Droughtlander is OVER!!! Diana Vacc sees Outlander S03 “The Battle Joined”

by Diana Vaccarelli

—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—SPOILER ALERT—

Sunday September 10, 2017, Starz premiered season 3 of Outlander.   This episode follows Jamie hoping for survival during the Battle of Culloden as a pregnant Claire returns to life in the 1940’s.  As an avid fan of the series I was truly excited for its return and had high expectations after the previous two seasons.

THE GOOD:

  • The beginning of the episode is brilliant.  The writing, the directing, the acting certainly don’t disappoint.  It opens with bloody bodies lying on the ground of Culloden.  The focus comes to Jamie (Sam Heughan) whose eyes open slowly after being unconscious.  The episode fades to the beginning of the battle.  The transitions back and forth of Jamie lying on the ground with a dead Black Jack Randall (Tobias Menzies) on top of him to his recollections of the battle makes you feel so much emotion that you can’t help but cry the entire time.
  • The fight between Jamie (Heughan) and Black Jack (Menzies) is deeply personal and the perfect way to end “the devil himself” – Black Jack.  After all that Black Jack put Jamie through, it is fitting that Jamie be the one to take his nemesis’ life and was truly satisfying to watch.
  • Heughan is by far the MVP of the episode as his heroic Jamie shines.
  • Claire (Caitriona Balfe) has to re-adjust to life back with Frank (played also by Tobias Menzies).   Their marriage is one of convenience for Claire and Balfe beautifully plays a woman trapped in a domestic prison, without the man she loves.
  • I love how Menzies brings us a character who is forced to make a normal life with Claire and raise another man’s child.  Can’t be easy for any man, but Menzies makes Frank touchingly human, especially when, unable to contain himself any longer, he has it with Claire, telling her how much it hurts when she pulls away from him, which is, actually, every time he touches her.  This scene makes your heart ache for Frank.

THE BAD:

  • If you find something badly done here, please write and tell me. Because what I see is that Outlander and its creator Ronald D. Moore, have arrived at the perfection Moore has been striving for.

THE REST:

  • All I have to say is if you haven’t watched this series yet, what are you waiting for?

Diana Vaccarelli is TVWriter™’s Critic-at-Large and a student in the TVWriter™ Online Workshop. Find out more about her HERE

2017 Emmy Winners that Mean the Most to TVWriter™

Stars? Directors? Producers? Necessary evils, sez this TVWriter™ minion. Here are the Emmy Award winners we love most – the WRITERS!

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, The Americans – “The Soviet Division”
Gordon Smith, Better Call Saul – “Chicanery”
Peter Morgan, The Crown – “Assassins”
WINNER – Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale – “Offred”
The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things – “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”
Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, Westworld – The Bicameral Mind”

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
WINNER – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Late Night with Seth Meyers
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Donald Glover, Atlanta – “B.A.N.”
Stephen Glover, Atlanta – “Streets on Lock”
WINNER – Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, Master of None – “Thanksgiving”
Alec Berg, Silicon Valley – “Success Failure”
Billy Kimball, Veep – “Georgia”
David Mandel, Veep – “Groundbreaking”

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

David E. Kelley, Big Little Lies
WINNER – Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: San Junipero
Noah Hawley, Fargo – “The Law of Vacant Places”
Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan – “And the Winner Is…”
Jaffe Cohen, Michael Zam, and Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan – “Pilot”
Richard Price and Steven Zaillian, The Night Of – “The Call of the Wild”

Okay, okay, we really don’t want to leave out anybody. You can find a solid review of the show and all of last night’s winners HERE

Kelly Jo Brick: The Write Path With SUPERNATURAL’S Davy Perez, Part 1

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

by Kelly Jo Brick

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, hard work and not giving up.

Persistence and positive attitude were major influences in the development of Davy Perez’s career in entertainment.

Born and raised in East LA, and without much support for his writing and creative interests, Davy found himself getting into trouble, being kicked out of four different high schools because of his rambunctious and rebellious behavior.

Participation in a sketch group led to him studying acting where he eventually began to write sketch comedy before he turned his focus to writing drama. His first job was as a staff writer for the highly acclaimed TV show AMERICAN CRIME and he now writes for the CW series, SUPERNATURAL.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER?

I would write as young as about ten or twelve. I would write silly little short stories. At 13, I started writing poetry, as I became a teenager with angst. As a musician, I would write song lyrics. I kinda call that passive writing. I wasn’t really engaging it the way a writer consciously has something to say. It was just things coming out of me that I needed to almost like exorcise my own emotions and inner demons.

I started acting in high school in school plays. After high school I was in a sketch comedy group and someone said that I should pursue this. I didn’t want to go to college. I was always an artistic kind of individual. In East LA, nobody, at that time, tells you that you can have a career as an artist if you train and study. Nobody says, you’re good at writing. You should go hone that. They tell you to get your high school diploma, go to college, become a teacher, doctor, lawyer or engineer. Those are all good livings to have. If you’re an artistic person, there isn’t quite the support system in the neighborhoods that I grew up in. Which I imagine is probably true for a lot of inner city kids.

