault. You’re going onto a lot everyday. You’re going to meet other people. Tell everybody you know what you want to do. Everybody knows somebody who knows somebody and temping is a good way to do it. Interning if you can afford it. About 25-30% of the people I know got their first full-time job from temping.

You gotta give yourself at least 5 years. It’s going to be two years until you can even figure out if I’m making any headway, if I’m meeting people, and 5 years in until you’re saying am I farther along than I was. I do think you have to be honest year to year. Am I moving along? Am I meeting people? Am I getting closer? But it may take 5 years to get that entry-level job.


Get a writers’ group. I had a writing partner fairly quickly, so I was always writing in community with someone. You gotta get your stuff read by other people and you gotta read it out loud. As a playwright, I already had 3 or 4 of my shows produced, so I knew that my jokes were making people laugh.

I meet a lot of comedy writers who never had their stuff performed. So how do you really know it’s working? And even hour long as well. We are writing scripts that are going to be read, but ideally they’re going to be spoken out loud. So get your stuff read out loud with your writers’ group, whether or not it’s putting acting groups together or just having scripts read out loud by your group. That’s what’s missing for most writers.

And I sort of slipped in that it was my 7th script thing, that’s just so key. You have to be looking a few scripts down the road. Accept that the first few scripts you write are going to be crap. If you accept that they’re going to be crap, you have the freedom to not make them perfect. That was good. My next one is going to be better. My next one is going to be better than that. And if they’re not getting better then that’s a problem. It’s hard for me to even evaluate if somebody’s a writer until they’ve written at least 3 scripts. And I can go, “Yeah, this is coming along. You show some potential here.”

You have to be really honest about your writing and you have to really push people to be honest with you. Is this good enough? Are you laughing? A smile isn’t enough if it’s a comedy. Are you laughing here or is it as good as a current script that’s on the air? And you really have to ask people to be brutal with you, because otherwise you’re just not going to get better.

Kelly Jo Brick is a Contributing Editor at TVWriter™. She’s a television and documentary writer and producer, as well as a winner of Scriptapalooza TV and a Sundance Fellow. Read more about her HERE.

Larry Brody sees CON MAN


by Larry Brody






CON MAN, short for “convention man” brings us a fictionalized, exaggerated (I hope), and funny version of Alan Tudyk’s life and career post FIREFLY and SERENITY. If you know what that first sentence means, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy this crowd-funded series now appearing on Vimeo. If you don’t, then the hell with you.

CON MAN isn’t free. It costs fifteen bucks to rent all 13 episodes (and a couple of extras) as they’re released over 4 weeks. The first 4 10-15 minute episodes went online last week. The next 3 will join them tomorrow, and you’ll have a grand total of 3 months over which to watch the entire run of this, the most in of all “in” shows.

Hey, are you still sitting here? Beat it! Get thee to this convenient location and ante the hell up!

Thanks, Vimeo, for starting this very interesting little “vimeo ON DEMAND” thing.

Read more about how CON MAN came to be.

See what you can for free:

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