Are You Ready for Stareable Fest 2018?

As regular visitors probably already know, one of TVWriter™’s  favorite websites dedicated to helping creators of web series (and viewers of same) is Stareable.Com – conveniently located at (aw, you guessed it) https://stareable.com/

Stareable has helped thousands of independent filmmakers hone their craft, meet their peers, and get recognition through its discovery platform, online forum, and in-person meetups.

We’ve said a bit about this before, but we want to remind y’all that the gang at Stareable is bringing it all together in the real world with a two day celebration of excellence in independent television, focused on taking creators’ careers to the next level.

Stareable Fest 2018 will be held July 20-22, 2018, at Town Stages, Tribeca, New York City, NY.

Submissions are open right now, with an Early Deadline set for February 28th. Further info about such aspects as categories, awards, sponsors et al – which we just know you have to have – is HERE

Seeya there?

Let’s !EXPLODE! Some Writing Myths!!!

Whoa, would you look at that. An article heading with five exclamation points in one sentence. That must be against the rules of English writing.

Or maybe not…cuz the rulez we all know may not be what we think. In other words, it’s infographic time! (That exclamation is, of course, absolutely necessary. Right?)

Oh wait. Gee…not a word here about exclamation point usage. Guess that’s for the second ten.

TVWriter™ found this at one of our favorite writing sites, Writers Write

And they in turn found it HERE

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Semi-Finalists!

26th PEOPLE’S PILOT SEMI-FINALISTS
For contest ending November 1, 2017

COMEDY SERIES SEMI-FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

ADORBZ by Marci Buehler

ALLENTOWN by Terry Gehring

BEARD MOUNTAIN by Erica Lies

BITCHES IN SEASON by Sasha Feiler

CHOSEN by Cody Varney

CON HEADS by Steve Boudreault

GFA (GREAT F’ING ADVICE) by George Tonelli

MADE TO ORDER by Dan Ingram

SINGLE SEX by Claire Bostrom

THE CHEDDARBOX EXPRESS by Allie Theiss

THE PINSTRIPED PRIMATES by Kenneth Kleeman

THE WINTER WHITE HOUSE by Merdith Bagby

TIL DEATH DOES PART US by Terry Gehring

TRINITY LOFT by Roland Zistler

DRAMA & ACTION SERIES SEMI-FINALISTS
(alphabetically)

AFTER WE FALL by Gustave Cadet & Jacob Chattman

CONNECTION by Jace Lacob

DRIVEN by Susan Hippen

NORIEGA by Juan Francisco de la Guardia

ORLONDSKI IS MISSING by Hank Isaac

SHADOWS by Anne Marie Caluwaert

SIDEKICK: THE RED RAPTOR FILES by Christopher Valin

SONS OF WITCHES by Eugene Ramos

STRUCK by Elaine F. Chekich

SUPER by Kathryn Graham

THE CHOIR SINGER by Barry M. Putt Jr.

THE MEEK by Steven Zurline

THE NAKED EYE by Sean Skelton

THE SHARP CO. by Joe Lee

THE STRANGE REALITY OF SALLY PARKER by Diana Black

TO BE SEEN by Susan Hippen

WRECKAGE by Ryan Stack


TVWriter™ congratulates all the Semi-Finalists. Your work is awesome.

We keep saying this, but that’s because it’s true: This time around, the overall quality of the entries greatly exceeded our expectations. Last year, we explained how difficult it was for the judges to make their decisions by pointing out that literally every Semi-Finalist in that year’s competition could have been a Top 5 placer in previous runnings of the PEOPLE’S PILOT. This year, the same holds true.

This time around, the median entry score in the Comedy Script category was a whopping 7.95, while the median Drama & Action category score was  7.75. The competition in the upper atmosphere of entries was especially strong in Drama & Action, with 5 different scripts scoring 9.00 points or more out of a possible 10.00 and the cut-off point for Semi-Finalists was an incredibly high 8.40.

Inasmuch as the PEOPLE’S PILOT considers a score of 7.00 as signifying Professional quality, it’s clear that on the whole the PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 entries were Very Professional Indeed.

In short, we believe that all of those who entered this year should be very proud of themselves…and hope that at the very least all of the Semi-Finalists above will treat themselves to the most awesome celebration they can!