Somewhere inside of me, that always rubbed me as wrong that I wasn’t getting support for the things I wanted to do, so I had to find a way to do them on my own.

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET YOUR CREATIVE CAREER STARTED?

That’s where I linked up. That sketch group I was with was actually guys who were four or five years older than me. They thought I was funny and so they would use me for little things here and there. One of them told me there were acting schools I could go to. I went to the Stella Adler Academy. I was there for about a year and a half. From there I learned about the Playhouse West, which is a repertory school that at the time, James Franco was there. Scott Caan was there. It was like this cool place where all these known, name guys were coming out of. Jeff Goldblum was a teacher there. Funny enough, Mark Pellegrino was a teacher there, who is now on our show. I was part of that acting program for about four or five years.

At the advanced levels they start to have you write your own scenes. It was the first time where now me, as a creative person, was engaging writing with a mind for I need to tell a story. I need to have a scene. All the work I learned as an actor I still use as far as character arc, character spine, driving force behind moments and stuff like that.

I would say that the acting training has greatly influence not only my writing, but I’m also trying to be a multi-hyphenate and direct and that comes super handy.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST OVERALL JOB IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?

I was a background extra. I did that for years because I just wanted to be on set and part of the industry. After a while I realized this isn’t a good path if I really wanted to be an actor. They don’t pluck a background person very often and you don’t move up.

What I did like is just being on set and watching the crews work. I would watch the director and DP have conversations about how they would approach a scene. Very often I was told to stand back and go back to holding.

Eventually I became a PA. Then I was meant to be on set. I really worked my way up through production and got to a point where I almost had a career as a production coordinator or production manager. That ultimately wasn’t where my heart was and so I decided to take a step back from that and find a way to work in a creative office.

I was lucky enough, I applied to a program at ABC called the Production Associates Program. I don’t know if it exists anymore. It used to be that they get like ten recent college graduates and they put them through different departments. Someone would go to finance and someone would go to backlot. The year I applied, was the first year they were going to have someone do the creative office stuff. I met a lot of really great people and a lot of the executives and I had some support, but I didn’t get in.

The woman who did get in, got hired full-time four months after the process. They called me up and said, “You were our number two. You were our alternate. Do you want to do the program still?”

That was my first real television job in the creative field. From that moment, I can definitely point a finger to that was how I was able to break onto this side of things and eventually make my way to be in a writing office.

WHAT’S SOME OF THE BEST ADVICE YOU RECEIVED WHILE STARTING OUT?

This goes for not just the career, but for pitching. Specifically someone gave me this advice for when trying to sell a piece of property and also selling yourself and I took it and applied it to everything else. His name is Rob Aft. He’s a marketing guy. He helped connect different people in the film world.

He said, “People love to work with their friends”. Everyone loves to hire their friend. They know that person. They trust that person. When you go into a room, make a friend. Make as many friends as you can. It may not be about the thing you that have in your lap that you’re trying to sell. It may not be about that immediate thing, but if it is, great. If it works out, great, but if they pass or if they’re not ready or if you’re not ready, make that friend. It absolutely was how I got the job on AMERICAN CRIME, because of how I carried myself.

I would make friends with everyone and be friendly and always have a positive outlook, a positive attitude. Absolutely having that open and positive kind of energy to me is key to how I’ve been able to get where I am.

Coming Soon: Davy Perez shares how he got his first writing job and offers insights on taking meetings, finding representation and pursuing your writing goals.


Kelly Jo Brick is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. 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’s Poetry: ‘2 Short Takes’

“Poetry in motion…woo hoo….”

 by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB

A couple of short poems. Or at least they feel like poems to me. Notice that I said “poems” – a couple of times – instead of “poetry.” As what follows should tell you, that’s just my false modesty.


Spring Break

Life demands.

Life teaches.

The eternal semester!

With tuition constantly on the rise.

No scholarships are given,

And no student loans.

My last professor was a demon,

And the final was straight from hell,

But there’s no dropping out of the program,

As we all learn too well.

###

Having Answers Is Embarrassing

After years of searching, of believing only in the quest,

Having answers is embarrassing.

My unexpected knowledge seems infinite,

Perfect, wondrous in its wisdom,

And I hem, haw, and stutter with pride.

When this happens, the Navajo Dog

Laughs and rephrases the old questions

In ways I cannot understand,

So the hunt can begin anew!

###


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 – September 18, 2017

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

Indie Video: Who Says a Public Service Announcement Can’t Pull Your Heartstrings?

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

Kelly Jo Brick: Mastering the TV Writing Meeting

Web Series: ‘SIBS’ Goes Hollywood

Larry Brody’s Poetry: ‘Another Day, On The Pueblo’

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

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

The Outline/Story

The Logline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Enter

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!

The Rich are Different from You and Me

Mother of mercy, is this the end of our Twitter embed experiment?

Let us know what you think.

Inclusivity is the Name of the Game

This TVWriter™ minion certainly thinks it should be:

EDITOR’S NOTE: The image above was found on the site of The University of LaVerne, which obviously knows its stuff.