WGA Strike Authorization Vote Results

Like they say in The Lion King, “And so it begins.”

Maybe. Remember, we’re not walking the picket lines yet.

Anyway, here’s the email sent by the WGA late yesterday afternoon:

April 24, 2017

Dear Colleague–

The results of our strike authorization vote are now in.

96.3% of you have voted YES.

6,310 ballots were cast. 67.5% of eligible WGA members voted, a historic turnout.

We thank you for your resolve and your faith in us as your representatives. We are determined to achieve a fair contract.

Talks will resume tomorrow.

Your 2017 Negotiating Committee

Chip Johannessen, Co-Chair
Chris Keyser, Co-Chair
Billy Ray, Co-Chair

Alfredo Barrios, Jr.
Amy Berg
Adam Brooks
Patti Carr
Zoanne Clack
Marjorie David
Kate Erickson
Jonathan Fernandez
Travon Free
Howard Michael Gould
Susannah Grant
Erich Hoeber
Richard Keith
Warren Leight
Damon Lindelof
Glen Mazzara
Alison McDonald
Jonathan Nolan
Zak Penn
Luvh Rakhe
Shawn Ryan
Stephen Schiff
David Shore
Meredith Stiehm
Patric M. Verrone
Eric Wallace
Beau Willimon
Nicole Yorkin

Howard A. Rodman, WGAW President, ex-officio
Michael Winship, WGAE President, ex-officio
David A. Goodman, WGAW Vice President, ex-officio
Jeremy Pikser, WGAE Vice President, ex-officio
Aaron Mendelsohn, WGAW Secretary-Treasurer, ex-officio
Bob Schneider, WGAE Secretary-Treasurer, ex-officio
Writers Guild of America, West
7000 West Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone (323) 951-4000 • Fax (323) 782-4800 • www.wga.org

Solidarity!

Javier Grillo-Marxuach Wants Us To See His Portfolio

by Team TVWriter™ Press Service

“…an over-the-top, sixteen-car-pileup-sugar-popped-cereal-bowl of a series that’s not afraid to be everything your mother warned you about television: a cartoonishly extreme, randomly fantastic, special-effects laden, three-fisted walking-and-talking toy-line advertisement of an action-adventure-sci-fi comic book in which the fabric of reality barely survives in the end, and the journey invariably reveals a completely surreal strangeness behind everything we hold to be true.”

Javier Grillo-Marxuach pitch for The Middleman. as quoted on TV Tropes

JAVIER GRILLO-MARXUACH is a prolific writer of television, movies, comic books, essays, and interactive media. Javi probably is best known as one of the Emmy Award-winning producers of Lost or as creator of the the comic book and ABC Family television series The Middleman.

Having just wrapped work as consulting producer on season 2 of MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles, Javi is currently developing projects for both broadcast and cable, as well as feature film, and in effort to reach out to newbies and, you know, teach us all a something or five, he has created a website filled with samples of his work and nutritious, delicious downloads of same.

If this appeals to you half as much as it does to us, you definitely should hie thyselves over to The Grillo-Marxuach Experimental Design Bureau, aka okbjgm.weebly.com NOW. Tell Javi TVWriter™ sent you. That’s probably not something he’ll give you a prize for, but maybe we will…and if so we’ll be sure to sendja a great big thanks.

Meanwhile, we’re happy to send our own Great Big Thanks to Javier Grillo-Marxuach for putting up his wonderful website…oh, and for The Middleman too. Big fans here, know what we mean?

Incidental Comics Poster Giveaway!

TVWriter™ fave Grant Snider’s new book, The Shape of Ideas, An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity will be out in just a few weeks, and if you pre-order now you’ll receive a high-resolution downloadable poster of “Play Each Day Like Jazz,” the cartoon we’ve posted on the right!

Find out more about the book and all its glory HERE

Check out the free poster HERE

What? You’re still on this page? You didn’t click away via one of the above links yet? What the %#@! are ya waitin’ for?

Diana Vacc sees “Prison Break” Season 5 Episode 2 “Kaniel Outis”

by Diana Vaccarelli

—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT–

On April 11, 2017, Prison Break: Episode 2 Kaniel Outis aired.  In this episode Michael contacts Lincoln through a young boy who delivers a note that tells Lincoln to find the “Sheik of Light,” who will help Michael escape from Ogygia Prison. Meanwhile, Sarah develops her own investigation into Michael and has an uneasy reunion with Paul Kellerman, who now works for the State Department.

THE GOOD:

  • Writer/Creator Paul T. Scheuring brings us an episode with intense action scenes. One of my favorites is when Lincoln is searching for the Sheik and is involved in a fight to help innocent children escape an abandoned building – and the whole thing turns into a car crash! Watching this scene, I was on the edge of my seat with my fingers crossed the whole time. Another great action scene that made me feel the pain occurs when Michael schemes his way into the prison infirmary to gain pain killers and is beaten by the guards. 
  • Again we are treated to exceptional performances. Each actor brings new levels and surprise to the characters.  Dominic Purcell, who plays Lincoln Burrows, demonstrates his love and desperation while trying to convince Sheba, a local woman, to help him find the Sheik of Light. Wentworth Miller shocks us with the complexity he brings to Michael. The warm embrace between Michael and the terrorist leader when the terrorist comes out of solitary confinement shows us how much Michael has changed. And Sarah Wayne Callies, who portrays Sarah, clearly demonstrates the character’s inner conflict, especially when she meets with Paul Kellerman.       
  • I continue to admire how this show begins to answer questions and then develops more questions. It keeps you guessing and wanting more. 

