Sunday, April 17, 2016

Trapped at Warner Brothers

It's pilot season again.   The deadline is looming.  In only a few weeks the networks will put together their fall schedules.  Since writer/creators don't have the luxury of hiring a writing staff for one pilot they usually enlist colleagues to help out and come in for a night or two to rewrite.   At one time we were handsomely paid for this service.  Studios clamped down on that real fast.  Now we get iPad minis.   But I'm happy to do it to assist a friend.  I've done it on many a pilot.  Here are some quick observations.

It’s sure a lot more fun when the show is in good shape. This one was.

There’s nothing like being in a room with side-splittingly funny people. Until you reach midnight.

Food you would never touch you eat in rewrites. We had take out Chinese food at 6. So at 9 you can imagine how cold and congealed and generally just “leftover” it was. And yet, we all seemed to grab plates and nibbled on this remaining gunk as the night wore on.

Everyone now checks their iPhone every fifteen seconds.

The room is either too hot or too cold. It seems to go in half-hour increments.

You work with people you know and people you meet for the first time. It’s great fun to work with writers you’ve only heard about. Like discovering a terrific new comedian. And the best part is, new horror stories, different dish. It’s the blood we comedy vampires feast on.

They close a lot of the exit gates at Warner Brothers after midnight. You should have seen us. A convoy of cars driving all over the lot, in and out of streets, looking for the way out. Every time we turned left, there was the damn town square from LOIS & CLARK. I kept expecting to see some lost sad writer from MAVERICK whose been trying to find the open gate since 1957. Finally, we just followed some guy in a golf cart. We figured, if he’s here this late he must know where he’s going. And sure enough! After twenty minutes we finally escaped. I hope the MAVERICK guy gets out.

If you're a creator/writer with a pilot this season, best of luck, and I hope you're not reading this from the office since it's Sunday. 


kent said...
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Eduardo Jencarelli said...

I would love to get stuck inside a studio for the whole evening, spending time exploring and uncovering old movie sets. However, I do hear studios are breeding grounds for cats, as well as anything else that stings.

VP81955 said...

As both a cat and film history lover, that might be fun.

D. McEwan said...

"Every time we turned left, there was the damn town square from LOIS & CLARK."

I'm sure you meant the damn town square from The Music Man.

Andy Rose said...

I think he meant the damn town square from The Dukes of Hazzard. :)

Anna said...

You mean Stars Hollow? ;-)