New YouTube Series Gives Us Untold Tales of Star Wars

Whoa, an authorized Star Wars Forces of Destiny is a YouTube web series…ands it’s canon!

Mother of mercy, is this the end of TV?

Yeah, the question was rhetorical, but the practical, all too real answer most probably is, “You betcha.”

Spend some time – not all that much because the episodes are roughly two and a half minutes each, binging on all 8 episodes HERE

Give thanks to Our Overlords at Disney in the comments. This TVWriter™ minion things the series is barely competent, artwise, and completely childish when it comes to the writing, but WTH? I think all the same of all the SW films and TV shows. Well, except for Star Wars Rebels. It’s awesome.

More about SWR is HERE

The Ongoing Search for Great Women’s Roles in TV

When this TVWriter™ minion took Larry Brody’s Online Workshop some months ago, he was always yakking about how we should “write roles that actors will want to play.”

The writer’s main job, LB stressed, was to “write to service the actors. Good roles are what good actors live for. Not only are great characters good for the script and the show and the stars, they’re also good for the writers because when you get down to it, being loved by actors is like having an all access pass for your burgeoning career.”

So, with that in mind, here’s a little ditty about just how much good new writers are needed. (Armed with this info, we’re sure it’s just a matter of time till you push your way to the front of the line.)

Brit Marling, creator, co-showrunner and star of THE OA has taken her career into her own hands.

by Randee Dawn

Katy Colloton, one of the six executive producer/writer/stars of TV Land’s “Teachers,” has an ongoing problem: She’s so good at separating her writing duties from her acting duties that more than one script she’s penned has left her dismayed on filming day.

“A lot of times I’ll get to set to do a scene and go, ‘Wait, I have to do this on camera?’” she says. “I forget I’m the one who’s going to have to have something squirted in her face, and I’m like, ‘I know I wrote that — but do I really have to do it?’”

First-World problems for a writer-star of any TV series, to be sure. But Colloton (along with her fellow “Teachers” multi-hyphenates Caitlin Barlow, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien and Kathryn Renée Thomas) is part of an intriguing “auteur” trend in television — a trend that is being led mostly by women (not necessarily all named some form of Kate).

Bored and turned off by the lesser two-dimensional (often) male-written roles available, a large number of women (more often in comedic roles than not) are writing their own tickets by creating their own series — consider Amazon’s “Fleabag,” the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” Netflix’s “The OA” and HBO’s recently ended “Girls” and Hulu’s soon-to-end “The Mindy Project.” And what they’re putting out there is turning heads and causing executives to rethink what it means to put women in charge of their own TV destinies.

“When you’re beginning as a young woman [in Hollywood], the parts available to you require some kind of moral or political compromise,” says Brit Marling, creator and executive producer (with Zal Batmanglij) and star of Netflix’s “The OA,” one of the few female penned-and-starring dramas. “You have to be willing to wade through the muck to get to meaningful stories….”

Read it all at Los Angeles Times

How to be a Unique Screenwriter

Some people say that the key to screenwriting success is to stick to the template established by other successful writers. “Don’t make waves.” “Don’t be original.” Time now to hear from someone who said “Stuff it!” to all that and, well, so far so good:

craig

How I Broke the Rules and Survived
by Craig D. Griffiths

ving a unique and compelling voice as a writer is something we all desire to have. Yet we are told (in forums and by so called gurus) that “We must follow the rules” to be a screenwriter, we must do everything exactly the same as everyone else.

People have looked at great screenwriting and found commonalities. However, commonality is not causality. Because if these common things are all that is needed to create a great script, writers wouldn’t be needed.

How the Rules came about

The rules came about by people looking at previous works and analyzing them to see what they could discover. (As far as I can see) Christopher Volger was credited with sending a memo that outlined some rules, which is what I think kicked off this entire rule concept.

This was intended as a way of quickly weeding out the vast number of bad scripts and making a studio’s workload less. It works, as bad writers do break these rules, but of course, so do some great writers.