THE BAD:

  • The only disapproval I have with this episode is how Michael Scofield is now friends with the Isil organization. What have you done, MICHAEL!? I feel a personal sense of betrayal but will stick it out at least until I learn…”WHY?”{ 

THE REST:

  • Being a diehard Prison Break fan I continue to be excited for each new episode.  I urge you to give this show a chance and am confident that if you do you’ll become a fellow fan with ME!!!

Diana Vaccarelli is TVWriter™’s Critic-at-Large and one of the finest people we know. Find out more about her HERE

Peggy Bechko’s World of Editing Your Writing

Cool image found at http://www.kristinethornley.com/about.html

by Peggy Bechko

Fun, isn’t it?

Not really.

In this post I’m going to talk about a new way of editing I’ve discovered. Yes, we all have spellcheck, some of us use Grammarly. Go ahead, Google that one if you’re interested. It nicely underlines perceived spelling and grammatical errors. Very helpful.

But here’s what I’ve discovered. Who knows, I may be behind the times and you may have already stumbled onto it. For Word, there’s a text-to-speech function called Speak. It really is well hidden. What the heck is that you ask? Well, you can highlight any text and the program reads it back to you. Not only that, but reads it to you in a clear, understandable voice. The voice I get is male, but I’ve heard some get female.

No matter.

To get it functioning go to top left of your Word program. It’s on the very top tool bar. There’s a very small downward pointing arrow which, when you hover over it says, “customize quick access toolbar”. That’s what you want to do. For instructions clearer than mine you can watch this quick YouTube video:

If you think my instructions will suffice, then click on that downward arrow I mentioned. When the dropdown window appears, click on More Commands. Then, in the window change the Popular Commands to Commands Not In The Ribbon. Then scroll down (alphabetically) to “Speak”. Highlight Speak and click the ‘add’ button in the middle and see it added to the list to the right. That’s it. A new small icon should appear on that top ribbon just to the left of the downward arrow you clicked earlier.

Now what?

All you have to do is highlight the section of text you want read out loud, click the icon and it will read your writing back to you.

If I’m not working in word (I use Movie Magic Screenwriter for my scripts) I copy and paste the section of the script I want read back to me into word, highlight and click the Speak icon. Works great!

Why? What good is this you ask. Hearing words spoken while seeing them utilizes different parts of the brain and you catch many ore errors and glitches. It really makes errors pop much more efficiently than simply proofreading visually. All in all, a big help. And you can stop the reading by clicking the Speak button again.

The downside? If you’re working with accents, it’s not going to pick them up. Occasionally you can run into context problems such as using a phrase like “run like the wind” vs. “wind the clock”. And it can mess up abbreviations such as St. John or money St. Still, I’ve really liked using it and it has made editing much easier.

For the script writer it’s great to hear the words spoken, to get a feel for the rhythm and cadence.

Oh, and it’s possible to adjust the pitch, speed and volume of the voice in your computer by getting into the settings through your control panel. Find your Narrator by using the search bar (in Windows 10 the “ask me anything” search bar bottom left). When the window opens click on “Narrator Settings”. You can choose the voice – mine is “David”. I can adjust the speed, volume and pitch of ‘David’s’ voice there. Oh, and I have ‘intonation pauses’ turned on.

Really. Try it. You’ll be surprised at how many more errors you pick up and clean up when you have your work read back to you.


Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her sensational career HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Dogs Protect You From Death’

Walk into the light

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

Life with the Navajo Dog was always special.  She wasn’t exactly the friendliest bitch in the pack. In fact, most of the time it was clear that there was only one other living being for whom she had positive feelings, and his initials were LB. But still, she shared the middle years of her life with another canine, and defended and taught him as well as me. They even worked together from time to time, and it was on one such occasion that I learned the following lesson:


Dogs Protect You From Death

Dogs protect you from Death.

I know it. I saw.

I was pumping water from the well when I heard

Barking over by the gate. A sleek black presence

Stood outside it, on four massive paws. All shadows

It was, even at midday, and the eyes–

Ah, It was the eyes gave it away, They

Were like holes, pools of blackness,

The darkest and grimmest of the

Creature’s dark and grim parts.

The presence stalked from one side of the

Gate to the other, the ground shaking with

Each step, and its massive head lowered,

And pushed at the chain. But try as it might,

Death couldn’t enter that day.

Both my dogs were there waiting,

And they knew exactly what they faced.

Hair bristling, teeth snapping, the dogs sounded their

Defiance in voices deeper

Than even Death dared to go.

The shadow hesitated, as though in great surprise,

And flickered like a candle at its end.

Still the dogs barked, until at last

The monster tucked in its tail, and turned,

Ran. I hurried to the dogs,

To thank and reassure them,

But they were celebrating already,

By lying down to bask in the sun.

Someday dark Death will return, I am certain,

But not until after D’neh and Boomer are gone.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. 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.

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – April 24, 2017

Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our 5 most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

Richard Kimble Was Guilty

Kelly Jo Brick: The Write Path With SCANDAL’s Raamla Mohamed – Part Two

LB: Where Did THE FALL GUY Live?

‘Trial And Error’ is Trying My Patience

And our 5 most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

The Logline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT

Online TV and Film Writing Workshop

The Teleplay

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!