Happy Memorial Day. This is the time of the year when writing staffs go back to work. If you’re an aspiring TV scribe, I hope someday that’ll be you. Here’s what you can sort of expect…at least on the comedy side.
first week will just be sharing vacation stories, home remodeling
nightmares, and trashing reality shows. You’ll go out for long
lunches, bitch about how much other writers make, compare Prius prices,
convince non-Mac using colleagues to finally wise up and get a Mac, and
discuss the upcoming summer movie slate. My blog might come up. Half
will like it, half will think it’s a piece of shit.
back to the office, maybe talk in very general terms about the season
ahead, some scattershot thoughts on characters and stories, then go home
Week two you’ll come in and the show runner will panic.
He’ll realize you’re now hopelessly behind. From there you get to
work, really delving into the characters, spitballing story areas,
eventually breaking stories. You still go home at 4 but at least
you’re getting something done.
Over the next few weeks the
stories will be outlined, assigned, written, turned in, and rewritten by
the staff. You start having lunch brought in, going home at 6…and then
7… and then 9. By the time you go into production in August you might
have four scripts ready to go with a few others in the pipeline. And
hopefully you’ll have seen every summer movie you wanted to see, made
your vacation plans for next year, bought that Mac, remodeled that
kitchen, fulfilled every dinner obligation, read all those books in your Kindle, caught up on my archives, and took pictures of sunsets so
you’ll remember what they look like…because now the real fun begins.
The actors come in rested and the first day of production you’re ready to kill them. And so it begins.
Your first real break comes when you can say "Happy Thanksgiving".
Note: for new writers these are all exciting steps, even the long nights. Enjoy every minute of it.