People seem to point at the vast number of movies that comply with the rules, so therefore, the rules must be correct.

It is also a bit of a self-weeding garden, meaning that if everyone believes the rules must be followed, then all scripts and all movies would be following and complying with the rules.

The truth is, bad writing is just bad writing and squeezing it into some rules or structure would just make it well-structured bad writing, but there are commonalities between bad writing and good writing, which very few people are willing to admit or acknowledge.

As you can see by the graph above, Bad Writers and Great Writers don’t consider the rules when they are creating their work. They are focused on the work, but the only difference is that the great writers have craft and skill. It may be true that the rules outline the thousand-year-old patterns that have evolved in storytelling, but they are not rules. They are at best-accepted norms and as such are easy to recognise and are comfortable, but they are not mandatory, which is after all the definition of a rule.

What I have a problem with is people saying that things MUST happen or that you MUST never do something. Those are the rules that I think are wrong and don’t need repeating….

Read it all at Stage 32

The Week at TVWriter™ – May 2, 2016

In case you’ve missed what’s happening at TVWriter™, the most popular blog posts during the week ending yesterday were:

Peggy Bechko’s World: Do You Wanna Be a Writer?

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

LB: TV Series I’ve Given Up On This Year

John Ostrander: Radical TV Surgery

Web Series: MONICA

And our most visited permanent resource pages were:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT

The Teleplay

The Logline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Rules

Major thanks to everyone for making this such a great week. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed. re-read what you loved, and, most importantly, come back for more soon!

The WGAW is Having a Contest

…And all members are invited to enter sans any fee.

Well, almost all members.

Here’s the skinny:

wgaaccessproject

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:

???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!

Leesa Dean Gives Thumbs Down to ‘Thumbs Down’

Middle-Finger-Button

Adventures in Digital Series Land – #112
by Leesa Dean

Been so so busy I haven’t had time to do anything, which is why this post is late. Aside from everything else going on (animating/production work on new series, promos and writing a pilot), I just signed a deal with fledgling streaming VOD company Kweli TV.  They fell in love with Chilltown and now it will be on their platform in HD!! So I’ve been redoing all the episodes in preparation for the launch. A ton of work.

But something really big is brewing in the digital media world and I felt I had to address it.  That’s right, Facebook is planning on adding a dislike button (thumbs down) and people are going berserk.  And for a good reason. Given all the trolls, schadenfreude-mongers, ill-wishers and general sh*theads that populate an average timeline, people are bracing themselves for their videos to get tons of thumbs down. To make things worse, Facebook says it’s planning on DELETING any video that has more than 10 dislikes.  Talk about pressure.

When I first read about this I had, what can only be described as, a social-media take on the classic comedian’s nightmare: I dreamed I posted my latest radio show segment and all the hosts from one of the radio stations that carries the segment gave it a thumbs down.  Not only by clicking the button, but also by posting a huge image of the FB thumbs down.  To be fair, that joke did kind of suck.

Calming elements in this equation? Well, this has been happening on YouTube since forever and usually, trolls seem to want more attention so will post nasty venomous comments vs just clicking dislike. They normally want to interact.  Plus, on Facebook everybody can see who’s clicking the dislike button which probably will rule out your schadenfreude-loving friends. Hopefully. Plus videos that go viral (and I’m hoping or being delusional here) get shared a ton on Facebook. Which can work in your favor. Or not.

So I’m voting a distinct “thumbs down” for the upcoming dislike button.

Finally, tonight I’m going to the New York premiere of Chilltown star Victor Cruz’s NEW MOVIE, The Stockroom!!! To say I’m excited would be an understatement.  It’s being featured at the Urbanworld Film Festival and Victor not only stars in it, he wrote and directed it. Plus, Gil T, another Chilltown star is also in it. The movie just screened at the LA Indie Film Fest and won three awards (Best Screenplay, Best Feature and Best Actor!!!)  I’ll write all the deets in my next post.


Leesa Dean is the creator of CHILLTOWN TV, a digital series to reckon with. Learn more about Leesa and the series HERE