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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

That Moment of 'Wow'

I just had a sit-down with my producer to go over my half-hour spec pilot... and to say that I'm ecstatic is an understatement.

You see, way back when I pitched the first producer my concept for the show, he was into it... but he didn't get excited.

This new producer, we connected within 30 seconds and it's been like that ever since.

Well, okay not quite.

You see after the pitch there was a span of time where the question hung in the air:

"But can you pull it off?"

And, well, I was honest -- I'd never considered myself a 'Comedy' writer... but I really loved this concept.

I knew I could be quirky and even a touch odd -- I found that out through my Chuck spec -- but I'd never tried to BE funny, as in 'I'm writing a Comedy' funny.

So, I challenged myself. I came up with a solid story, one that I found interesting and funny and I went from there.

This last weekend, at the Toronto Screenwriter's Conference, Mr. Sheldon Bull told us that "A Comedy is a Drama, but funny -- Write it it as a Drama first".

Though I'd written the script before the conference (that-was-the-whole-28-pages-in-one-day thing) Mr. Bull's advice solidified in me what I had done RIGHT in my script... why it worked.

That's what I had done.

I wrote it as this dark drama first and then found ways to flip the beats, make it funny then make the characters sing.

And now I have this script that is getting a whole lot of love, that I'm incredibly proud of and I think actually encapsulates the show I want to see on the air.

Pretty damn cool.

Out of everything that's happened lately, the realization that other people find my writing funny has been the biggest surprise.

A sort of awakening for this whole other side of me.

I've always shied away from doing Comedy because I thought I wasn't any good at it, I stuck to Drama and just tried to tell good stories... if Comedy got in there in the moment, then cool but I never forced it.

I've never really considered myself 'funny'.

Yet because my only goal was to make myself laugh I think, somehow, it translated onto the page... the heart behind it, you know?

Now, I wouldn't dare call myself a 'Comedy' writer yet -- I don't deserve it. (Ask me that after I've pumped out a season or two's worth of funny scripts...)

But I feel good, I feel like this is a whole new path to explore... and I'm truly loving it.

Right now I'm working on springboards for the rest of the season, showing where the legs of this thing are... and I'm genuinely excited.

Better yet, my producer is excited.

And I'm not gonna argue with that.


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