While you continue to vote here, it’s time for some of your Friday questions.
Longtime Reader, First Time Poster wants to know:
What were the main differences between writing comedy for live action vs cartoons? Did you prefer one to the other?
You certainly have more freedom in animation. You can let your imagination run wild. And you don’t have to worry about budgets. It’s just as easy to have Homer at the Million Man March as it is his kitchen. But there’s nothing like watching great actors bringing your words to life. And hearing the laughter. For a comedy writer that’s the crack of choice. So I’d have to say live action for me. Ask Seth MacFarlane. I bet you get a different answer.
From Eric Curtis:
How forgiving is Hollywood toward second chances? Say your first big break was on a show that absolutely tanked, would that be held against a writer even if they wrote a great spec for another show looking for a job?
Especially if you were just on staff of a stiff it won’t be held against you. Matt Tarses (currently the creator of the US version of THE WORST WEEK and longtime contributor to SCRUBS) started out on a show so bad it was canceled after one airing – PUBLIC MORALS (the above photo is maybe the only record of that show even existing) .
If the first show you create turns into a turd you probably will be able to walk away from the wreckage. You had to have a good track record to get the chance in the first place. But if, during production of that show, you managed to piss off everyone within a five mile radius that could hurt you.
Follow up question from Eric:
Is it worth taking a first time job as a writer if you know the show won't get picked up the next season?
Absolutely. Work is work. You could establish relationships with people who will ultimately hire you in the future. Plus, there’s the “you never know” factor. How many years did YES, DEAR run?
And finally, Andy Ihnatko asks:
Everybody leaves the house in the morning thinking they look pretty good. Even the 70 year old actor who has worn the same deep brown rayon wig since 1981, or the actress who's always seen in heavy, cakey makeup.
Does this affect those actors' ability to get work? You can always take off the toupee or wash off the makeup, but even if he doesn't angrily reply "WHAT wig?" the actor is still associated with that look.
I've wondered the same thing about actors with tattoos. You can cover them up, but would a producer think "If I cast this other person, we'll have one fewer makeup hassle per episode"?
If an individual has such a distinctive look it would take the audience out of the show, then yes, it would probably cost him jobs. I wouldn’t have the loan officer at a bank be played by Don King.
As for tattoos, that’s certainly not a problem if I’m casting Popeye. But seriously, if you don’t hire people with tattoos today you eliminate half the applicants. I always hire the best actor. If they require more make-up so be it. Unless of course the tattoo is a swastika or “Bush/Cheney in 2004”.