NEXT WEEK: The 2017 PEOPLE’S PILOT Finalists

Secrets of the TV writers’ room: inside Narcos, Transparent and Silicon Valley

Everything – within reason – that we’ve all wanted to know about how some of the top shows on TV are written today. Let’s put it together for showrunners Eric Newman, Jill Soloway, and Alec Berg, not to mention the kindly folk at The Guardian.

by Tim Adams

Every age creates its signature way of telling and consuming stories. The Jacobeans had the blood and lust of popular tragedy. The Victorians had the great social novel. The 1960s had new journalism. The chosen form of our own age is the downloaded serial drama. While the energy and ambition of screenwriters was for nearly a century invested in two-hour feature films, for the past 10 years, ever since The Wire and The Sopranos and The West Wing showed what might be possible, it has been in the 10-hour arcs, and annual seasons of streamed drama.

Those shows – Scandi-noir, Game of Thrones (and its progeny), Breaking Bad and the rest – have created a new kind of relation between creators and viewers. The stories are made not only for total immersion, but also presuppose the potential for binge-watching. Since Netflix started uploading whole series, days and nights are lost to the “just one more episode” of unfolding dramas, in the way that we might once have been invited to lose ourselves in books.

The idea of bingeing on drama has some negative connotations, but the facts suggest that far from seeing this habit as time wasted, we tend to think of it as fulfilling in the way that time devoted to great fiction always was. In 2013, Netflixdid a study into why 73% of viewers felt overwhelming feelings of comfort when immersed in these dramas. The company sent an anthropologist, Grant McCracken, into viewers’ homes to discover the reasons for this: “TV viewers are no longer zoning out as a way to forget about their day, they are tuning in, on their own schedule, to a different world. Getting immersed in multiple episodes or even multiple seasons of a show over a few weeks is a new kind of escapism that is especially welcome.” The usual attention deficit of the internet was replaced by something more complex and satisfying.

The huge demand for such shows and the intense rivalry between Netflix and Amazon, in particular, to create has led to a new kind of mythologised creative space: the writers’ room. The creative pressures of producing multiple series of 10-hour dramas in short order have changed the dynamic of traditional scriptwriting practice. Rather than pairs of writers, or single auteurs, the collective and the collaborative is not only prized but essential.

As favourite shows build their own addictive fanbases – more fragmented than the audience for broadcast TV ever was, but often more cultishly engaged – the writers’ room, the place where the drama begins and ends, has become the subject of intense curiosity and scrutiny. The room is largely an American creation, a development of the comedy bunkhouses that produce The Simpsons or Saturday Night Live. Inevitably there are websites and blogs and memes devoted to gossip about these sacred and profane spaces, places to get a fix of favourite dramas before the next series is uploaded. Some shows – Orange Is the New Blackand The Good Wife pioneered the practice – provide the backstory to the genesis and creation scenes in live Twitter feeds, with whiteboards and interview links and photos.

What they mostly reveal is that having ideas – even in groups – and writing them up into scripts is no less painful and laborious than it ever was, but that it now has a kind of endless forward motion….

Read it all at The Guardian

Live in the L.A. Area? JOIN THE WGAW FOR THE WOMEN’S MARCH

Writers need to do more than sit and write. We need to live active, caring, involved and strong lives. TVWriter™ highly recommends the following involvement:

John August’s Writer Emergency Pack

Found: The Christmas gift you wish your BFF had given you! Fortunately, even though we’re already marching through January, it isn’t too late.

John August, one of the most successful screenwriters ever (want proof? click HERE), still has a few deck of his Writer Emergency Pack left from the holidays, and you probably can talk him into selling you one, or maybe even two.

WTF are we talking about?

Glad you asked. Here’s the dope, straight from the horse (that would be the illustrious Mr. August)’s mouth:

Writer Emergency Pack is a deck full of useful ideas to help get your story back on track.

Creative writing can be challenging. When you’re working on a story, you’re not just trying to decide what word comes next, but what idea comes next.

It’s easy to get stuck.

Writers have many techniques for pushing past these problems — little nudges and prompts to help get the story clicking.

Writer Emergency Pack is a curated collection of some of the most useful suggestions I’ve encountered. It’s by writers, for writers.

The cards themselves are designed to be practical, and “immediately useful” to anybody writing fiction. They focus on story, character, and conflict, and include not only specifics on how to structure your work but also some really great (hey, we think they should all be framed) illustrations.

We at TVWriter™ believe the Emergency Pack is the next best thing to hanging out with a true master. Check ’em out – better yet, buy ’em for $19 plus shipping – HERE

Happy, erm, Emergency Packing!

LB’s Choices for the 2018 WGA Writing Awards

by Larry Brody

The 2018 Writers Guild Awards will be  given out next month. It’s pretty much a given that a lot of you won’t agree with me, but in the interests of total disclosure and all that hooey, here’s the Writers Guild Award ballot I just filled out:

By all means feel free to dispute my choices in the comments!